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.
Did you know that Reggie Sanders's middle name is Laverne? I know, I know; "Shirley you jest." But it's true.
Nice socks, Joey Hamilton. Note to all players: Do that.
Wow, that's depressing. I'm just going to go ahead and change the subject.
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.
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".
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!