A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rounding it Out

Wow, can you believe that we're about to start the second week of December?  In some ways, it seems like it's happened quickly (it doesn't seem like I've had my first graders for almost four months now), and in other ways, it seems like it's been taking forever (seriously, when is baseball season going to start again?).

As the year winds down, I've been reflecting on the cards that were made in 2014.  My first year of blogging, I did a countdown of my favorite cards of the year, and by the second year, I had made four separate lists.  While I don't think that I'll match last year's volume (I've been a little underwhelmed by this year's sets), there were still some goodies out there.

Here are a few cards from this year's Topps Update set that I've been meaning to post for a while.

Yangervis Solarte was my favorite position player Padre by the end of last year.  This had a lot to do with Chris Denorfia being traded, and speaks to the lack of talent that the Padres have swinging the bat, but I still really liked watching him play this year.  While I'm not sure that I'm committed to turning this into a full-rainbow, here are five of the easier parallels to track down, along with the base card.  Topps seemed to develop a crush on Solarte during his time in New York, so along with some autograph and relic cards (as a Yankee), he also got a "photo variation" card.  For a "variation", they seem remarkably similar, but I guess it's kind of cool that a Padre got any special recognition at all.

I already showed the gem of the Denorfia-rainbow that I have committed to a few days ago, but here are a few of the other cards that I have for that one.  There have been surprisingly few Denorfia parallels listed on eBay, but I grabbed all of these for pretty cheap, so it's been okay.  I've since had the black border card delivered as well, and Nick from the Dimebox blog sent me the blue Walmart parallel, so it's just the Target red and pink borders that I have left.

"Pink border cards you say?  Why would anybody want a card with a pink border around it?  What are you, some kind of sissy?"

While I'll agree that the number of border variations on cards has gotten completely out of hand (and is a trend that I don't see going anywhere for a while), when I first heard about pink border cards in last year's sets, I had doubts that a card with a pink border would look very good...

Here is a card that pulls it off pretty well.  Alexi Amarista is a pretty interesting Padre.  Many who are really into advanced metrics hate him, and are frustrated with the amount of playing time that manager Bud Black gives him (and I'll agree, I don't like seeing him in center field), while there are others who are more "regular" fans who love his heart and hustle.  You can probably guess which side I am on.  I mean, how can you even be a Padre fan and still look at sabermetrics?  Having to look at the multitude of ways that the Padres suck would be enough to drive you to drink.  Or at least to be a fan of another team.

Anyways, this is from a home game against the Diamondbacks in September of 2013, when Alexi hit a walkoff single in the 11th inning.  A pretty cool shot, not only showing the emotion of winning the final home game of the season, but also seeing the Arizona catcher in the background slowly trudging off the field.

All of the Denorfia and Solarte cards posted here were bought by me, but the Amarista was a gracious gift from Jeff over at One Man's Junk (Wax).  What a swell guy.

Will any of these cards make it onto a year end list?  If they do, it'll probably just be my own.  Regardless, they were all part of the tapestry that is my 2014 collecting season.

The next "new" set of cards that comes out will be marked 2015?  Are you ready for that?

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