Giles enjoyed the Twinkies cards
San Diego's right fielder collected cards of Padres as a kid
Brian Giles is entering his 14th Major League season, and his fifth full season as a right fielder with his hometown San Diego Padres. Playing in spacious Petco Park has cost him the home run production he once had, but Giles has drawn 287 walks over the last three seasons. Being one of baseball's more amusing free spirits, he has a little different take on almost everything, including baseball card collecting. Here he describes his card collecting days as a kid growing up in El Cajon, Calif., an eastern suburb of San Diego.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you collect baseball cards as a kid?
Giles: Remember when they used to have baseball cards on the back of Twinkie boxes and you'd cut them out? Hostess. Hostess made the mostest cards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What were those cards like, and whom did you get?
Giles: I got a Dave Winfield one. I forget. I might have them somewhere in storage. I should. They'd be collector items.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How old were you when you started collecting?
Giles: I was 6 or 7, maybe. Your parents had to buy the Twinkies.
MLBPLAYERS.com: So Mrs. Giles didn't mind her boys being Twinkie junkies?
Giles: No, because you got baseball cards. That was part of the sell. We used to get them all the time.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who else did you get?
Giles: Gimme some names that played with like Winfield in San Diego, because I think it was all San Diego players.
(Editor's note: Here Trevor Hoffman, another Southern California guy, wandered into the baseball card collecting conversation.)
Giles: You remember that? Remember when Twinkies and Ding Dongs -- Hostess products -- would have baseball cards on the back and you'd cut them out? I think it was just the Padres they had.
Hoffman: It was the bottom of the box. I think it was regional, so we had the Angels, Nolan (Ryan) and Bobby Grich.
Giles: Gene Richards? Did he play back then? I can't remember -- I know Winfield.
Hoffman: Fred Kendall?
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you put cards in your bike spokes to make noise?
Giles: I wasn't big into that, making noise. I kept them in pretty good condition.
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you first appear on a card and what was it like?
Giles: 1989, right? I want to say they did not do a very good job on it. It looked like I had fire burn all over my face. Maybe I did. Maybe I tanned too much. You never know.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Do you have a favorite card?
Giles: I don't know. There's so many of them, I really don't know. I don't know if I have a favorite.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Which one do you sign the most?
Giles: It varies year to year. You know what? Pirates cards come out a lot.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.