Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recent goodies from Panini, P-Town Tom and Fuji

Time for a little housekeeping and to play catch-up with the great cards I've been receiving through the mail over the past week or so.

Last month, I posted a 2013 Panini Prizm box break I purchased during the Black Friday sales at one of my local cardshops. I received a Manny Machado Autographs and Rookie Autographs redemption card and redeemed it as soon as I found it. Panini has been great with its weekly updates on its website about what redemption cards were being released each week. I also received an e-mail from the company telling me the card was in the mail, so I had ample warning it was on its way.

On Saturday, I received this card in the mail from the Panini Redemption Center. Not too shabby, other than the "MM" scratching that passes for Machado's autograph. Regardless, it's a sharp looking card.

The AAA Iowa Cubs are the only pro game we have in town, and we always try to catch a few games each year. Especially when the Padres' AAA team is in town (now, the El Paso Chihuahua's, ick!). In any case, I received a package from long-suffering Cub fan Tom at the Waiting Unitl Next Year blog earlier in the week after sharing a bunch of I-Cubs programs and Big Cubbie cards with him.

Among the rather nice cards Tom enclosed, was a 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Framed Mini Relic Carlos Quentin, with the Padres OF sporting San Diego's Sunday afternoon cammo uniform. You can almost smell the Hodads burgers and picture the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Marines sitting in the right field stands. 
He also sent along these 1993 Topps Gold cards of Tony Gwynn, Fred McGriff and Gary Sheffield. This was the second year Topps releases a "Gold" version, with the Topps logo and nameplate in gold.
I also received a package from the inimitable Mark Fujimoto of The Chronicles of Fuji blog. A fan of the Oakland Athletics, San Jose Sharks, and of course, the San Padres, he also writes one bitchin' blog.
Not only did he send me a sweet bundle of Tony Gwynn goodies, he also sent me his own autographed collector's card.

Now, this is one sweet card and one heck of a great idea. I would love to produce one of these babies myself, with my "Comatoad" logo on it. Just a really, really great card from a great blogging buddy.
Keep those cards and letters coming!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Local bid board boxes o' cards

One of the things I enjoy from one of the local brick and mortar card shops in my area, is their bid board. Whether it's single cards, a 3- or 9-card sheet, or entire boxes, if they don't receive a single bid, they go into a special area, where you pay $2 apiece for them, or get three of those items for $5.

The owner likes to comment how I'm the only one he knows who actually mines the bid board non-winners for cards. The way I see it, it's a win-win situation -- I can get some decent cards (while being a cheap bastard), build up my Padres collection and then share the wealth with all my blogging buddies.

Such was the case over the past couple of weeks, as I picked up three shoe boxes full of cards in one visit and another two full boxes of cards from the non-winning bid board area just the other day.

Once I pulled all the San Diego Padres cards from these jam-full boxes o'cards, I was able to glean goodies such as a 1998 Kenner Starting Lineup Cards Sammy Sosa, a Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro RC from the 1987 Topps "wood-grain" set, Craig Biggio RC (1989 Fleer), Manny Ramirez RC (1992 Upper Deck), and inserts like Mike Piazza's 1997 Collector's Choice Premier Power card  (PP19).

Among the Padres niceties, were these bright yellow and brown unis from the 1980 Topps set. By the way, in a recent interview with Padres President Mike Dees in the February 2014 San Diego Magazine, he was asked it he was "planning to bring back the brown-and-yellow uniforms?" He said the team will wear them May 22-25, when they play the Chicago Cubs, to celebrate the Padres 1984 National League Championship. "Longer term than that?," he said, "We'll see."
While Donruss' Diamond King inserts have been rather hit or miss, at best, I do like the layout of this 2005 Diamond Kings Jay Payton. Up until a few weeks ago, I didn't have a single Greg Keagle card, until I picked up his 1995 Upper Deck Minors card. Now, I have this 1995 Topps RC to go along with it. A 6th round pick in the 1993 draft, he never actually made it to the Padres. When Andy Benes was sent to the Mariners in July 1995 for Marc Newfield and Ron Villone, Keagle was the player to be named later. He made his MLB debut with the Tigers in 1996 after being selected in the 1995 rule 5 draft from Seattle. And while Dustin Hermanson wasn't that great of a player for the Friars, I do like his 1995 SP Foil card.

For any set builders out there, I have quite a few cards from the following sets.

1979 Topps
1980 Topps
1987 Topps
1988 Donruss
1989 Donruss
1989 Topps
1990 Fleer
1990 Topps
1991 Fleer
1991 Score
1991 Topps
1992 Fleer
1992 Topps
1993 Topps
2005 Topps Rookie Cup Reprints

If any one's interested in any of these cards, please let me know. I'll be more than happy to pass them along.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My 3 sets -- 1976 SSPC Padres

The final set I picked up from those Black Friday sales, was the 1976 SSPC Padres team set.

Dave Winfield's #133 card is considered the highlight of the 22-card Padres set, which includes Rich Folkers, Alan Foster, Dave Freisleben, Dan Frisella, Randy Jones, Dan Spillner, Larry Hardy, Randy Hundley, Fred Kendall, Manager John McNamara, Tito Fuentes, Enzo Hernandez, Steve Huntz, Mike Ivie, Hector Torres, Ted Kubiak, Johnny Grubb, John Scott, Bob Tolan, Winfield, Ken Crosby and Dave Tomlin.
The actual 660-card set, published in 1976 by Sports Stars Publishing Co., was patterned after the 1953 Bowman release. The cards feature a player's borderless color photo on the front, while the backs contain the player's team and card number, as well as his statistics and bio. Even though the cards have a 1975 SSPC copyright, they weren't actually released until 1976.

Despite the fact he didn't have an MLB license, since Topps had the exclusive rights to baseball cards at that time, Mike Aronstein, who published Collector's Quarterly magazine (edited, incidentally, by Keith Olbermann), released the set, complete with all MLB team logos and uniforms. His Winter 1975 issue of Collector's Quarterly contained a two-page insert previewing 18 cards from the set.

He planned to sell these sets through the mail, for $9.99 (plus $1 shipping/handling), and the team sets in stores. However, it wasn't long before Topps flexed its corporate muscle and took him to court. Aronstein then had to cease and desist from further printing and advertising of his SSPC cards. He was able to continue selling those sets and team packs that were already printed, and that's what's floating out on the market today.
Here's a few more Pares from the set, which includes P Randy Jones (he would go on to win the Cy Young Award for the Padres that year, going 22-14, with a 2.74 ERA), RP Daniel Frisella (who I think looks quite a bit like my younger brother) and C Randy Hundley (father to C Todd Hundley, but no relation to current Padres catcher Nick).
Looking at the Padres pictures, I tried to compare their backgrounds with Jack Murphy Stadium. However, I read that most of the pictures for this set were taken at New York stadiums by freelance photographers. That can explain the different backgrounds within the set.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My 3 Sets -- 1977 Padres Schedule cards

1977 was an interesting year for baseball cards, especially if you're a San Diego Padres fan. Besides the nine-disc Burger Chef set, there were food cards from Hostess and Kelloggs, Glove Discs from Pepsi, RC Cola cans, and Family Fun Centers cards.

Which brings me to the second of my three sets I recently purchased -- the 1977 Padres schedule cards.

The cards, which measure 2 1/4" by 3 3/8." have a sepia tone-colored photo on the front, along with a square border and the Padres '77 rounded logo at the bottom, with the players' named beneath the logo. On the back, at least within the initial set, are listed the 1977 schedule of special events. 

Issued in 1977, this 89-card set consists of 41 cards labeled "One In A Series of 40 Player Photos" on the back (yes, you read right, that's 41 cards "in a series of 40 player photos"), 40 cards without the "One In A Series of 40 Player Photos" on the back, and eight cards with blank backs.

Here are Nate Colbert and Butch Metztger's cards, as well as the back with "One in A series of 40 Player Photos." While I have all of the blank back cards, I don't have any of the backs without the "One in A Series..."
Dave Winfield alone has four cards, one of which is the blank-backed version. Other players with "parallel" cards include Bill Almon, Steve Arlin, Dave Campbell, Mike Champion, Nate Colbert, Rollie Fingers, Dave Freileben, Cito Gaston, George Hendrick, Enzo Hernandez, Mike Ivie Randy Jones (3 cards), Fred Kendall, Clay Kirby, Willie McCovey, McNamara (3 cards), Fred Norman, Gene Richards, Derrell Thomas, Bobby Tolan and Jerry Turner.
Another interesting facet is that it also contains Padres admin officials, too. Besides owner Ray Kroc, who I consider the savior of San Diego Baseball (period!), the set incudes GM Buzzie Bavasi, the ageless announcer Jerry Coleman, Manager John McNamara and Commissioner Bowie Kuhn (with Randy Jones), as well as coaches Joe Amalfitano, Roger Craig, Bob Miller, Bob Skinner, Whitey Wietelmann and Don Williams.

One of the cards, number 20, even highlights Marine Lieutenant Jim "Tuba Man" Eakle, who owned a couple of interesting dive bars called "Tuba Man’s Grand Slams" - one on University Avenue and one in North Park. Tuba Man played - you guessed it - the tuba, during interludes at San Diego Padres games.
So far, I have 47 of the 89 cards, including these three Randy Jones cards, so I'm half way to accumulating this set.

Even though I lived in San Diego at that time, I don't particular remember this card set. I'm sure they were probably a stadium give-away, or perhaps included when you bought tickets at the booths, In any case, I don't remember seeing them.

It's funny, but if anything, I remember the brown plastic Padres coffee mugs and Chargers rally towels Square Pan pizza used to give away. We had one on the corner of Newport Ave. and Bacon St. in Ocean Beach we used to go to when we were Jones-ing for pizza.

In any case, here's the checklist for this set.

1A           Bill Almon/Kneeling
1B           Bill Almon/Shown chest up/bat on shoulder
2              Matty Alou
3              Joe Amalfitano, Coach
4A           Steve Arlin/Follow through
4B           Steve Arlin/Glove to chest
5              Bob Barton
6              Buzzie Bavasi GM
7              Glenn Beckert
8              Vic Bernal
9              Ollie Brown
10A        Dave Campbell/Bat on shoulder
10B         Dave Campbell/Kneeling, capless
11           Mike Champion
12           Mike Champion and/Bill Almon
13A        Nate Colbert/Shown waist up
13B         Nate Colbert/Shown full figure/blank back
14           Nate Colbert and/friend Kneeling next/to child with bat
15           Jerry Coleman, Announcer
16           Roger Craig, Coach
17           John D'Acquisto
18           Bob Davis
19           Willie Davis
20           Jim Eakle/Tuba Man
21A        Rollie Fingers/Shown waist up/both hands in glove/in front of body
21B         Rollie Fingers/Head shot
22A        Dave Freisleben/Washington jersey and/cap blank back
22B         Dave Freisleben/Kneeling
23A        Cito Gaston/Bat on shoulder Padres on jersey
23B         Cito Gaston/Bat on shoulder Padre on jersey
24           Tom Griffin
25           Johnny Grubb
26A        George Hendrick/Shown chest up/wearing warm-up jacket
26B         George Hendrick/Shown waist up/wearing white jersey
27           Enzo Hernandez
28           Enzo Hernandez and/Nate Colbert
29A        Mike Ivie/Batting pose, shown/from thighs up
29B         Mike Ivie/Batting pose/shown from shoulders up/blank back
29C         Mike Ivie/(Bat on shoulder)
30A        Randy Jones/Following Through
30B         Randy Jones/Holding Cy Young Award
31           Randy Jones and/Bowie Kuhn COMM/Randy holding trophy
32A        Fred Kendall/Batting pose
32B         Fred Kendall/Ball in right hand
33           Mike Kilkenny/Blank back
34A        Clay Kirby/Follow through
34B         Clay Kirby/Glove near to chest
35           Ray Kroc OWN/Blank back
36           Dave Marshall
37A        Willie McCovey/With mustache/bat on shoulder
37B         Willie McCovey/Without mustache/blank back
38A        John McNamara MG/Looking to his left/blank back
38B         John McNamara MG/Looking to his right
38C         John McNamara MG/Looking straight/ahead, smiling
39           Luis Melendez
40           Butch Metzger
41           Bob Miller, Coach
42A        Fred Norman/Short hair, kneeling
42B         Fred Norman/Long hair, arms/over head
43           Bob Owchinko
44           Doug Rader
45           Merv Rettenmund
46A        Gene Richards/Shown chest up/stands in background
46B         Gene Richards/Shown from thighs up
47           Dave Roberts
48           Rick Sawyer
49           Bob Shirley
50           Bob Skinner, Coach
51           Ballard Smith, GM
52           Ed Spiezio
53           Dan Spillner
54           Brent Strom
55           Gary Sutherland
56           Gene Tenace
57A        Derrell Thomas/Head shot/wearing glasses
57B         Derrell Thomas/Kneeling, not/wearing glasses
58A        Bobby Tolan/Batting pose
58B         Bobby Tolan/Kneeling, holding/cleats in hand
59           Dave Tomlin
60A        Jerry Turner/Batting pose, gloveless/wall in background
60B         Jerry Turner/Batting pose/both hands gloved
61           Bobby Valentine
62           Dave Wehrmeister
63           Whitey Wietelmann, Coach
64           Don Williams, Coach
65A        Dave Winfield/Batting pose, waist up/field in background
65B         Dave Winfield/Batting, stands in/background, black bat/telescoped
65C         Dave Winfield/Two bats on shoulder
65D        Dave Winfield/Full figure, leaning/on bat, blank back

If you come across any of these, let me know.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My 3 sets - 1984 Smokey the Bear Padres

Over the holidays I was most happy to sell a pair of Black Friday Panini football and a Trey Martin basketball card I accumulated from my Black Friday sale packs. I was even happier to use that money to acquire three unique Padres team sets I've had my eye on for some time.

The first of these sets is the 1984 Smokey the Bear San Diego Padres set. I don't know why, but I've always enjoyed safety sets. There's something about them that is just fun, much like the 1992 San Diego Padres D.A.R.E. safety set. In this particular Smokey the Bear set, I think it would have to be the photos.
Wrapped in cellophane, these cards were given away at a Padres home game in 1984. That same year, by the way, just happened to coincide with Smokey the Bear's 40th birthday.

The full set consists of 28 full-color, 2 -1/2" x 3-1/2" cards. Smokey the Bear is pictured with someone involved with the Padres, and Smokey's portrait and the California and U.S. Forestry Service logos are printed along the bottom border. The featured person's name is spaced out in capital letters just above the photo.

Being a safety set, the backs offer a fire prevention tip, as well as brief bio information ans stats.
From left to right, are the Chicken (which is a great addition to my San Diego Chicken/Famous Chicken collection), Tony Gwynn, Steve Garvey (am I on a roll with Garvey cards, or what), Garry Templeton, Tim Flannery and Dave Dravecky.
One thing that makes this set utterly unique is the wide range of players, personnel, management and other folk, which are included. Where else can you find a card set featuring Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey, the San Diego Chicken and Padres announcers Jerry Coleman and Dave Campbell?
Announcers Jerry Coleman and Dave Campbell (The Coleman card was featured in my memorial to Jerry Coleman), Umpire Doug Harvey (his first card?), Manager Black Jack McKeon, C Doug "Eyechart" Gwosdz (Smokey giving throwing tips?) and 2B/3B Kurt Bevacqua. As far as photos go, I think Bevacqua sitting on Smokey the Bear's lap has to be my favorite.

Like many of you, I do have one goal for 2014, and that's to be more consistent in selling off some of the other cards I've amassed over the years, so I can better satisfy my Padres addiction. Like my wife says, "We'll see how that works out."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jerry Coleman, 1924 - 2014

"Oh Doctor."
According to the San Diego Padres' Facebook page, Jerry Coleman, San Diego's radio announcer, former New York Yankee second baseman and Marine Corps bomber pilot, has passed away at the age of 89.
"The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the news today of the passing of Jerry Coleman. We send our heartfelt sympathy to the entire Coleman family, including his wife, Maggie, his children and grandchildren. On behalf of Padres' fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre.

"The Padres announce that the Jerry Coleman statue will remain open until 11:30 p.m. tonight for fans who would like to pay their respects. Fans may enter through the East Village Gate at Petco Park," the release stated.
Originally, I was going to do a Veterans Day segment on Jerry Coleman, a Marine Corps pilot who took timeout from his MLB career with the New York Yankees, to serve in both World War II and the Korean War. For whatever reason, I didn't get around to it. Suffice it to say, Coleman was indeed a true American hero, flying 120 combat missions enroute to receiving two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
In his nine seasons, Coleman hit .263 with 16 home runs, with 22 stolen bases for the Yankees. He was also named as the American League Rookie of the Year (1949).
In 1972 he assumed duties as the radio announcer for San Diego Padres broadcasts. He stepped down from the broadcast booth in 1980 to manage the Padres to a  73-89 record, before returning to the mic.
Here's a picture of Jerry from the 1984 Smokey the Bear San Diego Padres set.
A National Radio Hall of Fame recipient (2007),  the Padres recognized Coleman on Sept. 15, 2012 as they dedicated a seven-and-a-half foot statue to him at Petco Park.

Rest in Peace, Jerry. Rest in Peace.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Padres a'plenty -- My Secret Santa Christmas gift

As December's Christmas holiday festivities kicked in, Tolfer, over at the Crackin Wax graciously invited me to take part in his 2nd annual Crackin' Wax holiday trading card gift exchange.

The rules were simple. Once you sign up, you're paired up with a Secret Santa. Someone (you have no idea who) is your Secret Santa and gets to put together a Christmas package for you. In the meantime, you are given someone else's name and that's who you have to shop for.

While I had a lot of fun finding goodies for my giftee, my Secret Santa, Nate of Chatham, Ill. appeared to have just as much fun putting together a package of Padres a'plenty.

As readers of my blog know, I love any and all Padres publications. So what's the first thing I find in my Secret Santa package, but a 1992 Upper Deck All-Star Fanfest program. The All-Star game, held in San Diego that season, featured three Padres starters -- Benito Santiago (C), Fred McGriff (1B), and Tony Gwynn (OF) -- and reserves Gary Sheffield (3B) and Tony Fernandez (SS). Unfortunately, the National League team was drubbed 13-6 by the American Leaguers.

And then there was the great assortment of cards. There were cards of the vertical persuasion, those that sat horizontal, as well as ones that were all shiny, with handwriting and gold-printed numbers on them.

Andrew Cashner, San Diego's pitching ace heading into the 2014 season was represented, with his 2013 Topps Triple Threads Jersey Auto, S/N 68/99. There was also this 2011 Topps Marquee Titanic Threads Heath Bell, S/N 49/99 and a Bowman Draft Future of the Franchise Blue Jedd Gyorko, S/N 43/250. I really got to like Gyorko more and more as the 2013 season wore on and he should have finished higher than sixth place in the Rookie of the Year voting than sixth place. All he did was finish first among all rookies in home runs, on-base percentage and slugging, second in RBIs, third in doubles and fifth in hits. 
Nate continued my recent run of Garvey cards (I found a gaggle of Garveys at December's local card show), with this 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Steve Garvey. He also included a couple more autos -- a 2013 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs Casey Kelly and a 2013 Topps Tier One On the Rise Autographs Yasmani Grandal S/N 158/399. Has anyone heard how Grandal's rehab is gong? It looks like it'll be Nick Hundley and Rene Rivera behind the plate once the season opens. Which is ok by me, since I appreciate the job Rivera's done back there and it seems as if a lot of the Padres pitchers like him backstopping them.

Nate (or rather Santa) wasn't done yet. Also included in the package were a near-complete Padres team set of 2013 Allen and Ginter, and then a bevy of 2013 Bowman youngsters -- a Bowman Draft Draft Picks Dustin Peterson, Bowman Draft Drat Picks Hunter Renfroe, Bowman Draft Jedd Gyorko RC and Bowman Draft Top Prospects Max Fried. These players are the hopes of the Padres future, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing these players move up through the Padres system enroute to action in San Diego.

Again, thanks to Crackin Wax for inviting me to take part in this year's Secret Santa gift exchange.

And an even bigger thank you to Nate for the wonderful Christmas gifts. I really appreciate all these Padres goodies!

Happy New year everyone.