Already pretty hefty due to some big names like Rickey Henderson and Chase Headley, along with some of my favorite 90's players like Joey Hamilton, Greg Harris, and Sterling Hitchcock, the addition of nearly 100 Hoffman cards makes this easily the most loaded section in the MP binder.
Scott Hairston – 5
Joey Hamilton – 37
Gene Harris – 6
Greg Harris – 1
Greg W. Harris – 28
Andy Hawkins – 2
Chase Headley – 33
Rickey Henderson – 32
Clay Hensley – 3
George Hendrick – 1
Dustin Hermanson – 13
Carlos Hernandez – 4
Enzo Hernandez – 2
Jeremy Hernandez – 1
Ramon Hernandez – 1
Sterling Hitchcock – 16
Trevor Hoffman – 99
Ray Holbert – 4
Thomas Howard – 4
Jack Howell – 1
Nick Handily – 2
Randy Hundley – 1
Bruce Hurst – 12
Bruce Hurst – 12
Total cards - 308
Total players - 23
Most - Trevor Hoffman (99)
Least - 6 are tied (1)
Oldest - Enzo Hernandez (1972 Topps)
I remember Scott Hairston being a decent enough outfielder for the Friars, but only spent about two years with the team, coming over in a midseason trade from Arizona in 2007 and leaving in a midseason trade to Oakland in 2009. He has some pretty good cards as a Padre, but this is my favorite of the bunch. O-Pee-Chee was a pretty good set in '09. Well, at the very least, it had a big checklist.
I have a separate binder in my collection that houses minor league cards, and although Joey Hamilton is rocking a Wichita Wranglers uniform in this '92 Upper Deck card, the Padres logo is still there, and Joey eventually made it to the big club, so it makes it into the MP binder. I make the rules. Joey Hamilton was a good Padre in my book, being a big part of the rotation in '96 and '98.
I also have an autographed copy of this Gene Harris card. It was my first autographed card, and I almost tossed it as a kid because it got banged up a little. Very glad I kept it. I have basically no memories of Harris as a Padre, as he was a middle relief guy, but always have held on to his cards when I come across them.
Greg W. Harris is (for me) a true cardboard legend, in the sense that I only knew who he was because of his baseball cards. As a kid, the guys I first started looking up in the box scores were players like Gwynn, Sheffield, and McGriff. Middle/end of the rotation guys like Harris were unnoticed. However, I seemed to always pull his cards, and there were a lot of them. Since I got back into collecting, he's been a guy that I've looked forward to seeing in trade packages, because I feel like a kid again. Haven't gotten many new Greg Harris cards lately, I feel like between the 28 here and the others in the Team Set binder, I've gotta have most of them.
I've been bracing myself for the time when Chase Headley is no longer a Padre. This will most likely happen around the trade deadline this year, or (worst case scenario) in the offseason. This won't bum me out because Headley is a great player (he's average, with moments of above-averageness), but because he's been on the Padres the longest, and you don't like to see those guys leave. Headley's problem is that he is expected to be the guy that carries a team, and there haven't been pieces around him to really help him out. Plus, he's not as good as his "breakout" (i.e. fluke) year of 2012 when he led the NL in RBIs, so the Padres (kind of understandably) don't want to sink a ton of money into him.
Rickey is awesome. That I was able to root for one of the all-time greats while he was playing for my hometown team is something pretty special in my book. Some guys you root for because they're great, others because they're on your team. When you can check off both boxes, that's pretty cool. Got my picture taken with him on Padres team photo day as a kid. Padre cards of the stolen base champ are always great in my book.
All of the Dustin Hermanson cards that I have are ones that say "Rookie" or "Draft Pick" or some other type of title that denotes that he was a "big deal", even though he didn't really do a whole lot during his time on the Padres. As far as I know, this is the only card I have of a player standing in a cornfield. Unfortunately.
Man, Fleer Ultra was a pretty rad set. This photo happens to capture the foil in a pretty cool rainbow shine. Anyways, Sterling Hitchcock earned my undying love when he was the NLCS MVP after beating the Braves twice in 1998. Kevin Brown was dominant, but Hitch was clutch. Plus, my dad was able to have fun with his name, saying that he liked watching "Sterling Hitchcock hurl a stitched rock". That guy...
How to choose a favorite Trevor Hoffman card to show out of the 99? I went with Pinnacle (one of my favorite brands) from 1996 (my favorite Padres team of all time). Not the greatest design, but still, a good photo of the one time all-time saves leader. Still, it's not my most favorite Hoffy card. That would be this one, which is in the Rad binder since it's part of a mini-collection.
Have you made it down to the bottom? Ray Holbert feels your pain. Phew! We'll finish the post with another Padres prospect who didn't amount to much, but left a pretty decent cardboard legacy. That helmet looks huge, and it looks like having your tongue hanging that far out so close to the ground is a dangerous proposition, but we love you anyways, Ray.
On a baseball related note, the Padres tied their third spring training game today. I'd be interested to know the record for spring training tie games, but that would have to be the most worthless stat ever.
Anyways, the next MP binder entry will be the end of Binder 1, then we'll be moving onto Binder II (J-Y).