A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The First?

Last weekend, there was nothing on the agenda.  Not that the town we live in has a thriving social scene, but it seems like there's usually something that we are doing, wether it be doing things with people from church, heading down to Austin for fun, or even just running errands.  But on Saturday, there was nothing.

So, we set about getting things straightened up around the house.  I have this idea that at one point, our garage will actually be clean enough to find things in.  It'll take a lot more work that what we did over the weekend to get to that point, but it was at least a good start.

As I was clearing out boxes and tossing a bunch of stuff, I came across a bag full of stuff that my mom had kept from when I was a kid.  It was pretty impressive, and I found things like old report cards, drawings of Ninja Turtles, Little League photos, and even the first letter I ever wrote (it was an "M").

I thought there'd be a bunch of it that I'd throw out, but I ended up keeping most of it.  Among the things that I will definitely be keeping is something that I was really surprised to find...

I should probably ask my parents, but this is a ticket stub from what could be my first ever Padre game. I don't have any memories from this game, as I would've been a few months shy of my sixth birthday.  I was born in Portland, OR, and we moved down to Pacific Beach, CA during my kindergarten year, which would've been the beginning of the 1990 season.  Unless I went to a game during one of our visits to my grandparents before that, yeah, this could've been the first.

Of course, after finding it, I immediately jumped onto baseball-reference.com to figure out what happened on April 20, 1990…

Alright!  A Padres win!  Good to see that my fandom (might've) started out on the right foot!  Let's check out who played that day for the good guys.  Because I'm a nerd, I dug through my binders to see if I could find each player in the Padres starting lineup on a card from 1990.  To make it interesting, I decided to only use one card from each set.  There weren't very many sets in 1990, so there are a few gaps in the lineup, but it's alright!

Batting first and playing third base, Bip Roberts!  He would go 1-4 on the day with an RBI double.  It would raise his average up to .194, though this was only the tenth game of the season.

Batting second was Roberto Alomar.  I have about a page full of Alomar cards, but none of the Padres second baseman are from 1990.  He would go 0-3 today, but have an RBI sacrifice fly.  Way to take one for the team, Robbie.
How long did Tony Gwynn bat third for the Padres?  My guess would be a long time.  Looking at the box score for Tony was probably the biggest disappointment of this exercise: he went hitless!  What are the odds?  I mean, the guy averaged a hit every three at bats, so you'd think that we would've seen something.  He was, however, intentionally walked, and came around to score, so it wasn't all bad for the Hall of Fame right fielder.

I mentioned that Gwynn was intentionally walked and came around to score?  That's because after he was walked, first baseman Jack Clark belted a three run homer to put the Padres up 5-0.  I'm not a big Jack Clark fan, and of the two cards I have of him, neither are from 1990, so his card is absent from the post.  Sorry Jack.

Playing centerfield and batting fifth was future World Series hero Joe Carter.  I actually have a few other Padres from the '90 Fleer set, but this one is my favorite.  While the pose isn't anything great, I just really like the sign in the background advertising Smokey the Bear Autograph Day.  Anyways, Joe went 2-4 with a double and scored twice.  Stole a base as well.

With easily the most boring card of the post, we have Fred Lynn, batting sixth and playing in left.  I guess I can just go ahead and say right now that everybody on the Padres had either an RBI or a run scored, and Lynn was no exception, going 1-3 with a double and an RBI.

It was a good day for Benito Santiago, who was batting seventh and playing behind home plate.  He only went 1-3, which dropped his average down to .441, but his hit was a two run home run in the eighth.  Didn't throw anybody out stealing, but didn't allow any steals either.

Garry Templeton was the eighth guy in the lineup, playing at short.  I have plenty of Tempy's cards, but he got the short end of the stick - I already had Benito's Leaf card and Carter's Fleer card, so he got bumped.  The Padres managed four doubles off Giants starter Rick Reuschel, and Garry had one of 'em.  He came around to score on Roberts' double in the third.

Seeing the 7:05 start time to the game, I wondered how long we actually stayed.  Baseball games can be long for lots of people, five year olds included.  However, the time of the game was actually an hour and fifty two minutes!  Ed Whitson had a great day behind the mound and pitched a complete game to get the win.  He allowed two runs on nine hits, only striking out three.  How many pitches?  86!  No walks, baby.

Looking through the bag of stuff with binders and folders and books was pretty cool.  Interesting to see how much I've changed in lots of ways, and how much I've stayed the same in others.  Glad my mom kept all that stuff.

It wasn't all cleaning, though.  We've been dealing with the difference in weather from California (beautifully perfect) to Texas (not bad compared to most other places, but still a little cold), but Saturday was beautiful.  Since I was cleaning out the garage, I found my wife's skateboard that she hasn't ridden in forever and we had a little family hangout.  Speaking of firsts, I guess we gave our kids their first skateboard lessons.

They are pretty awesome.  I guess I'll have to try to keep some stuff of theirs so that they can look back and see how awesome they have always been.


  1. You stole my idea! :)
    I spent today on Baseball Reference myself trying to figure out when I saw my first game, and I was going to post about it using baseball cards. My first game was a little earlier though....1980.
    I'll post it up sometime.

  2. Still have program from my first game. tigers Vs Red Sox. 1970

  3. Glad to know you appreciate most of the stuff I saved. I don't remember that game, maybe Dad will. I do remember you and Dad listening to games and if it was a good game, especially if the Pads were winning in overtime, you'd drive down to the Murph. I really hate calling it 'Qualcom' or 'The Q". I wonder if Gma and Gpa went, which would make sense, especially since Gma liked going to to games. I think she and Gpa and would go and sometimes leave early because Gpa couldn't sit thru a whole game. But he sure didn't mind talking about driving to El Paso, which if funny now that you live in TX. Great post, and yes, SAVE some of our children's stuff.

  4. Great post! Exploring old memories and making new ones all at the same time!