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.


  1. Love the Caminiti as well, and completely agree with you, left way too soon.

    Had to double check the SD Mariners reference! The only team I knew about in San Diego was the Gulls. I heard that there may be another team coming to San Diego soon as well.

    Glad to hear you had a great Christmas! Have a great 2015 as well!

  2. Thanks Marcus. The Mariners used to play in the World Hockey League and Jan and I used to attend the games at the old Sports Arena on Sports Arena Blvd. It was pretty interesting hockey, to say the least. I still have a lot of the programs from back then.