Almost to the Top 10! Tension mounts! The pressure builds!
Okay, alright, there's not that much drama in the countdown, although if there is a "shocker" in the countdown, it's in today's post. Minds will be blown, assuming that there is something about early 90's cards that anybody will care about.
Enough jibba jabba, on to the countdown!
#15 - Tony Gwynn 1992 Leaf Preview
I am not a fan of the '92 Leaf design. As much as I like colored borders, gray is not one that I've seen work very well, ever. Still, I think there's something about the fact that this is the somewhat harder to find "Preview" card that makes me really like this. For what it's worth, it's also an upgrade in the card that showed up in the base set. The back is interesting looking as well, but you'll have to dig into the blog archives or COMC.com to find that. Anyways, not many cards feature a bunting Tony Gwynn, so this one is also a horse of a different color.
#14 - Benito Santiago 1991 Topps
I can hear the handful of followers on this particular countdown letting out a startled gasp! How can this masterpiece from the '91 Topps set not even break the Top 10? OUTRAGE!
Listen, while I love and appreciate this card (trust me, I do), it is not even my favorite Benito card from the 90's. Sorry guys.
#13 - Mark Parent 1991 Score
I may be the only one who would follow the '91 Topps Benito card with this card of rarely used backup catcher Mark Parent from '91 Score. But this one is so much better.
- Action shot v. posed shot - this one is easy, the play at the plate wins every single time.
- I've always been a big fan of catchers "showing the ball" to the umpire, like Parent is doing here.
- Disembodied legs kicking up dirt with the grass and infielder in the background = awesome.
- The colored borders!
Hands down, this is my favorite "play at the plate" card featuring a Padres catcher. It might not be the most "action packed", but I still love it.
#12 - Benito Santiago 1992 Pinnacle "Techs"
Alright Mark Parent, don't get too cocky. You're still one-upped by Santiago and the infinitely superior 1992 Pinnacle set. Santiago got not one but two of the inserts, as he was also included on a "Shades". Well, I guess technically they're not "inserts", but still not quite base cards. As a kid, I remember looking at this one and trying to model my own throwing stance after his (I was a catcher in Little League as well).
#11 - Steve Finley 1997 Upper Deck "Capture The Flag"
I feel like if more people cared, I'd be catching more flack on how low the Santiago '91 Topps is and how high this one is, but if you were a Padre fan in the 90's, you'd know how awesome this card is. Just like the Gwynn card that got high points because it celebrated his 2,000th hit, this one gets high marks because it celebrates the great run the Padres had towards the end of the 1996 season. In the penultimate series against the Dodgers, they'd take 2 out of 3, which would draw them closer to taking the NL West title, which they would do when they swept the Dodgers in the final three games of the season. For me, that was "the moment" that I knew I'd be a Padre fan forever. So sue me if this card is a little higher than it should be.
Well, I felt like I spent too much time justifying my placement, so maybe I'm the one feeling the pressure. The Top 10, on the other had, I am completely comfortable with, so I'm looking forward to finishing those and posting them. Thanks for reading!