Thursday, April 29, 2010

1996 Leaf Signature Joey Hamilton Autograph

As part of my effort to collect autographs of the 1998 Padres, I got this Joey Hamilton autograph from the 1996 Leaf Signature set. It was only $1. Joey was a key part of the Padres rotation for 4 years or so. He was one of our first round picks that worked out during those days, and was one of the top prospects in baseball. He was a key part of the Padres rotation in the 1998 season, and got a great number of strikeouts. He gradually gained weight, and was traded after the World Series season for Woody Williams, which worked out great for the Padres.

Joey was the start of the Padres distaste for Scott Boras, as he held out after the draft. Joe McIllvaine said he would have never drafted him if he knew he was represented by Boras (how did he not know?!?!?!).

I've now got 3 of the 5 starters from 1998, although I suspect Kevin Brown in a Padres uniform is going to be tough to track down.

I love that this set is so cheap, and that the autographs are on card.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2007 Fleer Ultra David Wells

I was never thrilled when David Wells pitched for the Padres. Sometimes he'd barely get the job done, other times he'd get drilled. Regardless, he was a great personality that was a native of the area. I still love hearing him go on Scott and BR and give his take on things. I think radio is his real calling at this point, he would be fantastic if given a show. I also think David Wells needs to be given recognition for the great job he did getting injured after falling off an OB barstool. While I may not have loved his pitching, I loved him as a person.

This 2007 Fleer Ultra dual jersey card of David Wells numbered to 160 looks fantastic and really shows off his corpulence. I'm sad Fleer went the way of the dodo, as I was a fan of this 2007 Ultra release. Oh well.

Publish Post

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brian Lawrence Autograph

During the Padres darker days in the early 2000's, Brian Lawrence was one of my favorite players on the team. B-Law had a rubber arm, threw a sinker that got a lot of ground balls, and was an all-around good guy. Thinking back to that period, I think B-Law anchored the rotation for a while. He wasn't anything exciting, and didn't throw hard, but he got the job done. While that time was pretty miserable for Padres fans, it was good to see players that cared and played well. Lawrence eventually ran into some arm problems, was traded to the Nationals for Vinny Castilla, was released, played for Phil Nevin in the Golden Baseball League, was picked up by the Padres last season and then released, and he's now playing AAA in the Marlins organization. I wish him the best as he works his way back to the Majors. Always underappreciated, but always a good guy.

It's a shame it's a sticker auto, but it's nice nonetheless. Good to see some non-marquee Padres get recognized in sets with autographs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

2009 Goudey - Almost Finished!

So my return to collecting started with my attempts to complete the master set of 2009 Goudey. As not many people seem to be collecting this, I am struggling to find the last few cards I need. Luckily, had a few I needed for a low price. Scratch the Sport Royalty Stan Musial and Guy LaFleur off my need list!

Now I just need these still:

Main: 208, 215, 219

Sport Royalty: 249, 250

Heads Up: 263, 298

Check out my trade list on the right if you have anything I need! You can also check my photobucket for my other cards for trade! Pickup - Greg Vaughn 1999 SP Chirography

With the Padres on such a roll (1st place!), I got in the mood to buy some Padres autographs I've been wanting. With no new sets having come out for a while, I was forced to use Check Out My Cards for the first time. It ended up being a pleasure, and much cheaper than eBay. Over the next few posts I'll go over some of these great purchases of great Padres.

The first is one I've been wanting for a long time. I've toyed with the idea of collecting autographs of all of the 1998 Padres (the greatest Padres team assembled in my opinion). I've already got Andy Ashby, Tony Gwynn and Sterling Hitchcock, so what's another 25 or so autographs. This one was hard to find as I don't think he signed much. It is none other than our slugger, Greg Vaughn. Picked up in a trade at the 1996 trade deadline, it was one of the few times Kevin Towers picked up a marquee player at the deadline to help the playoff run. I don't remember anyone striking out as often as Greg, but he could hit it far. He was OK, not great in 2006 and 2007, but in 2008 he busted out with a 50 HR season. With him and Ken Caminiti, we had a formidable middle of the order. I seem to recall he had a great throwing arm also. After the World Series run, he got traded for Reggie Sanders and Damian Jackson. I guess that was OK, as both were semi productive for a few years and Greg Vaughn kind of fell off the map. I was sad to see he got no Hall of Fame votes and fell off the ballot. Not even one vote?!?!

He had a nice signature, that's for sure. And it's on-card.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Padres Cards - Shoff Card Show

As usual, my friend and I hit up the Shoff Promotions card show in Tysons Corner, VA. I needed to pick up a few of the new release Padres base cards. I got that, and more at the show. As usual, Padres cards are in very low demand, and I was able to get some great deals. If only I believed in Matt Antonelli to stock up on his autographs, as they were going for dirt cheap (prove me wrong Matt, we need a 2B of the future!).

The first is this Mat Latos red card numbered to 1199. It is from the Topps Unique set which wasn't very unique. Regardless, Mat Latos is one of my favorite Padres. At Nationals Park last year before his start, he was very friendly and chatted us up. He gladly signed autographs, but strangely said he doesn't do pictures. My wife found him very attractive, so maybe this is to keep Mat's future modeling rights exclusive. He is pitching great so far, and it's nice to see a Padres starter hit 96 on the radar.

I got the full set of Padres in the 2010 Topps Heritage set, but it's not really scan worthy. I did get my very first Donovan Tate card, out of the Tristar set. The Padres took Donovan #3 in the draft last year, and everyone was excited to get such an athletic player. It's too bad he can't stay healthy, including an atrocious ATV related accident. I'd think if you signed a huge contract and were devoted to baseball, you wouldn't do high risk things that could threaten your career. He got injured again during the Spring, and he still isn't playing. This pick was a big risk/reward pick, I just hope it's not another bust. I know they got picked later in the round, but I would have loved Alex White or Aaron Crow.

Along with all the base cards, I got these three cards for a total of $3. Not bad!

I know more people probably know Winfield better as a Yankee, but he looks so much better in the Padres uniform. I met him in the Sony Dugout Club once, and he was very friendly. And huge. He made me feel like an oompa loompa. I also scored a nice jersey card of Khalil-bot. I hope he is dealing with his problems and gets back to the majors. He was great to watch even though he couldn't get on base or make contact in critical situations. But man could he hit a solo home run while the Padres were already losing by 5. Finally, I got a Kyle Blanks Topps Finest rookie redemption. I'd like to see him make more contact this season, but he is exciting to watch nonetheless.

This was all a nice haul from the card show for pennies on the dollar. Thank goodness the Mid-Atlantic is almost devoid of Padres fans it seems.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Padres Season - First Week Analysis

With the Padres season in full swing, I have been devoting more and more time to watching games and reading information on the team. That said, despite the record, I’ve been fairly impressed with the team so far. While Chris Young’s injury is a bummer, I honestly believe the Padres secondary options are superior choices. I like Chris Young. I remember his all star caliber season a few years ago. He has lost velocity since then, which might be OK in Petco, but on the road, I can just see his 84 mph fast ball get belted. With the August/Septembers 2009 that Tim Stauffer and Wade Leblanc had last season, as well as their excellent Springs, I think either of those pitchers would perform as well or better than Young. Plus, the team gets the bonus of deciding if they are going to be in any of the team’s long term plans. I think this evaluation is important, as there is talent coming up through the system that will be ready for the Majors in the next season to season and a half – names like Castro, Pelzer, Poreda. Young has been decent when healthy, but he’s nearing the end of his contract and I’m doubting he will be back with the Padres after this season.

The offense has been iffy (besides the home opener). I’d like to see Kyle Blanks strike out less. I’d like to see Everth Cabrera get on base more. I’d like to see a different 2B (Zawadzki!)(Forsythe!). But they are all youngsters, and I think the time on the job will help them. Chase Headley has been awesome, I should have never doubted him. I’d like to see Scott Hairston get more at bats as I’m just not sure Gwynn is who we need or want in CF. These things I think will all improve as the season goes on.

At the least, the Padres are keeping me, and hopefully other fans, interested. They are a fun team to watch and I am pumped for the rest of the season.

In other card collecting news, I picked up a heap of Padres this weekend at the Shoff Promotions show. I’ll be posting later this week on some of those gems.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another TTM Return! Clayton Richard

After losing hope on a lot of the TTM requests I sent out at the beginning of Spring Training, I finally got another back. Hopefully the ones signed at the end of Spring Training will start trickling in. This one is from none other than the Padres current #4 starter, and only productive piece (so far) of the Jake Peavy trade: Clayton Richard.

I've also heard Clayton Richard is picking up a lot of the slack from Kevin Kouzmanoff as new Padres heartthrob with the ladies. Good for him. He is one of the very few lefties on the Padres pitching staff, and honestly, with this mediocre Spring, that is probably what got him the slot in the rotation.

I know it seemed to be an accepted assumption that Clayton was going to be part of the rotation, but I'm not sure why. I'd assume the Padres brass wants to show that they are getting something out of the Peavy haul, which is more important since vaunted prospect Aaron Poreda is being pushed back to AA to start the season (as opposed to AAA where he was last year). I'd love for Clayton to establish his presence in the rotation, but he seems pretty susceptible to the "blowup" inning where he just tires or loses focus or something. In all honesty, I thought Wade Leblanc and Tim Stauffer looked much better at the end of last season and during the Spring than Clayton. Oh well, gotta have a left hander I guess...

I will say that Clayton is a better signer than Wade Leblanc who ignored my request last year to Portland. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice.

All the best to Clayton this year, and cheers for signing my card. Hopefully he can put everything together and we can have the first real lefty presence in the rotation since David Wells' semi-good year (or maybe going back to Sterling Hitchcock).

Anyways, here is a scan of Clayton Richard's signature - please note his dreamy eyes that are captivating San Diego county's women.