Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Many 29s In Padres History

Since February 29th only rolls around once every four years, I figured I should commemorate it in one way or another so I thought I'd look into all of the 29s in Friars history. In the 43 years of their existence, the Padres have issued the number 29 in regular season play to 22 different players. Frankie Libran was the first, followed by Jack Baldschun later in the season as well as in 1970. Jay Franklin and Ramon Webster wore it in '71. Pat Corrales and Lowell Palmer had it in '73
and '74, respectively, and Gene Richards wore it in '77. Mickey Lolich took it over in '78 and kept it through '79. Danny Boone was next in '82, succeeded by Elias Sosa in '83. After a seven year absence, Fred McGriff was the first to wear it for more than two seasons, from '91 until being traded in '93. Archi Cianfrocco held it down the longest, four seasons, from '95 through '98. John Van Der Wal assumed it in 1999 and another Boone, this time Bret wore it in 2000. Javier Cordona and Kory DeHaan put it to service in '02 and Gary Bennett, Robert Fick, Chris Hammond and Josh Barfield wore it one season apiece from '03 through '06. Kevin Correia had it in '09 and '10 and Luis Martinez was the last. It was vacated in 1972, '75, '76, '80, '81 '84-'90, '94, 2001, '07 and '08.

The Brothers Clark

I posted a pair of Jerald Clark cards for Mustache Monday a couple weeks back; here's one of him naked faced. It's fairly common knowledge that Jerald's younger brother Phil also played for the Padres; the two just missed being teammates with Jerald's last season with the Friars being 1992 and Phil's first being '93. What I didn't know was that they have a middle brother, Isaiah, who played six minor league seasons for four organizations, his last being 1990. He spent one year in the Padres system, as an extremely light hitting third baseman for Single-A Riverside in 1989. Isaiah was also the only of the three who didn't continue his career in Japan; his 1990 CMC card is posted over at the always awesome and informative The Greatest 21 Days blog.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mustache Monday: Jerry Royster

I'm willing to bet anything that in the infancy of ESPN, Chris Berman referred to Jerry Royster as Jerry "The World Is Your" Royster. It's way too corny and obvious not to have at some point been blurted out by that rumblin', stumblin', bumbling idiot. Me, when I see his name, the first thing I think of is Royce Da 5'9" MC, for whatever that's worth. Some guy in a Bouncing Souls shirt writing about some guy who was on The Slim Shady LP- yes, I was a teenager in the '90s, why do you ask? Well, I'd look at ol' Jerry's BR and Wiki pages and churn out a couple of paragraphs about his life and times but we're hungry so I'm going to go make some California Burritos instead. I'm sure you understand...

Milton Bradley Otherwise

I was looking at some old posts and was reminded that I said I was going to do a part two on Mike Cameron. Whoops! I started looking at the gamelogs, nothing exciting jumped out, I got bored and forgot about it. That's me! Suffice to say, that's not going to happen anytime soon and you aren't really missing out. Looking over those games did make me recall that I attended Milton Bradley's first game as a Padre. He got a hit, scored two runs and made a great catch in a Friar win that featured David Wells getting ejected and Trevor picking up his 25th save. I don't have any cards of Bradley as a Padre, so here are two of him otherwise, censored as is customary.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ozzie Smith & Other Blather

Everybody else is watching and typing about the Oscars and the NBA All Star Game but I don't care about either of those so here I am. I've never watched the Oscars and I haven't watched the NBA since Dennis Rodman retired. I used to have a huuuuuuuge Rodman collection; his were the only non-baseball cards I've ever purchased- well, okay, I once bought a couple packs of The Andy Griffith Show cards. But, anyway, this is neither a Dennis Rodman or an Andy Griffith blog so here's a baseball card of a San Diego Padre. One Osbourne Earl Smith, to be specific. He's back in baseball now, working as an instructor for the Cardinals this Spring Training since his sworn enemy Tony LaRussa has hit the ol' dusty trail. How far he makes it down the ol' dusty trail before he drunkenly passes out at a stoplight is anyone's guess, however...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stan Jefferson: Hero Off The Field

I'm a big fan of '89 Topps. Such a simple, timeless design. The colors look great. Other teams didn't get so lucky; the Phillies and Angels got stuck with purple and pink for some reason.

Gotta admit, I didn't really know much about Stan Jefferson other than that he existed. Turns out, he played parts of six seasons with six teams; we got him from the Mets in the Kevin-for-Kevin trade. He also played for the Yankees, Orioles and Indians before his final season with the Reds in '91. He had 469 plate appearances for the '87 Padres; he stole 34 bases that year despite getting on base only 29.6% of the time. In his other five Major League season he had only 451 plate appearances and 26 stolen bases. After an attempt to get back in the game as a replacement player, he became a NYPD officer and was a Ground Zero first responder. I found a great article about his career and the horrors he faced after 9/11; I'll stop typing so you can go read that.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Can Anyone Stand Orlando Hudson?

Man, where does one even begin with this d-bag? Everything about him is disgusting and repellant. Between calling out fans, requesting lawn care service, forgetting how many outs there are, laughing about it and generally sucking at doing his job, there's so much to deplore. Smacking Bartlett on the ass mid-double-play had entertainment value but I saw it as a "Ooooh, look at me" load of crap. I don't have a problem with players earning style points but in his case it seems he'd be better served trying to hit or something instead of trying to get on Sportscenter. Hudson supporters might point to his charity as evidence he's a good guy but I say if you make millions you'd be a subhuman not to have a charity. I'm not going to give the guy a round of applause for doing something he's supposed to do. I hope he goes out this year and plays both hard and well so he can boost his asking price for 2013 but I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Strom Thurmond

If Strom Thurmond had his way, I wouldn't be commemorating Black History Month here on this blog because Black History Month wouldn't exist. In fact, if he had his way, I wouldn't have any cards of black players to post because they'd have never had the chance to play for the Padres. I'd say I'm glad that the Strom Thurmonds of the world are no longer in positions of power but, sadly, that isn't so. They're still floating to the top like the scum they are but now they cloak their racism in a show of self preservation while still furthering their agenda to stack the deck against those outside their elite circle. We talk about progress a lot but isn't it really just a mirage? Haven't the oppressors just become better liars, making only the concessions they must in order to stay in power? When will the general public stop turning a blind eye? What will it take to bring forth true equality?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mustache Monday: More Mack

More Mack already?
A mere three short weeks have passed
But that 'stache deserves it

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mike Cameron: A Retrospective, Part I

So, as I'm sure you saw, Mike Cameron announced his retirement yesterday. Dude's kickin' down forty's door and decided not to drag out the inevitable; I, for one, respect that. He spent his career as one of the premier centerfielders in the game, albeit underrated. I'm sure some thought of him as a fluky footnote since he once hit four homers in a game as a Mariner; others likely recall him as the return for Junior Griffey that put him in that spot. A smaller group thinks likewise; only substitute Paul Konerko's name and a championship. Reds fans probably thought terrible things about him because they're all from Kentucky (just kidding, Tyler, Cody and Nic!) and Brewers fans likely remember him most as the guy who missed the first 25 games after signing with them because he was suspended for doing some sort of go-fast. His time as a Met was lowlighted by a career-threatening and face-rearrainging collision. I can only imagine that Sawwwwwwx fans think like the aforementioned Reds fans and his declining performance didn't help. All Marlins fans have to go by is a similarly turdy performance in his swansong capped off by a release following an outburst on a flight attendant. But you don't come here to read what White Sox, Reds, Mariners, Mets, Brewers, Red Sox or Marlins fans think. Tomorrow in Part II, I'll ruminate on his time in San Diego and break down his performance in each game I saw him play in person (only seven, I think)...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Buzzer Beater!

It's 11:47pm PST, so I have thirteen minutes to hammer out this post to keep my streak alive. Eleven days; wooo, big flippin' deal! Not gonna lie, I know somewhere between nothing and very little about Ivan Murell. See, I know so little about him that I spelled his name wrong on my first try. What I can remark on is the card itself. In 1974, the Pads were widely believed to be headed to DC before Dave Thomas or one of those other burger guys came to the rescue. Thusly, Topps labeled its first run of '74 Padres as "Washington Nat'l". They're fairly rare and I would really like to get my hands on one or so. I don't even want the coveted Washington Winfield- although that would be radtacular; I'd settle for a creased Ivan Murrell. Ah, one of these days I'll have some money to piss away on ebay; until then I'll be happy with the fact that I made my deadline with two minutes to spare.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday's Tony Gwynn: Not This Again

Today's Tony Gwynn
Is a Two thousand and four
Donruss Team Heroes

When I got up today, I started trying to think of something to write about Tony Gwynn since it's Tuesday. As soon as I checked out twitter, my heart dropped. The cancer showed back up and he went under the knife again. There isn't much I can say other than that I hope it's gone for good this time and that he can get back to 100% and doing the things he loves in no time. Well, that and fuck cancer.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mustache Monday: Three Guys With Flip-Shades

I was looking for a card to post for Mustache Monday and came across a Thomas Howard card featuring him wearing flip-shades. This made me think of Avenging Jack Murphy's recent post about Tony The Gwynn- but really it was about flip-shades. I then flipped through some cards to try to find some other examples in action. Handcuffed by the guidelines of both the month and the day, I think I fared fairly well in finding three black guys with mustaches wearing flip-shades- and on three consecutive years of Upper Deck, no less. You know, for a baseball card blog, I make very little mention of the cards themselves. In a departure from that, I have to say I liked what UD was doing their first few years. They had a signature look and they stuck with the same theme year to year, making minor tweaks just to let you know this was the new one. Then the mid-nineties rolled around and everything we knew and loved about baseball cards up until that point got shot straight to hell...
Oddly, all the flip-shade shots are on the backs.
Here are the fronts just for reference:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Haiku Time: Garry Templeton

Garry Templeton
Yuma Panthers manager
That was too easy

Happy Birthday, Ollie Brown!

Ollie Brown was first
No Padres came before him
Today he'll eat some cake

Happy 68th birthday to Ollie Brown! Ollie was, as most know, the first player selected in the '68 NL Expansion Draft. With the second pick, the Expos took Manny Mota. There are a lot of interesting names among the list of expansion teams' first player, few of which panned out very well. The same year, the Royals and Pilots took Roger Nelson and Don Mincher, respectively. They would both be forgettable had Jim Bouton never written Ball Four. Notable first picks include Ruppert Jones by the Mariners in '76. He would go on to be an All Star in their inaugural season and again with the Padres in '82. In '92, the Rockies took David Nied but he is not the franchise's first player as they signed free agent first baseman Andres Galarraga the day before. Original D-Ray Tony Saunders is probably best known for breaking his arm while throwing a pitch in '99. He never played in the Majors again.

Friday, February 10, 2012

4th Annual FoC Bip Roberts Day

Time to play a quick game of "Hey, When Did That Happen?" with Bip's '92 Donruss. In '91, the Padres played six games at Shea. Gregg Jefferies didn't play in either of the first two on April 30th and May 1st. Roberts didn't play in the third, which was played on July 11th and appeared only as a pinch hitter on July 12th. On the 13th, Jefferies reached base twice- once with a single and once on a walk. The single came in this first inning and former Friar Kevin McReynolds promptly bounced into a 6-4-3 double play which could very likely be the play featured on this card. His walk came in the bottom of the third and he advanced to second on a Howard Johnson single. The next time Jefferies reached first base was the seventh inning of the next day's game. This is where it gets interesting. McReynolds then grounded into a 6-4 fielder's choice. For a second, I thought this mystery would be open-ended. But then I remembered to check the first thing I should have and, after a quick search, discovered that the July 13th game was played at night. So, without a doubt, I can confidently state that the play depicted on this card took place in the 7th inning of Greg Harris's July 14th, 1991 one-hitter.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Krukky Turns 51!

Today's post is a FoC record-setter. It marks the first time in blog history that I've posted five days in a row. I thought this might be the case so I looked through the archives and, sure enough, I've strung together four days a few times but this is the sad new pinnacle. The bar will get raised to at least seven after tomorrow's fourth annual FoC Bip Roberts Day and Saturday's nod to birthday-haver and OGP Ollie Brown. Of course, five days in a row is nothing when you consider that Kevin at Orioles Card "O" The Day posts EVERY SINGLE DAY. I find it rather appropriate that, as card bloggers, he and I both embody our franchise's most iconic player. His consistency is Ripken-like and I am like Tony Gwynn in that only 33.8% of my posts are hits...
You may have noticed that the players featured today lack a certain something in comparison with all the others shown so far this month- that certain something being pigment. Black History Month or not, today is John Kruk's birthday. It's his 51st birthday at that and- I don't know about you, but- when I think of the number 51 I think of one man and one man only.
Kruk and Hoffy's careers had a brief overlap in '93 and '94. They faced off four times, two in each season. June, 20, 1993, when Trevor was still with Florida, Kruk touched him up for a three run shot- his seventh homer of the season- to put the Phillies up 4-3. This came two months to the day after he hit a walkoff solo job off of Jeremy Hernandez to sink our beloved Friars. Twelve days after their first matchup, Trevor was by now a Padre. They faced off in the second game of a doubleheader at Veteran's Stadium. Hoffman won this battle but lost the game. An unrelated but interesting bit about this series was that Roger Mason pitched for the Pads in both games of the doubleheader, got traded to the home clubhouse for Tim Mauser, and pitched against the Padres in the fourth game of the set. Fast forward to '94 and Kruk and Hoffman each won one battle apiece, the results being a double and a strikeout.
And, oh yeah, that trivia answer I've been dragging out for the fair portion of a week... Yep, Kruk, along with the aforeblogged Wynne and Gwynn, was part of the first triad to lead off a game with three homers. So there.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Wiggins: Ten Trivia Gems

Today's card is Alan Wiggins's 1985 Fleer, number 48.

There are a few things pretty much everyone knows about Alan Wiggins so I'll get them out of the way first.
1. In 1991, Wiggins died of AIDS-related complications. He has the dubious distinction of being the first Major Leaguer to meet that "fate". Former Dodger and Oakland A' Glenn Burke met the same end in 1995.
2. His career was marked by periods of cocaine use. He got busted and went to rehab in his rookie season of '82 and did both again in '85. The latter led to his trade to Baltimore.
3. His daughter Candice is the all-time Stanford women's basketball scoring leader and now plays for the Portland Pumas of the WNBA.
4. His son also became a basketball player. Alan, Jr. played at USF and went on to play professionally in the NBA Developmental League and Europe.
5. Wiggins stole 120 bases in 135 games with high-A Lodi in 1980.
6. A second baseman in the minors and from 1984 on, Wiggins spent his first two seasons in San Diego playing all three outfield positions and first base.
7. He wore #2 (hehe) and the color orange his entire MLB career.
7 1/2. There is no such WNBA team as the Portland Pumas. Candice Wiggins actually plays for the Minnesota Lynx which sounds just as absurd.
8. He led the NL in two categories in 1984: Putouts as a 2B and times caught stealing. He was at least third in steals that season and second the year before.
9. Wiggins never played a full season again after leaving San Diego. During his time in Baltimore, he got into 76, 71 and 85 games.
10. Say what you will about Steve Garvey (and I do- frequently) but he was the only member of the '84 team to attend Alan's funeral.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday's Tony Gwynn: Ongoing Trivia, Part II

Today's Tony Gwynn (TTG) is a 2005 Topps All Time Fan Favorites, number 113. The card design is based on the 2000 Topps set.

In Sunday's Marvell Wynne 'Ten Trivia Gems' (TTG) post, I made mention of him and two teammates being the first trio in MLB history to lead off a game with three consecutive home runs. I promised to divulge the other two participants today and Thursday. Of course, Tony being the second of the three is no surprise to you since, yeah, he tended to hit second- not to mention that I said I'd drop the second answer on Tuesday instead of the next day. The third guy might be a little bit less obvious but not by much if you think about it for a second. Hint: there is a good reason I'm waiting until Thursday- this Thursday in particular, not just any old Thursday- to post his card...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mustache Monday: Three Guys, Six Cards

One mustache just wasn't enough today. All of today's cards are from the '80s- well, both of the Clarks are from 1990 sets but they still count since the photography and stats are from '89. The other two guys were around before I was a fan. Perkins played his last game in brown and gold three weeks after I was born, going on to finish his career with two years in Cleveland. Poor guy. He looks like a pretty affable dude so I'm sure he made the best of it. Turner was gone before too long as well. He was released in July of '83, half a season into his second stint with the Friars. He signed with the Phillies but never played in the Majors again. As for Clark, he was around from 1988 through '92. He then went on to spend a single season each in both Colorado and Minnesota.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ten Trivia Gems: Marvell For The Wynne

  1. On April 13, 1987, Wynne,along with two teammates, became the first trio in ML history to lead off a game with three consecutive home runs. The #2 hitter will be featured here Tuesday and the third will be on Thursday. Why Tuesday and Thursday instead of the next two days? It'll make sense then.
  2. His son- also named Marvell Wynne- is a Major Leaguer as well. He plays for Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.
  3. Before his three and a half seasons in San Diego, Marvell was a Pirate for three years. After being traded by the Padres to the Cubs in 1989, he spent his last season and a half there.
  4. Wynne wore #7 in 1986, his first season with the Padres. He switched to #16 the next season after the team acquired Kevin Mitchell.
  5. In his eight seasons, he only had an OPS+ over 100 once, in 1988.
  6. Despite the first fact, Wynne wasn't much of a power hitter. His season high was 11 in '88. In '84, he had 702 PAs and no homers.
  7. He wasn't much of a basestealer either. He had a career high in '84 with 24 but was caught 19 times. In '86, he stole 11 bases and was caught 11 times.
  8. I guess they weren't keeping him around for his glove either. He posted negative dWAR in 7 of his 8 seasons.
  9. He was out of the league before his 31st birthday. He spent his final year as a pro in Japan in 1991 as a Hanshin Tiger.
  10. Marvell is one of only three players in MLB history with the last name Wynne. Can you name the other two?

Thursday, February 2, 2012