Monday, January 19, 2015

1999 San Diego Padres MADD 23-card set

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm particularly fond of those hard-to-find, little-known, esoteric San Diego Padres card sets. Recently on COMC, I came across another unique set that fits the bill - the 1999 Padres MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) set.
There is a catch, however, to collecting this particular 23-card set (besides finding them).
As you can easily tell, these cards, which came on the heels of the Padres' 1998 Divisional and League Championship (and World Series appearance against the Yankees), were distributed  by MADD. Whether they were passed out at Jack Murphy Stadium, distributed elsewhere, or could be picked up at any time, is hard to tell.
Overall, the cards themselves aren't too bad looking. The head-and-shoulder player shots are framed within a blue and yellow border. The name plate is printed in blue/white, and the Swinging Friar logo completes the front of the cards. Some cards featured a different Padres logo.

The card backs are pretty interesting.  Besides a box with each players' uniform number and basic personal information, is the motto, "Be a Dryer-Friar," as well as "Did you know" facts from MADD to help you battle drunk driving. Besides the MADD logo, there are four other sponsor logos, to include Trader Publications of San Diego, the San Diego Padres, Bob Baker Auto Group and the Farmer's Insurance Group. There are no individual card numbers.
OK, now here comes the catch in collecting this set - These cards are pretty hard to find in mint condition. If you notice the bottoms are perforated, that's because they contained a tear-off, good for a pop or iced tea at Jack Murphy as part of MADD's Dry-er Friar Designated Driver Program. And it's rather obvious that more than a few people took advantage of this MADD coupon.

I had to go online to find a complete card and what better card to represent perfection than that of Tony Gwynn.

Here's the complete listing for 23 cards in the set. You'll note that Ruben Rivera and Quilvio Veras actually had two cards in this set, one in English, one in Spanish.

George Arias
Andy Ashby
Ben Davis
Tim Flannery
Steve Garvey
Chris Gomez
Rich Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Sterling Hitchcock
Trevor Hoffman
Damian Jackson
Randy Jones
Wally Joyner
Jim Leyritz
Phil Nevin
Eric Owens
Ruben Rivera/Outfielder
Ruben Rivera/Jardinero
John Vander Wal
Quilvio Veras/Second Base
Quilvio Veras/Base Segundo
Dave Winfield

MADD also released a 15-card Padres set in 2000 and a 17-card set in 2001.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Guess what? More COMC challenge cards

Maybe it was due to the Christmas holidays.  Maybe it was because of a massive backlog due to everyone deciding to get their cards into the postal system all at once. Or perhaps it was all part of a New Year's Resolution made by card collectors to get rid of those extra cards in their collections.
In any case, there was a vast cornucopia of COMC challenges conspicuously coveted for collectors to complete.
During my last COMC-related blog, I mentioned I had amassed a total of 177,295 points (or roughly $177 in free cards) by completing challenges. However, thanks to the Christmas holidays, that total now sits at 197,750. I know I spent the better part of at least one of my Christmas days off completing a mess of those challenges while watching a few of the football bowl games.
And guess what? I used those points to pick up some new San Diego Padres cards.
There were new San Diego Padres cards like these 2013 Topps Tier One On the Rise Autographs Casey Kelly S/N 353/399, a pair of Jedd Gyorko 2014 Topps Museum Collection cards, including a Green card S/N 164/199, a 2000 Topps Gold Label Class 2 Sean Burroughs, 1995 Collector's Choice Gold Signature Ken Caminiti, a couple of Trevor Hoffman cards, including his 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones Blue S/N 5/10 and 2008 Finest Finest Moments Refractors Blue S/N 211/299, and a 2004 Playoff Honors Akinori Otsuka RC S/N 1754/1999.
And then I picked up a few more Friars cards. How about these 1973 Kellogg's Nate Colbert, 2006 Fleer Tradition Diamond Tribute Jake Peavy, 2005 MLB Showdown Foil Jake Peavy, 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Framed Green Dave Winfield, 2005 Diamond Kings Framed Red Steve Garvey, and a 2014 Bowman Green Andrew Cashner S/N 58/150.

And of course, what's an order of COMC Padres cards without at least one Tony Gwynn card? Here's his 1997 Upper Deck Memorable Moments card, as well as a 2011 Bowman Orange Will Venable S/N 26/250
And for all of you hockey buffs with inquiring minds - Yes, I did add a few hockey cards to my collection. Those cards include these 2012-13 Certified Autograph Cody Goloubef RC, a pair of 2013-14 Upper Deck Young Gun RCs of Jesper Fast and Tom Wilson, 2010-11 Playoff Contenders Lottery Winners Jonathan Toews, 2011-12 Panini Contenders Chris Vandevelde RC S/N 473/999, 2010-11 SP Authentic Mat Taormina RC S/N 319/999, 2012-13 Certified Lane MacDermid RC 147, and a 2013-14 O-Pee-Chee Valeri Nichushkin RC.
While I still have another 15 cards in my COMC inventory waiting to be shipped, there are plenty of challenges that will yet need to be completed. Actually, I can't think of any better way to continue to add "free" cards to my Padres collection.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Secret Santa thought I was extra good this year!

Somehow, I must have been a very, very good boy over the course of the past year. At least, that appears to be the impression I've left with my Secret Santa. And, I'm happy to report, I must have done something right, as Santa was very, very good to me this Christmas season.
Once again, Christopher, over at "Crackin' Wax" took a break from his video box breaks to organize his Annual Holiday Gift Exchange. Once you register and submit your wishlist, you're matched up with a "Secret Santa" who puts together a custom Christmas gift for you. That's about it for the rules. You can have as much fun with it as you want.
According to my wishlist, all I wanted for Christmas was "Everything and anything San Diego Padres baseball and/or San Diego Mariners hockey."
This year, my patron Santa Claus was James Hyde, from Waco, Texas. He certainly fulfilled my Christmas wishlist, and then some. How could he guess this little Padres fan is a huge Tony Gwynn fan?
Not only did he put together a very nice Christmas package, but it was a very pleasant surprise to find these Gwynn game used cards, cards such as a 2008 Donruss Sports Legends Materials Mirror Red S/N 91/500, 2007 SP Legendary Cuts When it Was a Game Memorabilia, 2007 Sweet Spot Classic Classic Memorabilia Bat, and the 2013 Topps Manufactured Commemorative Rookie Patch.
He then included this gargantuan quantity of Gwynn cards, including his 1995 SP Championship Die Cuts MLP, 1996 Denny's Holograms, 1996 Denny's Holograms Grand Slam, 1999 Upper Deck Retro, 2003 Flair Greats Dave Winfield, and the Gwynn 2001 Leaf Certified Materials. I know, what am I doing, including Winfield in with this fine collection of Gwynns? Hey, what can I say, I was excited by all these cardboard goodies.

But wait, James wasn't yet done with his Gwynn gifting. How about a few more Gwynn cards, like the 1992 Studio, 1993 Fun Pack ASA, 1992 Ultra Award Winners, 1992 High Five, 1995 Ultra League Leaders and a complete set of the 10-card 1992 Ultra Commemorative Set.

And by the way, he included a few "regular" Padre player cards, incuding a pair of autographs - a 2006 Topps Autographs Craig Breslow and a hand-signed Ken Caminiti autograph on his 1988 Fleer rookie card. And then there's this 2004 Finest Ryan Klesko, 2013 Bowman Jedd Gyorko RC, 1995 SP Championship Die Cuts of Ken Caminiti, Joey Hamilton and Bip Roberts, and a 1995 Collector's Choice Silver Signature Dustin Hermanson. I really appreciated the Caminiti card, whom I feel was a truly under-appreciated Padre player wrestling with his own demons, and one who left us all too soon.

All I can say is, "WOW." And Thank you, James, for a great Christmas package.

If you get the chance next season, be sure to check out Crackin' Wax's Annual Holiday Gift Exchange. You'll be more than happy you did.

After all, 'tis the season.