Saturday, August 23, 2014

A mess of Marcus cards from a messy room

Slowly, but surely, I'm wading through the mess that makes up my "collectibles" room in the house. Yes, there's still boxes and cards everywhere - hockey, baseball and the little bit of basketball and football that remains - but it's kind of like an Easter egg hunt, I never know what I'm going to find. Or where, for that matter.
For example, these cards were part of a package sent to me a while ago by Marcus Pond, scribe of the cool blog, "All the Way to the Backstop." Marcus, a teacher in the Texas school system, is a fellow Padres collector who still makes annual trips to America's Finest City to visit family and friends. (Hopefully, Jan and I will be able to head that way next year, as Ocean Beach is calling...).
Anyway, I knew these cards were back there somewhere (I also have packages from another collector or two that I have yet to come across again). I finally found them the other day and one thing you have to admit, when you swap cards with a collector who enjoys the same team and players as you, any new package of cardboard goodies is a great treat.  
And, as usual, Marcus is not one to disappoint.
I'll start with the certified cards, like the 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition auto Brad Boxberger S/N 442/500, 2003 Leaf Clubhouse Signatures Bronze Brian Lawrence, 2013 Topps Tier One On the Rise Autographs Yasmani Grandal S/N 330/399, 2003 Upper Deck National Pride Memorabilia Carlos Quentin, 2001 SP Game Bat Edition Piece of the Game Phil Nevin and 1998 Best Autographs Signature Series Buddy Carlyle

Topps Tifany has always been a rather cool set. I've only had one other opportunity to get a Topps Tiffany card I had bid on and won, but it looked nothing like these. So, let's continue with a fine batch of 1986 Topps Tiffany, including Roy Lee Jackson, LaMarr Hoyt, Terry Kennedy, Dave Dravecky, Kurt Bevacqua and a 1984 Topps Tiffany Andy Hawkins. Marcus also included a 1986 Topps Tiffany Bruce Bochy. These are the first true "Tiffany" cards I've seen and I can now proudly claim I own some rather nice Tiffany cards, courtesy of Marcus!
Cookies, anyone? Here's some 1993 Padres Mother's Cookies cards of Kerry Taylor, Jeff Gardner, Dan Walters, Frank Seminara, Darrell Sherman, Greg Harris, Dave Eiland, Gary Sheffield, and Manager Jim Riggleman. I can't help but like the Mother's Cookies baseball cards - the rounded corners and sharp photography are what makes them so cool. I have the complete Padres 1985 set, but these '93 cards are a step in the right direction towards building another complete set. Ok, it's now official - Mother's Cookies Padres team sets are now on my list of things to look for. But then, it was only a matter of time, anyway.
And finally, you always have to enjoy what I call, hand-jammed (in-person) autographs of athletes. It's always fun to think of that player actually taking the time to look you in the eye and give his autograph while you're standing there next ot him, to say nothing of what it took you to get into that position. I really appreciate this batch of autos, which inlcude a 1989 Score Rookie/Traded Mike Pagliarulo, 1989 Topps Traded Bruce Hurst, 1989 Fleer Update Mark Parent RC, 1988 Topps Eric Nolte, and a 1990 Score Phil Stephenson. The final card, a 1994 Signature rookies Draft Picks Signatures Dustin Hermanson is actually a "certified" signature, of 7,750.

Marcus, sorry for taking so long to post, but I can't thank you enough for the Padres kindness you have once again shown.

Who knows what else I might come across in the mess that makes up my collecitbles room.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hey, A.J., how about briinging back the brown and gold!

I'm probably a hopeless romantic, but when my wife and I first moved to San Diego, it began our long-standing love affair with the Padres baseball team. At that time, the Friars shared a cozy, intimate, little stadium with the San Diego Chargers, called “Jack Murphy.” Players, such as Brent Strom, Bob Owchinko, Dave Winfield, Willie McCovey and Willie Davis graced the Padres roster, while Randy Jones was putting together a Cy Young award-winning season.

But perhaps what we remember the most, is the fact the Padres unveiled brand new baseball uniforms that year -- Brown, with mustard-colored sleeves, numbers and team-name.

Just in case you haven’t caught on yet, I loved those brown and yellow, and later, brown and orange uniforms. I mean, my blog is entitled “Bleedin’ Brown and Gold” for goodness sake. My very first Padres jersey was a Tony Gwynn brown and gold Cooperstown Collection.

I'm probably in the majority when I feel the Padres are facing an identity crisis with today’s blue uniforms, After all, the Toronto Blue Jays wear blue. The Seattle Mariners wear blue. Oh, and by the way, so do the Kansas City Royals and gasp!, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I’m also not the only one who feels that way about those great, old brown uniforms. Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins (a San Diegan, don’t you know) recently wrote a great piece entitled, "A San Diego Padre by any other uniform color just isn't as sweet." You can read it at

According to Jenkins, "The Padres have changed their ­primary uniforms 12 times since the franchise was founded in 1969. They’ve worn brown and yellow, brown and orange, brown and yellow and orange, blue and orange, blue and white, blue and tan. They’ve experimented with two colors of pinstripes, several shades of camouflage and a beige earth tone called sand. Their sartorial crisis started early: They tweaked their look in ’72, ’74, ’76, ’78, ’79 and ’80. Sometimes the alterations were subtle (adjusting script, adding buttons, erasing the SAN DIEGO over the PADRES), and sometimes they were as severe as gold pants. When the Pads won the ’84 National League Champion­ship Series, they could not celebrate simply with a commemorative T‑shirt. They overhauled their wardrobe again. “They are the all-time champion,” says preeminent baseball uniform historian Bill Henderson, “of changing everything."

Jenkins even quoted one “rabble rouser from Poway by way of San Diego State: “How many teams have blue? How many have red? But none of ’em have brown. ...I just thought there was something neat about that. I just thought it looked beautiful. More than just beautiful, I liked the sentiment behind it of, ‘This is who we are.’” That firebrand was Tony Gwynn, two years ago, to former Padres beat writer Tom Krasovic.”

MoreWhen questioned clear back in May, Padres team chairman Ron Fowler had stated San Diego would not bring back the brown uniforms anytime soon, citing research from fans who wanted the team to stick with the blue and white. However when pressed, Fowler said he wasn't able to divulge any of the teams’ "research," since it was still an on-going process.

“Baseball people, and that includes myself,
are slow to change and accept new ideas.
I remember that it took years to persuade them
to put numbers on uniforms” -- Branch Rickey

 "Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white?
Certainly not a mother -- Erma Bombeck.
There may even be a plot afoot. As part of its “Baseball Night in San Diego,” the Padres actually gave fans a brown and orange 1984 Padres Replica Retro Jersey on May 24 vs. the Cubs. The jerseys, presented by Fox Sports San Diego, were part of San Diego’s 1984 National League Champions celebration and considered by many as one of the team’s best giveaways of the year.

So, hope springs eternal. Especially since the Friars have finally hired a new general manager to replace Josh Byrnes. One can only hope that A.J. Preller will be more receptive to fan desires. What better way to reward fan loyalty and enthusiasm than by tapping into San Diego’s own unique, tried and tested, brown color scheme?

There's even a facebook page dedicated to bringing back the brown uniforms, entitled, "The San Diego Padres belong in BROWN uniforms.” If you’re interested in signing this petition for the Friars to bring back brown for their uniforms, got to

In any case, the Padres need to reassert their own unique personality. Let's hope it's not too long before the Brown and Gold is back!