Wednesday, February 13, 2013

59 Rectangles: An Insanely Long Trade Post

I recently agreed to an informal trade with @ItsDis over Twitter; one of those "Hey, I'm going to send you some cards" "Okay, I'll send you some too" kind of things. I didn't know what to expect so I was pretty excited when I saw the huge stack that showed up. I was even more stoked when I looked through them. So stoked that I'm going to do it again, right now, with you. You might want to go get a snack because this is going to take a while. Like I said, huge stack.

He sent along a note that mentioned that the Ashby above was his favorite of the batch- and rightfully so. I love cards that show players doing something offbeat- like the cards of Tim Flannery, Ryan Klesko, and Jason Thompson that show them with surfboards, for example. I had somehow never seen this card. It came out around the time I pretty much quit collecting for about a decade. This one was definitely worth the wait. Archi Cianfrocco shares top billing because he's Archi Cianfrocco and everybody loves Archi.
 This is my first card of Juan Melo and I'm betting there aren't a lot of cards of him out there. He never did make it to the Padres but he did get a taste of the Majors in the year 2000 (typing that reminded me of all those great "In The Year 2000" bits Conan did way back when) with the Giants, hitting one single in 13 ABs.

Did you know that Reggie Sanders's middle name is Laverne? I know, I know; "Shirley you jest." But it's true.
This is my first card of Chris Welsh as a Padre; the only other one I have of him is an '86 Topps with the Rangers. He's a Reds broadcaster now and during a game last year he mentioned that he still has one of his old brown Padres jerseys at home.

Nice socks, Joey Hamilton. Note to all players: Do that.
This is also my first Buddy Carlisle card. I can't say that I remember his time with the team but, trust me, it happened. I really like the shot on that Wally card. It's now my favorite I have of him.
Another '83 Topps; what a great, classic set. Gene Richards is pictured once again, like he was on his '79 issue, choking up more than I've seen anyone else do. Also, those chops are remarkable. It looks like somebody peeled out on the side of his face... The Tucson Padres' current manager Terry Kennedy is shown here on his '87 Topps getting some practice yelling at players.
 One can never have too many Eric Owens cards. He was as balls to the walls as anyone who ever stepped on a baseball field. His legacy was cemented when the team held an Eric Owens dirty shirtsey giveaway, with simulated stains on the t-shirt. To his right is Gary Matthews, Jr years before making that 55 million dollar catch.
Here are a pair of '93 Donruss. Jeremy Hernandez pitched for the Padres in parts of three seasons before getting traded to Cleveland mid-'93. Walters was with the team in '92 and '93, the extent of his Major League career. After baseball he became a police officer. Tragically, he was shot in the line of duty in 2003 and was paralyzed from the neck down.

Wow, that's depressing. I'm just going to go ahead and change the subject.
Oh, hey, look, there's Steve Finley. That first one is snazztacular. I didn't have it and now I don't again. It wasn't on Marcus at Backstop's list of Finleys he has so it only seemed right to send it that direction since Finley is one of the players he, you know, collect collects. Me, I just collect him. That made sense, right?
I love that both cards capture the exact same moment in his swing, identical despite being taken years apart.

That card of Finley on the D-Bags is one of maaaany cards he included featuring one-time Padres pictured with other teams.
Here's Geoff Blum, he of the World Series homer, great hair, and beautiful wife Kory. He was a fan favorite during his time in San Diego and I imagine everywhere else he went. Blummer made his retirement official this offseason and signed on to be a television commentator for the Houston Astros.
Man, those old D-Bags uniforms were ugly. I mean, the ones they have now aren't anything to write home about but sheesh. Sorry you had to look like a clown, Andy. As for the Cardinals... well, I'll just say it's cool that he got to be teammates with his brother Alan Benes.
These are a couple of good shots of Sheff after he left. I know he hit over 500 home runs and all that jazz but to me he'll always be the guy we traded for Trevor Hoffman. Well, we didn't trade him for Trevor per se, but the Marlins included the no-name reliever in the deal and the rest is... oh, you know. I especially like the one on the left with Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann. I watch The Dan Patrick Show a bit and as for Olbermann- uh, I think I saw him making a guest spot on MLB Network a few months back.
I never really thought about it before but there were three teams David Wells had two stints with- the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Padres. He's shown here his second time with Toronto and his first time in New York. The pictures I took don't really capture the shimmery sandpaper thing those Metal Universe cards have going on.
Kevin Brown was an absolute beast in 1998. He was good other seasons but that's the only one I care about.
Here's Benito Santiago pictured with three of the eight teams other than the Padres he played for. It's not strange seeing him in other uniforms but it is odd to see him clean-shaven as he is on that '95 Topps. That was back when the Reds still had their silly no facial hair rule. They finally did away with it in 1999 when they traded with the Padres for Greg Vaughn. He lobbied hard to keep his signature goatee because his kids wouldn't recognize him without it and the deplorable Marge Schott gave in after local media and fans took his side. I'm sure if he hadn't hit 50 HR the year before it wouldn't have changed but, hey, that's how the world works.
I actually followed Brian Giles's career long before he was a Friar. When he was in the minors I read in Baseball Weekly that his grandparents got an RV and went to all his games. I thought that was interesting and made note of seeing him when he played with AAA Charlotte in a game against the Rochester Red Wings and kept an eye on him as he tried to crack that loaded mid-90s Indians outfield. Eventually he went to Pittsburgh where he worked his way up their franchise leaderboards before heading home to sunny, sandy San Diego.
Here are a couple of guys who both put in two tours of duty with the Astros. Cammy is on another one of those awesome Metal cards in his second stint. This Brad Ausmus card is from his first go-'round in Houston. The picture must have been taken in Spring Training or a pregame session because he never played anything but catcher that time there. By the time he retired he wound up playing 17 innings at 1B spread over 11 games along with 7 innings at 2B, 7 at 3B and 1 lonely inning as a SS.
Before I saw this card I had no idea Bob Tewksbury ever played for the Twins. Turns out Tewks, owner of some of the best control the game has ever seen, spent the final two years of his 13 year career in Minnesota after going 10-10 for the 1996 NL West Champion Padres. I did, however, know that Fernando was a Cardinal. Valenzuela pitched the final five games of his career in Cardinals cardinal after being traded in June of '97 in a deal that brought Mark Sweeney to San Diego. I really like this card but, like the Steve Finley one earlier, it seemed like there was someone else who should have it. I popped it in a PWE and sent it to Dime Box Nick because I thought he might want it for his Into The Sunset series if he doesn't already have it. It's a true sunset card; the foil stamp at the top right corner even notes it as a tribute along with "1980-97".
At a glance, Mark Loretta and Brad Ausmus could pass for being pictured as Padres. Ausmus, with the Tigers at this point, looks like I remember him in this one. And that Matt Stairs card is about as Matt Stairs as it gets. Swing big, all or nothing.
With Geoff Blum's recent retirement, Mark Kotsay is the lone survivor of this batch still in the Majors. He looks considerably less grizzled on this card than he does now. As for A.J. Hinch, he's the only player in this post who never played for the Padres organization. Why's he here then? Because he's now San Diego's vice president of professional scouting. You may recall his less than successful stretch as manager of the D-Bags but you can't really blame him for not being able to make chicken salad out of what they gave him.
What? A Dodgers card on this blog? You can clearly see why this one's a keeper, though. I like cameo cards like this. I have a Dean Palmer card I've held onto for about twenty years because Joey Cora is in the background.
Along with the previously pictured Reggie Sanders, Wally Joyner and Quilvio Veras made their way to Atlanta the free, home of the Braves in exchange for Ryan Klesko, Bret Boone and whatever a Jason Shiell is.
Speaking of Ryan Klesko, here's Mr. Boot Barn himself out in the clouds. This trio of cards was confusing to me because the background of Rod Beck's card actually makes some semblance of sense while the other two do not. I'm assuming Shooter got the Golden Gate Bridge because the Giants play in San Francisco but I don't believe the Reds relocated to Cincinnati from Saturn. Logistics aside, I thought these were awesome back then and I can say now that's one thing I wasn't wrong about.
Hello again, Andy Ashby. I like how the stripe on his pants merges perfectly into the stripe on his mock-stirrup. 

The Collector's Choice card of Sterling Hitchcock is from his only year with the Mariners, sandwiched between time with the Yankees and the Padres. Like Boomer Wells, he ended up playing for both teams two separate times each. 

As for Sandy Alomar, Jr., did you know he played in the Majors through 2007? If I did know that, I forgot it. He only played seven games for the Mets that year. There's a lot about the tail-end of his career that I didn't realize before now. I knew he played for the White Sox but I had no idea he did three different times. He signed with Chicago before the 2001 season and again before the 2003 season after spending the second half of 2002 with the Rockies. He went on to spend time with the Rangers and Dodgers before returning to the windy city one last time in a July, 2006 trade.
How many pitching injuries did the Padres have to deal with in 2012? So many that they had to reanimate the corpses of Kip Wells and Jeff Suppan. Here's hoping that 2013 won't require the services of Freddy Garcia.
Whoops, I lied. A.J. Hinch isn't the only player in this post who never played for the Friars. Jerry Hairston gets a pass since two of his sons did, though. 

Tim Teufel went to San Diego in a one-for-one swap for Garry Templeton. So, in the big scheme of things, they essentially traded Ozzie Smith for Tim Teufel.

I believe this is my second card of Goose Gossage with the Rangers. I really should make more of an effort to collect all of his cards, not just ones of him in brown. I think I have two of him with the Cubs but I know I have one of him as a Mariner in his final season.
Okay, we're getting close to the finish line. The card on the left is one of my favorites of the package, right up there with the Ashby at the top and the last two that you have yet to see. Not to be confused with Billy Beane, the long-time general manager of the A's, Billy Bean spent two seasons and part of a third with the Padres, 1993-'95. Interestingly, Beane and Bean were teammates with the AAA Toledo Mud Hens in 1988. After retiring, Bean became the first man who had played Major League Baseball to publicly acknowledge that he is gay. I can definitely understand why he kept that information quiet until he retired with what we know about clubhouse culture and even society as a whole, especially back then. Hopefully his story can be of help to whoever the gay community's Jackie Robinson will be.

Mike Piazza, on the other hand, once had a press conference to clear up rumors that he was gay. Oddly enough, right as I started this paragraph MLB Tonight returned from commercial and now he's being interviewed. He has a new book out in which he states he never used PEDs, although he did use speed. I, for one, think it's ridiculous that he has to keep defending himself when there is absolutely no evidence that he did. The bit about him taking karate so he could fight Roger Clemens is pretty funny, though.

Alright, here it is. The grand finale. I'm not going to keep talking these two cards up because you probably already know who they are of...
YES! Another pair of Joey Cora cards for my never-ending quest to collect as many copies as I can of every card he's on. The picture on the front is of him singling on May 28, 1997 to extend his hitting streak to 23 games. As is noted on the back, it ended at 24 games which was then an American League record for switch hitters.

Wow, that took way longer than I thought it would (TWSS) and there were actually a few more cards- some Padres doubles from '88 Topps, a Steve Swisher I showed a couple posts ago, and a few players with no ties to the Padres that I'll post over at NotPadres. I finally got around to getting his cards out yesterday; I hope he enjoys them nearly as much as I like this batch. Thanks again!


  1. Wow, that was one epic trade post! Nice pickups!

    As for the Valenzuela, I've already had a few bloggers send me that one. You're right, though, it is one terrific "sunset" card, definitely one of my personal favorites. I'll include a copy in my next batch of cards to you, I'm sure it'd have a nice home in your collection as well.

  2. Archi card? Check.
    Appropriately high sock card? Check.
    The Legend of Eric Owens. Check.
    Padre backstop? Check.
    Friar Finley? CHECK.
    Blummer and Benito? Double check.
    Jabs at Olbermann and horrible DBags unis? Check it twice.
    Ending w/ some Cora? Check it!
    Great post, as usual, and great trade in your end!

    1. *Great trade on your end.

      Sounds weird the other way.

  3. Was my pleasure to send them your direction. I knew you would appreciate them more than I currently do, given I hadn't seen most of them in years.

  4. Dude! I save Joey Cora cards, too! I have a soft spot for mid-to-late-90's Mariners.

    I'll check the binders. If I have enough, perhaps a trade the cards.(sorry)

    1. I am now going to go out and buy up every Griffey card I can get my hands on. Oh, and I'm also building my Buhner collection back up too if you have any extras of him.