A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, December 5, 2014

Raising the Bar

I've alluded to it briefly, but after a big dip in card-buying in the month of November, I took a few steps back from my collection and realized that it could stand to be trimmed down a bit.  I guess this is a nice way of saying that I did a card-purge.

Nothing too extreme, mostly stuff out of my Miscellaneous Padres binders, about a couple hundred cards (okay, a few years ago, that would've been a lot, but with all the trades I've been blessed with, it's really just a drop in the bucket).  I mean, I've never been much of a hoarder, definitely not trying to chase down "all" the Padres cards, but I realized that it was time to "raise the bar".

That being said, I began to worry.  Are my expectations for cards going to be too high?  Will I still be able to add cards through trades, or am I doomed to only collect expensive parallel cards of the shiniest variety?

Fortunately, a package from Garvey Cey Russell Lopes proved that while a little more stringent, there are still cards that I need that I want.  And they're not that fancy.

"What?  After all that buildup, the first card he shows is from '93 Topps?  Of a prospect that I've never heard of?  Wow, this guy is full of crap!"  Okay, hear me out.  True, I've never heard of Bengi Grigsby, a 1st round draft pick who never made it past AAA, but check it out!  He's from San Diego State!  My hometown!  Sure, I never took a class there (my brother Tyler will probably eventually graduate from there someday), but seeing that good old Aztec logo on a hat is pretty rad.  Definitely a keeper.

Of course, if "Garvey" is the first name in your blog, you probably have some good Garvey doubles laying around.  Such was the case here.  I've said it before, but kid version of me didn't really like the Diamond King cards.  I wanted action, not art!  But I definitely love 'em now, even if this is from a later set.  Both younger me and present day me appreciate a "probably just trotted around the bases after hitting a home run" photo, especially because it looks like Garv's teammate is about to give him a "good game" pat on the butt.  At least, that's what I imagine is happening.

Regardless of what standards I have for keeping/not keeping cards, Greg Maddux in a Padres uniform always passes the test.  No need to add anymore words to this masterpiece, I'll just let you admire it a little longer.  There.

Do you know who else fits that bill?  Bob Freaking Tewksbury, that's who.  Something about watching him throw a sub-50 mile per hour pitch to a major league batter more than a few times is pretty badass.  He was only with the Padres for one season, but it was 1996, my favorite team ever.  He went 10-10 and ate up 206.2 innings.  Beast.

One area that I trimmed down was my "haven't made it to the majors yet" Padre cards.  They are different from Minor League cards, because they've been photoshopped into Padre uniforms, not wearing the jerseys of their minor league teams.  Most were cut because they weren't with the Padres organization anymore.  I'll be surprised if Max Fried ever makes it, but he was compared to Clayton Kershaw when he was drafted, so here's hoping.  I have more faith that Hunter Renfroe will make it to the bigs, however.  He tore it up in the Arizona Fall League this… uh, fall, but was still slogging through the Texas League (AA) at the end of last season, so he's still a season or so away.

As much as I loved the Grigsby card at the top, this was my favorite card of the package, and it wasn't even close.  Ted Williams began his professional career as a kid out of Hoover High who played on the hometown Pacific Coast League team, the San Diego Padres.  He went on to be one of the greatest hitters of all time, and this is my second card of him in a Padres uniform (the first is from '92 Upper Deck).  This is my first Obak card (I think), and really, this is probably one of my favorite cards right now.

Thanks Jim!  I know that regardless of the arbitrary guidelines that I try to set for the weird things I collect, I will always have great bloggers and readers knock my socks off with great stuff.

Now I just need to find enough binders to keep putting them in.  That box of binders is looking pretty full.


  1. Nice cards. I'm planning on featuring that very Obak card in my next post, coincidentally! Picked it up at the last card show. It's funny how it and the '92 Upper Deck card both feature a similar (but different) photo of Ted jumping to make a catch. Must've been a staged shot to get multiple angles. Or maybe that was just "his thing" and he was known as "Jumpin' Ted" before he developed into the Splendid Splinter. lol

  2. Lve he Obak Williams. Great card

  3. you are most welcome marcus! btw, i think the williams is some sort of variation and numbered #/50 if i remember correctly - you might not notice unless you check the back as obak was sneaky that way. also, i agree about tewksbury - he was with the twinkies in 98, and watching him serve up an eephus to mark mcgwire at the metrodome was pretty cool.