When my family and I left in December to visit family in San Diego, we didn't realize until we were halfway there that we hadn't requested that the Post Office hold our mail. We had it all taken care of before we reached SD, but we knew that there would be a few days worth of mail in our mailbox, and thought it best to have it not sitting there for two weeks. We asked one of our friends to pick it up and hold it for us, but then we didn't see her until the end of January! So that means…
Surprise package! From Johnny's Trading Spot!
He sent me a flat rate box jam packed with Padre goodness. I initially wanted to do the post alphabetically, but jumped ship on that as I was taking the photos. Still, most of them are still in alphabetical order, starting with Andy Ashby up top.
There were a bunch of Kevin Brown cards in the mix. While he's not a guy that I particularly like like, there is no questioning his dominance in 1998, when he led the best Padres team ever to the World Series.
I had never seen these cards, and despite the fact that Matt Clement and Ben Davis might've been the least stable blocks with which to build a major league team. Despite that, these have a cool texture to them and are 90's era gems in my book.
There was a lack of E's and F's that I wanted to show, so we're skipping up to G, with Mark Grant. Grant is one of the voices of the Padres television broadcast, and even though he's a little goofy, I enjoy listening to him and he brings a unique insight to the game. He's a guy you'd like to just chill and watch a game with. I don't know how these are only the third and fourth cards that I have of Mark.
Just like Greg Maddux, I hold on to every Padres card of Rickey Henderson that comes my way. There aren't very many Hall of Famers that have played for the Friars, and Rickey was one that I got to watch play. I posted a picture of me with Rickey from 1996, when they let fans go on the field to take pictures with the players, but I can't find the post. Regardless, it was very cool.
I believe that this is my 10th card or so of Dustin Hermanson. All of them say "rookie" or "prospect" or "draft pick" or some other designation that meant that he was going to be something special. While he put together a pretty good career, he only pitched 45 innings in two seasons, and had an era over 7.00. His best season was in 2005, when he saved 34 games for the World Series champion Chicago White Sox.
These two Hoffman cards look pretty much the same, and when I have cards that look pretty much the same, I usually toss one into the trade box and keep the one that looks the best. However, I like the look of both of these. The one on top has an All-Star Game stamp on it, while the one on the bottom has Hoffman's number, 51, stamped in foil. Both are pretty cool in my book.
Here's J, K, L, and M, all in a row! I love any and all Joyner cards of Wally's Padre days, but the Darrin Jackson card where he appears to be flubbing a pop fly is the more interesting card. Terry Kennedy seems to be filling up my Miscellaneous Padres binder more and more, along with Derek Lee's rookie cards. The Mickey Lolich is an Archives-style reprint from 2001. Ray McDavid is another highly touted prospect who never did anything, and since I'm a sadist, I keep his cards around as a sad reminder.
The N's are occupied by Xavier Nady's floating head, Phil Nevin's camouflage uniform, and a gold Melvin Nieves card. I assumed that the camouflaged Nevin would be the best Nevin card of the batch...
I would be wrong. This is a great piece of photography that looks like it belongs in a Stadium Club-type release (which I guess is what Fleer was going for with the Ultra brand). Looks like Nevin and Damian Jackson were having a hard time telling who was going to go for a pop up, and Jackson ended up sliding out of the way at the last minute. Great card.
The alphabet aerobics end there, as we skip right from "N" to the letter "V", for Greg Vaughn. I now have more than 30 Vaughn cards. All are great. I recently read a post from Chavez Ravining about a new mini-collection that he called "Pimping Dingers". This is apparently when a hitter is admiring a long fly ball that appears to be heading over the fence. I would think that the Vaughn in the top right corner would fit the bill pretty well. Either that, or he's watching to see if it's going to be fair or foul.
Here are some cool stickers. These have their own spot in the Rad binder. Because they are rad.
Finishing up, here is a six-pack of Friar backstops, none of which I already had. The Ramon Hernandez sticks out, since he's in an A's uniform, but it says Padres at the bottom, and that's good enough for me. This photo came out kinda dark, but the Carlos Hernandez card is the best looking of the bunch, in my opinion.
The most interesting, however, would have to be this one. Why? Because every single one of these guys ended up playing for the Padres! How cool is that? Well, I mean, Ben Davis was a total bust and I was never a Michael Barrett fan after he punched AJ Pierzynski in the face, but I really liked Robert Fick's hustle, he was a good Padre.
Anyways, thanks a lot Johnny! A great bunch of Friars, all appreciated.