Ding ding ding! It's time for round three of the Backstop Cards End Of The Year Countdown Special! Glad to see that you're back for thirds - don't worry, it's the holidays, the New Year is for those pesky resolutions - indulge!
With Part III today, we'll be looking exclusively at all of the Padres "hit" cards that I've accumulated this year. Originally, I was going to have this be a precursor to Part IV and include it in the same post, but I was able to scrounge up a few more cards and make it a (decently) well rounded Top 10 list.
Keep in mind that these are the Padres, so expecting very much in terms of "hits" may not be the same for some of you other collectors.
#10, #9, #8 - Carlos Quentin, Tony Gwynn, & Yonder Alonso, Gypsy Queen framed mini relic
Here are all three relic cards that I scored this year - all through trades, and all from the same set. I'm not a huge fan of relic cards, but I think that these are good looking. The "mini card with a relic encased in a plastic, black border" sounds like it should look a lot worse than it does, so I give props to Gypsy Queen here for pulling it off. Would've been cooler if the swatches matched the uniform on the card, but beggars can't be choosers.
#7 - Andrew Cashner, Topps Tier One "On The Rise" autograph #142/399
Were it not for the undeniable awesomeness that is Chris Denorfia, Andrew Cashner would've been my favorite Padre this year. The dude is a flat out gamer. After being questionable at the beginning of the year due to a hunting accident where a buddy of his sliced his hand with a knife while dressing a deer, he rebounded and had a great season. The hunting accident and the duck calls that are made by home fans when Straight Cash Homey is pitching make the camo uniform here a good choice.
#6 - Yonder Alonso, Gypsy Queen autograph
I'm not quite as high on Yonder Alonso as I was at the beginning of the season, but maybe I'm being unfair, since he was injured for a big chunk of time - getting hit by a pitch in the hand will do that to ya. While Yonder wins no style points for his signature, it's a great shot of the young first baseman, and I love the camouflage. While I generally dislike the design of Gypsy Queen, it works well for a fancy, autographed card like this one.
#5 - Jedd Gyorko, Topps Chrome autograph
Jedd Gyorko is another Padre who I became a big fan of this year. While he did a great job manning second base for the Friars, what really got him some notoriety was his bat. Even though this is a spring training shot (would've preferred something from the season, but whatever), it makes for a good card of the slugging second baseman.
#4 - Kyle Blanks - Topps Update Magenta Printing Plate
Man, there's nothing like a printing plate, is there? If you don't have one, I'd recommend saving it as a search in eBay. This is only my second one, but if you wait long enough (and you're not looking for some kind of superstar), you can occasionally find them for pretty cheap. This one was less than $5, which is hard to find for a 1/1. That it was already a good looking card of one of my favorite "off the bench" guys on the Padres is a big win in my book.
#3 - Wally Joyner, Allen & Ginter framed mini autograph
I am a huge Padre fan. I constantly make references to baseball greats like Mike Piazza and Greg Maddux being "former Padres", even though when you think of those players, you would normally never associate them with the Padres. This is all tongue in cheek. However, as stoked as I was to see that Wally Joyner had an autographed card in this year's Allen & Ginter set as a Padre, I thought it seemed a little out of place. I was a big fan of Joyner when he was in San Diego, but even when I think of him, I think of the Angels. Whatever, one more win for the Padres, I guess.
#2 - Andrew Cashner, Topps Tier One "On The Rise" autograph #89/399
There is basically no difference between this card and the one at the #7 slot. Both have the same players signature, both are numbered to 399, and heck, even both of them are even from the same set! Still the main difference is that Cashner is rocking the 1998 throwback uniform, which, as much as I love the camo uniforms, is awesome. Enough to almost claim the title of "Best Padre Hit of the Year". Sorry Andrew, horseshoes and hand grenades, you know the rest of it.
#1 - Benito Santiago, Archives "Fan Favorite" Autograph
There were so many players that I was excited to see on checklists this year. One of them would easily have to be Benito Santiago. He's not a Hall of Famer, and in his prime, he didn't play in a big market that that helped pad his image. So, to see him included in a 2013 set was very cool. The amount of brown and orange is awesome, and making a good looking card with the '88 design is easier said than done. Love this one.
Anybody make it to the end? Are you even reading the words, or just looking at the pictures? It's fine, don't worry about it, I'm guilty of it too from time to time - I've got things to do, just show me pretty pictures of cards!
I'll admit that, being the kind of collector that I am, this is probably the least exciting list that I made out of the four. But don't worry, tomorrow I'm back with one more. I had kind of planned to spread these lists out over the "Christmas Break" (for those of us who work in schools), but I think I'm emptying the clip of posts and leaving town without anything. It might be quiet for a bit, but I'm sure I'll have time to toss up a short post on a card or two.