I was probably annoyed to see Johan Santana on the checklist this spring – he hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2012 and he’d signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles right around the time Heritage came out. Now, it could be Santana’s last baseball card (well, until Topps signs a contract to include him as an “all-time great” or “fan favorite”). Seems fitting to have a portrait photo with Santana smiling and a stat-filled card back with the “complete major league pitching record” of his great career.
Hopefully David Wright will have more to smile about next season. This is the more common of two photo variations on Wright’s card #284. I should have the other one by the end of the week, too.
How often do you see one of these multi-player “Rookie Stars” cards where both players make an impact? My crystal ball doesn’t show me whether Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores will be future Mets stars, but d’Arnaud became one of the team’s best hitters in the second half and Flores looked like a potential answer to the team’s shortstop problem.
Jeff also send along my first two Topps Chrome cards of the year. I appreciate that Topps now uses different photos than in Series 1 and 2, but I don’t buy packs because it still feels like I’m spending too much money for another version of the same card on shinier cardstock. (I still enjoy adding the Mets cards to my collection any time someone sends them my way.)
Rafael Montero didn’t have to wait for Topps Update to get his “official” rookie card. I love that the card back includes this “Rookie Fact;” Rafael’s first strikeout was of Derek Jeter on a 94-MPH two-seamer.” I can’t be sure, but the photo could be from Montero’s MLB debut on May 14 – that’s the uniform combination the Mets wore that night. If it is, that would be extra cool because I was at that game.
Jeff included one non-sports card from my wantlist, part of the “One Little Corner” insert series from last year’s Allen & Ginter set. I have always been fascinated by astronomy, so this was a natural draw… who knows? Maybe I’ll finish it before next year’s Allen & Ginter set comes out.
Thanks for the nice surprise to start off my week, Jeff. I’ll see what I can do about returning the favor.