Hope everyone's college football weekend went well. I don't really have much interest in college football, seeing as how neither college that I attended had a team when I was there (CSU-Fullerton and BYU-Idaho), but I'll root for San Diego St. and the Texas Longhorns when I remember that they're playing.
Normally I wouldn't even make mention of college football, but seeing as how we have now made it to the Top 25 Padre cards of the 90's, it made me think of college pigskin. Today's cards aren't your "powerhouses" that are guaranteed the big money bowl games, but they're not going to be relegated to the "Honest Al's Used Car Giant Bowl" either. Can't complain about being in the Top 25.
#25 - Melvin Nieves 1994 Upper Deck
One thing that having this blog focusing on Padres cards has allowed me to do is overcome some serious grudges. Previously, the name "Melvin Nieves" would make me cringe and grind my teeth, but now I'm able to be a grownup about it and realize that it's not Mel's fault that he was traded for a should-be Hall of Famer, that's just life. I mean, I guess it is his fault that he wasn't very good at baseball, but I'm lucky that people don't judge my worth as a person by how well I play baseball.
Oh, anyways, back to the card. Very cool shot of Nieves scaling what looks to be a minor league (or maybe spring training?) wall in what appears to be a shirt he bought for $19 at the stadium gift shop.
Just in case Melvin's muscles and crazy eyes weren't visible enough on the front of the card, here they are on the back of the card. Wearing the same gift store t-shirt, he looks to be choking the life out of a baseball. To be fair, I think the photographer was saying some derogatory things about Mrs. Nieves, so the death stare is probably appropriate given the situation.
#24 - Roberto Alomar 1991 Score "Dream Team"
I was too young to remember a time when Roberto Alomar was a Padre, but fortunately I have cards like these to help me imagine what it would've been like. Insert-type cards like the "Dream Team" set (though I don't think that they were technically "inserts") are, to me, very 90's. Not sure how often this particular stance is used when a second baseman is catching a baseball, but it made for a good card and Robbie's in the Hall of Fame, so I guess we're all winners.
#23 - Steve Finley 1995 SP
When putting together this countdown, some tough decisions were made. Sometimes I would say, "Well, these two cards are so similar, there's no sense in having both of them on the countdown," and one would be cut. This is not the case with cards of Steve Finley making a catch at the wall. If I had ten cards like this, they would all make it. Unfortunately, there are only two such cards in my possession, so there are only two on the countdown. Notice the shadows from the palm trees in the background. Beautiful.
#22 - Gary Sheffield 1993 Upper Deck
The 1993 Upper Deck set is one of my all time favorite sets. Cards like this are a large reason why. I'm not sure that Sheff was ever known for his defense at third (my lone memory of him defensively was when we were sitting in the nosebleed seats and a guy hit a pop fly so high that it went over our heads, but when it came back down to earth, Sheff misjudged it and I think the guy made it to second and some runs probably scored, though the deets are a little fuzzy). Regardless, the multiple exposure shot is a sweet one, especially when there is a dive involved.
#21 - Tony Fernandez 1993 Topps Gold
I still would've rated this card at #21 even if it wasn't the gold version of the card, but since I have the gold version of the card, I decided to use it. I am not enamored with cards featuring double plays like some other bloggers, but this is a great one. Good use of the horizontal space, the fielder is jumping over a sliding runner - it just looks smooth. *SPOILER ALERT* This is the second highest ranked double play card, so you double play fanatics will have to be on the lookout for the "Top Ranked Double Play Card from the 90's featuring a Padres Fielder".
I know what you're thinking - edge of your seats news.