'Tis the season to get cards in the mail! I've gotten three envelopes from three different bloggers in the past few weeks, and since I've been slow to post recently, I'm going to tie them all together in this post. After all, I've got some "Cards of the Year" posts to do, and Christmas break is in a week!
First up, I got a beautiful Christmas card from Julie over at A Cracked Bat. While I'm not much of a greeting card collector, I definitely appreciated the card's contents:
I worked a job at a leaded glass window company a few summers before I got married, and whenever the discussion turned to baseball (we were all sorry Padre fans), the discussion always turned to how much we loved Khalil Greene's hair and then ended with my buddy saying "Brian Giles" in a really thick country accent. For some reason, whenever I think of Marcus Giles' brother, I think of my buddy Nate.
I can appreciate a fancy relic card as much as the next guy, but Tony Gwynn cards? Those are right up my alley. This is a welcome addition to my Gwynn binder, and a great example of being able to make logo-less cards look pretty killer. From seeing Julie's blog, it seems like these Panin Classics cards came in packs with Tony's likeliness as well, so that is pretty cool. Not the last we'll see from the set in this post.
Next up is a quartet of cards from Tom over at Waiting 'til Next Year. This envelope didn't come with a Christmas card, but it actually came with an apology.
I can't find the note anymore, but it said something along the lines of "sorry for dumping these junk wax cards on you." I'll admit that this pair of cards isn't much to look at, and they were put into the box that I use to distribute Padre cards to my kids. However, that was only half of the cards he sent. The other half was more intriguing.
BOOM! A couple of powerful right-handed pitchers! Alright, I'll admit that Bob Gibson is probably the bigger name out of these two, but Odrisamer Despaigne has the longest name, so I feel alright pairing them together. Tom was actually the first one to post cards from the Panin Classics set, and come to think of it, I think he was the one who pointed out that Gwynn was on the wrapper. Anyways, the ominous red sky above the black and white image of Gibson is pretty rad. Obviously Gibson was before my time, and I sometimes wonder how older players' skill sets would stack up against today's competition, but I have a feeling that Bob Gibson would still be Bob freaking Gibson.
This is only my second Odrisamer Despaigne card, which is a travesty. I probably love Odie more than your average 4th starter, but there's just something about him that I find pretty awesome. His wide array of pitches and lack of power make for a really interesting game, especially when he's on.
The last one I'll post for today was actually the one that came the longest ago. Jeff, over at Fan-Attic Sports Cards sent over a thick envelope full of Padres goodness, and none of it was recent. This is not a bad thing.
From the 90s, we have a couple of Padres prospects, Dave Staton and Luis Lopez. Staton wouldn't do too much with his "Rated Rookie" status, but Lopez had a decent career. He's shown here in the '94 Score set, of the "Gold Rush" variety. The scan makes it hard to see that Andy Van Slyke has a cameo, but he's there all right.
This pair of Padres shows the incredible brown and yellow from the '78 Topps set. I have a few of Jerry Turner's other cards, and all of them show those great sideburns. I always wonder where these photos were taken where there are Padre players wearing long sleeves under their jerseys, like Gene Tenace's. I can't imagine it's San Diego.
Jumping ahead to the '00s now, we have some slick looking Leaf cards of Ollie Perez and Ryan Klesko. When I think of Ollie Perez, I tend to think of a prospect who didn't quite live up to his billing. He was 8-12 with an ERA of 4.50 during his first two years in the bigs, spent in San Diego, but has revived his career after moving to the bullpen a few years ago. I'm a little bummed that Klesko's batting helmet obscures his sideburns, but I suppose that Klesko and Turner in the same post might be too much facial hair to handle.
If you noticed the bottom corner of Klesko's card, it says "Passing Through Time" On the back of this card, it looks like this - the front of a '93 Leaf card. Nevermind that the best part about the '93 Leaf set is the card backs (simply put: gorgeous), I like this. Plus, seeing a sideburn-less Klesko is a rare sighting indeed.
Thanks Julie, Tom, and Jeff! You guys are awesome.