A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, February 14, 2014

C2OD14: Bravo

Here is today's installment of my Countdown to Opening Day 2014.  Each countdown post will feature a section of my Miscellaneous Padres binders.  Separate from my Team Set binder, Rad binder, Tony Gwynn binder, and Player Collection binder, are a pair of binders that hold all the rest of my beloved Padres.  I think they're awesome.

… Aaaaaaand we're back with the second installment of C2OD14 or Countdown to Opening Day 2014.  While the lack of a catchy or clever title may have deterred some from clicking on this post, thanks to those of you who have stopped by.

As you may or may not know, the second letter in the English alphabet (and possibly other alphabets?) is "B".  Here are the guys in Section B who wore either the brown or blue for my beloved home team. It's dominated by Brown and Blanks, but has plenty of players who were just blips on the radar.

Cha Seung Baek – 1
Josh Banks – 1
Josh Bard – 1
Josh Barfield – 2
Bob Barton – 1
Marty Barrett – 1
Anthony Bass – 1
Randy Bass – 1
Jason Bay – 1
Heath Bell – 6
Kurt Bevacqua – 2
Sean Bergman – 1
Dann Bilardello – 1
Bud Black – 2
Kyle Blanks – 11
Geoff Blum – 7
Bruce Bochy – 4
Ricky Bones – 1
Greg Booker – 1
Bret Boone – 1
Brad Brach – 1
Kevin Brown – 15
Ollie Brown – 2
Homer Bush – 1

Total cards - 66
Total players - 24
Most - Kevin Brown (15)
Least - 15 are tied (1)
Oldest - Ollie Brown (1970 Topps)

I have only a inkling of an idea as to how to pronounce Baek's name, and he only spent a year with the sand-colored Padres, in 2008.  At that point in my life, I was coming up on my second wedding anniversary and was still up at school in Idaho.  I didn't care about the Padres until the end of the year, when Matt Holliday and the Rockies ripped my heart out of my chest.  

Josh Banks is another guy who I am not familiar with at all, but I like the design of this card, and it's a rookie, so that scores him some points.  Banks was on the '08 and '09 squad and posted a 5.25 ERA with a 4-7 record.  When most baseball fans hear the name "Banks", they probably think of Ernie.  I think of Adam.  There are probably not many who think of Josh.

I had briefly considered giving this Bob Barton card a home in the Rad binder, along with all my other cards of Padre catchers.  However, the catcher's gear is glaringly absent, and since I'm not building the '72 team set, this card is relegated to the MP binder.  Still, it's a great piece of one of the early Padre backstops.

Middle relief guys rarely get their due on baseball cards, and are only appreciated by the most diehard of fans.  Their cards are more appreciated when they feature an uncommon image, such as this here Sean Bergman card.  Bergman was on the '96 Padres, my favorite team of all time, though I don't remember him being that great (EDIT: he wasn't).  That said, he seemed to be not horrible at the plate (you know, for a relief pitcher), where he was 6 for 43 (.140 average) and had 5 RBI and even a home run.  Great pitcher at the plate card here.

Since Brad Brach was traded this offseason to Baltimore, Kyle Blanks is the only current Padre from Section B.  I have other, more "action packed" cards of Blanks, but this is the only one that showcases his sweet, sweet afro.  Blanks is one of the dozen or so outfielders that the Padres will try to figure out what to do with this season, though he can also spell Yonder Alonso at first, so barring injury, he's a pretty safe bet to be on the Opening Day roster.  He's had some clutch moments as a Friar and also signed a ball for me during Spring Training a few years ago, so I'm a big believer in Blanks.  Well, maybe not "believer", but I like him.

I've watched Blum play for lots of teams that I've rooted for.  He played on the 2005 White Sox team that I cheered onto World Series victory, and he had his moment in the sun when he hit a game winning home run in the 14th inning of Game 3.  He of course was a Padre, and upon moving to Texas for the summer of 2009, I found out that he was playing with the Astros.  Love Blummer.  Current broadcaster for the Astros as well.

Is there a better way to end a post than with an Inaugural Padre on an oddball card from the 70's?  Last but certainly not least, we have "Downtown" Ollie Brown.  He was snatched away from the Giants with the Padres' first pick of the Expansion Draft.  For a guy with the nickname "Downtown", you'd think he had more than 102 career homers in 13 seasons.  However, he only surpassed 100 games in six of those seasons, so maybe that's why.  Over half of those home runs (52) came in his three and a half seasons with the Padres, and he had a .272 average with San Diego.  I have a handful of Brown's in my collection, but this Kellogg's 3D card is easily the best.  I need to get all of the Padres Kellogg's cards.

I hope that somebody besides me is enjoying these posts, but even if I'm the only one, it's still fun to give these random Padres a little daylight on the blog.  I was hoping that this countdown would help to get me excited about the upcoming season, but I think it may be doing the opposite - I'm already excited, the waiting is crushing me.

Countdown to Opening Day 2014 - 45 days


  1. That 70 Kellogg's set is a classic. I think the 1972 Barton in action has him with his gear on.

  2. Hey Marcus, as a Padre fanatic, I actually do appreciate ths series of posts. Loved the '72 Barton card (something about that 70s psychedellic layout), as well as the Ollie Brown card.

    1. Ditto. I'm off to track down an Ollie for my PC.