It’s snowing again as I write this morning, but we’re less than a month away from the start of spring training. (Yoenis Cespedes, Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores, and Juan Lagares are already in Florida.)
So I thought I’d share some recent baseball card purchases, my first of 2018. I’m particularly happy with the T.J. Rivera and Josh Smoker cards since they’ve been Mets long enough to appreciate them.
Baseball Reference tells me that Jamie Callahan and Tomas Nido played for the Mets last year, but I don’t remember them at all. Luis Guillorme made an amazing catch in the dugout last spring, but he’s still waiting for his shot in the big leagues. The A.J. Ramos card is a placeholder until I can get one that shows him as a Met. I think I already had a Matt Reynolds autograph, but he’s sporting the snazzy Mr. Met spring training cap and it was only a dollar… so why not?
According to Gary Cohen, Bob L. Miller holds the record for most consecutive losses to start a Mets career. The unlucky right-hander went 0-12 for the 1962 Mets before finally picking up a win on the last day of the season.
Anthony Young went 0-13 for the 1993 Mets before winning his first (and only) game of the season on July 28th. The amazing thing about that streak is that half of his losses (and the victory) came when he was working out of the bullpen.
I’m not sure if any other Met has a longer string of losses before picking up their first ‘W’ of the season – it’s not something that’s likely to make its way into the team’s game notes. But it sure feels like Marcum is making a run at all of them.
Actually, I think I might have jinxed him tonight. My friend was looking for another starting pitcher for his fantasy team, and I suggested Marcum. I guess I forgot that pitching performances against the Miami Marlins (or the New York Mets) shouldn’t count as much since they don’t field major league caliber lineups.
The two best hitters in the Mets lineup had good nights at the plate. David Wright was on base all four times he was up, with three hits and a walk. (He also made one unfortunate baserunning decision that let struggling Cubs reliever James Russell escape what might have become a big inning with only two runs allowed, but let’s face it – station to station baseball has killed more Mets opportunities this year than aggressiveness on the base paths.)
Daniel Murphy had a pair of hits and two RBI. Even Lucas Duda managed an RBI single, his 22nd of the year. (Keep in mind that half of that total comes from driving himself in with home runs.)
Three runs might have meant a Mets victory on Thursday afternoon with Matt Harvey pitching, but with Marcum leaving the Mets in a six-run hole they just gave Kevin Gregg a save opportunity.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the ballpark in person to watch the Mets try again for a win. Maybe they’ll have better luck, and at least it should be a nice day for baseball.
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.)