Sunday, October 19, 2014

Black Sunday

Since the Royals and Giants are this year's World Series participants, that was a good enough reason to me to do a couple of posts of cards of Padres manager Bud Black from his playing days with each team. Both posts are linked below.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A couple additions to my Ball Four collection

I don't collect much aside from Padres and Joey Cora, but one side collection I have is of guys who were mentioned in my favorite book ever, Ball Four.
Fritz Peterson didn't pitch for either the Pilots or the Astros in 1969, but gets mentioned a few times in Ball Four due to the fact that he and Jim Bouton were roommates back in the Bulldog's Yankees days. While being included in such a groundbreaking book is the main claim to fame for most of the players, Peterson earned his own unique spot in baseball history independent of his inclusion in Ball Four. He's best known for trading lives with teammate Mike Kekich: wives, families, the whole nine. It happened around the same time this 1973 Topps card was released, and Peterson has been happily married ever since.

I took a look at Peterson's Wikipedia page to double-check the date of the swap, and found a couple interesting bits of trivia I had no idea about:
During the final game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, September 21, 2008, ESPN Sports announced that Fritz Peterson had the all-time lowest earned run average at Yankee Stadium, with a 2.52 ERA. Whitey Ford was second with a 2.55 ERA...
In 1969 and 1970, Peterson had the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in the American League. Peterson also led the league in fewest walks per 9 innings pitched 5 years in a row, 1968-1972. The last pitcher who did that 5 years in a row was Cy Young...
Peterson was an All-Star in 1970, like Marty Pattin was in 1971, not that anyone remembers that about either one of them. My main recollection of Marty Pattin is that he did a spot-on Donald Duck impression.

I really should make note of every player mentioned in the book next time I start it from the beginning. Less than halfway through that sentence, it occurred to me that someone else has most likely done that by now. I guess either way I'll see which players I need to be an at-least-one-card-of-each-guy completist.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Autograph Extravaganza

About a week ago, I got a bubble mailer from my pal Marcus of All The Way To The Backstop. It was a pleasant surprise before I even opened it. I was expecting a copy of Jedd Gyorko's 2014 Bowman card because he mentioned on his blog that he was sending one, but this was clearly much more than just that. Inside were two team bags, and one of them contained 27 autographed cards.

Twenty-seven autographed cards.

Yeah, seriously. I was taken aback. The vast majority were Padres players, but there were a few non-Friars in the mix. One was the 1985 Topps of former American League MVP Jeff Burroughs, father of Little League hero and Padres [bust is such a harsh word] Sean Burroughs.

I tweeted out a lot of the cards soon after opening the package, so in the interest of my laziness, I'm going to embed those instead of scanning the ones I haven't scanned.
My math was off. As I said in the lede, there were 27 cards. Somehow I didn't notice the Heath Bell one until the next day. That was a really cool bonus surprise. Speaking of that Bell card, I wrote about it and the one of Craig Lefferts that was also part of this package, earlier this week on their shared birthday.
Sadly, Sean Drinkwater never took his awesome name to the majors.
That offer still stands, by the way. does that one. does that one. It's only right, uh, right?
Here's another great minor league card. Unlike Drinkwater, Nelson made it to the majors; he was up with the Padres on-and-off briefly toward the end of the '80s.
I really like this custom card, even though Cantu's tenure was short and rocky.
Childers never reached the majors. Also, I misspoke. I don't have a Beaumont card of Cora. Yet.
In case you don't know (and why should you, really?), Craig Italiano was acquired by the Padres from the A's along with Sean Gallagher and Ryan Webb in July, 2009, in exchange for Scott Hairston. The Padres reacquired Hairston after the season, but that's a whole different post. Oh, and as for Italiano, he never reached the majors.
The card I referred and linked to is Thompson's famed Collector's Choice surfboard shot.
The matte finish is essential to this card. It wouldn't be as quarter as cool if it were glossy. It just lends to the painterly feel.
Keagle eventually reached the majors, but not with the Padres and not for very long.
Since I started with an MVP, a Cy Young Award winner seems like a good stopping point. That was just a little over half of the autographed cards he sent, so I'll get the other ones scanned and posted, hopefully sooner than later. And I haven't even mentioned the non-autographed cards he included. Those definitely deserve a post of their own; he knocked off some player collection needs, and then some.