So, if you're like me, you're stupid.
Wait, hold on, you didn't let me finish. If you're like me, you're stupid and when you buy a pack of baseball cards, you cling to the hope that a specific card that you want is actually going to be in there.
Has that happened before?
Not enough to actually justifying buying packs instead of cherry-picking cards online. But how can a collector of cards (well, at least modern cards) resist the urge to rip a pack from time to time? I can't, but have kept the pack purchases pretty limited. Much better to choose the cards/players I want.
For example, that red foil parallel of Padres fan favorite Alexi Amarista above. Amarista is a great utility guy to have off the bench, though he was pressed into the starting lineup due to various struggles with the Padres regulars. He performed better than expected, but it'd be nice to have a real everyday guy at center and short. But if you haven't witnessed it before, an Alexi Amarista home run is a beautiful thing.
I guess if we're talking about fan favorites, I'd be remiss not to talk about my favorite Padre since Tony Gwynn and Steve Finley: Chris Denorfia. Unfortunately, Deno was traded to the Mariners at the trade deadline, but it may have solidified his spot on the Topps Update checklist, so I guess there was a silver lining. As strange as it may be seeing Norf in a Mariners uniform, I'll probably have to get used to something new for next year: he's a free agent, and after having a down year with the Padres in 2014, he was flat out horrendous in Seattle, and I'd be surprised if they sign him in 2015, since he's a free agent this offseason.
Unlike Amarista, I think I'll continue the tradition of putting together the Denorfia Topps Update rainbow, something I've done since 2011.
Fortunately, the trade deadline wasn't all bad news for the Padres. They found Chase Headley a new (though perhaps temporary) home in New York, and in exchange got a minor league arm and Yangervis Solarte (a name so long, it almost bleeds into the picture on the card). Looking at the numbers after the trade, both fared about the same, though I might give Headley a very slight edge. Solarte will be with the Padres for more than a few months, and the Yankees didn't make the playoffs, so I guess the Padres might've come out ahead. Slightly.
In the one game I went to this season, we (my dad and my brothers) dressed up in brown robes like friars and made signs. Mine said "SOLARTE POWER". We didn't make it on the jumbotron.
Oh, did I forget to mention that even though this card doesn't have a fancy colored border, it's still extra special because it is a "photo variation". Solarte got some extra special treatment in the Update set after a hot start.
Now that Denorfia is gone, Solarte is my new favorite position player on the Padres (Andrew Cashner is my overall favorite). Of all the cards in Update, these were the three that I looked forward to getting the most.
Let's look at the backs:
Looking back at it, no Mariners fans will say that he was an "ideal trade deadline addition", as the Mariners, a surprise contender towards the end of the year, fizzled and missed the playoffs. Still, he is a "positive clubhouse presence", and hits leftys well. I'd love to see him back in San Diego next year, though it probably won't happen.
Saying that Alexi is "trustworthy" at six positions is probably a stretch (unless you are very trusting, which manager Bud Black is), but I like him best at short (not just a height joke). He's 5'8", and the main reason I wanted to show any of the backs of these cards was to show that his "Little Ninja" moniker made it on a baseball card.
Not much to add here, except "Hey, he played for the Round Rock Express last year!" Of course, last year was the first year since 2009 that I didn't go to a game. Oh well.
Anyways, yeah, for this Padre fan, these are the guys that I get excited about collecting. I'd love to have some flashy all star (or heck, even just a good old fashioned above average player) to root for, but these are my guys, and I like 'em.
On an unrelated note, this is my 700th post. That's a nice round number, huh?
In terms of Padres stats, here's some 700s for you:
Only 12 players in Padres history have more than 700 hits (Gwynn, Templeton, Winfield, Richards, Headley, Giles, Gonzalez, Nevin, Kennedy, Klesko, Colbert, Santiago).
Only 2 players in Padres history have more than 700 strikeouts (Chase Headley and Nate Colbert).
Only Tony Gwynn has more than 700 runs or RBI or walks.
I'll let you know when I get to 3,134.