A few years later, my middle school P.E. teacher let us watch the San Diego Padres play the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 World Series. Almost every kid in the class was pulling for the Tigers, so I decided to root for the Brown and Gold. Within a blink of an eye... a San Diego Padres fan was born.
Less than two months later, Rickey was traded to the New York Yankees. The news was too much for this immature twelve year old boy to handle. At this stage in my life, I didn't care about the details of the trade. I just knew he no longer played for my favorite team, so I immediately stopped liking him and began searching for a new favorite player.
That's where Tony Gwynn entered the picture. Since I was little, I've always been a fan of players who hit for average and Tony fit the description. I can't pinpoint the exact date, but sometime during that period of my life he became my favorite player.
As for Rickey, I eventually forgave him and he eventually came back to play in Oakland on three more occasions. These days, I consider him my second favorite player behind Gwynn.
That's why I recently decided to chase down pieces of cardboard containing my two favorite players. I set up an eBay search and slowly began picking up cards here and there.
My first purchase involved this 2002 Upper Deck relic card:
Then over the course of a month, I picked up a few more memorabilia cards:
2005 Absolute Memorabilia Team Quads Double Swatch #TQ-13
2005 Leaf Certified Materials Fabric of the Game #176
2005 Absolute Memorabilia Team Six Swatch #TS-51
Last month, Dennis at Too Many Verlanders added this card to the collection:
1996 Zenith Mozaics #20
Pretty sweet, right? One of my favorite things to come out of the 90's is Pinnacle's Dufex Technology.
After digging through my binders, I also discovered I had this insert featuring Gwynn and Henderson:
2005 Playoff Prestige Connections #23
As well as this oddball from the 80's:
1986 Topps Tattoos Sheet #24
And wrapping things up... here's one of my favorite pieces of memorabilia in my Padres collection:
This is the ticket stub from Gwynn's final MLB game. It's the same game where Rickey collected his 3000th career hit. Unfortunately I didn't actually attend the game, but I'm still happy to be the owner of a historical piece of baseball memorabilia.
There are still a few cards I'd like to add to this project. But the recent passing of Mr. Gwynn has sent certain cards of his into a price range I'm not comfortable entering.
But that doesn't mean I'm giving up on this project. It's just on the back burner until his collectibles cool off.
Happy Friday and sayonara!