A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Almost all the Padres from 2015 Archives

Yesterday, I got an envelope from my buddy Zach, the Underdog Card Collector.  Zach went in on a few group breaks for 2015 Archives, and he had a boatload of dupes to share (he probably still has some, if you're a Padres fan).  I had already pulled a couple from a blaster of the stuff a few weeks back, but he filled in the rest of the six cards I needed to complete the base set.  Very rad!

The majority of the Padres team set is in the 1983 design, possibly in tribute to Tony Gwynn, the first card on the checklist to use the design.  While I guess that's nice, I would've preferred them mixing it up a little bit, or putting them all in the same design.  The lack of symmetry looks a little off to me.  Still, hard to complain, since the previous three years of Archives had a grand total of THREE cards in the base set.  This is much better, though expanding the base set by 100 cards probably helped with that.

You can tell who the newcomers to the Padres are, because all four of them are wearing Spring Training jerseys.  While I don't like those jerseys at all, at least they're not photoshopped.  Cory Spangenberg's image came from a shot from last year, as evidenced by the Jerry Coleman sleeve patch and the Tony Gwynn patch near his heart.  I'm pretty sure that the Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy photos came from the same shoot that they used for last year's Heritage set.  The Gwynn card has the Jackie Robinson 50th Anniversary patch, which was worn by the league in 1997.

Of all these cards, I like most of 'em well enough, but the Kennedy is a total eyesore.  I LOVE the brown and yellow border design, but coupled with the, uh, non-brown uniform, and it just looks bad.  Sure the brown and green borders for the '83 design don't look great, but the '76 design is tough to look at.

On top of that, on the same day I got Zach's cards, I also got this pair of Padres in the mail as well.  I'm not a huge parallel hunter, but I think I'm really going to like James Shields, and I actually got to watch him pitch in Spring Training (though he got kicked around pretty hard by the Brewers, of all teams), so when I saw a cheap copy of this silver parallel card numbered to 199, I pounced on it.  It was especially sweet, because I was able to get one of the "All-Star Rookie" inserts from the same seller (combined shipping!).  Rymer Liriano was all set to get a bunch of playing time this year, before AJ Preller re-hauled the outfield with Justin Upton & Matt Kemp (and to a lesser extent, Wil Myers, who struggled in center before being moved to first, before going on the DL).  Anyways, I like him enough, and if nothing else, the parody account @RhymingLiriano on Twitter has been entertaining to follow.

Cory Spangenberg also has a card in the "All-Star Rookie" inserts, so I'll try to hunt that down before laying the Archives to rest.  Justin Upton has a card in the "'68 Topps Game" inserts, but it says "STRIKE OUT" on it, and the good money is on Upton getting traded before the deadline, so I'm not in a rush to commemorate his likely short stay in San Diego.

Anyways, there you have it, almost all the Padres from 2015 Archives, a post that the masses have been clamoring for since the set was released.  You're welcome.

EDIT: Gavin reminded me that I also need the Will Ferrell Padres card, so yeah, if you've got that one, lemme know.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Top 5 Peavy's (Peavies?)

I've been procrastinating shipping out some big pieces of my Padres collection to a few of my fellow Padre collectors, but I finally got paid, so hopefully I'll get those out to Zach, Duff, and Gavin this week.

I'm not sure what spurred the desire for the "thinning of the herd", but it might've been a guy like Jake Peavy.

Jake Peavy is one of the all time great Padres, which is probably as weird for me to type as it is for you to read.  He's not retired, and has now spent more seasons away from the Padres (nine) as he spent in San Diego (eight).  He is one of the four Padres to win the Cy Young award (joining Randy Jones, Gaylord Perry, and Mark Davis), and is among the franchise leaders in the big pitching stats like strikeouts (1st), wins (tied for 2nd), WHIP (3rd), ERA (4th), games started (4th), and innings pitched (4th).

As far as baseball cards go, winning awards and being one of the few good players on a bad, small market team, means that you'll get a lot of them.  And when it came down to it, he was really big during a time in my life (end of high school, beginning of college, getting married) when I wasn't really following the Padres too closely.  So, I decided that I wanted to keep the best of the best, and send the rest on their merry way.

Here are the top five Jake Peavy cards, in my humble opinion.

#5 - 2006 Topps Finest #118
Seems like some of the chrome cards I've scanned recently haven't looked too sharp, and this one is no different, but I really like how it looks in hand.  Also, I like having my cards serve as a document of some of the uniforms the Padres have worn throughout their maligned history, and the all-khaki/sand uniforms are ones that I'll never be able to forget, for better or for worse.

#4 - 2008 Goudey Big League mini (red back) #49
I usually prefer my cards to be regular sized, but mini's seem cool, right?  Fortunately, these mini's aren't the super-tiny size, like you see in Gypsy Queen or Allen & Ginter.  These are a little more substantial, and I like these.

#3 - 2001 Bowman #397
I really dig the pitcher-tossing-the-ball-up-in-the-air pose, it's pretty rad.  Couple that with the last of the white and orange interlocking "SD" on the hat, and it's definitely a keeper.  

#2 - 2008 Upper Deck (checklist) #369
Alright, if uniforms enter into the equation when determining how awesome a card is, then it's hard not to put this one near the top of my whole collection, let alone the Jake Peavy list.  This is one of my favorite cards of the '00s.  I'm a big fan of bringing back the brown to the Padres uniforms, but the yellow is also an important part of that combination.  Jeez, this is awesome.

#1 - 2001 Topps "Prospects" (w/ Phil Wilson & Darwin Cubillan) #728
This is one of my all time favorite cards.  Well, at least among my non Gwynn/Cianfrocco/Coleman cards.  Not only is it Peavy's rookie card, but Phil Wilson also makes an appearance on it.  I went to high school with Phil Wilson, and though I didn't know him very well (I think we might've had a class together, but I could just be imagining that), it's kinda cool to think that a guy from my town made made it onto a baseball card (well, there's been a few, including Tony Gwynn Jr., but the more the merrier).  The combo of Phil and Peavy makes this the number one in my book.

Alright, are there any Peavy cards I'm missing here?  I think I'll keep the Peavy section of my Miscellaneous Padres binder at a lean five cards, so if I get any more that bump their way up, I might have to give one of these the heave ho.  But I can't imagine any Peavy card inching past these top three.

EDIT: As noted in the comments by Adam K., another reason to like both the Topps trio card and the Bowman is that Peavy's name is spelled incorrectly (adding an extra "E", though it's tough to see with the foil on both cards).  Peavy = Former Cy Young pitcher.  Peavey = Guitar making company.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Minor Variations

Leave it to a post about baseball cards to get a Billy Joel song stuck in my head.

I was the oldest of the seven kids in my family, and without an older sibling to tell me what music was cool, I had my parents.  Parents always know what's cool, right?  So, while everybody was listening to… well, whatever was popular in the early 90s, I was big into Boston and Journey (from my dad) and Billy Joel (from my mom).  Billy Joel was my favorite, and money that wasn't being spent on baseball cards was being spent on Walkman headphones and Billy Joel tapes.  The dude had so many, and I had to have them all!

Anyways, one of my favorite albums for a while was "River of Dreams", and it had this song:

Oh great!  I finally start to get back into a blogging rhythm (four posts in the same calendar week!) and then I go and destroy what little readership I had by posting a Billy Joel song!

Well, I guess we can't help what we like.  As cringe-worthy as it is in hindsight (though Billy had plenty of hits that are still good to my 30 year old ears), the dude was a big part of my childhood, though you might not know it looking at my most recent songs played on my iTunes library (the last three artists were Mos Def, Tsunami Bomb, and Weezer).

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANYWAYS… where was I going with this?

Oh yeah, baseball cards.

The card pictured above is one of my all time faves, and since I have so many copies of it, it's also my "wallet card" for this year (need to start taking it out once in a while).  But, it's not like the rest of the dupes in my box.  Can you tell the minor variation by looking at one of it's cousins side by side?

If you can't tell (and in hand, it's only barely noticeable), the one on the left is the "gold hologram" card.  According to baseballcardpedia.org, factory sets of 1992 Upper Deck had gold holograms logos on the back, as opposed to the cards that came in packs, which were a regular silver hologram.  So the only difference between these two cards isn't much, but it's just enough to justify having them both.

Archi seems confused by this logic.  He can't see it.  Well look down Archi!  There's another one of those gold holograms on the card on the left!  Here's the lowdown on these, once again, the info comes from baseballcardpedia.com:

Randomly inserted into each 15-set case of 1993 Upper Deck factory sets, is one set where all 840 base cards have been struck with a gold hologram on the back. There is no way of identifying which sets have the gold holograms without opening the seal on the set.

For a guy who didn't make it into too many sets, my Cianfrocco collection keeps growing and growing.

Speaking of variations, here's another one.  The scan came out a little wonky, but these cards are all very rectangular in shape.  On the right is the regular card.  The middle card has the East Coast National stamp, and the larger card on the left is the "proof" card with the East Coast National stamp.

A year ago, I didn't know that there were any variations from the 1992 Stadium Club set, and now I have two of them.  Pretty weird.

Who knows how many I'll have next year?

Current Archi Cianfrocco card count: 81 cards

Friday, June 26, 2015

Perpetually Late

What's that?  Topps Stadium Club has been released, and unlike last year, it's (eventually going to be be) available to people who aren't near a hobby store?  You don't say!  That's marvelous!

Unfortunately, things are moving a little slower around here, so I'm just getting to Topps Series 2.  Topps went from having Yasiel Puig on the wrapper to Buster Posey, so that's a double kick to the groin for this fan of a non-Giants/Dodgers team in the NL West.  But we're used to that.

No changes in design or anything from Series 1, but here was my favorite card from my hanger pack.  Pat Neshek is a pretty cool guy, and a former Padre to boot, so that's good.

Here were the two Padres I pulled.  Cameron Maybin was traded to Atlanta right before the season started, along with a few other players, in exchange for Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton Jr.  While it is pretty cool to have Kimbrel, Maybin finally seems to be playing well, and the player formerly known as BJ is pretty horrible AND has one of the worst contracts in the game right now.  Also, an elite closer on a team that's below .500 is a luxury that I'm not sure the Padres will be able to afford.  Speaking of relief pitchers that might not be on the Padres for long, I also snagged this card of Joaquin Benoit.

Here were the two parallels that I pulled.  I kinda like the Lorenzo Cain card, and the rainbow foil parallels are pretty cool, I guess.  Still not as cool as the emerald parallels from 2013 or the diamond & cognac parallels from 2011.  I didn't know that J.J. Hardy was still playing baseball.  Not that he's old or anything, but he is older than me.  Every year, there are fewer and fewer of guys like that.  As of right now, there are only four players older than me on the Padres (Shawn Kelley, James Shields, Clint Barmes, and Will Venable).

Here are some of the inserts that I got.  Remember getting inserts in packs as a kid?  Didn't those seem like the coolest cards in the pack?  When did that change?   Other than a few Archives inserts a few years ago and some of the Opening Day inserts, there are very few inserts that Topps has made that I like.  Oh, I forgot about some of the mini cards from the last few years, but yeah, these are ugly.

The "'Til It's Over" inserts are a little better, and I like 'em enough, since they're referencing games played last year.  A Royals hot pack, huh?  We'll probably see both of those guys in the All-Star game, right?

We'll end on another former-Padre-relief-pitcher note.  Huston Street seems like a pretty rad guy as well (on Twitter last year, he had a series called #SpyOnCarlos, in which he would take candid photos of teammate Carlos Quentin, usually eating PB&J sandwiches, sleeping on the team flight, or lifting weights while other players posed in the background).  He's gotta have the funniest looking "pitcher face", usually jutting out his lower jaw and sticking his tongue out slightly.  If I didn't know any better, I'd say that this card was photoshopped, but he was traded to the Angels last year.  There's no way they'd do that, right?

EDIT:  I was right (?), the Huston Street card WASN'T photoshopped.  Thanks to RAZ for doing the detective work.  I didn't think Topps couldn't be THAT lazy, but I wasn't SUPER confident.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Guys With The Names

Quick post for today.  I got a rad PWE a few days ago from Johnny's Trading Spot.  It was one of those rare kind of deliveries in which I didn't receive a single Padre card.

Weird, right?

It was actually a happy coincidence that it came my way around Father's Day, since each of the cards he sent had the names of my sons on them.  Well, sorta.

My oldest son is almost two and a half, and since he was born, I've become fond of cards with the name "Foster" on them.  Alan Foster ones are cool, since he is the only Foster to also play for the Padres.  This particular card is also pretty badly miscut, which adds some character to it.

I really don't know a whole lot about Steve Foster, but I've liked a lot of his cards that I've come across.  I think my favorite of the bunch is his '93 Topps Gold card, and now I have his base card, along with the micro card.  Always interesting to see cards of the same player side by side when they have different numbers - #63 on the '92 card and #54 on the '93 card.

And it wasn't just baseball cards.  Football and basketball were also included.  I haven't heard anything about either Barry of Jeff, but I'll look into them later and see what I can find out.

Alright, so there's no name on the front of this one, and it's not a Foster, but it's still a good one.  My second son's middle name is Coleman, after this very player, Yankee second baseman Jerry Coleman.  He is better known (well, at least by Padre fans) as the radio voice of the Padres for many years.  I already have a copy of this card that is autographed (bought it off eBay), so it's cool to have a regular copy of it too.

Thanks a lot Johnny!  I'll have to find a batch of Braves to ship over your way!  You're really too kind.

Monday, June 22, 2015

I Finally Found Some Archives

I hope everybody had a great Father's Day.  While we didn't do too much here, it was still a good one for me.  My kids are great, but the four year old is the only one who really "gets" it, so she gave me a book about myself.  The two year old gave me a Kit Kat that I got to eat a fourth of.  And the five month let me take a 15 minute nap before waking me up this afternoon.  I called my dad and talked for a bit, which was nice.

I decided late on Saturday night that since we needed to hit the store to get some cheese (Tillamook, which is the best cheddar cheese on the planet), if I found some Archives, I'd treat myself for Father's Day. Well, I did, so here I am.

This wasn't my first card, but it's easily my favorite.  Great pose, great colors, and I think the '76 design looks really good with most of the cards on this set.  Jesse Hahn is a former Padre (traded to the A's with RJ Alvarez for catcher Derek Norris), and was one of my favorite players last year.  Norris is one of my favorite players this year, so I guess I'm alright with the trade, though I would've rather AJ Preller sent someone else besides Hahn.  But this card is great, and a keeper in my book.

These were the only two Padres I pulled.  Was really hoping for the Gwynn, but either way, I need 'em all for the team set.  I'm not really much of a team set builder as of late, because some sets like Gypsy Queen or Donruss aren't super appealing to me.  However, the Padres checklist for this year's Archives is pretty good.  I do wish they'd included the aforementioned Derek Norris, and that they'd mixed it up a bit with the design choice - six of the eight Friars are featured on the '83 set, and the Will Farrell Padre card is in that design as well.  Still, much better than previous years Padres Archives base team sets ('12 - 0 cards, '13 - 2 cards, '14 - 1 card).

Speaking of Will Ferrell, I guess his cards fall in every blaster, so here's the one I got.  Not looking to keep it, so if anyone needs it, lemme know.  I think I might make an eBay run through my trade box to clear some stuff out, so if nobody claims it, it might end up there.

Man, I do not envy those poor, poor souls who are after the SPs.  Of the eight packs, this Rob Dibble card was the only one I got.  The Bryce Harper was a pleasant surprise, as this is the silver parallel version of his card, numbered to 199.  I was hoping to pull a cool insert, though this version of Archives seems to have skimped a little bit on them (Remember the cloth stickers or the 3D cards?  Those were rad).  However, this next card more than made up for that...

Alright!  An autograph!  Archives is not a perfect set by any stretch, but they seem to kill it in the autograph department.  I cleaned out some of my Padres autographs recently, but there's no way that I'm parting with the Bip Roberts and Benito Santiago autos from the last couple of years.  Anyways, I haven't taken a good look at the auto list, but being a kid of the early 90s, John Franco is a pretty cool pull.  I already contacted Mark over at This Way To The Clubhouse…, and he claimed it, so I'll get that out to you shortly.

All in all, I like Archives.  Not quite as much as Heritage, but above Gypsy Queen.  There are definite things I'd change about the brand, and I miss the cool inserts, but the cards look pretty good on their own.  Here are my favorite of each of the three designs they chose for this year's set.

Here's the best of the retired guys.  GREAT shots of Roberto and Bench, though the colors they chose for the Pirates and the Reds seem a bit off.  I'm not a big fan of Roberto Alomar, but the color scheme and the picture choice look pretty solid.

Here's my favorites of the current guys.  I'm glad that I can like Dee Gordon, now that he's on the Marlins.  The brown and bright blue seems like an odd choice, but I think it actually looks good.  Though I am a big fan of brown anyways.  The Granderson falls into the same category as the Alomar above.

Well, I have a blaster's worth of cards, and the only ones that I'm planning on keeping are the Padres and the Hahn card at the top, so if you have a want list, point me towards it so we can work out a trade.  I've already got the base set of Padres coming my way from my buddy Zach, but if you've got some Gwynn's I don't already have or some other cool Padres, we can work something out.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pinnacle + Tony Gwynn = Pretty Rad

I've been meaning to post this for a few days, but the Padres have been on a four game losing streak, which has put me in a less-than-great mood with baseball-related stuff.  However, they won today, so now I'm back on the wagon.

Lots of people have favorite card sets, right?  I know I do.  Something that looks really great in a binder page.  It makes sense, we collectors are a visual breed.

But what about favorite brands?  Seems like a strange concept, perhaps, since things change and vary so much from set to set, but if I had to choose a favorite brand, it'd be Pinnacle.  While a lot of it would have to do with it's inaugural set, which is my favorite all time set, there's something about Pinnacle that I just love.

Anyways, my favorite card brand combined with my favorite binder to look through (my GWYNN binder), leads to a look at the base set of each Pinnacle release, looking at each Tony Gwynn card in there.

1992 Pinnacle #400
Man, I seriously love this card.  It is so rad.  This kind of photo is the best kind of action photo to use for Gwynn cards.  The black border looks awesome, and the way the ball is passing through the border into the photo is killer.  In my book, '92 Pinnacle is too tough to top.  I also like that Tony got number 400.  He became the closest to hit .400 since Ted Williams a few years later, so it seems like a good, solid number to use.

1993 Pinnacle #98
Alright, so everything that was rad about the '92 Gwynn is pretty much gone here, except for the black borders.  Pretty unimaginative, overly simplistic.  The photo here is also pretty weak, though I dig the shades.  Meh, let's move on, I don't want to change my mind about this post now.

1994 Pinnacle #4
Wow, hey, this is a pretty low number.  That's cool.  If I had built this set, he'd be on the front page.  With some full bleed cards like this one, it's kind of hard to judge the design.  The only thing that separates this from a plain old 2"x3" photo is the logo in the top right corner and the nameplate-thingy in the bottom left corner.  These things both look above average to me, and this is a pretty sweet shot of Tony.  I'd imagine that the ball that Mr. Padre has just hit is a foul one, but if you squint a bit, I can imagine that he just launched one into the right field bleachers at Jack Murphy Stadium.

1995 Pinnacle #93
ALL RIGHT!  Some multiple exposure photography!  While not quite on par with some of Upper Deck's masterpieces, this is still pretty awesome.  I'm kinda over the overuse of gold-type foil on baseball cards now, but at the time, these were pretty cool.  Sure, they only have the last name on them, and the horizontal cards don't look sharp, but I liked these still.

1996 Pinnacle #205
Probably the most boring of the Gwynn pictures in this post, but Pinnacle made up for it by including a few other Gwynn's in the set.  This is the base card though, so here it is.  I really liked the '96 Pinnacle set because the Padres team set was so rad.  Lots of gold foil again.  Still solid.

1997 Pinnacle #42
If you are familiar with '97 Pinnacle, you'll know that it was initially going to be released in two series, but the idea got scrapped and instead, "Pinnacle New" was released after it.  The design was completely different.  At this point, the gold foil on the bottom of the card is beginning to feel overused, but I actually really like the details they've added in the foil, which are different locations around the cities that each team play in.  Seaport Village, the Gaslamp District, Miramar, Balboa Park, and La Jolla Cove are among the places that get mentioned for San Diego.  While this was probably pretty lame to thirteen year old me at the time, it is really cool to thirty year old me.

1998 Pinnacle #1
Alright, this is the end of the ride.  The last base set to be released by Pinnacle (well, until it was shortly revived in 2013).  And where did good old Tony end up?  With the very first card!  Can't ask for much more than that.  To be honest, this seems almost like an Upper Deck design, but still pretty solid.

Well, it's only seven years worth of cards, which certainly doesn't hold a candle to Topps, or even Fleer or Upper Deck, and after taking a harder look, my love of Pinnacle seems a little less warranted, but I love it still.

I guess it's hard to take advice from someone who goes out of his way to follow the Padres, who are flat out horrible at worst and mediocre at best.  Sometimes, they're as mediocre as a '93 Pinnacle card.  But every once in a while, they have some '92 Pinnacle moments, and they keep me coming back.

EDIT: I would've included the card from 2013 Pinnacle, but there was no card of Tony's in the base set.  He had to settle for an insert card.  Maybe I'll do a post on "other" Pinnacle cards later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2015 Donruss Tony Gwynn Tribute

I'm posting this a day later than I would've liked, since yesterday was the one year anniversary of Tony Gwynn's death.  You don't have to be a Padre fan to know or imagine how beloved he is by the Friar faithful.

He's pretty popular in the collecting community as well.  Check out the Topps Series 2 checklist, and all but one of the inserts is of Tony, and in some of their other sets (like Archives from a few years ago), he was the only Padre included.

Speaking of Archives, I haven't found any in stores yet, but I've seen the images on eBay.  Tony's card is in the 1983 design, which is the year of his rookie card.  While that's a decent tribute, the best tribute I've seen is from this year's Donruss set.

Not only does Tony grace the wrapper, he also has a five card insert set that showcase some of his accomplishments.  Here are all of those cards.

Back before online balloting and whatnot, being named to the All-Star team was a little bigger deal than it was now.  I don't really have a problem with how things are now (you go Royals fans, as long as you're not doing any Cardinal style hacking), but that he was able to get voted in ever despite playing in small market San Diego is pretty impressive.  But what happened in '88?

I've never made it to Cooperstown, though I do have hopes that I'll make it out there someday.  It must've been pretty awesome to see Tony get inducted along with Cal Ripken Jr., two guys who were with one team their entire career.  Oh, and he had the seventh highest voting percentage ever.

The bit about Gwynn being a musician delivering the hits is pretty cheesy, but I do like seeing the number of hits he has.  Man, that's a lot.  Bums me out that he's ONE behind Robin Yount, but I guess it's fitting that he's number 19 on the all time list.  For now, at least.  Alex Rodriguez is the only one within striking distance, at number 29 all time, 146 hits back.

Eight batting titles is probably the most impressive of these accomplishments, though not all batting titles are created equal.  His most impressive performance was in 1994, when he hit .394 (DAMN YOU STRIKE SHORTENED SEASON!), but in 1988, he batted a measly .313.  Must've been a down year in the National League.

Speaking of batting averages… uh, yeah, Tony's was pretty good.  I don't feel that I really need to elaborate on this one.

As far as cards go, these aren't the most visually striking cards, but I like seeing the 19, I like that all the photos show him batting (although he did win five gold gloves).  The foil and gloss is a pretty good contrast to the rest of the Donruss set (which is more than a little bland, though I still like it… enough), and the backs look pretty good, as far as backs without regular stats go.

Anyways, Tony Gwynn is awesome.  Though he's gone, he lives on in the heart of San Diego fans, as well as in the binders and boxes of card collectors.

Rest in Peace, Tony.  God bless ya.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Overdue and Oversized

While a big focus on my collecting habits has centered around the guy you see in my blog header, I'm not ALL about Tony Gwynn.  Far from it actually.

While I want to keep adding to the Gwynn binder, my most beloved player collection belongs to Archi Cianfrocco.  While the checklist of Gwynn cards "to get" keeps on growing with each passing set release (not complaining though), my Cianfrocco list is pretty stagnant, so it's a collection that I expect will be complete sooner rather than later.

Getting down to the wire, it's a lot of parallels, oddballs, minor league cards, and things I've never heard of that are slowly but surely popping up on my radar.

While I have some great Archi-ological finds to show, here are some that are of the oversized variety, as in larger than your standard 2" x 3" piece of cardboard.

I've heard of some of the special releases that came out for specific card shows in the 90s (well, and even today), but it turns out that this wasn't just a card from the 1992 East Coast National; it's a "Proof" card!  I wasn't aware of this when I bought it, so I was surprised when I went to put it in my Archi binder and saw that it wouldn't fit in the plastic page.  While the obvious difference between this card and the regular 1992 Stadium Club card is the gold stamp right next to Archi's head...

… it's also a bit bigger!  Here's the standard sized card to compare it to.  At first, I thought that the image was bigger on the new one, but it turns out that that the photo is actually less cropped than the regular card.  The stripe on Archi's pant is slightly more visible, as is the shoulder of the person in the background on the right.  I thought that was kinda cool, although I still need to track down the regular version of the 1992 Stadium Club East Coast National card.  Got a cheap one (less than $2 shipped) lined up on eBay, just gotta wait for the combined invoice and I'm good to go.

Next up, is an Extra Bases card from 1994.  I'd never heard/seen of these, but at least when I ordered it, I knew what to expect.  Pretty cool in my opinion, plus the seller also tossed in a top loader that actually fits this card.

By far though, this is the coolest of the oversized cards I picked up.  This takes the cake.  I guess you'd call it a "panel" of cards, since both of these cards from '94 Fleer are still uncut.  I'm not even sure how this happens, but it was like, $3.50 with shipping, so how could I possibly pass this up?  It's also the only card I know of in my collection of Pat Rapp, so congratulations to him on making it, I'm sure he's thrilled.

Here's the back.  I was wondering if the card numbers for these two would be close together, since they're attached, but it's not the case, they're not even close.  '94 Fleer was a pretty generic set (especially compared to the Fleer set that would follow it in 1995), but it isn't bad by any stretch.  I kinda like it.

Anyways, I've been meaning to post these large additions to my Archi Cianfrocco collection for a while, so I'm glad I finally got around to it.  Hope everybody's having a great Monday.