A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, January 16, 2015

Getting Ready...

Things have been quiet for the past week here on the blog.  As I've mentioned before, my wife and I are expecting our third child this month.  As of right now, she's set to be induced on the January 23rd (a week from today!).  We'll see how that works out, but things have still been busy around the house, hence the lull in posts.

In getting ready for the new baby, we've done some in-depth cleaning, and I finally found the card you see above.  Before I had a certified auto of Jerry Coleman, I figured I'd have to settle for this IP auto I picked up on eBay.  Coleman's 1979 TCMA card is a pretty cool one in my book, with a little sepia tone of a much younger (even at the time) Jerry during his Yankee days.  The blue autograph looks pretty sharp as well.

I lost it a few months ago, only a few days after I got it in the mail.  Turns out my wife put it (along with a few other things I was missing) in my bedside table, which I pretty much never use.

I also finally got the red parallel of Chris Denorfia's 2014 Topps card.  That leaves me with a pink one to track down to get a page full of Denorfia cards.  Norf just signed with the Cubs, so here's hoping that there's some more cards of his to collect in 2015.

If anyone has a lead on that elusive pink card, lemme know.

Just a quick post today, but I'll leave you with a #WalletCard update, this one taken from a trip to Petco with the kids while mom was at a doctor's appointment.  Always enjoy taking my kids to "the cheap zoo", and the fish are the focal point of any trip there, but the turtles were pretty interesting for them as well.

Happy Friday to everyone!  Make it a good one!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Few Freddies

Well, the Hall of Fame inductees were announced, and (big surprise) no former Padres were elected.  My hopes for Gary Sheffield weren't high, but I was hoping that Mike Piazza was going to get the call (yeah, remember he was a Padre?).  More than those two, I was hoping against hope that Fred McGriff was going to get in or at least get a good chunk of votes.  It didn't happen.

This was his 6th year on the ballot, and he pulled 12.9% of the vote, good for SIXTEENTH, behind players like Jeff Kent, Mike Mussina, nine players who should be in the Hall of Fame, and the four who were elected.  He's ranged from as high as 23.9% (2012) to as low as 11.7% (2014).

IS Fred McGriff a Hall of Fame player?  Maybe not.  Is he better than some players who have already been elected?  Yes.  Is that a good justification?  No.

Anyways, all that Hall of Fame talk got me jonesing to bust open my Player Collection binder and check out my Fred McGriff cards.  I recently purged my McGriff collection of non-Padres cards (moved them to the rarely used trade box, if anybody is so inclined, they're all Blue Jays), so it was nothing but the blue and orange Padres uniforms from '91 to '93.  Here's two pages worth of some of my favorites, though I only chose the ones that were vertical.

The Topps Black Gold card is one of my all time favorite cards, one I pulled out of a pack during the prime days of my McGriff fandom.  I was totally stoked.  The "Crime Dog" card from Triple Play is one of my favorites as well.  I should really give McGriff the "Top 10 Padre Cards" treatment.  That'd be up there.

Man, for a guy who only played two and a half seasons in San Diego, there sure are a lot of cards out there from crazy random sets.  The Topps Kids card in the top right is awesome, and the bottom right is from the D.A.R.E. set that was passed out to kids by police officers.  The black Leaf card at the top is from the Preview set, and the Topps card below it has the Rockies "Inaugural Year" foil stamp.

Not quite knowing how to end this post, I decided to add a few things that I tweeted about Fred McGriff.  I even changed my profile picture for a few days in the Crime Dog's honor, though you can now see my ugly mug there again.

In the (paraphrased) words of Greg aka Night Owl, "The HOF wins when they get under your skin.  You don't need the hall to celebrate past players.  Get a blog.  Write about how great they were."

Done.  And done.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

GWYNNsday Battle Royale: Part Deux

Well, the initial round of GWYNNsday Battle Royale wasn't a disaster, so I decided to give it a go for round two.  Last time, the Mother's Cookie card above advanced, though I had the Drake's or the Card Magazine oddball edging out the competition.  Shows what I know.

Today, it's a little more of the same thing.  A slight twist on today is that there are two cards today that also feature players who were on the Hall of Fame ballot that didn't get elected.  In my opinion, they should both be in, but I'm not the guy with the vote.

I didn't scan the backs this time, but the fronts, mostly because I thought they were a little more noteworthy in the first post, and this time I didn't think it was as important.

1995 Collector's Choice "Stat Leaders AVG." #2 (w/Edgar Martinez)
Seriously, Edgar Martinez is the best designated hitter in the history of MLB.  If you're the best at what you do, you should be in the Hall of Fame.

1988 Fleer "National League Batting Champs" #631
Tim Raines is the best base stealer not named Rickey Henderson.  If the only person better than you is a sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer, you should be in the Hall of Fame too.

1991 MooTown Snackers #6
I've heard a lot of collectors fuss over cards that Panini is putting out that aren't licensed (and therefore don't have logos), but this is a great card in my eyes, and not having a logo on it only gives it more character.

1999 Stadium Club #126
Easily one of the best shots of a fielding Tony Gwynn in my collection, which is saying something for a guy who won five Gold Gloves, albeit earlier in his career.

1992 Fleer Ultra Tony Gwynn Commemorative Set #2 
Two other cards have Tony in the brown uniform, but this is the only one that has the brown and yellow.  Goodness, that is a mighty fine looking shot of Mr. Padre.

Just like last week, you can vote in the poll on the sidebar.  If you're like me, it's hard to see it, so you might have to click and drag over the words to be able to see it.  To make it (maybe?) a little more interesting, I'll count any the comments as votes and the poll as separate votes, so you can actually vote twice (if you comment and vote in the poll).

Vote early and vote often, right?

Monday, January 5, 2015


This is not a picture of my wallet, because I am not in middle school.  I have a manly, black, leather wallet that I always have on me.  But it would be cool to have the Padres logo on my wallet.  It'd make more sense if it was brown, I guess.

Anyways, as many in the blogosphere are aware, Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown had the idea to have people keep a baseball card in their wallet to have with them when they go different places, and then to photograph that card in places you don't normally see card.  Which I guess would be anywhere outside, since I'm not in the practice of taking my cards for a walk.

I liked this idea enough to think about it for a few minutes, and then decided that I liked it.  The question now was, what card should I choose?  Probably a Padre, right?  Gavin chose a Tony Gwynn card, and that seems like a pretty good choice.  I have a ton of Andrew Cashner cards that would be great for the job.  I could go with something from Chrome that might hold up better in a wallet than a flimsy piece of cardboard, or maybe even a mini card, which might fit better (c'mon, it's just a wallet, not a purse).

In the end, I was influenced by my good buddy Chris over at View From The Skybox.  Chris has this habit of ripping open packs of cards and then showing each one on Twitter.  Sounds a little too time consuming for me, but I enjoy seeing what cards he's looking at in almost-real time.  Since I'm not always on Twitter (though my wife might say otherwise), he tags me whenever he comes across a particular player that he knows I love:

I've showed off my Archi Cianfrocco rookie cards before.  It's not like players from the 80's, where there were as few as 1-3 versions of rookie cards (Topps, Fleer, Donruss), in 1992, there were lots of sets that featured a young Archi Cianfrocco.  I have all the base cards, including a few parallels and inserts, from Topps, Fleer, Ultra, Pinnacle, Score, Stadium Club, Donruss, Upper Deck and Leaf.

I've never really given much of a though to Archi's Upper Deck rookie card.  Probably because I love '92 Pinnacle so much, plus, when I think of early 90's Upper Deck (or really, when I think of Upper Deck at all), I think of the '93 set, which is still an all-time favorite.  But when it was brought to my attention by Chris, I thought, "Man, that is a pretty awesome card.  Clear photo, that killer now-extinct Expos uniform, the fancy "Diamond Debuts" insignia, and it's all tied together with a shot of a relaxed Cianfrocco casually blowing a bubble while on the bench?"

Man, that is a great card to have on you at all times.

I'm not sure how often I'll post shots of Archi while I'm out and about.  Lord knows it was kind of hard to find a place on this Redbox to put it so I could hold my phone still enough to take a shot.  If there had been anyone in line behind me, I probably would've just kept it in my wallet.  But whenever I get the idea to, I know that Archi will be there, casually waiting.  Just kinda hanging out.

Oh, I got Guardians of the Galaxy.  Actually got it twice because I got the Blu-Ray without realizing it, so I had to go back and get it on regular DVD.  Thanks for distracting me, Archi.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Last Look at the Padres 2014 Season

I planned on doing this post in 2014, but looking at the past Padres season was too depressing to me.  Seriously.  I know it says that they won 77 games (better than ten other teams), but this had to be one of the worst Padres seasons in recent history.  It already started off rough when Jerry Coleman passed away in January, and looked even bleaker when Tony Gwynn died in June.  Couple those events with an offense that was historically bad, and a lot of Padre fans were down in the dumps.

Man, writing that has made me depressed again.  I think I'll try to make this quick.

The reason I'm writing this post is to justify what I do all season long on the side of the blog.  I think I copied this from Night Owl's blog, but what I do is basically award a "Man of the Match" (to borrow a soccer football phrase) to a Padres player after each game, as long as they won.  I keep track of it all season, if nothing else to help me analyze a little bit of each game even if I don't watch it (I still watch more than 75% of them, despite a two hour time difference).

So, without further adieu, here are the results:*

Disclaimer: I know that on a bad team like the Padres were last year, you might say that it was just bad luck, the player played good in some games, they just happened to lose those games.  Fair point.  I would think that over a stretch of 182 games, though, that things would even out.  I also might poke fun at some of the one-two game winners, but in reality, there were others that didn't even get that far, so I guess one is better than zero.

Abraham Almonte
Yonder Alonso
Xavier Nady
Carlos Quentin
Huston Street

Huston Street gets a pass for only having one, since he is a closer and it's tough to really stand out, especially in a game that you're already winning.  That the Padres fielded a team that even had Xavier Nady and Abraham Almonte on the field tells you a lot about the team in 2014.  Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso were huge disappointments.  Quentin couldn't stay healthy long enough to make an impact, and Alonso was flat out horrible.  He was injured for a bit of that (wrist) and as of right now, it seems like he's still going to be the Padres first baseman going into 2015.  Not sure I follow that logic, but AJ Preller is a mastermind, so we'll see what happens.

Everth Cabrera
Robbie Erlin
Yasmani Grandal
Chase Headley
Cory Spangenberg
Will Venable

None of the three players pictured above is with the team any more.  After multiple off the field issues (domestic disputes, PED use, and finally a DUI charge), Everth Cabrera was cut from the team this offseason.  Yasmani Grandal, also no stranger to PED use, was traded to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp, and Chase Headley was dealt at the trade deadline to the Yankees for Yangervis Solarte.  I keep reading that Grandal is a future All-Star, a great defender who has yet to reach his hitting potential, but color me skeptical.  The pitchers preferred to throw to Grandal's platoon partner, Rene Rivera, who had a career year with the bat, so he was sparely used, and sometimes even put at first base.  We'll see how he does in LA, but there is a small contingent of fans and "experts" who think that the Padres were fools to deal Grandal.  Matt Kemp seems pretty good to me.

I could go on about Will Venable's 2014 season, but I made a resolution not to speak negatively about Venable - it was getting that out of hand.  Instead, I'll focus on Cory Spangenberg, who was  late season call up but didn't seem to have the hitting deficiencies that we were told about.  Not a lot of power, doesn't draw walks, but can make good contact and has speed.  Will probably be a utility player this year, but I'm excited to watch how he is developed.

Jedd Gyorko
Jesse Hahn
Yangervis Solarte

Jedd Gyorko only hit .210 last year, with 10 homers and 51 RBI.  Not what you'd expect from a guy with an "All-Star Rookie" cup on his card.  Here's hoping it was just a sophomore slump.  He was injured after all.

Yangervis Solarte and Jesse Hahn were welcome breaths of fresh air for the team.  Hahn was great as a rookie starter, and was really fun to watch.  Seeing him strike out Matt Kemp who was so frustrated that he broke his bat over his knee was awesome.  He was dealt to the A's for catcher Derek Norris, so I'm sad to see him go, but will keep tabs on his career.  Solarte was only with the team for the second half of the season, coming over from New York in the Chase Headley trade.  He did just about as well as Headley did the rest of the season, so the same production for a fraction of the price?  Padres made out alright there.

Alexi Amarista
Odrisamer Despaigne
Tommy Medica
Rene Rivera
Eric Stults

Getting closer to the top of the top, and we're still seeing names like Tommy Medica, Rene Rivera, and Eric Stults.  Yep.  Don't get me wrong, I love all of these players.  Really.  But all of them would be bit players on a contending team.  Stults had some flat out horrible starts, but did well in others.  I'm sad to see Rivera go, seemed like a good clubhouse guy and had a great year for the Padres, but he was dealt in the Wil Myers trade.  I'm excited about that.  The other three guys should be on the team next year, so they'll be some of my favorite "old Padres".  Yep, Odrisamer Despaigne and Tommy Medica are now "old Padres", having spent a combined 137 games on the field.

Tyson Ross
Seth Smith

All jokes aside, the next four were really the cornerstones of the Padres team last year, all solid players. It's very telling, however, that three of those four are starting pitchers.  It was definitely a strength of the team.  I love that Tyson Ross got an All-Star card, even though he didn't get to actually play in the All-Star game.  Seth Smith had a great first half, but totally faded towards the end.  He was recently traded for a bullpen piece from the Mariners.  I really like how the bullpen is shaping up for the upcoming season.

Andrew Cashner
Ian Kennedy

No surprises here.  I was as un-biased as I could be, but of the 19 games that Andrew Cashner started (going 5-7), the Padres won nine, so his ratio of 7/9 is pretty high.  He was that good this season.  When he was healthy… When he was healthy… When he was healthy…

Ian Kennedy had another solid season for the Padres, who they kinda picked up as a reclamation project.  Pitching in Petco will do that to a pitcher who's down on his luck, but Kennedy's home/away splits were almost equal.  He's not flashy and grabs my attention least from any of the Padres starters, but he did well enough to win 13 games on a bad Padres team.  That's saying something.

Well, alright, that's out of my system.  In a few days, I'll delete the sidebar and wait until the season starts to fire it up again.  Here's hoping that I'll get to write Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, and Justin Upton's name a lot in 2015.  With some space for Cashner and Ross.  And Amarista and (newly acquired from the Dodgers) Tim Federowicz.  Gotta spread it around.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The 1st Delivery of 2015

What day is today?  January 3rd?  Time seems to have lost all meaning as I'm nearing the end of my two week break from school.  Normally, these are hectic times, as we're usually returning from long trips to visit family or we're trying to squeeze in as many activities for the kids as we can before I go back to work.  But since everybody in our family has been sick/injured/recovering in the last two weeks, coupled with a second stint of car problems with our main family car, we've been lying low and staying close to home.

I've cut back a lot on card purchases recently.  Not down to zero, but to an appropriate amount, especially since there's nothing new out and money is being spent elsewhere.  I'm still waiting for the penultimate card to my Chris Denorfia 2014 Topps rainbow to arrive, but in the meantime, I had a few cheap gems find their way to my collection, the first deliveries of 2015.

(One of the other things that I did at the end of 2014 was upgrade my iPhone.  Whereas my old one had a busted camera, the new one works great.  If I'm not feeling up to breaking out the printer/scanner out of the garage, I'll snap a few pics with my phone, like I did today.  Tradeoff in photo quality v. posting more often.)

GOOSE!  I've had this one on my want list for a while, hoping that some kind soul would happen to have a duplicate of Gossage's rookie card, or would find one cheap at a show or something.  No dice, and understandably so.  This one was had for only two bucks, free shipping, the tradeoff being that it is badly miscut.  How badly?  You might not be able to tell from the photo, but you can see a tiny sliver of the card that was next to it on the sheet.  I could've gotten a nicer copy for a few bucks more, but I'm not a stickler for things like that.  I've spent more money on Peanut M&M's from the gas station than this card, so scoring this beauty without dipping into my M&M stash is a win.  Looking at the back, I didn't realize that Richard Michael started his career in 1972.  Good to know that this clean shaven guy was a "fine fielding pitcher".  Love seeing those red White Sox uniforms.  My Padres have undergone plenty of uniform changes in a shorter period of time, but the Southsiders had had their fair share of changes as well.

I'm not much of a "rookie card" collector, but I'll add this one to a few of the other sweet rookie cards in my collection, including Tony Gwynn ('83), Dave Winfield ('74), Ozzie Smith ('79), George Foster ('71), Derek Jeter ('93), Chipper Jones ('91), Cal Ripken Jr. ('82), and Rickey Henderson ('80). Oh, and a bunch of Archi Cianfrocco rookie cards.  Can't even put a price tag on those!

Of course, the more things change, the more things stay the same.  I also picked up a new Andrew Cashner card.  This is my fourth card from last year's Bowman Chrome set, and while I'm not hellbent on picking up all of the variations with the same zeal as I was with Topps, Gypsy Queen, Donruss, Topps Chrome, and Bowman, if it's cheap enough I'll spring for it.  I've seen this one referred to as a "bubble" variation, which sounds lamer than it looks, which is pretty slick.  Lots of color in here.  Not too shabby.

Here's the back.  Numbered 11/99, I kinda like the pair of palindrome numbers.  And it's even card number 66!  Fancy that.

Well, a quick post for today.  Hope the first Saturday of 2015 is treating you right.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 - A Year in Review

I've already finished my "Cards of the Year" countdowns, which is something that I look forward to doing all year (even though by my own admission, I'm not crazy about my lists this year).  But I haven't quite put a ribbon on 2014 yet, so here's another list of miscellaneous things about the year.  I just love lists, and the end of the year is always a great time to make 'em.

My Andrew Cashner player collection is the one that had the most growth, percentage-wise.  I've collected almost every single parallel that's come out this year, with the only exception being the printing plates (besides this one) and some of the pricier Bowman Chrome parallels (I'm maxed out on Cashner parallels, especially since the only difference between Bowman and Bowman Chrome is the backs).  He was my go-to whenever I needed a new post, since it seemed like I was always getting a new one.  I had been worried that he'd be traded this offseason, but he's been spared so far, so here's hoping the collection continues to grow in 2015.


If you're not (painfully) aware that the Padres are the only MLB team heading into 2014 that hadn't thrown a no-hitter, well, 2014 proved to be no different.  Andrew Cashner came close again, following up a September 2013 one-hitter against the Pirates with a one-hitter against the Tigers in April.  Damn you Rajai Davis!


Neither Spangenberg nor Hahn were included in any sets this year besides Heritage Minors and Heritage High Numbers (though I also have cards of them in the 2014 San Antonio Missions set), but they were the best rookies the Padres threw out there.  I would've given this award to Hahn by himself, but he's no longer with the team (traded to Oakland with RJ Alvarez for catcher Derek Norris), and I'd like the award to, well, have someone relevant to the Padres still featured.  I loved watching Hahn though, kid has a killer curveball.  Gives me another reason to root for the A's in the AL West.  Spangenberg was a late season call up who skipped AAA altogether, and I think he'll make the 2015 Opening Day roster as a utility infielder (although the roster isn't finished yet, so I wouldn't be surprised if he got traded before April).  He had some good moments, though, for a guy who had kind of fallen by the wayside in the Padres farm system.


Living in Texas, I don't make it out to many Padre games, as you might imagine.  This year, however, I was able to time our family vacation just right, so I was able to go to a Padre game with my brothers and my dad.  We dressed up as friars, which was way fun (thanks again to my mom and sister Charlotte for making those for us).  That the Padres won on a walk off hit by Will Venable made the night even better.

I look forward to doing this again in 2015 guys.

Not living near a city with with a MLB team, I had to go to the minors to get my baseball fix from time to time.  I only went to three games this season (really I live close enough to one team in particular to go  more often), but they were at three different stadiums, so that's kinda cool.

Game 1: Opening Day at the Round Rock Express game.  I went a little crazy whenever Kevin Kouzmanoff stepped up to the plate.  Man, I love that guy.

Game 2: Random trip down to San Antonio for a Craigslist pickup for my wife that I was okay with doing since I got to go to a San Antonio Missions game.  The best part was being able to go with my daughter Harper.  She had a blast, even though I ended up missing a few chunks of the game for potty breaks and we ended up leaving early because she was sleepy (and we still had to make the 2.5 hr drive back home).

GAME 3: A Lake Elsinore Storm game on my 30th birthday!  We went to the Padre game a few days before, so going to the tiny Diamond in Lake Elsinore wasn't quite as awesome, but I saw Padres prospect Gabriel Quintana hit a home run, and later went to the Storm Shop and picked up his game used, autographed bat for… well, I can't remember how much it was, but I used my birthday money from family, and my brother Ammon spotted me the rest.  I think it was $40, maybe less.  I am bummed that the Padres traded Mallex Smith to the Braves (though we get a year of Justin Upton in return), because I really liked watching that guy play.

After living in San Diego and later Austin, I have gotten spoiled by live music.  It fuels my desire for new music.  Moving about an hour and a half from ATX, plus having kids and limited funds for shows has dampened my search for new music, but I still managed to trip my way across these three albums, which I thought were worth recommending, though I don't expect my tastes to appeal to many.

#3 - The Both / The Both
The Both is Ted Leo (Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Chisel) and Aimee Mann ('Til Tuesday).  I am a huge fan of TL/RX, and a lot of his influence shines through on this record.  Mann's vocals are a great addition to the record, though sometimes a little more melancholy for my taste.  I like this record, but I loved seeing them live.

#2 - Stay Clean Jolene / Stay Clean Jolene
I listened to a lot of punk rock as a high schooler.  My musical tastes have branched out a bit since then, and there aren't really a lot of bands that I listened to regularly then that I listen to regularly now.  However, this debut album from an English band I've never heard of totally caught me off guard and has been on repeat for the last few weeks since I bought it.  Really digging it.

#1 - Spoon / They Want My Soul
I've been a fan of Spoon since 2005's Gimme Fiction, and then went crazy when they released Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga in 2007.  While I wouldn't say that TWMS is as awesome as Gx5 (my favorite Spoon record), it's probably tied for second w/Gimme Fiction.  Spoon doesn't really do a whole lot that's different from one record to the other, so some might say that they're predictable - I'd say that they're predictably awesome.

I only went to two shows this year (I coulda gone to a third in December, since The Black Keys played in Austin and I had the money at the time, but decided to save for Christmas presents, plus I was pretty disappointed with their new album).  Both of the bands I saw were featured in the "Albums of the Year" section - The Both and Spoon.

Both shows were free, since Spoon played at a hotel while I was in San Diego, and it was free (though we stood in a line for while to get in).  I got free tickets to see The Both from a contest that I saw on twitter.  In the end, The Both were better live, but I got to see Spoon with my siblings Sam and Charlotte, who I definitely don't see enough (living in San Diego), so they get the edge.

Yeah, they played at a hotel, by the pool.  If I had brought my trunks, I would've gone swimming.  San Diego, you are just too beautiful.


To be honest, I don't really watch a lot of movies.  This was one of the very few movies that came out in 2014 (that isn't a kids movie) that I saw.  I am not a big comic book-movie guy, and I knew nothing about Guardians of the Galaxy walking into the theater, but I loved it.  Chris Pratt is funny (and in incredible shape, if you're used to seeing him on early seasons of Parks and Rec), and the story and especially the soundtrack are awesome.  I assume that if I've seen it, then everybody else has, but if you haven't yet, I'd recommend it.


IN-N-OUT OPENED AND IT'S NOW ONLY FIFTEEN MINUTES AWAY!!!  Moving away from San Diego, one of my main concerns was leaving In-N-Out.  When we moved to Austin, I had P. Terry's which is pretty good, but when we moved north of Austin, I was back to having nothing (burger-wise).  Having In-N-Out close to me again is incredible.


It'd be easy for this Padre fan to say that seeing a Padres outfield of Matt Kemp/Justin Upton/Wil Myers is the most exciting thing to see in 2015.  However, there is a different development much closer to home that I'm a much more invested in…

Adding a new player to our team!  Alright, that's a pretty cheesy way of saying that my wife and I are expecting our third child, sometime in the next month.  It's a boy, and we're pretty excited about it.  I would've shown a picture of a sonogram or something, but I couldn't find one.  This picture of Foster and Harper in their Halloween costumes (from the movie A League of Their Own) does the trick.  Ooh, baseball tie-ins galore!


Alright, we'll end on a card related note: my collection of Tony Gwynn cards passed the #550 mark, I  completed a few Andrew Cashner rainbows and am close to another Chris Denorfia rainbow, and I got a whole bunch of cards that had the Texas flag on it (I just did a search and realized that I haven't done that post yet!  Oh man!)

Well, there's a lot of pictures and videos to commemorate 2014.  I'm planning on having much better years than this in the future, so I'm not saying that I'm going to forget it any time soon, but this will be a good one to print up for the scrapbook.

I'm just kidding, I don't scrapbook.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cards of the Year (Part 2)

Alright, here's the last part of the two part "Cards of the Year".  While the first part dealt with cards of players in Padres uniforms, this section is all about the players who weren't in Padre uniforms.  I don't want this to sound like a cop out in any way, but I think that this is probably the weakest year for new cards since I started this blog (2012).  I was pretty underwhelmed by… well, lots of things, and I think that this countdown reflects that.

The title "Cards of the Year" are purely a reflection on things that I like.  Sometimes that may be a design, sometimes it might be the particular photo, other times, it might be a player.  The player usually plays a big part of it (i.e. sorry, no Dodgers on this list).

Have I under-promised enough on this list yet?  Then here's hoping I can over-deliver.

#10: Heritage Minors / Cory Spangenberg #186
Wow, right off the bat, he goes with a minor league card?  And a PADRE minor leaguer at that?  Well, sorry, my countdown, my rules, and this is decidedly not a Padre uniform.  I'm a sucker for the San Antonio Missions, as they're about as close I can get to professional baseball (besides the Round Rock Express, the Rangers AAA team).  The Missions are changing their uniforms this upcoming season, so this is probably the last year I'll get these uniforms on a card.  My son's first baseball game was a Missions game, so they hold a special place in my heart.  Also, after seeing Cory Spangenberg go 3 for 5 in a game this summer, he made the jump to the majors with the Padres in September.  His first hit?  A pinch-hit, walk off home run.  Gotta love the double earflaps on the batting helmet as well.

#9: Topps (red foil) / Tony Gwynn Jr. #US-181
#8: Topps / Paul Konerko #610
I've read that there are a lot of bloggers who have come to "accept" the 2014 Topps design, or that some have just "forgotten" that the weird tab on the right is even there.  To those people, I say congrats, you've done something I've been unable to do.  That said, the next two spots on the countdown go to players that had memorable 2014's for me, and had some pretty solid cards as well.

Tony Gwynn Jr. lost his father, Tony Gwynn Sr. during the season.  If you saw how hard us Padre fans took it, I can only imagine how difficult it was for his family.  Still, when Junior went back to work, he was greeted warmly by… Phillies fans, of all people.  Very classy.

Paul Konerko, for those of you who've read this blog for longer than a few months, has been my favorite non-Padre in MLB for a long time (well, until Chris Denorfia was traded to Seattle).  He retired this year, so barring any unforeseen cards in the 2015 flagship set, this is Paulie's last Topps base card.  Soak it in.

God bless ya, Paulie.

#7: Topps Pro Debut / Austin Hedges #179
Alright, kinda cheating again here, but this one didn't fit in on the Padres countdown, and I just really liked this card.  It'll be interesting to see if Hedges sticks with the Padres, since he's been criticized for being an "all glove, no bat" prospect, and they just got Derek Norris (an All-Star catcher, who is kind of his polar opposite).  

#6: Archives / Goose Gossage #102
#5: Archives / Willie McCovey #165
Archives is kind of a miss for me, just because they usually choose some designs that I'm not really a fan of, or they choose to almost completely ignore the Padres (like they did last year).  Still, I love the chance to add a new Goose Gossage card to my collection, and seriously, that shot of Willie McCovey is stellar.  Works really well w/the '89 Topps design.  

#4: Topps / Sean Doolittle #226
I'll admit, there are some pretty great shots from the flagship set that I'm omitting here.  Yoenis Cespedes' throwback uniform was a good one.  Coco Crisp's fro was solid too.  But I'm going to go with their teammate Sean Doolittle.  Can't remember the last time I saw a football team's logo on a baseball card, and the "We Own The West" shirt he's wearing is also unique to many cards.

#3: Heritage / Roy Halladay #208
I thought that Roy Halladay would pitch this year.  He didn't.  He retired.  While that was kind of a bummer, he should still be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.  Right?  Only 203 career victories, but he won a pair of Cy Young awards, was a 8 time All-Star, and led the league in complete games in seven different seasons.  That is a pretty cool stat.  And very fitting that he had this badass card to ride into the sunset on.  Not literally of course.  But I dig the "show 'em the grip" cards for pitchers.

#2: Bowman (hometown) / Adam Jones ##177
While I really don't like Bowman as a set, I kinda dig the "hometown" parallels.  I decided to seek out this Adam Jones card after I saw this picture from this year's All-Star game:

AJ's tribute to the best player from his hometown of San Diego was top notch in my book.  It's one thing to just "be from" somewhere, but it was cool to see him really honor the man who helped put baseball in San Diego on the map.

#1: Topps Update (acetate) / Chris Denorfia #US-131
There was only one Chris Denorfia card put out this year, and since it wasn't as a Padre, it rockets up to the top of the list.  Granted, if all I had was the base card, it wouldn't have made it this high, but since I got it's pretty-hard-to-get acetate parallel, it scored pretty high.  He was just signed to the Cubs, so here's hoping more Denorfia cards in 2015.

Well, I was planning on having this up in 2014, but I guess I was a few hours late.  Been kinda busy the last few weeks between Christmas and family stuff.  Most of the family stuff involved hospital visits (nothing too serious, we're all fine now) and car problems (hopefully resolved soon), so hopefully 2015 starts better than 2014 ended.  Happy New Year!