A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

From San Antonio!

I got a lot of great people offering trades after my Allen & Ginter post yesterday, and I realized that it was probably the worst time to be offering trades, since I just headed out of town, and away from my card collection.

I'm currently in San Antonio, for a quick three day TEKS seminar (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills).  The elementary school I teach at sends a group of about ten teachers to San Antonio every year for a conference, and the last two years, I've been able to be part of the group.  Aside from learning good stuff, it's nice to get to explore San Antonio, which is about 2.5 hours south of where we live.

Here's the view from my room.  A little tough to tell here, but right at the bottom is the Riverwalk, which is pretty cool.  To put it bluntly, the hotel the school district put us up in is a lot nicer than any hotel that I've ever stayed in and payed for with my own money.  I'm not complaining at all!

My favorite spot in San Antonio is the Alamo, which I referenced in my last post.  I've been to the Alamo four times, by my count, but yesterday was the first time I'd been there at night.  It closed at 5:30, but seeing it lit up at night was very cool.  I actually brought an Allen & Ginter card of the Alamo from the 2009 set so I could take a picture of them together, but since it was so dark (this picture was taken after 9:00), I figured I'd wait until it was day time.

Alright, this doesn't really tie in to San Antonio at all, but this was the last card that I got in the mail before leaving (it actually came Saturday).  According to my Google Drive list, this is Archi Cianfrocco card number 82.  I already had the '97 Fleer card, but this is the glossy (Tiffany) version.  I'm always surprised by the kinds of Cianfrocco cards that've popped up, just when I think I've seen 'em all.  Aesthetically, this might be one of my favorite Archi cards from his Padre days (his minor league cards are still among my favorites), really like the borderless design with the sharp color contrast and the blue outline for the nameplate.  I really like the matte-feel of the '97 Fleer set, but the glossy might be even better.

Anyways, yeah, I'm in San Antonio right now, but when I get back into town, I should have everything ready to go to the post office on Friday.  Since my "room-mate" (the only other male teacher at our school) had something pop up and he had to cancel, my wife is bringing the kids down today to spend the last two nights together.  It should be fun, though I probably won't get to be as social with the rest of the group (though if I'm being honest, I'm not sure I really saw that happening anyways).  The big upside for me (besides obviously getting to have a little mini-vacation with the fam (and not having to pay for a hotel), is that I'll be able to catch a San Antonio Missions game on Thursday.  I was wondering how I'd get down here for what has become my "annual game", and it turns out that they're coming back into town on Thursday, just before I leave, so I'll be able to catch them.  That should be fun, always love minor league games.

Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 Allen & Ginter!

I was presently surprised that, while strolling through my local Walmart, I happened to spy some blasters of Allen & Ginter.  It was surprising, since it's probably been about a week since they finally got Stadium Club.  I was actually trying to see if there was a reason to go a few towns over, because the Walmart over there gets cards pretty quickly, and it's right next to the closest Target, which usually beats them all.

Who am I kidding, I wasn't "strolling" through Walmart, I was there to find cards!  Do I sound obsessed yet?

I'm not even a big Allen & Ginter fan per se, but the only retail-available brand that I don't at least pick up a few packs of is Gypsy Queen.  And the possibility of finding some new Padres and/or new inserts was too much to pass up.

Well, my favorite base card of the bunch was the Mike Napoli above, which I guess is a short print, so I don't know if it technically qualifies as a "base" card, but I pulled a bunch of duds (and no Padres), so that's the image I went with.

The biggest downside of A&G is that you get a bunch of random no-name celebrities.  I've seen a bunch of cards on Twitter of some guys from a show called Impractical Jokers.  Maybe I'm just judging a book by it's cover, but the commercials for that show (back when I had cable) were pretty unbearable, so I can't imagine that show being worth my while (though feel free to let me know if I'm wrong in the comments).

Anyways, getting a card of Val Kilmer was pretty rad.  He actually looks a little like Cam, my best friend from high school.  I love that it mentions that he was in Top Gun, which is a top 10 movie in my book.

Here are the minis from the eight packs.  The Leonys Martin black border is pretty cool, and the Wright and Arenado A&G backs are pretty cool, I guess.  The "Hoist The Black Flag"cards could be pretty cool.

It seems like every year, Ginter has a 100 card insert set that overpopulates it's packs.  I don't see a lot of people get really excited over these.  They're pretty meh for me.  There's only one Padre in it, and it's Anthony Rizzo.  If you know how much Padres fans hate that trade, you'll know how much that stings.

Here are some other inserts that I scored.  These inserts all seem pretty cool, though within the set, there's some really interesting cards and some pretty boring ones.  None of these really strike a chord with me, and I'm not trying to put together any of these sets, so like every non-Val Kilmer card above, it's for trade.

Here was the insert that I really dug.  I spent two years in Chicago as a missionary for my church, and pretty much everywhere I went, I could see Willis Tower.  Never went in it though.  Went to the top of the John Hancock Building once, but that was it.  The view was killer though.

When looking through eBay images of other "Keys to the City" cards, there's one of the Alamo, which is the only other one that I want.  If you've got it, I'll take it off your hands.  Before I'd been there, it didn't really interest me, but once I went there, I've just been really intrigued by it.  I've been there a few times, and it's cool every time.  I have another card of the Alamo Ginter card of the Alamo has been in a few Allen & Ginter sets, and I've been there a few times and it's awesome.

Out of all of those, this card was easily my favorite.  This is just the fourth relic that I've ever pulled myself, and I've kept most of them (kept a Trout and a Prado, traded a Hamels, back before he had thrown a no-hitter).  This is one that I'll be keeping.  I don't have many non-Padres that I root for, but Jones is a San Diego-boy who honored Tony Gwynn at last year's All-Star Game.

If that's not a reason to root for a guy, I don't know what is.  Jones was recruited by Tony to play at San Diego State when he was a kid at Morse High School.  He decided to enter the draft, and went to the Mariners in the first round (37th pick).  He's been with Baltimore since he was involved in the Eric Bedard trade.

Even though there were no Padres, between the Val Kilmer, Alamo, and Adam Jones relic, I'd say this was a pretty worthwhile blaster.  Plus, everything besides those three cards are for trade, so hopefully I can spark something up with those as well.  I have zero A&G Padres, so if you have any of those or the Alamo card, let's work something out.

Here's the base cards that are up for grabs:
1 - Madison Bumgarner
7 - Eric Hosmer
11 - Carlos Santana
27 - Maikel Franco
53 - Brandon Crawford
57 - David Cross
63 - Edwin Escobar
75 - Brandon Phillips
91 - Howie Kendrick
117 - Corey Kluber
119 - Paul Scheer (the guy from The League)
123 - Micah Johnson
129 - Yovani Gallardo
149 - Andrew Heaney
156 - Brian Dozier
164 - Adrian Beltre
169 - Yordano Ventura
173 - Buster Posey
174 - Joe Mauer
188 - Shelby Miller
200 - Jose Abreu
232 - Matt Holliday
235 - Michael Taylor
240 - Trevor May
314 - Ian Desmond
322 - Mark Melancon
338 - Mike Napoli

And, one more time, all the inserts and minis are up for grabs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Way Back GWYNNsday

Today, the Padres lost their second game in a row, dropping the series to the Giants.  A bummer for sure, though, if dropping the series dashes the (false) hope that they have a chance for the playoffs and decide to sell off talent that won't be with them going forward (Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Joaquin Benoit, and Shawn Kelley, and maybe other pieces to rebuild for a season or two from now), I guess it's not all bad.

But the best part of today's game by far, was the 80s themed stuff the Padres did.  They wore the late 80s uniforms with the brown pinstripes and orange interlocking SD.  I would personally love it if they went to this look full time, but unfortunately, I really don't see that happening.  But they upped the ante today, by adding 80s movie themed looks to the jumbo screen, which is the largest in the National League.  

 Here was their starting lineup.  Loved the Top Gun reference with Yangervis Solarte and the Harrison Ford-themed ones for Clint Barmes and Derek Norris.  SO good.

What does this have to do with Tony Gwynn?

To be honest, not very much.  However, I did get a trio of Gwynn cards from Adam E. in the mail the other day, and this was one of them:

I already had the Donruss version of this card, but the Leaf version is new to me.  This is the away version of the 80s uniforms that the Padres were sporting today.  I guess I prefer the home versions of these uniforms, but they're still better than the current blue.  This was my favorite one of the bunch, because I'm a sucker for black borders.

I've noticed recently that my Miscellaneous Padres binder is pretty low on 80s cards.  I guess I don't have a big attraction to that particular era, though I love everything about the early 90s.  Regardless, the 80s are well represented in my Gwynn binder by gems like this.

Here are the other two.  I especially dig the one on the right, an oddball that I've never seen or heard of before.  Tough to go wrong with the Circa card on the left though, because '98 was one of the (if not the) best season in franchise history.

These were Gwynn cards 627, 628, and 629.  Thanks a lot Adam!

Hope y'all had a great GWYNNsday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My Top 5 Allen & Ginter Cards

Is Allen & Ginter coming out soon?  I feel like it is.  Yep, I just checked, and it's supposed to be available tomorrow.  I'm sure I could check eBay and find images of cards already, but I'll probably be one of those people who don't see it for quite a while after it comes out.  The Walmart in my town only recently got Stadium Club, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyways, A&G is an interesting set, since, well, you kind of always know what you're going to get with the set.  White background with a splash of color, some type of intricate border, solid but not too solid card stock, and with very few exceptions, basic/standard baseball poses.  Always enough random people or things (like comedians, bowlers, and national parks) to keep it interesting, and usually a mini in every pack.  It's a formula that they've nailed pretty well and a lot of collectors like, myself included.

So, when choosing my favorite Padre cards from Allen & Ginter sets, it was a little difficult, since they all have a pretty similar formula (well, at least the base cards).  Take a look and see what you think.

#5 - Khalil Greene (2008)
When it came down to it, player selection was pretty important.  There were some more interesting poses by players like Chase Headley and Adrian Gonzalez, but as a Padre fan, it's hard to be big fans of those guys, considering they were unwilling to stay in San Diego, and were subsequently traded (not that I fault anybody for bolting for more money, it's just hard to feel sympathetic when I compare their paycheck to mine).  Anyways, Khalil is one of my all-time favorite Padres, and for a guy that was known for being very stoic, a close-lipped look without even a hint of a smile seems very fitting.  Serious posing here from Khalil.

 #4 - Kyle Blanks (2010)
I went on a hiatus of following the Padres seriously that ended in 2011.  From what I've gathered, I didn't really miss much in terms of winning, but unfortunately, I missed out on Kyle Blank's mini-afro stage.  He's one of my favorite in terms of recent Padres, but since I never got to see this sweet hairdo in action, I just have to enjoy it through baseball cards.  Like this one.

#3 - Tony Gwynn (2012)
This is one of the best Tony Gwynn cards to come out after his playing days.  Great photo, nice border design, and plenty of that good old brown and yellow.  I feel like maybe I should've placed this one higher (though it did win "Card of the Year" in my 2012 countdown).

#2 - Tony Gwynn N43 Box Toppers (2012)
I placed this one ahead of the previous Gwynn, mostly because this is a card that's a little tougher to find.  While I am still a big fan of base cards, when I got this card in the mail from my buddy Mark Kaz, it was love at first sight.  Well, at least the cardboard equivalent of that.  I'm not gonna propose or anything, I'm happily taken.

#1 - Wally Joyner framed mini autograph (2013)

While I would've preferred a better shot of Wally - preferably with the orange and blue from the '98 season, when Joyner helped lead the team to the World Series.  Still, the fact that Joyner got an autograph in the set, and it wasn't with the Angels (which would've definitely been understandable) is pretty cool in my book.  As far as I know, there have been three Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) that have played for the Padres - Joyner, Bruce Hurst, and Dane Iorg.  As a kid, I remember watching Wally and dreaming that I'd be the fourth, but it wasn't meant to be.  Middle school me would've been stoked to have this one.  Thirty year old me is pretty stoked too.

Anyways, one of the main reasons I made this Allen & Ginter related post was to also promote a series of contests over at a new-to-me-blog: Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits.  I love good alliteration, and so far, I've enjoyed his posts as well.

Hope everyone has a good Tuesday.  Padres have won five straight, and I got some new-to-me Gwynn cards in the mail yesterday, so I'm doing pretty good.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Night At The Game

A few nights ago, my wife had something to do for church, and I had relegated myself to hanging around the house, not doing much, taking care of the kids (a four year old, a two and a half year old, and the six month old).  However, my wife threw me a curveball and said that she'd take the six month old, so if I wanted to, I could do something fun with the kids for the evening.

Hmmm… I quickly checked the Round Rock Express schedule (about a 45-55 minute drive from my house), and after seeing that they had a game that night, I quickly made a quick dinner for Harper and Foster to eat on the way, grabbed a blanket, and took off for Round Rock.

My wife had made super hero capes for the kids earlier in the day, and they really wanted to wear them to the game.  I was just glad to be going to a game, so I couldn't have cared less what they wore, as long as they were covered up.  Here's Foster with his cape blowing in the wind.

A buddy and I went to Opening Day at Dell Diamond for the second year in a row this year, but it was rained out after the first or second inning.  I was able to use my ticket stub from that game, Foster got in for free because he's under three, and while we were waiting in line to buy Harper's ticket, a guy gave us his extra one.  Score!  We opted for the cheapest tickets - the outfield berm.  I prefer the view from right field, but as the sun was setting, the shade was the best in left field.  It was really a beautiful day.

We were a little bit late coming in, but we were able to catch the first out of the top of the first.  That sounds pretty good, right?  Well, it wasn't great for the Express, as they had already given up five runs at that point to the visiting New Orleans Zephyrs.  We got to see Joey Gallo bat a few times (as shown in the first picture of the post), and that was the main draw.  Unfortunately, he went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts.

On our way to get some food in the third inning, we walked past one of the cows they have around the diamond (I'm actually not sure how many of these there are), and a kind Samaritan was able to take our picture for us.  Harper was a little shy, but Foster had a rare smile for the camera.  Usually it is the opposite, we have very few pictures of a looking-at-the-camera-and-smiling Foster.

Since the kids had already eaten and had a few snacks from home, I let them choose what they wanted for a treat, and they both chose ice cream.  I went with my new-all-time-ballpark-favorite, the Grilled Cheese Hot Dog.  Yes, as you can see, it's a hot dog that is using a grilled cheese sandwich for a bun.  It cam with fries, and it was incredible.  

Here's a less-shy Harper, posing with a cardboard cutout of Spike, the Express' mascot.  At this point, she had taken off her super hero cape (didn't want to get any ice cream on it the first day), but had decided to stick with her super hero goggles from the dollar store.

The main draw for the kids was the playground area.  We've taken the kids to a few games before, but had somehow been able to avoid the playground area.  It was unavoidable this evening, and the kids had a blast.  I talked to another dad, who said that he had to stand in line with his daughter for six innings to get a few minutes in the bouncy house, but that must've been a weekend game or something, because the kid crowd on a Wednesday night wasn't bad at all.  Oh, Foster, in addition to wearing his super hero cape, is also wearing a Ninja Turtles tank top, which was originally worn by me, sometime in the late 80s/early 90s.  It's one of his favorite shirts, which is pretty awesome.

I was eventually able to get them away from the playground area, enough to watch the eighth inning and the top of the ninth.  But the night at the game ended in a crying fit from both of them when we tried to go back to the playground in the bottom of the ninth, only to find that it had been shut down.

I had to carry them both out of the stadium.  I consider myself a pretty "tough-but-fair" type of parent, but I knew that it had been a pretty long day for them at this point.  They're usually in pajamas by game time, and definitely in bed by 8:30, so staying almost the full nine innings of a baseball game that ended after 10:00 on a day that neither had taken a nap was pushing my luck.

We stopped at H-E-B (the best grocery store chain I've ever been a patron of, which I'm almost positive is just a Texas chain) and got some bottled water and let the kids calm down a bit, and then drove home.  Both were asleep within minutes.

I'll go on a quick father-related tangent before getting to baseball cards (yes, they're at the end of the post, just skip to the end if you want).

Being a dad is the best.  I know that not everybody can be one, and not everybody wants to be one, but it's seriously awesome.  I'm the oldest of seven kids in my family, so I kind of always knew I'd have kids, but it wasn't something that I really looked forward to.  Even when my wife my wife first was pregnant with Harper, I had a mentality of "yeah, once the kid's like, five, then I'll be okay with being a dad, but not when they're really little."  I thought I would be an alright dad, but I didn't think I'd like it.  I didn't think that I'd like my wife and I having less time (and as it has turned out, almost no time) with each other.

But it's been great.  Easily one of the hardest things I've done (and I'm not finished by a long shot, Harper not even five yet and Maxwell has only been here since January), but without question the most rewarding.

My Padres have been horrible this year, so a lot of my social media interaction (via Twitter) has been lamenting the curse of being a fan of a horrible team.  But in reality, I've been so blessed by being a father that no amount of bad sports luck can diminish the joy my kids bring me.  Seeing them learn how to walk, draw, throw a ball, ride a bike, it's all awesome.  Even better when I see them treat each other kindly and appreciate how awesome their mom is.  At the end of the day, getting to hug them and comfort them and be their super hero.  It's something that I would never trade.

I had a friend ask me who I would want to be for a day if I could switch, and really, nothing sounds appealing to me.  Obviously, I'd love to have more than a small rental house in a smallish town in Texas to live in, and more than a teacher's salary to survive on.  But spending a day away from my family isn't really that appealing.  Even when I dropped them off in San Diego before going to Spring Training in Arizona this spring, it wasn't as much fun as I thought it was going to be.

Anyways, these were some of the things that I was thinking of on the drive back home after the game, and I thought I'd share them here.

One of the things I like about going to the minor league stadiums is picking up the team-issued set of baseball cards.  For whatever reason, they sell for borderline ridiculous prices on eBay, and they're way better than the prospect related stuff that Bowman and Topps puts out.  I checked the team store on Opening Day, but they didn't have it yet.  Luckily, they had 'em this time.

My favorite cards of the set are the Kyle Blanks above, who was one of my favorite Padres during his time in San Diego.  I also love the Hanser Alberto card, because that's the one player that Harper remembered the next day.  During the game, she'd look up at the scoreboard (we were pretty close to it in the outfield), and she'd ask me to read the names of the players.  Hanser was the one that she mentioned to my wife the next day when she asked how the game was.  Oh, and Tommy Field hit a home run, just as we were reaching the playground area.  The we were right next to where the fireworks shot off to celebrate it, which was pretty startling to us, since we weren't really watching the game.

Luke Jackson and Roughned Odor are the only names on here that I recognized.  Jackson was a first round pick in 2010, but seems to have transitioned from being a starter to a bullpen guy.  He's still young, but that rarely seems to be a good sign.  The design of these cards looks exactly like the 1962 Topps design, only using blue and silver instead of wood grain coloring.  I think it looks pretty sharp.  The card stock is on the thin side, but still had a regular gloss that looks good.

I didn't know that Geno Petralli was the coach of the team.  He's a guy that I remember seeing on cards when I was a kid.  Always good to see the pitching and strength coaches get some cardboard recognition.

Same goes for the hitting coach and the athletic trainer.  While a lot of these guys have come and gone, Jason Roberts has been the trainer for quite some time, at least as long as I've been here in Texas.  Spike gets his card as well, which is always a good touch.

Heres the backs of my two favorite cards.  Nothing too spectacular on here, but still pretty good in my opinion.

Anybody else a fan of these minor league team sets?  I feel like I don't see many around the blogosphere.  I'm mostly partial to the ones that are of teams that I see in person.  I know probably as many people here as on the Fort Wayne TinCaps (the Padres low single-A affiliate), and even though there is a stronger possibility of some of them becoming Padres, I'd still rather have the no-name guys that I got to watch play.  Maybe it's just me.

Hope y'all have a great Saturday.  So glad the All-Star break is over and that baseball is back in full swing.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fresh Cards

I bought another pack of Stadium Club a few days ago.  Nothing noteworthy, at least not enough to post about.  Just good looking cards, but no fancy parallels, and certainly none of the really good stuff.  You know, the Padres.

But that's why it pays to have friends who collect.  I got a slick PWE from my long time blogging buddy Mark over at This Way To The Clubhouse…  He sent me the stellar looking Andrew Cashner card you see above, as well as the rad Cory Spangenberg card you see below.

Cory Spangenberg is a bit of a bust, at least in terms of where he was drafted (10th overall pick in 2011, just ahead of George Springer/11th, Jose Fernandez/14th, Sonny Gray/18th), but he's had a serviceable start to his career, as something of a utility guy, playing mostly second, but occasionally third (as it shows on his card here).  I love this card, because I recognize the picture.  It was taken just before he reached home after hitting his first career home run - a pinch hit walk off job against baseball card enthusiast Brad Ziegler.

Love seeing moments you remember on baseball cards, and this was one of the few memorable moments from last year's dismal Padres season.

Of note in Mark's PWE was this Chris Denorfia card.  I do a pretty lousy job keeping up with the other 29 baseball teams, but even though Chris Denorfia was traded (to the Mariners last year, then signed as a free agent with the Cubs this year), I still follow his career and root for him.  Norf is still my favorite current player, at least until I can find a suitable Padre replacement.  Derek Norris seems like he could be the guy, though Wil Myers or James Shields seem like they could have what it takes too.  Though, to be honest, it could just be Yangervis Solarte.  Oh, but I really like this card.  Deno's always rocking a pretty solid sock game.

Despite those three gems above, this was my favorite card of the bunch.  I'm not really even much of a Steve Garvey fan - he's still too much of a Dodger for me - but there's something about this card I just love.  I don't even like the gold borders of the 2002 Topps set.  Maybe it's just the "Who Would Have Thought?" scroll across the bottom.  Maybe it's that Dodger Garv is smirking at Padres Garv, who's in an… interesting pose, along with what appears to be a McDonald's wristband on his left arm.  Just awesome.

Speaking of Stadium Club, this wasn't sent by Mark, but it came in the mail the same day.  There are a few Padre autographs to be had in this year's edition of Stadium Club, and Rymer Liriano's is one of them.  Even though last year was a pretty embarrassing year for the Padres (including an historically bad offense), I still like seeing the Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman memorial patches, so to add an autograph to a card already featuring those two things was pretty cool, especially when adding it cost less than five bucks shipped.

Thanks Mark!  You're awesome!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Top 5 Padre All-Star Cards (Non-Gwynn Edition)

It's the last day of the All-Star break, and boy am I ready to have baseball back on.  Like most teams, the Padres haven't played since Sunday, but their last three game series happened to be against the Rangers.  According to the lines drawn by MLB, I live in the blackout area for both Texas teams, so I can't watch games against them.  That means I haven't watched a Padres game since last Thursday, which is easily the longest I've gone between games since the season started.

Anyways, since it's the last day of the All-Star break, here's a final (for now, at least) look at some Padre-related All-Star cards.

Yesterday, I posted five Tony Gwynn All-Star cards, but when prepping for that post, I actually scanned every All-Star Gwynn card I had.  It was in the 30's or 40's, but I didn't feel like posting them all.  Too much Gwynn overload.

But it got me thinking about other Padres All-Stars.  Here are my top five favorite All-Star Padre cards that don't feature Tony. The pickings were pretty slim on this one.

#5 - Tyson Ross, 2014 Topps Update
I'm not sure how to feel about Tyson Ross.  On one hand, he's probably the Padres best pitcher.  He undoubtedly has the staff's nastiest pitch, which is a devastating slider.  The Padres got him for basically scraps from the A's, so it's been cool to see him develop, but he can be really frustrating to watch and leads the league in walks.  Last year, he went to the All-Star game and didn't play at all.  That is a very "Padres" sentence.

#4 - Steve Finley, 1997 Collector's Choice
Ugh, this one scanned pretty terribly.  This is actually one of my top five favorite Finley cards, and the blue foil looks prett killer against the red letters and the silver star in the background.  I guess you'll just have to trust me on that.  But you don't have to trust me that Steve Finley was awesome.  That's just the facts.

#3 - Heath Bell, 2011 Topps Update
Heath Bell doesn't really turn the dial too much for me.  He seems pretty cool, from what I saw during his time in San Diego, but there was that TV show that they did on the Marlins when Ozzie Guillen was the manager that made him seem kind of like a jerk.  Regardless of all of that, his sliding into the mound from the bullpen was a pretty memorable moment for Padres fans, and very cool that Topps used that picture for this card.  He threw five pitches in the 2011 All Star Game, getting Jhonny Peralta to pop up to second on a 3-1 count.  

#2 - Gary Sheffield, 1992 Ultra
Gary Sheffield was incredible when he wore a Padres uniform.  I got this card out of a pack when I was a kid, and it's still one of my favorites.  Though I'm not even a small fraction of the Sheffield fan I was when I was eight, I still dig the black marble borders and Gary's cool fielding stance that pops out at you.  Easily my favorite of any of the top five designs.

#1 - Trevor Hoffman, 1997 Collector's Choice
What?  '97 Collector's Choice has two cards in the top five?  Very impressive.  While it looks like the Finley was an inserty type card, this one was Trevor's base card, but it still has the little All-Star emblem in the bottom right.  I've said it before, but this is my favorite Trevor Hoffman card.  It also nabbed the number TWO spot on my Top 50 Padre Cards from the 90's countdown I did in 2013.

I supposed the whole "All-Star break without baseball" thing might not be that big a deal for most people, but being a teacher who isn't working this summer and spending the majority of my day at home, it's all I've got (well, you know, besides that whole "being a dad and husband" thing, ha ha).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Five (All) Star GWYNNsday

Did everybody watch the All-Star Game yesterday?  I didn't, since we cut the cord a… well, we haven't had dish or cable ever at our current house, and we've been here for three years.  We get by just fine with Roku and a Netflix, Hulu, and MLB.tv subscription.

But, unfortunately, games that are available on cable are not available on MLB.tv, so listened to parts of the game on the At Bat app on my phone while I was driving, and followed it on GameDay when I was at home.  Not exciting, but it was good to see that Justin Upton got a hit and stole a base (and then got stranded on base by some good-for-nothing former Padres/current Dodgers).

Anyways, it's GWYNNsday, and since we're at the All-Star break still, here are five of my favorite (though not necessarily my top five) Tony Gwynn cards with the words "All Star" on them.  One of the things that I liked about my post yesterday (which showed almost all of the Padres All-Stars in team history) was that I could see how different each card was as well as different uniforms (Lord knows the Padres have had enough changes throughout their history).  The differences with these aren't as stark as yesterday, but there's still enough differences to make it interesting.  Well, at least to me.

You might recognize this card as the #walletcard of Gavin (from Breakdown Cards).  This is a good one.  Lots of solid colors, red, yellow, and blue, topped off by the smiling mugshot of Mr. Padre.  I have a regular copy of this card, so I'm not sure if this is different or not, but this particular card has a blank, brown, cardboard back.  Anyways, I dig this one.

Oh, did you hear that the Padres are hosting the All-Star Game next year?  They're unveiling the logo they'll be using for next year's game on Friday,  and with the way the season is shaping up so far, it's all the Padres fans have to look forward to until the trade deadline.  Hopefully there's some brown in there, as the logo will probably hint at the direction the team will be moving towards in terms of uniforms.

Ok, onto this card.  This is from the last time the Padres hosted the game, way back in 1992.  I went to FanFest, and though I don't remember it that much (I was almost eight at the time), I remember it being pretty cool.

As far as I'm aware, this is the only card of Tony with a fish, only partially obscured by Philadelphia's All-Star Game logo.  I'd be interested to know if Tony really went fishing with his Padre hat on.  For some reason, I doubt it.

This is one of my favorite Gwynn's.  For one, you can see the right sleeve patch that shows the "Primera Serie" logo.  The Padres and Mets played the first regular season series in Mexico.  I remember that, mostly for Ken Caminiti's flu-like symptoms game (took an IV and a Snickers, then hit two home runs) and Fernando Valenzuela's triumphant showing in front of his countrymen.  The look on Gwynn's face seems to say "Hey blue, I'll let you know if it's a strike.  By swinging at it."

Alright, though I said that these weren't necessarily my favorites, this is one of my favorite Gwynn's of all time.  Everything about this card is pretty much perfect.  STELLAR Padres uniforms, with plenty of brown and yellow to go around, with just a touch of orange.  Simple design, easy-to-see All Star logo.  Classic pose.  I dunno, it's just great.

I have one more All-Star related Padres post up my sleeve that I'll probably post up sometime tomorrow.  Hope everybody is surviving the day without baseball games enjoying their All-Star break.