I feel like starting every post this year with "Wow, I'm not writing as much as I used to" might get redundant, but here we are at the tail end of March and I'm just getting to my 18th entry of 2015.
My focus on cards has been waning, though I've still got some killer pickups that I've photographed and just need to post. I guess I'm more focused on actual baseball right now, since the Padres look primed to have the first good season in recent memory. Also, the Padres most popular players are still too new to be appearing in many card sets, so I'm not in a big rush to get anything new.
I've actually gone on a mini boycott of Topps flagship/Heritage/Opening Day for that very reason - lack of Padres. I bought a sampling of flagship and a rack pack of Heritage, but that will probably be it for a while. Neither yielded many (if any) Padres, and I actually just went and ordered a Heritage team set on eBay. Yawn. Looks good, I guess, but lacks the punch of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks, and James Shields (the most recent of the big name acquisitions).
However, after checking out at Walmart a few nights ago, I wandered past the card section because I thought, "Maybe they have Donruss." Kind of a silly thought, because I've never seen it there, but it was only a few extra steps.
Well, it turned out that they had it, and even though I knew I'd probably get skunked on Padres (I was), I couldn't pass it up when I saw who was on the wrapper:
None other than Mr. Padre himself, Tony Gwynn. It makes me wonder how many other Padres have graced card packs. I'm sure Tony's been on a few, but I can't imagine any other Friar on the front like this. I don't collect wrappers, but I still have this one in my car for now. Sorry Night Owl, I don't root for a team that has perennial superstars that are always on the front of card packs, this is new for me.
Like I said, I struck out on Padres (besides the one on the front), but here were the highlights.
Overall, the base design (shown on the George Springer card) isn't super great, but I don't mind it too much. Definitely not the worst Donruss set (man, they put out a lot of ugly sets in their time), and I don't mind the lack of logos, so I'd collect the Padres set if it the player selection was better (they do have a card of Matt Kemp, but the shade of blue is a little too light for me). The "Elite" inserts look lame to me, but I really dig "The Rookies" and "Diamond Kings". The Yaz card is an "All-Time" Diamond King, which is a different border than the rest of the Diamond Kings.
Speaking of the rest of the Diamond Kings, here's what one of those looks like. This is probably my favorite card of 2015 so far. Unless Andrew Cashner steps up and wins a Cy Young or something, his days of being the "token Padre" in sets like this are done for - the aforementioned Kemp, Upton, Myers, Shields, etc. will do that to you. I also got one of the numbered parallels of this card, because I'm a glutton for punishment.
But it hasn't all been new cards over here. I've also gotten some sweet envelopes and packages from trading buddies in the past few weeks. Sorry for the brevity, but if I don't squeeze them all in now, who knows when I'll get to it.
Here's a six pack of Padres that I received after my Spring Break, which was spent hanging with family in San Diego, going to Disneyland, and going to Spring Training in Arizona. These and more came my way via Mark at This Way To The Clubhouse. Getting harder to find those Tony Gwynn cards that I don't have already, but thanks to Mark, I've got a few more. That's dedication, right there. I also don't have many Ozzies from his San Diego days. Glad to have this one.
Greg, the aforementioned Night Owl, sent me a bubble mailer of cards that I mostly already had. I'm sure this is an even more common occurrence for him. But it was good seeing Padres train wreck Edinson Volquez again. Weird that his one-hitter in 2012 was probably the best pitching performance I've ever witnessed live.
Heres'a few from Ryan over at Infield Fly. Love love love that Khalil Greene rookie card. I'm not sure how that Quentin card has eluded me until now. He's a guy who I'd love to see the Padres trade (maybe for a halfway decent shortstop), but is good when he's actually healthy - which is never). The Jerald Clark is great because I love the inaugural logo on the bottom of the card.
Well, that's it for now. Hoping to get back on the stick so I can share a few of the goings on with y'all as well. The Arizona trip was fun, and though I didn't get many good pictures, it's still worth sharing. Take care!