So, three posts ago, or *checks calendar* uh… two months ago, I mentioned that I would show off some Yangervis Solarte cards on this here blog. Man, I am SO sorry to have kept you guys waiting for so long. I apologize for the weeks of blogroll refreshing, only to be let down yet again by my absence.
Well, the wait is finally over! After reading this post, you'll be able to resume your daily work and hygiene routines that you've been neglecting for too long.
Anyways, enough sarcasm, onto an exciting post as to why Yangervis Solarte is my favorite current player. Yeah, you read that right, no jokes, I'm drawn to Yan.
I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that the (probably) only Archi Cianfrocco super collector's favorite current player also is a utility player (Solarte mostly played third last year, but spent a little time at all the infield positions, minus pitcher and catcher) with a name that's difficult to pronounce (Yawn-hair-viss So-lar-tay). Plus, he's had a few clutch knocks, has made some pretty gritty plays, and he doesn't get cheated on any swings, he legitimately seems like he's swinging as hard as he can at everything. He also seems to be having the most fun of anyone on the Padres, which is probably hard to do, since they suck.
Well, enough rambling, onto the cards. One of my favorite Solarte cards is this minor league edition at the top. The Round Rock Express are the closest baseball team (MLB or MiLB) to my home, so I go to a game or two a year. I don't remember seeing Solarte there, but it was cool leafing through my minor league binder and seeing him after the trade that brought him to San Diego was finalized.
Solarte was traded to the Padres from the Yankees in 2014. Chase Headley was still having delusions that he could regain his 2012 form, when he led the National League in RBI, and was asking for big money to resign in San Diego, so he was shipped off to New York in exchange for a journeyman minor leaguer who had gotten off to a hot start in 2014, but had started cooling down.
I think I got it in my head that there was no way Solarte would be able to earn a spot in 2014 Topps Update, so I resigned myself to pick up some cards of him as a Yankee from 2014 Donruss. I actually dig these, despite the obvious lack of logos, and I decided to pick up some of the parallels as well. I don't know if there are more of these, but I'm fine stopping here.
Did I say I didn't think he'd make the Topps Update checklist? Well, I was wrong about that. Topps surprised me that year and blessed us with this magnificent card of the Yan Man. Nobody calls him that, I think. I'll probably always have a soft spot in my heart for 2014 Topps, because despite one of the worst Topps designs in recent memory, many of the Padres cards show the #19 patch over the heart (shown on this card), and the star "JC" patch on the right shoulder (hard to see here). RIP Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman.
When you're a collector of a player that nobody really cares about, you're able to snag fancy parallels at a pretty decent rate. Here are a whole bunch of 2014 Topps Solarte's, including a photo variation, some serial numbered cards, and even some Topps Chrome cards. I dunno if those were in the regular set or the retail set that came in a "megabox", but I don't care, they're mine now.
Solarte was ALSO included in the 2014 Heritage High Number set, where we're able to see even more plainly the glory of the #19 patch and the star JC patch. Love it. I was bummed to see that despite his awesomeness, Yan was left off the 2015 Heritage checklist, but he still got a card when he was included in the High Number set again. I'll take it.
Lastly, we'll move on to what is easily one of my favorite cards of 2015, his Topps flagship card from Series 2. I guess I can add 2015 Topps to the "soft spot in my heart" set, since the patches are still there (at least for the cards in Series 1 and 2). Topps photos in flagship sometimes have the tendency to feel a little "samey" after a while, but this is definitely a unique shot. Love it.
Yellow is probably the worst color of printing plate to get, but I still really dig this. I contemplated putting together the rainbow for this card as well, but I dunno, I haven't really been feeling it lately. To be honest, I'm getting really into building my record collection, and man, those are WAY more pricey than baseball cards, even fancy ones like this one. Maybe once we move into our new house, I'll find a way to pick up a few more Solarte parallels.
I say that Yan is my favorite Padre, but I still feel a little guilty for breaking up with Andrew Cashner. I'm sorry dude, but I've moved on. I still flirt with the idea of being a huge Wil Myers fan, because he's a young, exciting player, and to be honest, if he hadn't gotten hurt a few weeks into the season, maybe I would be. In the end, it just feels right.
Long live Yangervis! Long live Solarte!