Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mike Pagliarulo And Fun With Search Results

It's not all that often that I glance at the stats for this site. The small amount of traffic doesn't vary a whole lot and I don't have any advertisers to appease, so none of it really matters or is of much interest to me. Sometimes, though, I'll click around out of boredom. Like I did once last June, I found something humorous when looking at search phrases that led people here.
Ha! I like that somewhere somebody was thinking about Mike Pagliarulo being a jerk and decided to Google up some support for this stance. I also like that they felt "jerk" or another similarly mild invective wasn't quite the harsh enough indictment they were looking for. I thought it was kind of weird that particular search would lead someone here.because I don't tend to use that word or others of the nature on this blog (every sentence out of my mouth in actual life is another story, however). I know I wrote about my disdain of him but I was pretty sure I didn't call him one of those. Turns out I was half-right; I referred to him as "one of the a'holes along with Jack Clark that talked mess on Tony The Gwynn way back when". Apparently abbreviating it is close enough. I like to think if I had written that post recently I would have sidestepped even alluding to a half-obscenity because I'm so incredibly mature and care very much so about the children who could be (but aren't) reading this blog.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tonys and Trevors and Bips, Oh My!

Not gonna lie, sometimes it's hard to make myself write about getting cards of players I collect. I mean, after the first couple hundred Tony Gwynn cards, it gets repetitive. The two above are cards that I had back in the day and just got new copies of. Gee, never written that before.
 "I already have a copy of this one but it was part of a lot so I'll put it in the doubles stack and somebody will want it" or something to that effect comes up a lot too.
Hey, a break from the same old, same old. Shame kiddo had to follow in his Uncle Chris's footsteps and be a Dodger. I'm nerdy when it comes to numbers so I think it's cool that Li'l Tony played 19 games for the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes last year and hit exactly .338. Double-daddish!
Trevor cards fall into the same rut as Tony's. These two fall into the same category as the first two Gwynns in this post.
Cue up that line about the doubles stack.
Krukky! This is the part where I allude to him being from West Virginia or something.
That SportFlics is pretty rad, though. I tried to capture each of the three angles but his face was hard to catch.
Oh, and for added predictability, here are some Bips. Pretty sure it's a card-blog rule to show some Bips any time you have an excuse to, even if you already had copies of all of them.

Alright, I seriously need to get out of this rut. No more cataloging what I got just because I feel like I have to. Maybe get back to my card-blogging roots and mix it up a bit. Something, because this stuff I've been churning out the past few months is garbage.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Jedd Gyorko And A Bevy Of Other Bowmans

Yesterday I received 200 Padres cards in the mail, the majority of which I actually didn't already have. I won two separate Listia auctions of 100 Padres cards each by the same user. Each listing showed only one picture of a binder page's worth of cards, which I assumed were the best of the bunches. Although there were a couple Gwynns and an autographed Lee Orr card showing, the other 182 were a crapshoot. I figured it'd be a bunch of '90 Donruss and a dozen Mike Pagliarulo cards but there were a lot of hidden gems, including a couple fistfuls of snazzy Bowmans. I'm not this biggest fan of Bowman as I find their design clunky and overboard the majority of the time, but I do like their inclusion of players on their first card and other players who may never be on another card.

Of course my favorite card of the whole batch was Jedd Gyorko's 2011 "1st Bowman Card", #83. Amazingly, this card wasn't pictured or included in the description; I have a feeling the winning bid would have been driven much higher if it had been. I have never been one to get caught up in prospects or to buy someone's cards before he's even made the majors, but Gyorko is the exception to that rule. I have a handful of Jedd's cards now; the only West Virginian I have more cards of is John Kruk.
Today would have been Mike Darr's 37th birthday. I wrote a little piece about that over at Gaslamp Ball earlier today. It's rather succinct, so if you want to take a minute to go read that, I'll be doing my best Richard Marx impression, right here waiting.
As with Darr, I got the base and Chrome versions of this Gary Matthews, Jr. card. I feel like I've already said everything I have to say about Matthews already: He was lousy for the Padres, went elsewhere and sucked there too, came back to San Diego and sucked a little bit more, did some HGH, put together a decent season capped by one amazing catch, got a ridiculous payday, and went back to sucking.
 A little over a month ago I got my first Juan Melo card and said "I'm betting there aren't a lot of cards of him out there". I still don't know exactly how many there are but now I'm up to a grand total of three including this one and a minor league card that was also included. For now, I'm going to say the same thing about Omar Ortiz, who is a newcomer to my collection, and maybe a couple more issues of him will show up in my mailbox this April or May. As for Ben Davis, this is far from my first card of him but this one is a welcome addition. Something I didn't know about him until I was doing a little light research earlier is that he was good friends with Mike Darr and likely would have been in the vehicle with him if he didn't happen to be tired from traveling when Darr invited him.
 Matt Clement was the last Padre to wear 31 for the Padres before they retired it in honor of Dave Winfield. He was traded to Florida for Mark Kotsay and went on to be on the short end of an 18-pitch at bat culminating in a home run by Joey Cora's little brother Alex.

That's a very fascinating jersey being sported by Sean Burroughs. It's just like the BP/ ST jerseys of the era but it's gray instead of navy. I've seen it once or twice before, also on shots of minor leaguers so maybe they had an excess of gray jerseys and/ or a shortage of navy ones and just sewed the chest insignia on the grays, gave them to some kids, and hoped nobody would notice. If anyone has any more information on this, please let me know.
Nate Freiman, called Nathan here, had a solid season for AA San Antonio last season and was picked up by the Astros in the Rule 5 draft. Ruben Rivera recently resurfaced in the WBC and has been playing in Mexico for the past six seasons. The Dustin Hermanson card didn't photograph well but I can live with that.

There were a lot of other good cards out of the 200 in addition to these Bowmans; I got a couple Gwynns, Hoffys, and Kruks that I didn't have before that I'll feature here in the next day or two. A smattering of current players showed up too, along with a bunch of old minor league cards. I know I said I was trying to get away from doing acquisitions posts but this recent batch really lends itself to being milked for about a week. I promise I won't drag it out that long, though.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recent Arrivals, Part II (The Finale)

If you missed Part I, there's not too much to explain; these are a bunch of cards I've gotten recently that I'm getting around to organizing. Solid premise, huh?

The card above is autographed by the original Adam Eaton, not to be confused with Arizona outfield prospect Adam Eaton. I read some thing last year that said the younger one frequently gets sent the older one's cards to sign. This one, however, was sent to the right Adam Eaton.
These Tony Gwynns were paired together; the first one is gonna bring it on down to doublesville and the second one seems familiar too. I think I had it at one point but I put a bid in for them since I didn't see it when I made a quick check. If it turns out I already have one in some completely random spot it doesn't belong, as tends to happen from time to time, that won't be the end of the world.
Here's Tony with his brother Chris, back when Chris was playing for a team not to be mentioned. I didn't really want the Ripken brothers card but they came together and I imagine someone might want it.
I had a copy of this but it was kind of ragged. This one was on Listia for next to nothing so I upgraded.
Reggie Sanders and Greg Maddux were teammates with the Braves for a bit after the former's season in San Diego. Unrelated, I'm fortunate to be able to say I saw Greg Maddux pitch in person. And with the Padres, no less.
One of Maddux's rotation-mates during his time with the Padres was Chris Young, who everyone is obligated to point out played basketball for Princeton. Now fighting for a job as a non-roster invitee at Nationals camp, Young was an All-Star in 2007. He was one of the "final vote" candidates and I voted for him literally thousands of times.
I remember having all three of these Collector's Choice cards when I was a kid but they're new again to me now. That checklist of "The" trade has always been a favorite and I'm now a bigger fan of Luis Lopez than I was a week ago. I guess he's also a Joey Cora fan because he retweeted something I said on Twitter about Joey. That was pretty neat to me.
Fleer showed up to 1996 with the complete opposite of their 1995 set. These are the antithesis of busy and feature crisp, defined photography. The Klesko is some sort of insert in a set of 20 and is glossy with silver foil as opposed to matte with gold like the base Bergman. Also, it has to be pointed out that Sean Bergman is exhibiting some terrible bunting form.
I fortified my Scott Radinsky collection with these two, obtained separately. His Upper Deck rookie card is especially fascinating because of the text on the back.
I don't know of any other Scott Rad cards that allude to his other job. In fact, the only other baseball card I can think of that mentions any punk rock band is Jim Walewander's 1988 Score which name-checks The Dead Milkmen. Around the time this Radinsky card came out, Scared Straight changed their name to Ten Foot Pole. He was pushed out of the band a few years later because the rest of the band got sick of not being able to tour at least seven months out of every year. That's the point when he formed Pulley and they've been together, in some form or another, for nearly twenty years.
Radinsky's 1992 Pinnacle was one of a 12-card lot. I didn't want any of the other cards but I got them all for what I would have paid for just the one, so all is well.
I end up doing a lot of that on Listia. I'll want one card that's part of a group and end up with a bunch to cram in an apathy box.
This doesn't just apply to cards, I guess. I now have some old Jays, Orioles, and Twins stickers thanks to wanting a lone outdated Padres sticker. "Play Downtown" was their slogan during Petco Park's inaugural season of 2004 and thankfully they don't still use that shampoo bottle logo.
I recently started trying to build the 1993 Upper Deck set pretty much from scratch. I had only a few other than the Padres I had but I've started chipping away, very little by very little. These three were packaged together and I have to say I would have bid on this lot even if I didn't need them for a set. I probably would have ended up sending all three to Dime Box Nick eventually because they're all up his alley. He's a fan of batting cage shots, as shown on the DiSarcina and the one with Hard Hittin' Mark Whiten rocking his batting helmet backward is just classic. John Burkett's is even better because it's a twofer- Burkett is signing an autograph while wearing a 1939 throwback uniform. Ehh, I figure he has 'em already anyway. If not, I'll probably get doubles of some of them because that's how set-building goes.

Anyway, as great as the fronts of those cards are, the back of Gary DiSarcina's is even better.
I believe I'll just let that speak for itself.
Last of all, just to bring us full circle, here's the other autographed Fleer Tradition card I've gotten in the past couple weeks, this one of former infielder Damian Jackson. I must say, he looks like somebody just said the dumbest thing ever to him.

Well, that's all for now. I'd like to say I won't let a backlog like that build up again but it seems fairly probable. For now I'll work on trying to produce shorter, more frequent posts. See you tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recent Arrivals, Part I

I've reached that point again where I have a few weeks of Listia arrivals forming two large, unorganized stacks on a bookshelf. That means it's time to show them off to my fellow nerds before I file them away in their rightful places. The Topps Rookie Stars card above will take its place next to my only other 1969 Padres card. Drop by drop, I will eventually carve out the Grand Canyon that is that team set.

Jerry DaVanon played 24 games of his rookie season with the inaugural Padres before being traded to St. Louis in May; he went on to play with five teams in parts of eight lackluster seasons. His son Jeff DaVanon also spent parts of eight seasons in the majors. The San Diego-born San Diego State alumnus nearly became a second-generation Padre when he was signed by the team in December of 2007 but he was cut before Opening Day.

Clay Kirby is best known for being removed by his manager from what could have been the Friars' first and only no-hitter. As for Frank Reberger, he's deserving of a post all to himself one of these days. Speaking of which, I have really gotten away from doing different types of posts here. The last few months it has been nothing but acquisition posts. There was a good reason for this at first but now it's just a rut. By the time I wrap up Part II or, God forbid, Part III of this, I'll get back to switching it up; revive some old themes and introduce some newness. Pinky swear.
It's faint, but that card is autographed by Brian Lawrence in blue ballpoint pen. Not the best penmanship or a guy I'm a huge fan of, but it's a nice addition to my fairly small autograph collection. I picked up two other autographed Padres cards recently but haven't gotten around to taking pictures of either of them so they'll have to wait until Part II.
As I am wont to do, I won a few different lots of 2010 Upper Deck just to get one card from each. Of the three players, only the awesome Luke Gregerson is still around. I still collect Edgar Gonzalez, but if you collect his brother I still have some cards of him I'd like rid of. I'm not down with Dodgers, especially two-faced, lying, duplicitous turncoats who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions or statements.
I mentioned in the post before my last one that I got a handful of 2013 Topps Padres on Listia before ECDG swooped in and dropped the full team set on me. It wasn't a pointless bid, though; I did get this 'Chasing The Dream' insert of Yonder Alonso as one of the four. As for Milton Bradley, he wasn't a Padre for long but made quite an impression. It's hard to believe that it's been going on six years since I was at Petco Park for his first game as a Friar.
2004 Topps is one of those sets that I pretty much forget exists. It came out during my sabbatical from the hobby and has a fairly forgettable face. I did have a different card of Jay Payton as a Padre but it got lost in a shuffle so this is my only one for now. Same goes for Ramon Hernandez, I believe, and countless others.
Another player making his first appearance in my collection is Dave Eiland. I have absolutely no feelings one way or the other toward Mr. Eiland but he's on a baseball card pictured as a San Diego Padre and that's all it takes to get me to bid. The McGriff was a mistake since I already have a copy but I'm sure somebody will take it off my hands one of these days. The '95 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Special Edition (!) is my favorite of the three. I really like cards of players interacting with fans; I also have a soft spot for Eddie Williams because he was a Padre for three separate stints.
These are two of the strangest cards I've seen and thought "Yeah, I want that." They're checklists from a '94 Topps Black Gold redemption set. These will go into my player collections of Craig Biggio and John Kruk, respectively. At some point I'll need to add their full-sized counterparts.
Here are a few more Kruks, ones I had back in the day but are new to my current collection. It's nowhere near as many as I had of him as a kid but I'm back up to about forty or fifty-some cards of The Krukker now. I'm enjoying the process; it's a nice combination of memories. I feel like I may have said basically the same thing in a previous post but that's bound to happen now and then after a few hundred posts, especially when you're a little drowsy from cold medicine. Don't worry, it's just a sore throat and some sniffles being stifled by a capful of some blue Tylenol Cold liquid; no Li'l Wayne shenanigans here. Topical!
I got this trio of Tom Henke cards on the cheap because, hey, how many of us Tom Henke collectors are there out there? Well, I take that back; I know of a few collectors off the top of my head who collect players with big glasses or just any glasses. As for me, I've been snagging up whatever cards of him I can find since I discovered last summer that he made his major league debut on the day I was born. Curt Kaufman and Larry Ray also debuted that day but are nowhere near as easy to collect. Kaufman only got into 7 games in 1982, 4 in '83, and 29 in '84, appearing only on 1985 issues by Topps, Fleer, and Donruss. Ray's career consisted of one hit in six at-bats over five games with the Astros and he never found his way onto a major league card. A quick GIS does reveal a Tucson Toros card, though.

Well, I'm getting fairly sleepy and you're probably tired of reading this by now anyway. I guess there's time for one more card. You know what that means so I'm just going to leave a picture of my latest Joey Cora card sans commentary and leave on a high note like George Costanza.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cards from Marcus, Volume Like 138 or Something

I recently got a PWE in the mail from Marcus from all the way to the backstop... I believe it was Monday but I wouldn't swear to it. It took me a few days to get to posting the contents since I needed to first do writeups on some Coras I got from COMC and the 2013s from ECDG. I'm starting to get caught up; after this post I have a few weeks worth of Listia pickups to do a megapost of and then I can get to that Gwynnventory I've been meaning to do or a post about '93 Upper Deck since I'm trying to build that set. But more likely I'll just get more stuff in the mail and procrastinate those even longer, so let's focus on the here and now.

Above are two 2012 Topps parallels I didn't have. I love the photography on both of them; the Blanks base is on the short list of my all-time favorite cards. I really like how the Target Red border looks on Q's card; I prefer it to the WalMart Blue; it just pops.
Next up was an awesome A&G of Tony Gwynn. Anthony Keith Gwynn, Sr. to be more precise. And, as it asks, what's in that name? Maybe the back will shed some light.
...and it does. Imagine that.
Craig Breslow may very well be the smartest man to ever play the game. The lefty was called "the smartest man in baseball" by the Wall Street Journal in 2009 and named the smartest athlete in all of pro sports by The Sporting News the following year. After graduating from Yale with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, he was accepted to the prestigious NYU School of Medicine but decided to put it on the back burner and pursue pitching. He has since pitched 358 games in the majors, including 14 with the Padres in his rookie season of 2005. From there he spent time with the Red Sox, Indians, Twins, A's, and D-Bags; now he's back with Boston.

Poor Mark Prior. His comeback attempt with the Padres didn't work out, nor did subsequent tries with the Rangers, Yankees, and Red Sox. In fact, he hasn't pitched in the majors since making nine ugly starts for the Cubs in 2006. He's in camp with the Reds, signing a minor league deal earlier this month. Like always, I'll be rooting for him to make it back successfully. As for the card itself, I already had a copy so this one will go on my recently-deplenished doubles stack.

As always, I saved the best for last. Also as always, you know what that means:
Another Joey Cora card! His 1988 Score, number 420, to be specific. Like all of his cards, it's a thing of beauty. It will have a good home here, right between some other cards just like itself. Only a couple hundred thousand more copies of this one and I'll be set. Marcus has been a major contributor to my Cora collection; he always seems to include at least one in every envelope and for that I am forever grateful.

So, thanks again to Marcus! I'll have to get some cards headed his way before too long. As it stands now, there's at least one bubble mailer hanging out at his house waiting for him to get home from vacation. I actually mailed it the day before he wrote his post about getting ready to go on vacation, so it's been there for a while. It doesn't contain cards, so if he's reading this I'll just let him twist in the wind trying to guess what it does contain. Hint: You aren't going to guess it. Ever.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Give Me The Bad News First

So, as you may have heard, 2013 is starting to look a lot like 2012 as far as promising young starters getting hurt beyond hurt. Casey Kelly has been experiencing soreness in his pitching elbow and may very well have to undergo Tommy John surgery. It's getting past ridiculous at this point; fellow big-name young starters Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland aren't even back from their TJs yet... I don't really want to talk about it so I'm changing the subject.

Appropriately, I got the emerald Kelly card above from Emerald City Diamond Gems. He won a box from Topps on Twitter and shared the bounty with his readers. Along with that now bittersweet slab of shimmering cardstock, he sent along copies of each of the Padres in the base set. I had a few of them but he finished off the list and left me with a couple of doubles that I was able to pay forward.
Will Venable got a great photograph on his. Along with a Kelly, this was one of the first two 2013 Padres I got- the guy at my LCS gave them to me on the house when my pack came up Friarless. Ryan Braun and Alfonso Soriano are on that card along with Chase Headley but they don't matter.
Here are a couple more I already had a copy of. I got a four card lot of Series 1 Padres off of Listia around the same time so I was afforded the chance to pass one of each along with a Kelly and a Venable to someone who, like me a few days earlier, had none of them.
These two are where it gets really good. I'm a sucker for throwbacks and I'm an even bigger sucker for our throwbacks. Yonder Alonso has always reminded me of John Kruk to a certain degree, and even more so here wearing the same home uniform Krukky wore in his time with the Padres. These uniforms were selected in a fan poll to be worn in a game last season. They were officially billed by the team as the "1988 Mark Grant uniform" in honor of the then-pitcher turned beloved broadcaster.

The 1978 uniforms are one of the most iconic in sports history despite being worn for only one season. It's shown here on Cameron Maybin. And because you really wanted to know, Cam's number 24 was worn by Dave Wehrmeister that year.
Anthony Bass, like seemingly everybody else, had injury problems last season. He is- knock on wood- doing well so far this spring and is in the mix for a spot in the rotation. Hopefully Tommy Layne can make enough of a name for himself this season that Topps will get it right on his 2014 issue.

So, thanks again to Larry. I'm waiting on a couple of things I've bid on and when they get here I have an envelope heading your way. Best of luck to the M's when they're playing any of the other 28 teams.