Sorry, this isn't a post about the 2014 Heritage set. I thought it was supposed to be released a while ago, but apparently it has been sighted in some locations. I look forward to the flood of posts about it.
Seriously. It's fun to read everyone's opinion on the new stuff.
However, this is not that post.
A few days ago, I was in Austin running errands. To be specific, my wife found an elliptical machine on craigslist for only $50, and while it's not the greatest piece of machinery ever built, for the price, it was worth a little extra gas to make it down to the good ol 512 area code.
Since I was already there, I stopped by the card shop, which was only about five minutes out of the way. After perusing the weak selection of Padre cards and other newer stuff (and finding nothing), I decided to take a look at some of the vintage boxes. I am currently not working on any more vintage Padres sets, having put my favorites to bed last year ('69, '71, and '73), so I was kind of at a loss as far was what to look for. Then I remembered that this year, Heritage was using the design from the '65 set.
I didn't have any from the '65 set, so I set about trying to decide what card would be the first I would own from the set.
There were obviously no Padres, as they were still in the PCL at the time, and wouldn't join the majors for another four years. I had a feeling that any halfway decent players that I actually knew from that era (Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, etc.) would be well out of my price range. I felt stuck.
Then, I remembered that sometimes Topps makes connections between the "original" player on the card and the current Heritage set. I looked at this year's checklist and found my favorite player - Andrew Cashner. He had been assigned number 54 (well, Chris Denorfia didn't make it into the checklist for the second year in a row, so no coin flip was necessary to decide if Deno or Cash was my favorite player for the day).
Here is Joe Gibbon, the guy with the same number on the back of his card. Not a big name (at least for me), but of all the available teams, the Pirates aren't a bad choice at all. The pose that Gibbon is using isn't great, as both of his elbows are cropped out of the picture, but it's definitely a "throwback" to when pitchers actually had windups like that. The yellow Pirates pennant (and logo) look good on the pennant, and it doesn't clash as much with the pink around the border as you'd think.
Here's the back of the card. I'll admit that until I started digging through the box looking for number 54, I didn't even know what the backs of these looked like. I missed the prefix "Inter-" when I first read the little write up at the top, and mistakenly thought that Gibbon led the National League in K's in 1959. He did have 145 for the Pirates in '61, which was good for 10th place in the NL - only 124 behind some guy named Koufax.
While on the back, we learn that Gibbon throws left, and Cashner is a righty, but both are pretty tall guys; Gibbon at 6'4", while Cashner is 6'6". Here's hoping that the next connection they both share is that Cashner pitches in two World Series games for the Padres this year. I have no idea what the phrase "back on the beam" means, though I'll assume it has something to do with construction and is very outdated.
I also took a little rummage through the oldest box of cards that the guy had. Still trying to add one more vintage Jerry Coleman to my Rad binder, but came up dry. Still, I came away with a pair of '51 Bowman cards for a good price, especially considering the source - everything seems pretty pricey at this place.
For some reason, Allie Clark is a name that stuck out to me. Not sure where I heard it, but I'm glad that I picked it up and gave it a once over. Seeing as how I almost only collect Padre cards, it's a little hard to find vintage cards that fit into my collection. However, finding out that Clark spent a time with the Padres in 1949 was enough of a connection for me to ask the guy how much it was. That he also spent "some time" in the Army was a plus as well. My only other '51 Bowman card is Jerry Coleman, but it is not in this good of condition.
The other one I came away with was of Whitey Lockman. Lockman never spent time with the PCL Padres, but this card was still good enough for me to take home. First of all, I love the picture on the front of a leaping Lockman, reaching to pluck a ball out of the air. A good portrait, plus a nonexistent team (the New York Giants) and a classic "nobody's called that any more" (at least in a complimentary way) nickname like "Whitey". The owner informed me that this was a $40 dollar card, but that he would give it to me for $5 because of the tape on the back. Lockman was an All-Star, and perhaps in pristine condition, it probably is worth more than what I paid for it, but I had a hard time thinking that he was doing me the huge favor that he thought he was.
I also came away with a Paul Konerko single, but I'll show that in a later post, keeping this one all vintage - and no Padres. I actually only bought the four cards, plus a pack of new stuff, and came away without a single Padre. Not a trend I'd like to continue, but I can't complain about these three here.
Best of luck finding Heritage in the next few days. I'll be checking as well, but when there's actual vintage like '51 Bowman to be had, it makes the newer stuff just a little less appealing.
But at least they'll be some Padres to find.