For a guy who has 552 Tony Gwynn cards, this might come as a surprise:
I rarely, if ever, buy Tony Gwynn cards.
There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, I'm not in a rush. The number of Tony Gwynn cards out there is easily in the thousands, especially counting variations and whatnot. Without any sort of finish line in sight, my pace has become leisurely.
Secondly, paying even a fair price for every Gwynn would be too expensive. With the sheer number of Anthony Keith's out there, I really need to get bang for my buck. If there's a Gwynn lot for cheap and I don't have most of 'em, I'll take a look. That doesn't happen very often.
Okay, never. It's never happened.
Thirdly, and probably most importantly, however, is that I have gotten so many Gwynns from the readers of this blog and other bloggers that it's really just insane. I would say that easily 90% of my Gwynns have come in trades or just straight up charity. That is pretty awesome, and if it's not enough incentive to start up your own blog and join the community, I don't know what is.
However, there are some Gwynn's that I'll pick up on my own from time to time. Ones that I expect others might want to hang on to for themselves if they were to come across them. Usually the newer stuff.
Here is, as far as I'm aware, the newest Tony Gwynn card in existence. From this year's Topps Finest, a "Finest Vintage" insert. This card didn't scan very well, as it is very refractory and not at all as flat and boring as it looks here. Still, theres an image of Mr. Padre that I don't recognize, which is great, and I like that it's from the Padres uniforms of my youth (though I also love the brown and yellow as well). Topps did a great job with this one, and I picked it up for less than a buck, along with the Tommy Medica autograph I showed yesterday. I'm pretty sure that makes up two thirds of the Padres cards in that set, which is pretty sad.
Anyways, here's the back. Bonus points for using the word "cleverest", and a million bonus points for including a stat from my all time favorite stat category, which I have dubbed "Tony Gwynn really hated striking out".
Tony won eight batting titles and averaged a mere 25 strikeouts per season.
We are currently in the middle of August in 2014, and there are already 376 players this season who have more than 25. Rookie sensation Javier Baez has 24 strikeouts, and he has only played in FOURTEEN games.
Yeah, for a guy with 3,141 hits, a career .338 batting average, and EIGHT batting titles, knowing that he only struck out 434 times is pretty cool. That's 4.24% of the time that he stepped up to the plate.
Tony Gwynn really hated striking out.