I've mentioned many times about my love for the Padres of my youth. Though I love the famous (or infamous) Padre brown, all of my memories are of the blue and orange of the early and mid 90's.
My love for the Padres can also be tied to Jack Murphy Stadium. Though Petco Park is a beautiful stadium, I will forever prefer "The Murph". Even as a kid, I was not pleased that they re-named it Qualcomm Stadium in 1997. In many ways, 1996 was the pinnacle of my Padre fandom - it was the last year of Jack Murphy Stadium, and it was the first playoff appearance for the Friars since I was a few months old in 1984.
For that reason, I really love early and mid 90's cardboard. That's why I started the "Orange Line" collection, in which you can see the orange line on the top of the fence of The Murph.
Thing is, it turns out that there are actually a bunch of cards like that. Really, a ton. Even on cards of non-Padres (when they were playing against them). It became too much for a mini collection.
Still, I wanted to have a way to remember the stadium of my youth. So, with that in mind, I present to you…
Palm tree cards! While it's not the greatest shot, the green out-of-focus blur behind Hoffy is a palm tree. The Padres put them in the outfield to make the field seem more "San Diegan". There are better examples of these kinds of cards (here, for example).
While I'm sure that there are baseball cards that feature palm trees that aren't from Jack Murphy Stadium, I'm sticking to those that are from are. I suppose that this is an inaugural post of sorts, but it started out as a trade post of cards from Weston at Fantastic Catch. He sent me a sweet little batch of cards a month or so ago, and while this may not have been the "nicest" of the bunch, it was the one I liked the most.
Anyways, after accumulating around 150 "Orange Line" cards, I've pruned the pile down to about a page and a half full of "Palm Tree" cards. I'll show 'em off one at a time, and what better way than to start than with a future Hall of Famer?
As I'm typing this, I'm watching the Padres play the Giants, and I'm spotting the palm trees next to the left field monstrosity at AT&T Park in San Francisco.