A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Monday, October 26, 2015

Plate Collecting

Any plate collectors out there?  No, I'm not talking about ordering fine China from QVC that has famous people's faces on it, I'm talking about printing plates.  The kind made to make cards.

It wasn't until I got back into the hobby in late 2011/early 2012 that I realized that the plates that were used to make cards were a thing that you could collect.  While jersey swatches and bat chips and autographs are all pretty cool in their own right, I've been pretty intrigued by the actual plate used to make the cards.

While I wouldn't necessarily say that I am a big printing plate collector, I do like 'em, and I have "Padres printing plate" as a saved search on eBay.  I've scored a few. 

I'm a big fan of Kyle Blanks, but I also really liked the design of his 2013 Topps card.  I can't remember how much this one set me back, but I want to say it was in the $6-$8 range, shipped.  Too hard to pass up.

While I'm a fan of Kyle Blanks, I was a die-hard fanatic of Andrew Cashner's last year.  Man, I have a ton of Cashner cards.  Now that I've cooled off a lot on him, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the cards I have, but I'll probably still hang on to these beauties.  While I'm more a fan of the Topps base cards than I am of off-shoot brands like Chrome or Gypsy Queen, these still look solid in my eyes.  The best ones to get are the black ones, since it's easier to see the image, but the blue still looks good too.

I've cooled off on my non-Padres Chris Denorfia collecting, but when I saw the printing plate for my favorite non-Padres card of Deno, I couldn't pass it up.  Fortunately, Norf isn't a big name, so I was able to scoop this up for… I dunno about ten bucks or so.

This was the first printing plate that I ever got, and still my all time favorite.  Denorfia's 2011 Topps card remains one of my all time favorite cards.  While it'd be cool to have Denorfia sign a copy of that card, or imbed some game used memorabilia into the card, having a plate that was actually used to make the card?  I dunno, it just seems really cool to me.  And yeah, I guess the pink looks pretty cool.  There are four different types of printing plates, black, magenta, yellow, and cyan.  I don't really have many big card collecting regrets, but getting outbid on the black printing plate of this card is one of them.

This is my most recent plate pickup, my first yellow plate.  With the departure of Chris Denorifa and my waning interest in Andrew Cashner, it's looking more and more like Yangervis Solarte is my new favorite player to collect (well, at least until bullpen guys like Brandon Maurer and Nick Vincent get their cardboard due).  I have my sights set on an on-card auto of Solarte in a Padres uniform, but those aren't too difficult to come across.  But man, I really love this card.  It's harder to see here, but both the Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman memorial patches are visible in this shot of Solarte's diving attempt.  I'm a sucker for those from last year's uniform.

Like I said, six printing plates in four years or so hardly makes me a big time plate hunter, but it's a nice little handful, and I like 'em enough.


  1. That Denorfia plate is gorgeous, no matter which color it is. I would love to add just one plate for each of my custom collections (double play, throwback, bunting and broken bats). But it will end up being luck on those I think, until I learn how to build some real unique custom searches on ebay.

  2. I enjoy printing plates, but they usually sell for prices JUST above what I'm willing to pay for 'em. I do love the few I've acquired over the years, though.

  3. I don't chase plates too hard, but if one featuring a favorite player pops up at a decent price I will put in a bid. I've also chased a couple of rainbows, and the printing plates are quite important for those. I'll usually set up some kind of search for those if I 'need' them.

  4. Printing plates get an unfairly bad rap, so it's nice to see 'em get some love for a change. Add me to the list of not really active chasers (sketch cards are my generally relatively inexpensive 1/1 passion/obsession) who nonetheless love the ones they've acquired over the years. They make for an excellent showpiece in the middle of a binder page. I think I have somewhere around a dozen.

  5. I chase plates like i do the cards of my key players like Glavine, Blyleven, Rizzo, Kershaw etc ! No reason not to collect them in my opinion !

  6. Man, I miss Solarte. Glad to see he's capturing hearts and making panties wet in San Diego.
    I get plates when I can get them for okay prices.