A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pack Opening Day, pt. 2

I was excited to post yesterday evening.  Since my blog is less than a year old, I wasn't as "plugged in" to last year's Topps release date.  It's pretty fun to blog about what lots of others are blogging about - 2013 Topps - it's like a Pack Opening Day.  However, after posting last night, I felt that my itch hadn't been sufficiently scratched.  It was most likely the one Padre card that I scored out of the whole hanger box, but it also could've been that most of the inserts I pulled seemed a little on the underwhelming side, if you ask me.

Conveniently, I had to run out for some school stuff after the kids went to bed, and since the grocery store closest to us is in the process of moving and they stopped restocking the shelves, the next closest option was... Walmart, the original scene of the crime.

I cruised by the card aisle again on my way to the register, and decided to spring for a rack pack, something small, but fun to rip.  I've been in a pretty good mood all day, due in large part to some choice students being absent from class, and the rest of my kids doing pretty well on our fraction review, which we've been working hard on.

Anyways, the "let's try one more time" pack-buying almost always ends up being a losing proposition.  It's like Vegas, when you just need to know when to walk away.

However, this time I walked away feeling very satisfied.

Yonder Alonso is right behind Chris Denorfia as my favorite Padre.  That this card shows him in the throwback 80s uniforms on a followthrough swing is icing on the cake.  Yonder was in Series 1 last year, but he was shown in his Reds uniform, and Topps didn't rectify it in the Update set (although he was a Padre in the Allen & Ginter and Heritage sets).  

This is the card that I was looking for.

Itching gone.

However, the pack got even better!

TWO PADRES IN A RACK PACK?  The heavens were smiling upon me, because this basically never happens.  Not only that, but another retro uniform.  The only downside with the retro uniforms is that the rest of the card's color scheme doesn't quite match up.  The current "SD" logo and blueish borders make sense with the 2013 iteration of the Padres uniforms, but not so much with the 70s and 80s looks.  Still, was very happy to get this one.

Not only did I score two Padres, but I also got proven wrong.  Previously, I had said that I didn't care for the 1972 mini cards.  I know that they may be nostalgic for some, but that border looks like Froot-Loop barf to me.

However, I'm not a fan of Yu Darvish (the '72 mini that I got the first time), so maybe a change of subject would change my mind?

The short answer is yes.  While I'm still not a big fan of these, is there any denying the awesomeness of this card?

Currently, I can't stand the Angels.  Seriously, is there anybody else they want to buy to add to their impossibly-talented roster?  However, Mike Trout is insanely good, and I can't help but root for the guy.  The man is a beast.


I gotta hand it to Topps, I dig the design.  I thought the 2011 set was pretty good, which was the year I got back into collecting, but I wasn't a huge fan of the 2012 set.  I thought at first it was just because it wasn't "the one that got me back into collecting" (no real "connection"), but it turns out that, yeah, it just didn't look great.

Overall, I'd have to say that I feel like I can now put Pack Opening Day to rest.  I don't have a lot hardly any excess scratch laying around, so I won't be overdoing it with new card purchases, especially since I'm just looking for Padres, which seem to be easy to acquire through trades (right guys?).

Now that I have a few more Padres (and especially the Alonso), I can be happy with what I pulled, make a few trades for the rest of the Friars, and go back to scouring the web for vintage Padres on the cheap.

Just like Rajai in the above card, I'm excited, it's been fun, and this post is all over.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Topps

Two posts in one day, must be something special, huh?

Yep, I got my first taste of 2013 Topps.  I was staying a little later at school that I wanted, looking over a review assessment that my students took today on fractions.  Big test coming up on Thursday, trying to make sure everybody's ready to go.  Fractions are like monsters to 5th graders.

Anyways, I swung by Walmart on the way home and picked up a hanger box of the new stuff and hurried out to my car to check it out.

Here is my first Padre card of 2013.

It turned out to be the only Friar of the bunch, which was a bummer.  Thought about calculating the percentage of cards that were Padres, since I was still in fraction/decimal mode from school, but numbers that small aren't worth calculating.  Volquez isn't really a favorite of mine by any means, but he's hard to dislike too much, since he's (sadly) one of the better choices the Padres have in the starting rotation.

Still, there were a few other cards that were worth keeping.  I'm not a set-builder, so I'm only holding on to the ones that strike my fancy.

These are all good.  I love the retro jerseys on the Michael Young and the Chris Sale cards.  The view of U.S. Cellular Field behind A.J. Pierzynski is striking as well.  Feldman and Bogusevic are players that I like, Scott from his performance in then 2011 postseason for the Rangers, and Bogusevic for hitting a home run on my birthday when I saw him play for the Round Rock Express a few years back. By the way, I'm stoked to see the Astros rocking their new jersey design this year.  Hopefully it'll make it onto the cards that are released later on in the year.

Here are some obligatory pictures of the inserts, cards that will be part of future trade packages.  Nothing too impressive to my eyes.  I kinda like the "Calling Cards" set, but that Reggie Jackson's "calling card" is his ripped abdominals seems a little strange to me. 

I kinda like the emerald parallels here, and the blue ones... look about the same as last year.  The Padres cards will most likely look good with the blue.  Am I the only one who's not stoked on the '72 style minis?  I personally think that the '72 design is pretty hideous, and doesn't hold a candle to '71 or '73.  For series 1, the only Padre is Tony Gwynn, so there won't be many of these I'll be on the lookout for.

It wouldn't be a proper "pack report" if I didn't also mention the back of the cards.  Nothing too special here.  It's interesting that they've included the "Career Chase" below the height/weight/birth information.  Just in case you were wondering, Volquez only needs 5,061 strikeouts to match Nolan Ryan's all time record of 5,714.  I wonder if it'll happen this year or next year?

It's kinda cool that the write up above his stats references the only Padre game that I went to last year.  Much less cool that the bright red in the stats shows that last year he led the National League in walks with 105.  I wonder what the "Career Chase" would be to have the all time lead in free passes.

Anyways, there's my first look at 2013 Topps.  Just felt like tossing my two cents along with the kajillion other bloggers who will be doing so in the next few days.

The fistful of other cards I have will be up on the trade list soon, along with all of the inserts.  Mostly just looking for the Padres in this set.  If you haven't seen it yet, the Yonder Alonso card from this set is awesome.

New Cards

No, this isn't a Topps 2013 post.  Sorry guys.

However, a week or so ago, Brad from Brad's Blog commented that he had a bunch of Darin Erstad cards that he had laying around, and to shoot him my address if I was interested.

New Erstads?  I've never said no to those!  They came yesterday.


Having his rookie year in 1998, lots of Erstad's cards are of the "look, these are shiny!" variety.  I'm normally not a huge fan of those, but these all look good to me.  I especially like the one on the top row, second from the right, which is a Stadium Club card that has "Never Compromise" written on the bottom, even though you can't see it here.  Pretty cool.

Of course, Brad wasn't done, he also sent a handful of Padres for my Padres binder.

These look a lot better than a glossy set called "Artifacts" should.  I've gotten one or two Mike Piazza cards from his Padres days, but never kept them, always passed them along to other bloggers or my students.  The guy was a DODGER, for crying out loud, I have a hard time believing that he was ever a Padre.  However, this card looks sharp, very classic looking catcher's stance behind the plate, looking for a foul ball.  Can't deny this one a spot in the binder.  And of course, any self-respecting Padre fan is in love Khalil and his flowing blonde locks.

Thanks again for the cards, Brad!  I'll be returning the favor once I get any Phillies worth sending.

Monday, January 28, 2013

69 Dudes!


I've posted before about my musical tastes, which apparently are shared by very few readers.  That's fine, since that's obviously not the focus of my blog.  For today's Music Monday, however, I'd like to mention one of my favorite movies of all time: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

I was watching a comedian on TV one time who asked an audience member what his favorite movie was.  When he answered that it was Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, he replied, "That's funny, you don't look like a pothead."

I'm not sure if drugs make Bill & Ted more enjoyable, but I'm clean, and I love this movie.  

Anyways, in reference to the nine second movie clip above, I recently made an eBay purchase that gets me two cards closer to one of my goals: completing the 1969 Padres team set.

I snagged both of these from the same seller for a whopping total of 89 cents.  I would rather have these cards than have 89 cents.  I was wondering why two cards from the '69 set would come so cheap (shipping was free), and then I turned the cards over.

If you look below the stat lines for Wins, Losses, and Strikeouts, you'll see that the former owner, most likely a budding mathematician, added a few extra numbers to Mr. McBean's career totals.  This was on both cards.  Given the choice, I guess I'd rather not have the "special additions" to these cards, but for 89 cents, these will find a place in the binder, no problem.

Anyways, to close the post, here's some musical goodness with a Bill & Ted connection.  Although it wasn't as great as the original, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey was a decent movie.  Having the Grim Reaper as a character was pretty funny, and the aliens that can only say one word seems very 80s to me, even though it was made in 1991.  There were plenty of weird ideas, including the guys having their own personal hells, and later sneaking into heaven with the Death as a cross dresser.  Still, I'd have to say that the song that closes the movie is one of the best movie-closing songs of all time.  Instead of posting the clip from the movie, here's a music video that Kiss made for it that I had never seen before writing this post



Be excellent to each other.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

77

As of today, there are officially 77 followers of all the way to the backstop...

Maybe the number seems high to you, maybe it seems low.  When I started writing, the goal was never to acquire as many followers as I could.  However, as a writer, the more people I see that are reading, the more motivated I get to do so.  So thanks to everybody who has followed, and even more so to those who continue to read.

I love that I've been able to post so much Padres content - and other things that probably don't appeal to the masses - but there are still a few who will follow and comment from time to time.  Hopefully I'm able to make it interesting for those who don't really care about my beloved Padres, which is probably most of you.


So here's my gift to my 77 followers and all the others who may stumble across this page from time to time:  three cards from '77 Topps.  All mustachioed Friars.

At some point in time, I think it'd be fun to have a "Friar Facial Hair Bracket", kinda like a March Madness deal.  Not sure how I'd be able to work that out, or if there'd be any interest, but it's one of the ideas rolling around in the back of my head (apparently there's lots of unused space that makes it easy to be "rolling around").

Who would win this matchup?  I want  to lean towards Kubiak, since I think that if my 'stache was ever to live up to it's fullest potential, it would look like his.  However, I believe that there is no denying Dangerous Dave Tomlin.  The dude is in it to win it.

Until next time, amigos.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rookie Explosion

A post that's low on comments but high on pictures.  We'll be leaving for our first family trip to the Waco Zoo in a little while, so I'll let the cards speak for themselves.

I was digging through my box of cards to trade during the week.  A blogger had initiated a trade with me, and in addition to some set needs and team cards he was after, he mentioned on his blog that he was in search of rookie cards, regardless of the player/team.

It got me thinking, how many of the cards that I have are rookie cards?  Sometimes it's obvious, because there will be a logo or something on the front.  Other times, you just have to know that it is.

Here are some of the rookies that I found in my binders this week...


Some Padres from 2009 Topps 206.  I really like this set, and they happen to have blasters of these on sale at Walmart, so I've grabbed a few.  Blanks is the only remaining Padre, although he's been bit by the injury bug pretty often.


Here's a pretty cool montage of Padres rookies, dating from Topps sets from 1995 to 2012.  The Khalil Greene is my favorite.  For some reason, I have a bunch of Kouzmanoff rookie cards.  Not complaining there.  Brad Brach is one of my favorite current Padres, mostly due to the fact that he was chosen in the 41st round of the 2008 Draft.  There were 1,274 players chosen before him.  And now he's in the majors.


Here are some more "classic" rookie cards.  I got ahold of the Jim Abbott rookie from '89 Topps in a repack a while back.  I'm proud to say that the Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter rookies were all pulled by me out of packs by me as a kid.  They survived my childhood.

Here are three Padre rookie cards from pre 90s Topps.  Nobody else has ever heard of these guys?  Okay, moving on.

Here are some rookie cards of my all-time favorite Padre, during his Orioles days.

Here are some rookie cards from the Score brand.  I really like the Joey Hamilton dual shot; batting and pitching.  I like the Konerko, despite the uniform.

 Some Upper Deck rookies.  The Paul Faries from 1991 Upper Deck is one of my favorite Padre cards.

What the heck, here's another Paul Faries rookie card.  Dig the pose and the 1991 Fleer design.

Of course, I'm missing a few key Padres rookies here, most notably Tony Gwynn's from 1983.

Someday...

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sheffield in 1992

There is only one Padre who has ever won a batting title who's name wasn't Tony Gwynn.

Gary Sheffield won the award in 1992 when he finished with a .330 batting average (Gwynn only batted .317 that year).  Sheff would also finish two home runs behind NL leader and future Hall of Fame snub Fred McGriff (35), and have nine less RBIs than Darren Daulton (109), who led the league.

Having one of the best seasons in Padre history earned Gary a ticket out of town, as the Padre ownership was looking to shed some salary and went  into Fire Sale mode in 1993.  Despite having this awesome Topps "Black Gold" card in a Padres uniform, he was traded to the Marlins for three cheap pitchers that nobody had ever heard of.  Fred McGriff was dealt as well, in one of the worst trades in Padres history (at least in my opinion).

Why do I bring up this painful memory?

Because one of those pitchers that the Padres got in the Sheffield deal turned out to be a converted short stop who would go on to record 601 saves, 552 of which came as a Padre.

Sheffield would bounce around the league for the next sixteen years, playing for six different teams (Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Tigers, Mets), and would accumulate 509 homers, a .292 batting average, and 1,676 RBIs.  Trevor Hoffman would stay with the Padres for sixteen years, only moving to Milwaukee for the last two years of his career, where he was able to become the first pitcher to crack the 600 save mark.

The 1993 Topps "Black Gold" inserts are my favorite of all time, due in part to the cool design, but also because I can't remember another time when there were three Padres that were worthy of being included in a set like this.  I pulled the Fred McGriff card out of a pack when I was a kid, and got the Tony Gwynn in a trade package.  I picked up this last member of the trio on COMC's Black Friday sale, after Thanksgiving, and finally got around to posting it.

Is there a trio in 2013 that can top Gwynn/Sheffield/McGriff?

I might go with the Angels (Trout, Pujols, Trumbo, plus they're adding Josh Hamilton).  The Dodgers have Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez, but Ramirez' numbers took a dive last year (although Andre Ethier is no slouch).  The Yankees have Jeter and Cano, but A-Rod is hurt.

In 1992, the Padres trio combined for 501 hits and a .312 batting average.  They had 74 homers (Gwynn only contributed 6) and 245 RBI (Gwynn once again only contributing only 41).  When a first ballot Hall of Famer is the weaker link in the chain, that's pretty impressive.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Golden Great GWYNNsday

Since there's only one more GWYNNsday before 2013 Topps comes out and all the 2012 cards get forgotten, I thought I'd touch on one of the inserts from 2012 that I didn't even realize was in existence until it made it's way to my binders via trade.

I wasn't really a fan of the "gold" theme that ran through a lot of Topps inserts this year.  Usually, I can get behind more cards of greats like Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken Jr., but with there being multiple cards of each in multiple sets, along with other "greats" that I didn't really care about, I lost interest pretty quick with these.

Until I got ahold of this card.

Gotta love the brown and orange, even though the game description on the back was from 1993, by which time the Friars had changed color schemes to blue and orange.  Now that I actually look at the rest of the card design, it doesn't seem that bad.  The home plate outline looks sharp, and even though the double-interlocking G's are a little gaudy and the lettering is kinda small, it seems to work here.  Who knew that Tony was so photogenic (or cardogenic, to borrow a term from a fellow blogger).

What really makes the card for me, though, is the back.  By flipping the card over, we get a hint as to what the cryptic "Loud and Cleared" phrase pertains to.

Normally, I'm not a huge fan of taking a snapshot of a player (one game) and having it be the write up on the back of a card.  Sorry 1993 Topps, I don't care that Tim Teufel hit two home runs against the Phillies on July 11, 1992.  Especially since he only hit four the whole rest of the season to go along with a .224 average.  Give me something interesting or leave it blank.

However, that Tony had the game winning hit on a bases-loaded, ninth inning double after being down by two runs?  And it was against the Dodgers?  Sounds good to me!

What would've been even better?  If they had mentioned that the Padres were actually losing 4-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, but brought it to 4-2 after an infield single by Gary Sheffield and a two-run homer by Fred McGriff.  Phil Plantier struck out, upon which Derek Bell drew a walk and Kevin Higgins and Ricky Gutierrez followed with singles to load the bases.  Craig Shipley came into run for Higgins, the catcher, but Dodgers pitcher Kevin Gott struck out the next batter, Kurt Stillwell.  That brought up Anthony Keith Gwynn.  The Bums brought in Omar Daal to preserve the victory, who fell behind 1-0 before allowing the walk-off double.

I guess that would've been hard to fit on the back of a baseball card, but knowing the context is pretty cool.  Maybe if I did this with more of these inserts, I'd be more interested in them.  Not going to happen, though.

Still, this was a fun card to get.  Farewell 2012 cards, and welcome to 2013.

Editors Note:  Like I said, I got this card in a trade, and I liked it so much that I thought it deserved its own post.  Of course, now I've forgotten who sent it to me, so if you want to claim it was you, go ahead and post it in the comments so I can give you credit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Favorite Cubs Card

I was on the Padres message board a few days ago, and got excited when I saw a thread on baseball cards.  I clicked on it, but was disappointed to see that it was a question about the value of baseball cards and how much they were worth now, etc.

Lame.

Don't get me wrong, if I came across a super-valuable card that I wasn't attached to, I wouldn't be above selling it for a tidy profit.

But how awesome is this Jerry Morales card?  I'd say that the awesomeness doesn't necessarily translate to monetary value.

I'm very interested in starting a binder dedicated to the "original" Padres that were taken in the 1968 National League Expansion Draft (original is in parenthesis because the "real" original Padres were in the Pacific Coast League in 1936).

Morales was one of the "originals" taken in the draft, as the Padres snatched him from the Mets with their 8th pick.  He made his MLB debut with the Padres in 1969, but his first Topps card came in 1970.  He was traded by the Padres to the Cubs at the end of the season in 1973, but his 1974 Topps card showed him still rocking the mustard and brown.  In this blogger's eyes, the pink cubs banner is hardly noticeable.

This card came to me by way of eBay a while back, in which I won a furious bidding war that saw six different bidders try to get it, but I walked away with it after plopping down 59 cents.  Shipping was free.

Even though this is technically a Cubs card, it's still a Padres card in my book.  Apparently, he was such a die-hard Padre that he continued wearing a Padres uniform even as he played for the Northsiders.  He was an All-Star in 1977 for the Cubs, and also spent time with the Cardinals, Tigers, and Mets.  He ended his 15 year playing career with a .259 average and 95 homers, and has spent time as a coach for the Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, and the St. Lucie Mets.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Plain Swatches

I recently completed my first trade with Roy from Plain Gray Swatch.  The guy is a huge Blue Jay fan (and has a serious man-crush on J.P. Arencibia) and should be a happy camper with all the additions that Toronto has made to their roster since the end of the year- a stark contrast to the complete inactivity of the Padres so far this offseason.

But, onto happier things.  Seeing as how Roy's blog is named after relic cards, it's only logical that the first cards I show are ones that have cut-up jerseys stuck in them.  I'd like to meet the person who is in charge of dicing up a jersey and makes sure that it gets sandwiched between cardboard the correct way.  Jerseys are pretty big, so I figure that's a lot of tiny cuts.  Or maybe there's a machine that hacks 'em up wood-chipper style.  Deep thoughts, I know.

This is my second Gwynn jersey relic.  This one is gray, while the other one is white.  A sharp looking card, even if the swatch doesn't match jersey in the picture.  I wonder how many cards you could get out of a Gwynn jersey, seeing as how his shirt size is probably bigger than most professional ball players?  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Khalil is a little more... trim, so maybe his relic cards are in higher demand, since there's less to go around.  Ok, probably not. 

Being a little selective about the Padres that I put into my binders, I've shut out Kevin Brown for a while now, seeing as how he was basically a player-rental for a year and seemed kinda like a jerk (plus he ended up signing with the Dodgers, an unpardonable sin - though the joke was on them).  However, he did play a major role in the Padres 1998 NL pennant run, and this card does look pretty sweet.  It's got some cool texture to it, and is serial numbered 1,123 of 2,299, for what it's worth (Why did they settle on making 2,299 of these?  Seems like a pretty random number.).

He also included some slick looking Topps Chrome cards of Yonder Alonso, Cam Maybin, and Clayton Richard, but since I already have those, I didn't post them.  Don't worry, they'll find a great home since I just became aware of another Padres fan with a card blog - The Underdog Card Collector!  Hopefully we can spark up a trade and get some of my extra Padres into a good home.

Thanks again for the trade Roy!  And good luck in putting those Yankees into their place in 2013!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crime Dogs from Jaybarkerfan

The buzz around the blogosphere has been plain white envelopes arriving on bloggers' doorsteps (or, more likely, in their mailboxes) containing handfuls of cardboard goodness.  Not only are they no-strings-attached cards, but they are specifically catered to the recipient (i.e. mine were all Padres).

While there were some good cards in both of the envelopes that came to me (a few days apart), these were easily this highlights...

A pair of McGriff cards that I had been on the lookout for!  These are both really awesome.  I love the Procter & Gamble card is from the 1992 All Star Game, which was in San Diego.  Since I went to the Fan Fest with my dad, I like finding stuff commemorating that particular game.  The 1993 Topps Gold card is also cool, especially since the only gold cards I ever got were of totally lousy players. 

Of all of the other cards that were sent, this was my other favorite.  This is a mini-sticker from the 2004 Topps Cracker Jack set.  Ramon Hernandez was a part of the 2005 Padres juggernaut that won the NL West crown with an 82-80 record.

Thanks a lot Jaybarkerfan!  I checked out the email that I sent him letting him know of my address, and it was way back in June, so needless to say, this was a totally unexpected delivery!  I've even moved since then (just across town), so I was glad they finally made the way to my door.  If you'd like to be the recipient of an envelope like this one (or the team of your choice), check out his blog and shoot him an email, he's a great guy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Don't Bite Your Tongue

When I got home from school yesterday, my wife greeted me in a panic at the door.  My almost-two year old daughter was behind her and was looking a little watery-eyed and red-faced.  She explained to me that less than a minute ago, she had been playing on the couch, and when she jumped down, she face planted into the coffee table and had "bit through her tongue".

Hearing the phrase "bit through her tongue", I was thinking that there might be a red lump of taste buds lying on the rug in the living room, or maybe some almost-severed flesh rolling around in her mouth, only hanging on by a few slobbery threads.

Ok, as I read the disgusting description that I've just written, I guess this is a good time to say that, while it looked pretty gnarly, upon re-inspection it turned out to be just a deep cut, nothing emergency room-worthy.  Lots of popsicles today, and she seems to be just fine.

Watching her play with her tongue for the remainder of the night (and occasionally crying) made me self conscious about how much I stick out my tongue when I'm concentrating.  She does the same thing, which makes the scientist in me wonder if this is a learned or inherited trait.  Whatever it is, Kurt Stillwell definitely has it, as almost half of the cards I had of him also featured his tongue peeking out.

I can't imagine this habit having a negative effect on your hitting, and Huston Street seems do be doing pretty well pitching and sticking out his tongue from the right side, so these guys will be okay.

Sticking out your tongue while some dude is barreling towards you as fast as he can?  Probably not the smartest idea.  Fortunately for Nick's taste buds, he's in front of the plate, and the throw is behind the runner.  Unfortunately for San Diego, this Diamondback is safe at home.

It looks like Ray is showing off the fact that he dove in head first and still has his mastication manipulator in tact.  What a daredevil and a showboat.  Either that, or he's taking the phrase "eat my dust" to a literal extreme.

Anyways, the title of this post isn't in reference to Kristen getting kicked off Top Chef last night (she should've spoken up at the judges table, but kept muttering "bite your tongue" to herself while she got badmouthed by a lesser chef who should've gotten kicked off instead).  Nope, no hidden meaning here.  

Imagine what your mouth would look like without it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doran Doran

Bill Doran was an infielder who played in the majors for twelve seasons, and spent time with the Astros, Reds, and Brewers.

He finished 5th in the NL in Rookie of the Year voting in 1983 (behind Gary Redus, Mel Hall, Greg McMurtry, and Darryl Strawberry).  Tony Gwynn did not get any votes.

He finished 21st in the NL MVP voting in 1985 (behind lots of people).  Tony Gwynn finished tied for 23rd in the voting that year, with half as many votes as Doran (1).

He led the the NL in times caught stealing in 1986 with 19.  Tony Gwynn only had 9.

And on this card, Bill Doran got Tony Gwynn out on a double play.

I guess some people just have your number.

Congrats on constantly one-upping Mr. Padre, Bill.  And for being on one pretty awesome card.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Exhausted GWYNNsday

I am completely exhausted.  Had a long day at school, followed by meetings afterwards.  Never enough time to get the rest of my work done.  Then came  home and got dinner ready, had time to help get the kids bathed and put into their PJs, and then took off to the church to help out with the scout troop.  It's not something that I particularly enjoy, but I was asked to do it, so I do what I can to help out.

It was a short meeting, which was nice, and when I got home, my wife had just gotten the kids to settle down (not asleep, but at least in their beds), and she wanted to put in a Jillian Michaels workout DVD.  According to the box that it came in, the workout was only twenty minutes long, but it was probably the longest twenty minutes of my life.  I think my recovery time before getting into the shower was almost as long as the workout itself.

Anyways, I wanted to post something, since my GWYNNsday posts are the most consistent feature that I've been able to put together here.

But since I'm so tired, I decided to go with a card that speaks for itself.

1994 Fleer Pro-Vision

At some point, I will put together a list of my favorite Tony Gwynn cards.  This will definitely be on the list, and probably a lot higher than others would put it.  There's something so over-the-top about how ridiculous it is that I can't help but LOVE this card.

Ok, now I'm feeling a little more energized, so I'll make a few comments about this masterpiece...
  • The first thing that comes to mind is "Jedi Master", with Tony wielding a bat instead of a light saber.  I guess the robe might also tie in to the fact that he plays for the Friars.
  • If there was a magical book on hitting, Anthony Keith would probably be the author.
  • I just noticed that there is water in the background, and the boats remind me of San Diego Bay, as do the palm trees.
  • Drawing hands is hard.
Anyways, this card is awesome, and I'm not the first blogger to post about it.  Here are some other ones that I've come across (This Card Is Cool and Baseball Card Bust).  Both are great reads.

Good night.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sultans

I usually have my posts written a day or two ahead of posting them, but my weekend was thrown off by having Foster taken to the hospital.  He had a respiratory infection, and after taking him to a local hospital, he was taken in an ambulance to a children's hospital, about a 40 minute drive away.  Kind of scary stuff, but we made it through, and after two nights there, he spent the night here and seems to be slowly recovering.

I took a sick day at school and stayed home to help juggle the kids and get the things done around the house that weren't able to get done over the weekend.  The kids are finally both asleep and the stew is in the crockpot, so I can finish up this one that I started a few days ago.

This card was sent to me along with a 25 cent card that I ordered on eBay.  This is the second time that I've gotten a bonus card from a seller, and I thought it was pretty unique.


It was made in 1992 by Megacards, a brand that I've never heard of.  The writeup on the back was pretty interesting, though.

Researchers studied Babe's quickness of motor responses (reaction time), his strength, the stability of his nervous system, his attention span, and his general coordination.  Professor Pitkin reached his "better than one-in-a-million" conclusion mathematically.  Most men are about 60 percent efficient in general coordination, he reported, while the Babe scored 90 percent.  His hearing was better than four out of five people.  His eyes functioned 12 percent faster than normal, and the stability of his nervous system was so superior that he surpassed 499 out of every 500 persons.  The combination of eyes, ears, attention, and nervous system stability made him best of 1,250,000 people... If people were paid according to the number of others who could do their job equally well, Professor Pitkin estimated that the Bambino would have to be paid about $10 million a year - in 1930, or the equivalent of about $85 million today.

Anyways, I've never been a huge follower or fan of early baseball players (I'm not sure if I like Joe DiMaggio more because he was a great player or because of the song "Mrs. Robinson"), but this makes Ruth definitely seem amazing.

I especially liked the "Sultan of Swat" title on the card, because it reminds me of "The Sandlot".  Great movie.

Also, as I was driving around this weekend, I listened to a bunch of songs by a similarly named band...

Sultans were a band from San Diego (late 90s, early '00s) who were fronted by Jon Reis, lead singer of Rocket From The Crypt and Night Marchers, and also in bands like Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes.  Sultans are probably the least known of his bands, but they may be my favorite.

Unlike the Sultan of Swat, Sultans probably do a job that most people who play a guitar can do (i.e. they don't play anything that is overly difficult or complicated, just straight up punk rock, loud, fast, and with very little cost spent on production value).  

At some point in time, I might showcase some of my records that I've collected over the years.  I don't have many, but they're all 45's (7 inch records), mostly because they're easier to carry around/store.

Anyways, here's a few songs from Sultans.  They only put out two records and an EP (which I have on vinyl and is pictured above).  Shipwrecked is their later album and is a little poppier and has better production, while the first Ghost Ship, was loud and messy and a little angry.  Here are two songs in about three minutes that give you a pretty good idea of what they're all about.


It's been a while since I did a "Music Monday" post, so I'll double up on the tunes and include a song by Reis' other band, Rocket From The Crypt.


Have a great Monday evening.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bettering the Collection

I recently completed a trade with a relatively new blogger.  Ryan, the author of Building a Better Collection, was kind enough to send these cards, along with a bunch of others, in exchange for a bunch of Braves, Twins, and Yankees.

I'll start off with my favorite part of the package: the vintage!

One of my goals this year is to complete one of the Padres team sets from either 1969, 1971, or 1973.  Here are four cards that will get me closer to realization.  The '71 cards are ones that I hadn't seen before, so those were cool to get.  The Marshall card doesn't look like a Padres uniform, and he was with the Mets in '72, so maybe that's an Amazin's uniform that was photoshopped.  Enzooooo makes two appearances, and how could I not include a guy who's last name is Champion?

Ryan happens to live in Jamestown, North Dakota, hometown of Darin Erstad.  He sent me 27 Erstad cards, which almost doubled my collection.  These two were my favorites, from the 2002 Donruss Originals set.  I already blogged about another Erstad from this same set, which I think I might still might like better than these two, but this '84 style is a close second.

Here are a bunch of other Erstads that were also included.  These look pretty sweet.

I know that some of these might not be a lot to look at, especially since it's not like these old Score cards are the "missing pieces" of a set I'm trying to complete.  I just like 'em.  Most Gossage and Garvey cards are keepers in my book.  The Gonzalez Bowman card is a cool throwback, and I was a big Luis Durango fan for the 37 games he was a Padre.  He kinda reminds me of Dee Gordon, except he was an outfielder.

Lastly, a cool bonus to the package, he included an autographed card from Yasmani Grandal.  He's currently suspended for 50 games for testing positive for testosterone.  In true human form, I have less of a problem with him because he's on "our" team.  Still disappointed, and I question what the guy's all about, but hopefully he can perform as well as he did last year once he's clean.  I mean, Ray Lewis is revered, and he was once accused of murder, so as long as he makes the changes he needs to, I can forgive him.  I also like this Quackenbush card.  Dude's supposed to be a good prospect, as well as the owner of a pretty awesome last name.

There's a few other cards that were sent that I'll be showcasing on a later post, but so much good stuff here.  Thanks for helping me build a better collection, Ryan!  Check out his blog, it's on my blogroll, and well worth the read.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Heritage Fun with Dick & Liam

I'm stealing a page out of my buddy Mark's blog.  As you might know, he is the author of This Way To The Clubhouse, which is a great read (although I might just be partial to blogs with overly long titles, like my own).  He has a feature called Fun With Heritage, which compares the 2012 Topps Heritage cards to the original set that they were designed after, 1963 Topps.

Ever since I saw his first post on the subject, I've been trying to get a hold of the 2012 counterpart for my lone 1963 Topps card.  I originally posted about how it came into my possession here.  Were it not for my 1951 Bowman Jerry Coleman card, this would be the oldest card in my collection.

1963 Topps #89 Dick Stigman

Aside from being named Dick, Mr. Stigman was born in the equally hilariously-named Nimrod, Minnesota.  Let's hear it for the local boy!  Not only making it to the majors, but being named an All-Star in his rookie year!  Granted, it seems like the All-Star criteria might've been a little lower in 1960, as he went 5-11 with a 4.51 ERA for the Indians.

Here's great writeup I found on Stigman from sabr.org, that even has a Padre-related tie-in.

During Stigman’s rookie year at Cleveland in 1960, Chicago manager Al Lopez selected him to the American League All-Star team, but in the years when they played two mid-season classics a year, Stigman never got to throw a pitch. He played on the 1965 Minnesota Twins American League champions, winning four games during the regular season, but never got closer to the field than the bullpen during the World Series. Stigman pitched for Boston in 1966, the year before Boston won the American League pennant, but was sold at season’s end and never pitched another game in the majors.
Even his finest moment in the minor leagues, 10-2/3 innings of no-hit ball for Class AA San Diego, was overshadowed by Pittsburgh’s Harvey Haddix, who the same night of May 26, 1959, pitched 13 innings of perfect ball before Don Hoak’s error in the 14th inning set the stage for the Braves’ 1-0 victory over the Pirates.
Good does not always mean lucky.

On his way out of baseball, he was offered a contract to play in the minors, but declined because it wouldn't be enough to support his wife and growing family, which eventually became nine children (five biological, four adopted).  He became a "Minneapolis businessman".  He ended his seven year major league career with a record of 46-54, a 4.03 ERA, and 755 K's in 922.2 innings.

He also has the coolest "back of the card cartoon of any card I've come across:


Next up, a rookie card from 2012...


To be honest, I had never heard of Hendriks before I became interested in getting this card.  I guess I'm not as caught up on the Twins rookie pitchers as the rest of the avid baseball fans out there.  Oh well.

I really like that, along with card number, team, and position, that they had the same color pattern on both cards, which makes sense, I guess, since they're the team's color scheme.  

Well, unfortunately, there's a little less interesting information on young Mr. Hendriks, but I do know that he was born in Perth, Australia, which, much like Nimrod, MN, is a place that I've never been before.  He was the youngest player on Australia's World Baseball Classic team in 2008.  Liam was also a name that we considered for our son Foster's middle name, before deciding to go with "William".

Onto the numbers part of the game.  In a season and a half, Hendriks is 1-10, has an ERA of 5.71, and has 66 K's in 108 innings.  Despite having a promising Spring Training in 2012 and earning a spot in the rotation, he was winless in his first 17 starts, tied for the third longest drought to begin a career since 1920.  Ouch.

His best game of 2012 was a complete game effort in which he gave up a run on three hits.  Pretty good, right?  Good enough to win, right?  Usually it is, but in this case, he was going up against a pitcher named Felix Hernandez, who happened to throw a complete game, five hit shutout.

Good does not always mean lucky.


I'm not sure if Hendriks will have a better career than Stigman did, but it didn't get off to a promising start.  It might be more of an indictment of the Twins farm system that he was their Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011.  Maybe he had back problems due to lugging around the oversized trophy everywhere he went, which affected his throwing motion.

Anyways, there you have it.  I can't imagine getting any other 1963 cards (or any other of the "original" cards that Heritage pays tribute to), so this is probably my first and last attempt to have "Fun With Heritage".  Still, kind of a fun piece to put together.

The Twins never seemed so interesting.

I got this card in a trade with Michael from the blog Grubby Glove.  Thanks Michael!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Trade with Robert

When I first became obsessed with music, I was a huge proponent of mix tapes.  Maybe it seems tired or cliche now, but I was way into sitting next to my stereo (that also had a tape player) and waiting for the right song to come on and then hitting "record".  To this day, I still remember the witty deejay banter or annoying commercials that were on after some of those songs.  When I first started dating, I had evolved from recording stuff off the radio to recording it from my growing CD collection.

It wasn't just girls, but if I ever had a buddy who wanted to know what I was listening to, or wanted to preview a band that we might be seeing later on, I'd make a mix.

I always thought the key to a perfect mix was variety; sticking to something that you know the listener will enjoy, as well as something that they might not have heard of but might still enjoy.  Having a wide range of genres was always good as well, but difficult to blend together sometimes.

Anyways, all this rambling brings me to a trade package from Robert at $30 A Week Habit.  I sent him over some serial numbered cards and a Blue Jay or two, and he sent me a handful of of Padres.

First the "surefire hit".


A serial numbered card of Padres prospect Robbie Erlin, numbered 140/199.  Like most people, Bowman confuses me with their weird numbering system and slightly different parallels.  Don't know a lot about Erlin, but the blue background looks sharp with the Padre blue.  And it's so shiny!

Next up, a cardboard version of the "deeper cut", the song that isn't as catchy as that song on the radio, but still becomes a crowd favorite.


Trying to break down the awesomeness of this card (I almost considered giving it it's own post - well, I mean I did consider it, I just decided not to).

  • 2009 O-Pee-Chee was a great throwback-style set that gets love from lots of bloggers, and for good reason.
  • Also a black-bordered card from the set, which look even sharper than the base set.  Points for being a parallel.
  • Jake Peavy, one of the top Padres pitchers of all time, is not shown on the mound, but is instead on the base paths, looking to round third and head for home at Petco Park.
  • Speaking of Petco Park, I like recognizing the ads on the fence, including one for XX 1090, a sports station on the AM dial that covers the Padres games.
  • Assuming that he wasn't taking an off day, the butt featured prominently in this picture belongs to current third base coach Glenn Hoffman, older brother of Padres legend Trevor.

All in all, I love this card, it has a lot of character and is pretty unique.  Not a lot of "pitcher running the bases with the coach's backside taking up half the shot" cards out there.

Lastly, we have the mix of genres.  Old and new cards, both new to the binders.  I keep getting random mini Padres cards in trade packages, and I think they're starting to grow on me.  If I ever find binder pages that they fit into, I might try to get ahold of more.  Obviously, I'm a sucker for the brown and gold.

Thanks for the trade, Robert!  It's a hit!