Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 San Diego Padres game giveaways

Even though there's three weeks to go until the start of the 2016 regular baseball season, the San Diego Padres released their 2016 promotional schedule quite some time ago. Once again, they're featuring "Baseball Night in San Diego" as part of their Saturday home games, which include a plethora of Padres giveaways, some great, some good, some ok and some, just "meh."


Actually, this year we hope to return to San Diego again as part of our wedding anniversary. The last time we were there, was during Christmas 2011. We took the oppportunity to visit some old friends, old haunts and celebrated the Yutetime season sans Iowa cold and snow.
We usually enjoy going during the September – October timeframe, after the tourists are generally gone. We also try to get in at least one Padres game during our visit, so there may be a freebie or two we may get to enjoy during our trip.


 
This year's giveaways begin with the Opening Series Rally Towels, sponsored by Sycuan Casino. These towels, given out during each night of the initial series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, resemble game jerseys, with the first night featuring a white “jersey” towel, a familiar brown and yellow jersey towel for the second night and the new Navy Camouflage towel on the third.

The giveaways end Sat., Sept. 24 (San Francisco Giants) as the Padres close out their home baseball season with a Padres Team Photo and 2017 Schedule, courtesy of the Mighty 1090 radio station. As a matter of fact, there will be a total of four different fireworks nights this season, as well as a lazer light show.


In between, there’s a whole mess of other Padres goodies to look forward to. As for clothing, on Sat., April 23 (St. Louis Cardinals), Mission Federal Credit Union is giving away a Tyson Ross Jersey T-shirt. On Sat., May 7 (New York Mets), Toyota is giving out a black Padres Hoodie. The final clothing freebie is a Throwback Jersey being offered on Sat., Aug. 6 (Philadelphia Phillies), sponsored by Fanatics.
 


On Sat., Aug. 20 (Arizona Diamondbacks) fans will actually have a better option than the current presidential election process – namely, a fan’s choice of a Back-to-School San Diego Lunch Bag, or a Back-to-Tailgating Sand Diego Bottle Holder. As far as reusable bags go, that’s yet another giveaway, this one coming on Sat., May 22 (Los Angeles Dodgers), with the issuing of an MLB Network Reusable Bag. However you look at it, it still appears to be a tote bag to me.
 
Among the most interesting giveaways include San Diego Padres electronics, including a Padres USB Charger on Sat., Sept. 10 (Colorado Rockies) and the Padres Ear Buds being given out on Sat., July 30 (Cincinnati Reds) by United Airlines. There’s also a $10 Coupon to the Padres Majestic Team Store on Sat., July 16 (San Francisco Giants).  
 

 
Other giveaways include a trifecta from Cox Cable on Sat., April 16 (Arizona Diamondbacks) featuring a Padres Ball Cap, San Diego Decal and a 2016 Schedule Cling; a Padres Pet Calendar, “Padres and Puppies” on Sun., April 24 (St, Louis Cardinals); Knockaround glasses from Knockaround on Fri. June 17 (Washington Nationals); another Padres Fedora, this time a blue one, from National University on Sat., June 18 (Washington Nationals); and a Padres Hall of Fame Coffee Table Book and Pet Bandana, courtesy of Petco on Fri., July 1 (New York Yankees).
 
By the way, Fox Sports San Diego is providing an unspecified giveaway on my birthday this year, the mysterious "To Be Announced" during the Sat., June 4 game against the Colorado Rockies. 
 
Another interesting facet about this year's promotions are the "Theme Games," which include African American Heritage Night; Sunday Funday; San Diego State University Day; French Heritage Night; Nurses Night; Teacher Appreciation Night; University of San Diego Night; Faith and Family Night; Class of 2016 Night; Pride Night; Dog Days of Summer; University of California San Diego Night; FIlipino Heritage Night; Portugeuse Heritage Night; Zombie Day; USC & UCLA Rivalry Night; Ghostbusters Day; Team USA Day; Game of Thrones Day; Bark at the Park; Japanese Heritage Night; Movie on the Field; Naval Academy Day; Superhero Day; Pac-12 Night (Why not a Mountain West Night?); Polish Heritage Night; PCL 80th Anniversary; Native American Heritage Night; and (finally) Oktoberfest.
 
Any way you look at it, it should be a great time at PETCO Park this season. Now, I just can't wait to stop "California Dreamin'" and  actually get down there again.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Family Fun with the San Diego Padres


Like many team collectors, one of the pure joys of my collecting disease is discovering yet another one of those out-of-the-way, esoteric San Diego padres card team sets. I truly delight in those weird and unique little sets, like the 1984 Smokey the Bear safety set (28 cards), 1977 San Diego Padres schedule card set (89 cards) and 1981 Topps Scratch-offs (4-cards)

Recently, I found six cards from another partial set on E-Bay that whets my collecting appetite and gives me yet another excuse to spend a bit of money in the pursuit of another hard-to-find oddball Padres set...This time, the 1978 Family Fun Centers San Diego Padres 39-card set.

In 1978, the San Diego Padres hosted their very first All-Star Game, so the San Diego Family Fun Centers issued this set of 39 cards complete with Padres players and coaches, as well as announcers Jerry Coleman and Dave Campbell, and owner Ray Kroc.

Here's the front and back of the Dave Winfield card (love that 'stache).


These 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 cards are made to look like wooden plaques, with a posed color photo set against a wood-grained background. The player’s name is in a gold plate at the bottom, with the Fat Friar and Family Fun Center logos above it. The backs are black and white, complete with the player's uniform number, brief biography and stats at the top of the card. The players' description of "My Greatest Thrill in Baseball” is wrapped around his mug shot, with a facsimile autograph taking up the bottom of the card.
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Derrell Thomas, Chuck Baker and Don Williams

The Family Fun Centers produced four different Padres sets, including one in 1977 (33 cards), 1979 (30 cards) and 1980 (7 cards), as well as a 38-card California Angels set in 1978.


Mickey Lolich, Gaylord Perryi

The gem of this Family Fun set is supposed to be the Ozzie Smith Rookie Card. It's my understanding it's hard to find a copy without a crease down the middle of it.
Unfortunately, I don't ever remember going to a San Diego Family Fun Center when we lived there. But then again, our first-born would have been quite young at the time.
The set is listed in alphabetical order, as follows: 

1. Bill Almon
2. Tucker Ashford
3. Chuck Baker
4. Dave Campbell ANN
5.  Mike Champion
6. Jerry Coleman ANN
7. Roger Craig MG
8. John D'Acquisto
9. Bob Davis
10. Chuck Estrada
11. Rollie Fingers
12. Dave Freisleben
13. Oscar Gamble
14. Fernando Gonzalez
15. Billy Herman
16. Randy Jones
17. Ray Kroc
18. Mark Lee
19. Mickey Lolich
20. Bob Owchinko
21. Broderick Perkins
22. Gaylord Perry
23. Eric Rasmussen
24. Don Reynolds
25. Gene Richards
26. Dave Roberts
27. Phil Roof
29. Ozzie Smith
30. Dan Spillner
31. Rick Sweet
32. Gene Tenace
33. Derrel Thomas
34. Jerry Turner
35. Dave Wehrmeister
36. Whitey Wietelmann
37. Don Williams
38. Dave Winfield
39. 1978 All-Star Game

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The joys of a 24-card Gypsy Queen Blaster

My wife truly loves me.
 
While I was up in Ames yesterday, officiating at the Iowa State University Big 4 indoor track meet, Jan decided to do a little shopping at the Walmart in West Des Moines. Since I hadn't picked up any cards in a while, she thought she'd pick up a pack or two as a surprise.
 
She settled upon this 24-card 2015 Gypsy Queen blaster. Her reasoning: The Gypsy Queen packs run $2.99 each for six cards. She'd be getting four packs worth of cards, and paying about half the price.
 
I have to admit, this was a rather nice surprise.
 
All 24-cards were packed in a single cellophane bag inside the box, which by the way, included "3 Exclusive Pearl Parallel Cards Inside!"
 
 
I don't know about any "pearl" parallel cards, but there were three framed white cards, which included Bo Jackson (#9), Ryan Braun (#169) and Mookie Wilson (#82).
 
There were also three rather nice insert cards, as well, including The Queen's Throwbacks Miguel Cabrera (#QT1), Mini Red Max Scherzer (#93) S/N 45/50, and a Walk Off Winners Travis Ishikawa (#GWO19). Sometimes black and white photographs work on cards, especially with retro jerseys. I don't feel it particularly worked on this particular Cabrera card.
 
 
Two particular cards especially caught my attention. The first was a Jenrry Mejia (#285B). Mejia is one of those hard-to-find variation cards that I've never been able to pull. This particular variation finds him sporting the orange New York Mets jersey. The second card I was happy to pull was this San Diego Padres Matt Kemp card (#38). A Padre yes, but, maybe it's just me, but I still find it weird to see Kemp wearing the Padres blue and grey, instead of the Dodger's grey and blue.


 
And when it came to old school players, the box included a Jose Canseco (#8), Frank Thomas (#20), Rickey Henderson (#190) and Ryne Sandberg (#151).
 
The rest of the cards included Paul Goldschmidt (#16), Albert Pujols (#49), Evan Longoria (#94), Corey Kluber (#95), Alex Cobb (#106), Hyun-Jin Ryu (#160), Jayson Werth (#173A), James Shields (#179A), Juan Lagares (#202) and Dellin Betances (208A).
 
I may have to make another Walmart run this weekend just to pick up another box or two of these Gypsy Queen cards.

My wife - What a great woman!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Rainy Days and Thursdays

Since I had the week off (you have to love "Use it or Lose it" leave), I decided to swing by "The Rookie" a local brick-and-mortar card store. Anders Olson, the owner, had to move recently, since the strip mall where he and 15 other business resided, was sold. The site is to be demolished, with a phased retail development taking its place.

In any case, I decided Thursday was a fine opportunity to pop in and see his new digs.

 
It was fun to see Anders again and his new shop is very nice. It's clean, well-lit, and spacious, with a ton more room for plenty of product.

Another reason I was glad I stopped by, Anders was running his, "When it rains, it pours" special. Every day it rains, all cards in the $1.00 boxes (three for $2) are just 50 cents. Anders actually sweetened the pot, making those same cards a quarter each. Even though there's still snow on the ground, we're in the midst of a good, cold 38-degree rain storm here in the heart of the Midwest.

I took the opportunity to amass a nice pile of hockey cards (see my other blog "The Hockey Card Geek," if you're interested in seeing those cards), but I was able to pick up four new (to me) Tony Gwynn cards, as well as a Justin Upton card.

It's amazing the amount of Tony Gwynn cards that come out year after year since his retirement in 2001. For example, there were a total of 246 Tony Gwynn cards released in 2015 alone. with 376 more produced in 2014.
 

Two of those most recent Gwynn releases include this 2014 Classics Legendary Lumberjacks (#4) and a 2015 Leaf Heroes of Baseball (#55). Typical of the Panini line of cards, all of  Gwynn's Padres logos have been airbrushed out. Speaking of airbrushing, it may have been pretty cool if Gwynn were actually wielding an ax on that Lumberjack card.
 
And then I found this pair - a 1998 Pinnacle Plus Lasting Memories (#29) and 2013 Topps Triple Threads Amethyst (#34) S/N 148/650. Unfortunately, the scanner doesn't really do justice to the regal purple of this amethyst card.
 
As for the Upton card, it was his 2015 Donruss the Elite Series (#14) S/N 639/999. Upton arrived in San Diego with minor-leaguer Aaron Northcraft from Atlanta in December 2014. Preller raided the Padres' minor league system, sending Max Fried, Dustin Peterson, Mallex Smith and Jace Peterson to the Braves. Upton, basically a rental player, became a free agent on Nov. 2, 2015. He hit .251, with 26 homers, 81 RBIs and 19 SBs. He also struck out 159 times, while drawing 68 walks. Was he worth a one year contract? The Padres still finished 74-88.

I now own a total of 830 of the 9,770 Tony Gwynn cards that have been released since his initial 1982 Hawaii Islanders TMCA minor league card.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

"Hells Bells" in 2017!

Congratulations to Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza for their election into the MLB Hall of Fame. Griffey, who set a record with 99.3 percent of the vote, was followed by Mike Piazza, who spent his fourth year on the ballot and received 83.0 percent. Jeff Bagwell finished third with 71.6 percent of the vote, Tim Raines was fourth with 69.9 percent and Trevor Hoffman rounded out the top five with 67.3 percent.
 
The vote, by the Baseball Writers of America, consists of 440 total ballots. A total of 330 votes, or 75 percent, is needed for election to the Hall. Qualified BBWAA members name 10 eligible players they consider worthy for the Hall of Fame. Players are removed from the ballot if they're named on fewer than five percent of the ballots, or if they've been on the ballot 15 times without election.
 
 
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that Hoffman, featured here on the Padres' 2006 Media Guide, fell just short of induction by 34 votes. By the same token, however, I'm rather stoked about his chances for 2017. After all, like Griffey, this was Hoffman's first year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Also, historical trends show those who finish with more than 50 percent of the vote are eventually inducted into the Hall.
 
1996 Leaf Signature Autographs
 
For Hoffman, a senior advisor with the Padres, what's there not to like. If you consider his credentials - a two-time runner-up in National League Cy Young voting who also earned seven All-Star selections, 601 saves (second to Mariano Rivera's 652), including nine 40-save seasons - I believe he's indeed Hall worthy.
 
Not bad for a shortstop drafted in the 11th round of the 1989 MLB draft by the Florida Marlins. In light of the relievers currently in the Hall of Fame - Hoyt Wilhelm (216 saves), Rollie Fingers (341), Goose Gossage (310), Dennis Eckersley (390) and Bruce Sutter - Hoffman would be in great company. And like Sutter, Hoffman played his entire MLB career (18-years) as a reliever

2008 Upper Deck X
 
One question I have, however, is WHEN he's inducted into the Hall of Fame, are they going to play his iconic "Hells Bells" song? One thing I always loved about Padres games, was whenever it was "Trevor Time" and Hoffman would make his entry onto the field, AC/DC's classic song blasted over the sound system. After all, the song was used in his highlights video during his induction into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.
 
 
Using "Hells Bells" as his entrance tune began July 25, 1998, the night Hoffman tied Rod Beck's record of 41-consecutive saves. According to Bob Chandler, in his book "Tales from the San Diego Padres," "Who came up with the idea of Trevor's musical accompaniment? It was a Padres salesman named Chip Bowers." Bowers now serves as an executive with the Seattle Supersonics.
 
 
1998 Ultra Gold Medallion
 
 This would have to be one of my favorite Hoffman cards. It's actually neat to see the then-all time Saves Leader decked out in catchers gear.

Here's to "Hells Bells" in 2017, when Hoffman will actually be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Can" you guess my latest Gwynn collectible?

While perusing our monthly card show, I came across yet another unique Tony Gwynn collectible that I just had to have for my collection.
 
"Can" you guess what it was?
 
If you wagered a guess of the 1998 Pinnacle Inside, you're spot on!
 
In 1997 and 1998 Pinnacle produced cards which were sold in a collectible, steel, soup-sized can. You actually had to use a can opener to get the cards out. Of course, I don't care about the cards that might be inside, as I'm not about to open this particular Gwynn can.
 
This Pinnacle set was released in July 1988 and featured 150-cards, with 23 different players on the cans. There were 48 cans per case and 10 cards per can, packaged in clear cellophane. The cans themselves went for about $2.99 each. There were also two gold cans within each case.
  


Nutrition facts, or basic per-serving nutritional information, were required on foods under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. According to this act, food labels must list the most important nutrients in an easy-to-follow format.

This can also follows the rules of the act. Among the Product Facts the can lists, "Collectability" comes in as 100% of the daily value. "Top Players," "Inside Info," and "Cool Inserts" are also listed as 100% of the Daily Value.

My wife has often spoken of how much room my card collection takes up. Can you imagine, however, how much room a full collection of these cans would take up? I can only imagine the poor retailer stocking all these cans on their shelves.

For those of you who may be interested, the Pinnacle Inside can checklist includes:
1 Roger Clemens
2 Jose Cruz, Jr.
3 Nomar Garciaparra
4 Juan Gonzalez
5 Ben Grieve
6 Ken Griffey, Jr.
7 Vladimir Guerrero
8 Tony Gwynn
9 Derek Jeter
10 Andruw Jones
11 Chipper Jones
12 Greg Maddux
13 Mark McGwire
14 Hideo Nomo
15 Mike Piazza
16 Cal Ripken, Jr.
17 Alex Rodriguez
18 Scott Rolen
19 Frank Thomas
20 Larry Walker
21 Arizona Diamondbacks
22 Florida Marlins
23 Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December COMC Cards

It's yet another month, so it's another opportunity to garner another batch of free COMC "purchases." Things have been slowing down a bit on the inventory assistance side, as I only earned about 6,000 points. Fortunately, I had a few bucks set aside, so I was able to get another great batch of cards. 
 
Since this blog is "Bleedin' Brown and Gold," it only stands to reason that I would start out my acquisitions with a bunch of Padres goodies. It begins with a 2005 Upper Deck MVP Batter Up! Gaylord Perry (#14), a 2012 Topps Retired Numbers Patches Dave Winfield (#DW), a 2014 Panini National Treasures Jesse Hahn (#163) S/N 15/99, a 1974 Padres McDonald Discs Dave Roberts (#11), 1970 Topps Ron Herbel (#526), and a 1972 Topps Garry Jestadt (#143).
 
While I'm not a huge memorabilia/game used collector, I just couldn't pass up that Hahn Marine Camouflage jersey piece. Beginning in 2000, the Padres wore a Navy Seals-inspired camo jerseys on Military Opening Day. Now in their 13th year, San Diego sports these jerseys for both Military Opening Day and every Sunday home game. While I already have a copy of the Marine Corps-inspired jerseys, which they've worn for the past five years, they recently unveiled their 2016 unis based on the Navy's blue camo uniforms and I'm now dying to get my hands on one.

Do you really believe I can actually pick up a few COMC cards and not grab a few Tony Gwynn cards? If so, then you don't know me very well. 1995 Studio (#25), 2005 Diamond Kings Heritage Collection (#25), 1997 Padres Mother's (#2), and a 1999 Finest Complements Dual Refractors (#C2).
 
I've been a Green Bay Packer fan ever since I was a wee lad during the Lombardi era. When I had the opportunity to pick up cards of my early idols, I just couldn't pass these up. They include these 1961 Topps Boyd Dowler RC (#43), 1958 Topps Jim Ringo (#103), 1955 Topps Dave Hanner (#131), 1959 Topps Lew Carpenter RC (#95), 1959 Topps Dan Currie RC (#162). I love the simplicity of these early cards.
 
What self-respecting Packer fan doesn't like Dave "Hawg" Hanner, a member of the Packer Hall of Fame? Hanner spent his entire 42-year football career with the Green Bay Packers. He only missed four games while playing as defensive tackle (1952-64), and left defensive end (1961-62). He then served 16 seasons as a defensive line coach, defensive coordinator, and finally assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under Bart Starr. He closed out his career as Green Bay's quality control assistant (1982) and scout, until his retirement in 1996. Sadly, Hanner passed away in Sept. 11, 2008, at the age of 78.
 
And finally, I had to scratch my hockey collecting itch, adding these two Chicago Blackhawk cards - 2015-16 Upper Deck MVP Ryan Hartman SP RC (182) and a 2014-15 Upper Deck Ice Trevor van Riemsdyk (#92) S/N 364/999.
 
I also picked up a few extra cards for all those good little sports card bloggers as part of my annual "Bleedn' Brown and Gold" Christmas Card list. And yes, I checked my list twice, trying to figure out who was naughty and nice, and got most of my cards into the mail the past week. There's just a couple I still have to get into the mail, though.