Of the three trade packages that rolled into Backstop HQ last week, there were a lot of similarities. The most exciting of these similarities was that each contained additions to my player collections. Best of all - new Steve Finley cards.
On Topps' twitter feed yesterday, they asked who we would like to see get a "Fan Favorite" autograph in next year's Archives set. I picked Archi Cianfrocco, who I'm sure has no chance, but I really would like to see Steve Finley get a shot at it. The reason I didn't nominate him was that I didn't want to see him in another uniform. He has an auto in a Panini set as a Diamondback, which is just gross.
Fortunately, in this trade package from Mark over at Remember The Astrodome included a card of my childhood baseball hero as I remember him best: a Padre.
On a Pinnacle card, no less! I love Pinnacle, though the longer they were around, the more confusing it is to keep track of what set is what. While I prefer cards featuring Fins with a glove in the field, this one still looks pretty sweet.
Oh, and every package had Gwynn's galore, so that was also rad. Here are six sizzling slabs of Gwynn cardboard. I almost passed on the oddball in the bottom middle because I thought I already had it, but it turns out that there are a quite a few Tony Gwynn cards in the 1990 Starline set. Now I've got two of them. I'm also digging the mini Gwynn on the left. Interesting how all of these cards show Tony in different uniforms.
Here's a trio of Bruce Ruffin cards. It turns out that I already had the one in the middle, but I needed the ones on either side of it. I especially love the one on the left, since I love anything that has to do with 1993 Upper Deck. The Circa card has a quote from Ruffin that mentions how he likes being a reliever because he comes to the ballpark knowing that he might get in the game that night. I read an article on ESPN.com a few days ago that quoted an Orioles bullpen guy as saying that they were all "failed relievers". Ruffin started 152 games the first eight years of his career, and none the last four, so I guess you can decide for yourself if that quote applies here.
This is what a Topps coin looks like when you scan it. Shoulda just used an actual camera. I think these are really cool, but am kinda stumped on a good way to store these.
We'll round it out with a few non-Padres, but some pretty awesome cards nonetheless. Scott Radinsky is, well, rad, and just look at that Benito card. I think I might have to admit that, besides his '91 Topps card, all of his cards looked better once he left the Padres. Most, if not all of it, has to do with the photography and shift in quality from the late 80s to the mid 90s. Metal Universe cards are kind of hit and miss, but this one is definitely spot on.
One of the reasons I loved the Radinsky card (besides the cursive "C" on the hat that I really liked about those late 80s/early 90s Sox uniforms), is that on the back, it references his band Scared Straight. Due to his baseball career, he parted ways with the band, who had renamed themselves Ten Foot Pole. He formed Pulley, who I first heard on some late 90s/early 00s Epitaph records compilations. Good stuff. As far as I'm aware, this is the only card that references his music career. I forgot to scan it before I put it in a binder, so here's a pirated image from comc.com.
Thanks a ton Mark! Lots of great stuff, and it's good to have a guy to trade Astros with. Hopefully you were able to use some of the ones I sent as well. I really need to get down to Houston for a game - I have lived here for almost five years and haven't been to a big league game in Texas. Next year the Padres play the Rangers in Arlington, so I think I'm going to grab the Friar robe and make the drive up the 35. Still, Houston is the stadium that I think I'd rather see, so I'll have to try to work in a trip down there as well.
I guess I'm planning on living here indefinitely, so there's not too much of a rush. Maybe they'll be a playoff contender by the time I make it down there!
They had a better record than the Rangers this year, so they've got that going for them.