Posted in Baseball, Binghamton Mets, Camden Riversharks, New York Mets, Newark Bears

Mets spoil Nationals’ home opener

I’m really enjoying the first week of New York Mets baseball in 2018. Today, they spoiled the Washington Nationals’ home opener by beating them 8-2.

Michael Conforto returned from the disabled list and homered in his first start. Yoenis Cespedes hit his third home run of the season. Jay Bruce made his first home run of the year a grand slam. If Jacob deGrom didn’t quite have everything working, he battled and he got the outs when they really mattered.

I know the Mets are not going to keep up this pace to have a 135-27 season, but I’m gonna enjoy this run while it lasts.

Odds and ends

Advertisements
Posted in Baseball, Binghamton Mets, Trenton Thunder

Trenton Thunder Catch #TebowMania

It’s being widely reported that former NFL quarterback and 30-year-old Mets prospect Tim Tebow will open the 2018 baseball season with the Double-A Binghamton Mets Rumble Ponies.

The Trenton Thunder wasted no time trying to capitalize on the college football star’s two visits this June:

For those who might need a little more motivation:

  • Friday, June 8th is a Kevin Youklis bobblehead giveaway (Trenton used to be a Boston Red Sox affiliate before the Evil Empire took over)
  • Saturday, June 9th is a fireworks night
  • Sunday, June 10th is a day game and a Greg Bird youth jersey giveaway
  • Tuesday, June 19th is a “kids eat free” and dollar hot dog game
  • Wednesday, June 20th is “Wine Wednesday,” whatever that entails
  • Thursday, June 21st is another fireworks game and a “Hometown Hereos” card set giveaway

And hey, if you’re more excited about seeing whichever Yankee prospects land in Double-A this year, your first chance to meet them is Trenton’s Welcome North Open House on April 3rd.

Posted in Autographs, Binghamton Mets

Featured Autograph: Robert Gsellman

Robert-Gsellman
Robert Gsellman’s 2014 Bowman Chrome Autograph card from my collection

Continuing to look at my recently-purchased autographs, today we have New York Mets’ prospect Robert Gsellman. This baseball card, from one of Bowman’s 2014 sets, cost me $2.74 and was my most expensive purchase of the group.

Gsellman, 22, was a 13th round selection out of Westchester High School (Los Angeles, Calif.) in 2011. He split the 2015 season between the Single-A St. Lucie Mets and the Double-A Binghamton Mets. Gsellman was honored as the Mets’ Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year and was also a Florida State League midseason All-Star last season.

Unfortunately, Gsellman struggled a bit once he moved up to the Eastern League, where he posted a 7-7 record with at 3.51 ERA in 16 starts. Those are not bad numbers by any means, but he saw his strikeouts per nine innings dip to 4.8 and his strikeout/walk rate fall to 1.88.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Gsellman opened the 2016 season in Binghamton again, but following last season’s deadline trades and the ascension of Steven Matz to the major league level, Gsellman is the best starting pitcher prospect the Mets have in the upper levels of their farm system.

 

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Binghamton Mets, Uncategorized

Mets autograph of the moment: Omar Quintanilla

Yesterday’s mail brought a signed baseball card of former New York Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla.

Quintanilla will never be remembered for the stats on the back of his baseball card – he has a .220 lifetime average with 8 home runs and 74 RBI in 402 major league games over nine seasons.

Now he did have his moments, with the odd game-winning hit here or there… but on-field accomplishments are only one reason to appreciate a baseball player.

When I remember Quintanilla, I will think of the times he signed autographs for fans at Citi Field on days when the “better” players wouldn’t even stop long enough to wave. And I’m not the only one who remembers Quintanilla for his fan-friendly attitude.

When I posted a photo of my signed card on Twitter yesterday, I got this response:

Best of luck to Omar Quintanilla on the Albuquerque Isotopes this year.

Omar-Quintanilla

I got to watch my first full Mets game of the season last night, aided by a timely rain delay that allowed me to get home from a meeting before the first out was recorded. And the Mets cooperated by getting that first loss of 2015 out of the way.

There’s been a lot of griping about the batting order Terry Collins has used over the first two games of the season, and I admit it’s not the one I’d write down if I were filling out the lineup cards. I’ll chalk up the lack of offense in the first two games to facing great pitching, but if the struggles continue in Atlanta I’m going to be concerned.

I also wasn’t thrilled with the botched rundown play in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sure, it didn’t cost the Mets a run… but it was bad fundamental baseball – what exactly were the Mets working on in Port St. Lucie for the last six weeks?

Allan Dykstra plays for the Binghamton Mets in 2011 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Allan Dykstra plays for the Binghamton Mets in 2011 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Congratulations to former Mets farmhand Allan Dykstra, who was called up by the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday when 1B James Loney went on the disabled list.

Posted in Baseball, Binghamton Mets, Uncategorized

Jeff McKnight (1963-2015)

Signed Jeff McKnight 1991 Score baseball card from my collection
Signed Jeff McKnight 1991 Score baseball card from my collection

Jeff McKnight, a utility player who appeared in 173 games for the New York Mets in 1989 and 1992-94, passed away on Sunday after battling leukemia for 10 years. He was 52.

McKnight, better known for wearing a record five different uniform numbers during his New York career than any of his accomplishments while wearing blue and orange, is the third former Mets player or coach we’ve lost so far in 2015.

Charlie Williams, a Flushing native who was traded for Willie Mays after pitching in 31 games for the 1971 Mets, died on Jan. 27. Bill Monbouquette, the Mets pitching coach in 1982 and 1983, died on Jan. 25.

Signed Minnie Minoso 1961 Topps baseball card from my collection
Signed Minnie Minoso 1961 Topps baseball card from my collection

Former Chicago White Sox star Minnie Minoso also passed away on Sunday. He made his major league debut two years after Jackie Robinson, was Major League Baseball’s first black Latino star.

Posted in Binghamton Mets, Uncategorized

Mets baseball cards from 2014’s Bowman Draft set

Michael Conforto's 2014 Bowman Draft baseball card
Michael Conforto’s 2014 Bowman Draft baseball card

Back in December, Bowman released its annual Draft set with cards of some of the top selections in the 2014 First Year Player Draft.

If not for a certain generous blogger posting about the Asian version of this set, I think I would have forgotten about it. And really, except for some of our first Michael Conforto baseball cards showing him in a New York Mets’ uniform, I wouldn’t have missed out on much that fits into my collection themes.

There are four Mets in the base set, two draft picks and two prospects. There are a rainbow of parallels for both the standard and Chrome versions… check The Cardboard Connection for details.

  • DP7 Michael Conforto
  • DP84 Milton Ramos
  • TP-26 Dominic Smith
  • TP-30 Brandon Nimmo

Continue reading “Mets baseball cards from 2014’s Bowman Draft set”