This is the last of the 1993 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Production cards that I picked up recently. (I’m just four cards away from finishing my team set, just 15 years after I started collecting it.)
Saberhagen had a pretty good career. He finished his career 50 games above .500, 167-117, with a 3.34 lifetime ERA. He won the American League Cy Young Award twice (in 1985 and 1989), was the World Series MVP in 1985, and was a three-time All-Star (1987, 1990 and 1994).
He pitched reasonably well durring his four years in New York, a time that was marred by injuries and one spectacularly dumb off-field move. His 14-4 season in 1994 was nothing short of remarkable, as the Mets finished the strike-shortened season at 55-58.
I promise I’ll put up another vintage oddball card tomorrow, but today we’re back to 1993 Topps Stadium Club for the card of the day.
Ryan Thompson was one of many Mets outfield prospects who didn’t pan out. He came to the New York as the player to be named later in the 1992 David Cone trade, and that was a mark against him in my book. I may not have been a Conehead, but I was a fan and I hated to see Cone leave the Mets.
Thompson could have won me over if he had hit, but in four seasons he never batted higher than .251. When I went to look at Tompson’s stats, I was surprised to learn he played for quite awhile after leaving the Mets. His final season was 2004, when he played for the New Orleans Zephyrs (then a Houston farm club.)
I loved the old racing-strip uniform that Thompson is wearing on this card. The “S” patch on Thompson’s sleeve honors William A. Shea, who died in 1991. Shea was instrumental in bringing National League baseball back to New York.
The 1993 Topps Stadium Club set is my favorite baseball card set from the 1990s. It has beautiful photography, a nice clean design and a parallel set that I’m still trying to complete 15 years later.
Borrowing an idea from stamp collecting, Topps produced First Day Production parallels for each of the cards in the regular Stadium Club set. Limited to 2,000 copies, they were actually pretty rare in 1993. If I recall correctly, a First Day Production card turned up about once per box (on average.) There really wasn’t a big internet trading community then, so it was a challenge to collect these.
Anthony Young is the perfect poster boy for the futility of the early 1990s Mets. Young lost 27 connsecutive decisions between May 6, 1992 and July 24, 1993, though in most cases he didn’t really pitch that badly. He bounced between the starting rotation and the bullpen during the streak – he even filled in for closer John Franco. He – much like the Mets of that era – just couldn’t get a lucky break (or a win.)