A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Next Best Thing

If you are a Padre fan like me, you'll know that today is Padres Fan Fest at Petco Park.  As I'm typing this, there are people in line waiting to get into the park to do all kinds of cool stuff.  There are players to meet, autographs to get, game used memorabilia to pick up, bases to run, clinics to attend, questions to ask, etc.  It all sounds pretty cool.

If you are also like me, you live very far from the team that you root for.  1,307 miles, to be exact.  Too far to travel for something like Fan Fest.  My father in law is going early with his brother, and my dad and little brother are maybe planning on going, but my dad has an umpiring training and my bro might have baseball practice.

So what can I do besides enviously follow Padres fans on twitter here in Texas?  Well, I can blog about some sweet cards that my best good blogging friend Mark from This Way To The Clubhouse… sent me recently.  That's the next best thing, right?  

Here are a few cards that would've fit nicely into the "Orange Line" collection, but I have decided to make some tweaks to the criteria.  I'd like it to be a "mini-collection", but it was becoming a little more than that, so I'm changing it up slightly.  Actually, the Gwynn card will still fit into the collection, but I'll explain more about that in a later post.  Regardless, these cards are great, and Gwynn and Hoffman are "Mount Rushmore" Padre guys.

This is my first Terrence Long addition to the Miscellaneous Padres binder.  Long only played one year with the Padres, which happened to be during a lull in my baseball fandom (I was one year into a two year calling as a missionary in Chicago).  I figured that since I had never heard of him, he must've not have been any good, but he hit .295 for 'em in 2004 and played in 136 games, so he doesn't seem like a slouch.  I'm not a huge fan of the Topps Total design, but I really appreciate the checklist.  Glad to make this addition to the collection.

As much as I love Benito Santiago, what I really love is the idea of him.  A catcher who can gun runners down from his knees?  A 34 game hitting streak?  A PADRE that was a Rookie of the Year?  Sign me up!  In reality, almost all of my memories of Santiago are as a Marlin.  Those bright teal uniforms and lots of losing teams (well, at least as long as he was there).  Still, the shades made it not look so bad.  Right?

But after moving on from San Diego and Florida, he kept moving on.  He played with the Phillies in 1996, the Cubs in 1999 (my 2nd favorite Santiago card of this package, besides the one at the top), and the Giants from 2001 to 2003.  Not pictured here, are his stops in Cincinnati, Toronto, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh.

Sound like a lot?  It looks like a lot as well.  Bust out yer bifocals to check out his 18 year totals.  He'd tack on a few more after this card was produced, and retire in 2005.

I'll finish off with the back of another card of another guy not wearing a Padre uniform.  Andy Benes was the ace of the Friars staff in the early 90's, and led the league in strikeouts and losses in 1994.  Has that ever happened before or since?  Somebody help me out.  Anyways, on this card, he's a Mariner (ug), but I thought it was worth noting that he was told he'd never pitch again and then got a baseball/football scholarship before turning pro.  Good on you, Andrew.

Thanks for getting me through the morning, Mark!  I have no idea how you are still able to find so many Benito's out there in Delaware, but I'll keep putting them in binders as long as you keep sending them.

Hope everybody has a great Saturday as we inch closer to Spring Training!

And if you're at Padres Fan Fest, snag a picture of Randy Jones and some obscure player's game worn hat for me.


  1. Stadium Club from the early 90's rules! As for Fan Fest both of my favorite teams are having theirs today. Even if I lived in SD, I probably wouldn't go. I know... that sounds crazy. But I'm not a huge fan of standing in lines all day. My friend had an extra ticket to the A's Fan Fest (going on right now as I type), but I passed. Now if she ends up getting autographs of Yoenis and Coco... I might end up regretting my decision. But last week she stood in line for hours at the Giants Fan Fest and the best player she met was Jeremy Affeldt. I think I'd rather save my money and go to a game.

  2. I remember Santiago when he came up to the majors.. I had the thought of him being revolutionary. The way he through out runners from his knees like you mentioned. I have never seen this before! Plus he came into the big leagues as a good hitting catcher. I thought he would become a bigger star, but was still heckuva player. And even though, he bounced around from team to team, I always picture him as a Padre

  3. Y'know, I sometimes wish I was a Santiago collector; he sure does have a crapload of great cards!