In hindsight... it was a pretty solid run and in terms of power rankings, both of these teams easily trump the two baseball teams I actively root for.
To put things into perspective, during the past nine seasons, each football team has won a Super Bowl and the Hawks were potentially one Marshawn Lynch handoff from winning another. The Green Bay Packers won the NFC North five times and made the playoffs eight consecutive years. The Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West four times, made the playoffs six times, and earned trips to back to back Super Bowls.
The Oakland Athletics had a decent team a few years back when they won the AL West in 2012 and 2013. The following year they had the best record in baseball heading into August, yet somehow managed to have an epic meltdown that resulted in a 12th inning loss to the Kansas City Royals in the AL Wild Card game. They have finished in last place in the AL West ever since.
Then there are my beloved San Diego Padres, who are by far the worst team I cheer for in regards to team success. Over the last nine seasons, they have had exactly one winning season with zero playoff appearances. In fact the last time they made the postseason was 2006 when Jake Peavy was still their staff ace, Trevor Hoffman was their closer, and Mike Piazza was their starting catcher. Mike Piazza.
But that's okay. I still love them. And Rod over at Padrographs gave me almost 200 reasons to continue being a loyal San Diego Padres fan.
Let's kick things off with a stadium giveaway set that was handed out to fans who purchased special tickets to the August 19th game versus the Washington Nationals. Jack McKeon was the general manager for the San Diego Padres during the 80's when the franchise made their first World Series appearance back in 1984. That day the San Diego Padres inducted him into their hall of fame.
The set's checklist seems to be centered around the guys who played on the Padres during the Trader Jack ERA.
I really like the design the Padres decided to go with. It's simple and features the mid to late 80's brown and orange color scheme. The only downside is that there's no production year printed anywhere on the card, so collectors who stumble across singles in the future might have difficulty determining what they're holding.
Okay... we've gotta move on. There's a lot to cover. In addition to the set, Rod sent a huge stack of Padres that included inserts, autographs, rookie cards, base cards, and buybacks:
Since Rod is an autograph connoisseur, I figured I'd start with those first:
James Needy (left) is a former San Diego Padres prospect who is now with the Miami Marlins. The Matt Szczur is a custom card that Rod produced and had signed back in September. You can read about his TTM experience here. And Ian Kennedy started 73 games for the Padres a few years back.
In addition to these three autographs, he also sent me this:
2017 Topps Fire Autographs Purple #FAHR
Renfroe broke the San Diego Padres rookie home run record previously set by Nate Colbert back in 1969. Only Wil Myers hit more home runs for the Padres last season. Unfortunately, Renfroe's batting average and on base percentage were pretty low. He'll need to work on that if he hopes to become the Padres' future #3 or #4 hitter.
One of my favorite cards in the stack was this buyback of Bruce Bochy:
2006 Topps #288
Bochy is the last Padres' manager to take the team to the playoffs. He left the team after the 2006 season to manage the San Francisco Giants. Since that time, he's won three World Series titles with them. But look how young he looked when he was with the Padres. He's hella aged in San Francisco.
Rod also sent me these other buybacks:
There were also a ton of rookie cards and inserts. If I want to publish this post before the New Year, I'll have to settle for showing off a few of my faves:
2017 Topps Update All-Rookie Cup RC Reprints #43
I always enjoy adding a new Ozzie Smith card to my binder... especially when he's wearing the famous Brown and Gold.
2017 Topps Update #US32
Zippy doesn't have the market cornered on Torrens rookie cards. Thanks to Rod, I finally have a copy for my collection.
And last, but not least, a mystery card:
2016 Falcon #349
Jose Rondon isn't the mystery. He's a Venezuelan shortstop who spent most of 2017 in San Antonio (AA) and El Paso (AAA). The mystery is the card itself. Anyone ever heard of Falcon trading cards? It looks like a Venezuelan trading card from 2016, but contains official MLB logos. Is this an officially licensed trading card or a really nice custom? Was it distributed in packs? Sets? Any help would be appreciated.
Rod also hooked me up with a small stack of A's cards too. There's a sweet looking Reggie and a few rookie cards of the Athletics' top prospect: Franklin Barreto.
Thank you Rod! I'll try to scrape up some San Diego Padres for your collection. I think I might have a few autographs laying around. Hopefully they'll fit into it somewhere.
As for the Padres... they'll forever be my National League team. I mean... somebody has to stick around and love them, right?
Happy New Year's Eve and sayonara!