Saturday, April 1, 2023

Mad Skills and Short Shorts

Opening Day has come and gone.  The A's won.  The Padres lost.  And I'm late to the party again.

But this was a card I wanted to show off a few months ago...

1987 Donruss Opening Day #146

It was originally distributed in a factory set with two hundred seventy-one other cards and one Roberto Clemente puzzle card that was housed in a box that looks like this:

The front design is identical as the flagship release... with the exception of the plum colored borders

The back recaps Gwynn's performance on Opening Day back in 1987 against the San Francisco Giants when he went 1 for 4 in a Padres loss.  The loss was the fourth Opening Day loss in a row that happened to coincide with Gwynn's first four Opening Day starts.

He went on to start eighteen straight Opening Day games... which is a pretty cool feat.  In those games he collected 21 hits in 67 at bats... which is about 25 points under his career .338 batting average.

Unfortunately... the Padres only won five of those Opening Day games during the Gwynn Era (1984 to 2001).

Okay... that's sad and depressing.  Let's move onto something a little more positive.  By the time this post is published, Gwynn's alma mater... San Diego State University will be in the midst of facing off against Florida Atlantic University in the first game of the Final Four.

Back in the late 70's and early 80's... Gwynn was a two-sport athlete for them.  Most of you  know about his hall of fame career in baseball, but according to SI, he had little intention of pursuing a career on the diamond.  He didn't even play baseball his freshman year at SDSU, but he did finish with a career .399 batting average with the Aztecs.

By the time his basketball and baseball tenure at SDSU was over, he was the only player in conference history to make the All-WAC team in two different sports.  And on June 9th, 1981 he was drafted by both the San Diego Padres (3rd Round) and San Diego Clippers (10th Round).

I've amassed a respectable Tony Gwynn PC, but only two of them feature him wearing those old school short shorts.  The first one is a custom that Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown sent me almost a decade ago:

And here's my latest addition to my Gwynn basketball collection:

2012-13 Fleer Retro (1997-98 Z-Force Rave) #Z-23 (065/399)

I purchased this card up off of COMC for $3.25 back in the heart of the pandemic.

I've tried to track down a few other Gwynn basketball cards for my collection... but so far none have fallen into my price range.  Not sure that will happen anytime soon if SDSU end up being crowned the 2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions.

In the meantime... if you'd like to see a much more impressive collection, head over to Gavin's blog.

Go A's!  Go Padres... and go Aztecs!

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


The Angels In Order said...

I much prefer the plum to the black. Happy baseball!

The Lost Collector said...

Holy moly, what a finish and win!

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

I don't have any Gwynn cards showing him playing basketball, but I do have one showing him after fishing!

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

Check that. I have a Goodwin Champions card showing him as a basketball player! It's a cheap buy on Sportlots.

Chris said...

Looks like SDSU will play my UConn Huskies in the championship! Not that I've been following UConn basketball since I moved to NJ, but it's still nice to see.

The Gwynn basketball card is a nice pickup. Congrats on the A's getting an Opening Day win. Hope they shock the world and make the playoffs this year :D

The Snorting Bull said...

The head coach of San Diego State is from the same little town in northern Michigan as my wife. Dutcher's father actually was the head basketball coach at the community college in the town. While he famously recruited the Fab 5 to Michigan, and I am anti-Go Blue, I am pulling for the Aztecs in the Final. Seems to be a huge deal with my in-laws that he's made it to the final. Maybe the town can escape its rep for having its most famous resident being the guy who assassinated William McKinley.

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Congrats on the A's win and the Aztecs too.

Sean said...

I love that 1987 Donruss Opening Day set. Actually, I love all of the 1987 Donruss sets from that year which have that design but not the black border of the regular set.

Cool Gwynn basketball card too, I've never seen those before!

Fuji said...

the angels in order - although i prefer black over plum... i am glad they changed the border color up for this oddball set.

the lost collector - yeah, that shot at the buzzer was sweet.

wax pack wonders - i'm gonna have to keep an eye out for his "fishing" card. and thanks for the tip on the goodwin champions card.

chris - it would be quite the miracle if the a's make the playoffs. but i'd be pretty stoked if they did. congratulations on the uconn win.

the snorting bull - whoa. lots of history with that town.

johnnys trading spot - every a's win is worth a celebration since it'll be a rare occurrence :D

sean - for decades i thought the 87d design looked like a tire tread running across the card.

Big Tone said...

I need the Canseco from that opening day set. The whole set actually. I love the color scheme for that design.