Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hand-signed vs. manufactured autos

Hand-signed vs. manufactured autos

I got a pair of really nice Randy Jones autographs in the mail this past week -- one a nice personally hand-signed card, the other a card company-produced signature on a stamp. The one with the legitimate auto – the 2005 Donruss Greats Signature Gold HoloFoil #66 is on the right. On the left, a 1976 SSPC #118.

A fifth-round Padres pick (1972), I got to see Jones pitch at Jack Murphy enroute to his winning the 1976 NL Cy Young Award. You couldn’t miss Jones on the mound with that bush of hair sticking out from his hat (unless you were an opposing hitter). The Padres did the right thing including his #35 with the other four retired Padres jerseys.

I love both the cards and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but it begs the question, which is better,  a card that someone tells you is "personally signed," or a company-produced signature card? If you can get a player to personally autograph a card for you, that’s great. However, when buying a “personally signed” card from another collector, does the need justify the purchase?

While there are companies that can verify the validity of a signature, they’re pretty expensive, and to me, for a personally-signed card of say, Bip Roberts, it’s just not worth it.

Personally, I’ll take the second-hand, hand-signed card any day. Living here in America’s heartland, it’s hard enough to get personally-signed Padres autographs. I’ll try to get a few personal Triple A Padres autos May 16-19 when the Iowa Cubs play host to Tucson, but it’s hard enough when you live approximately 1,800 miles away from the parent Padres (as the Duff drives).
As for me, I'll tempt the fates and take whatever Padres autos I can get – whether they're hand-signed, or manufactured cards. I believe in the sanctity and honesty of my fellow collectors.

Caveat Emptor? No way. Let's trade today.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Swinging Friar

The Swinging Friar

You have to love the Swinging Friar logo for the San Diego Padres.

Father Capistran Ferrito taking a swing at the plate (From the NY Tiimes), and no, he was not the inspiration for our Padres logo),

The Friar's origins predate the Major League Padres, debuting as the official insignia of the Pacific Coast League Padres in 1961. The image, originally sketched by San Diego High graduate Carlos Hadaway, was utilized by the team from 1969-1984 and, after a break, since 1995.

According to Bill Swank, in his book, "Baseball in San Diego: From the Padres to Petco," Hadaway was a Seaman Apprentice in 1961 when a superior told him about a contest being held by the Padres, who were looking for a mascot.

His chief chose two of Hadaway's designs and submitted them to the Padres on his behalf. Better known for his Western art, Hadaway said he was paid a nominal fee for his Padres sketches.

"The Swinging Friar belongs to the fans of San Diego," Hadaway said. "I think it's the neatest emblem for a baseball team. I wasn't in it for the money...I've always had a place in my heart for the Padres."

Today, the swinging friar remains one of the most iconic logos in baseball and the favorite in the hearts of many Padres fans. I have been able to actually find five different cards from recent years, graced with the Swinging Friar mascot.


These Friar cards include the 2012 Topps Opening Day; 2007 Topps Opening Day; 2012 Topps MLB Sticker; 2011 Topps Opening Day; and 2010 Topps Opening Day.

If there's any other Swinging Friar cards out there, I'd be intereted in seeing them. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Six team sets for the collection

Six team sets for the collection

You have to give it up for your local card shop. While I enjoy trading, much more than having to pay for Pads cards, you have to love your local brick and mortar card shop. My favorite in the Des Moines area is The Rookie. Where else can you go when you have to satisfy that Padres itch?
My latest purchase was a great addition to my Padres collection. For $1 apiece, I was able to get six team sets -- the 2005 Topps, 2006 Topps, 2007 Topps, 2008 Topps, 2008 Upper Deck, and the 2008 Upper Deck First Edition.

I had to put my sunglasses on when viewing the Peavy card from the 2008 Upper Deck. I love the cards with the old unis. While this one has more gold than brown, I wish they'd go back to the brown and gold, rather than sport that "Dodger Blue" they've been wearing. Hoffy has always been one of my favorite players and I can't hear AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" without thinking of him. Seeing his stance on this 2007 Topps just brings back the memories. Finally, there's something about the layout of the 2008 Topps that I like. Koooz, now with the Marlins, may be best known for hitting a grand slam on the first major league pitch he saw as a member of the Indians. He made the record books as a Pad in 2009, earning the highest fielding percentage by a third baseman, but boy, could he hit into inning-ending double plays.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

2003 Padres Carl Jr.'s set

2003 Padres Carl Jr.'s Set

Man, was I excited after receiving Saturday's mail. I finally got my 2003 Padre's Carl Jr.'s set in the mail from an E-Bay dealer.
This 13-card set is really a unique looking set. What makes it even more cool is the different card fronts, which kind of blend together in a weird sort of way. The Ozzie Smith and Randy Jones cards look alike, The Gaylord Perry and Steve Garvey are about the same, but with a silver strip instead of the yellow.The Winfield card is my favorite of the set, with the "mirrored," vertical  Padres.  The Santiago and Finley cards also have the same look, only with a different color. the Bochy, Hoffman and Brown card have a funky blue marbled background. The Alomar card, meanwhile, like the Tony Gwynn card, is in a class by itself. While the card backs are rather blah, black with the Carl's Jr. and Sycuan Casino logo, I rather like this set.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'm not a big non-sports fan


I'm not a big non-sports fan

I'm not a big non-sports fan. However, a co-worker brought in a couple packs of the Big Bang Theory Trading Cards Seasons 3 & 4 for me and our office secretary. I like the show, but she's a true Sheldon fanatic.

She loved the five cards that came in her pack and then couldn't wait for me to open my pack. What's funny, is when I opened my cards and I only had two in my pack. However, one of those cards was a "Sheldon's Red Shirt" card. Again, I don't do much non-sports, but I've never pulled a game-used card in a set before.

The look on her face was priceless - it was like the kid who was happy for you, but felt slighted because she didn't get one too. In any case, I'm going to have to pick up a few packs for her myself as a peace offering.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

God help me, I am a life-long Padre fan

God help me, I'm a life-long Padre fan

I am a life-long Padres fan, having lived in Ocean Beach in the mid- to late-70s. I was a San Diego resident when Randy Jones won his Cy Young, Butch Metzger won the National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year, the Padres hosted the All-Star Game and announcer Jerry Coleman took a turn at the Padres helm.

Cut me, and I'll bleed brown and gold.

I collect everything Padres - Sports Cards, Media Guides, programs, memorabilia, you name it, I collect it. Bottom line, if it deals with the Padres, I want it. I have plenty of doubles, including lots of Tony Gwynn, so I'm definiely interested in trading.

While, I now live in Iowa, I still religiously follow my Padres. A Public Affairs Specialist for the Iowa National Guard, I still make the occassional trip to San Diego to visit friends and to catch the odd Padres game.

Check in every now and then as I continue in my pursuit of life, liberty and the San Diego Padres. I think you'll enjoy the ride.

See you then!