I recently received a flat rate box full of Padres from Wes at the Jaybarkerfan's Junk blog. Every time I receive a huge shipment of cards, such as this one, the first thought that I have is usually something pessimistic, like, "alright, how much of this stuff do I already have?"
I mean, c'mon! I collect exclusively Padres cards. I have to think that that is a niche market inside of another niche market. Don't I have it all yet? Who are you to send me this many cards? As if I didn't already have most of them! Don't you know who I am?
Well, it turns out that there was quite a bit in there that I wanted and needed, and I was reminded that there will most likely always be something out there to get. I know that I am far from the most "accomplished" team collector.
I'll go ahead and start with some absolute GEMS. Tony Gwynn oddball cards? Yes, please. Both with the airbrushed logos. Wouldn't have liked these as a kid, but love them now.
But they don't all have to be oddball Gwynn's. There are plenty of regular old Gwynn's that are absent. Here is a quartet of Tony's that have now joined the family. Coulda sworn I had that '93 Select card. It's a good one.
While Gwynn is an example of a player collection that will never end, my Andy Benes PC seems to be moving along much more slowly. I'm only working on finding Padres cards of his, and here are two more to add to the group. That makes 77, which seems like too small of a number for a player who hit his prime in the overproduction era of the 90's.
While Benito Santiago isn't a player collection guy per se, I keep 'em when I get 'em. The Stadium Club card on the left went into the Rad binder along with all the other "Padres catchers in gear" cards.
One of the highlights of the box were these 1990 Donruss Baseball's Best cards. While I'm not a big fan of the regular '90 Donruss set and it's red borders, I really dig the blue in this little set. Wes sent over about half the set, and after finding out what I already had, I'm down to needing four to finish it off.
The only Joey Cora card I have is in my 1991 Fleer set binder. The rest of my Cora's are all in West Virginia with my buddy Joe, the biggest Cora fan who ever was. This one will soon be joining him, but I hadn't ever seen this card, so I thought I'd post it up there. A little Cora appreciation for ya.
Man, this box had it all! Even some minor league cards of old Padres prospects. The most noteworthy were Derrek Lee and Matt Clement. very notable, I know. Anyways, Derrek Lee will always be remembered by Padres fans for being the guy they traded to get Kevin Brown to take us to the World Series. Or as the guy who tried to fight Chris Young. Seriously digging the Memphis Chicks, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, and Las Vegas Stars shots here.
I guess these might not "technically" be oddballs, but still very cool, from the O-Pee-Chee and Toys R Us sets. Spoiler alert: Frank Seminara never became a star.
There are two sets that I'm considering adding to my Team Set Quest (I just made that up, but not being a "completist" when it comes to team sets, I find the ones that I like and work on 'em). The first is the '97 Fleer set. I was beginning to leave the hobby around this time, so I don't remember seeing a lot of these, but I liked the feel and lack of gloss to these cards. Plus, look at those uniforms. Not brown, but not bad at all.
The other one would be the '94 Fleer set. I was actually really excited about this specific card, since I wasn't aware that Kerry Taylor had any cards. I mean, I should've figured that he had something, but the only card I have of him is from a stadium giveaway, Mother's Cookies set. I got that card autographed at the Padres Store when I was a kid, but have since lost it. It, along with a Gene Harris card from the same session, were the first cards I ever had autographed. I have another copy of the card, unsigned, but still remember how cool it was. Glad to see Kerry on cardboard again.
Here's a pairing that couldn't be more "90's". A 3-D card and a punch out for pogs? Had never seen either of these. Didn't know that I needed 'em, but now that I know they exist, very glad to have them.
If I had a mini-collection of cards that just didn't look right, these would fit in perfectly. Marc Kroon definitely has a case of "pitcher-face" going on here, while on the right, we have Ryan Klesko bringing a bag of what is probably fast food to batting practice. Players gotta eat, I guess.
Seriously, though, I did a double take seeing that bag there. Maybe a double cheeseburger double take?
As much as I love Pinnacle (and that's a lot, as far as baseball cards go), the many spinoffs of the original aren't as much to my liking. Still, hard to go wrong with Rickey Henderson wearing the "SD" on his hat. Also nice to remember a time when the Padres had a guy that was an MVP. It seems so long ago.
Are you still with me? Looking at cards of Andy Ashby and Luis Durango might not seem like a big payoff, but I liked 'em enough to post them. Maybe there's a limit of the number of cards you can have in a trade post before people tune out. I feel like I reach that point a lot, but what can I say, I just like these.
We'll go ahead and end with a cool looking card of current Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. I really liked Ausmus as kid, though he left right as the Padres started getting good. The cloudy sky and Ausmus' arm popping onto the border look pretty cool here. I feel like maybe I'm getting a little over-nostalgic for 90's cardboard, but wasn't this a pretty good set as well? I think so, for what it's worth.
Thanks again for the box, Wes. Even though my expectation weren't high, I was definitely surprised by the amount of great stuff.