Posted in Baseball, New York Mets, Trenton Thunder

Talking about two ex-Mets who fell short in the Hall of Fame vote

The Baseball Hall of Fame will welcome Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman this summer.

Jones is the best third baseman I’ve ever watched play (I hope he thanks the New York Mets for helping him get elected 😜) Thome was one of the most productive hitters of his era. Guerrero could do unbelievable things with pitches that were nowhere near the strikezone. Hoffman pitched effectively as a closer for a really long time. All four men are deserving of the honor, though some are more worthy than others.

Former Mets closer Billy Wagner will not be headed to Cooperstown anytime soon, though — he received just 47 votes, 290 fewer than Hoffman.

And that is interesting.

  • Player A finished a 16-year career with a 2.31 ERA, 2.73 FIP, 11.9 K/9 innings, 6.0 H/9 innings and 3.99 SO/W.
  • Player B finished an 18-year career with a 2.87 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 9.4 K/9 innings, 7.0 H/9 innings and 3.69 SO/W.

Player A was a six-time All-Star, received MVP votes twice and Cy Young Award votes twice.  Player B was a seven-time All-Star, received MVP votes four times and Cy Young Award votes four times (once finishing as high as second.)

Based on those career numbers, you’d figure both players would garner a similar amount of support for Cooperstown, with Player B maybe having a slight edge based on previous awards voting.

Player A is Wagner, Player B is Hoffman and it seems like a lot of voters must have been swayed by one mostly useless stat that I left out: saves. Hoffman has 601, while Wagner only has 422.

Bright side, Wagner got enough votes to stay on the ballot and maybe voters will take another look at him next year.

Johan Santana was not as fortunate, receiving just 10 votes. He fell short of the five percent minimum to remain on the ballot, so his fate will be left to the Veterans’ Committee.

Does Santana belong in the Hall? That’s a question that’s worthy of discussion. But for a five-year period, he was the best pitcher in baseball. Between 2004 and 2008, Santana won two Cy Young Awards, finished third twice and finished fifth once. During the two Cy Young campaigns, Santana also finished in the top 10 in MVP voting. That sure seems like too good a career to be off the ballot after one year….

Odds and ends…

  • The Mets have reached an agreement with Jose Reyes on a one year contract to bring him back as a utility infielder. Leaving aside off-field issues of character, this is not a bad move… provided Reyes doesn’t get handed the starting second base job through front office inertia.
  • The Trenton Thunder will play as the Trenton Pork Roll on Fridays this year, which seems like a fun marketing idea until you go look at the uniforms they will be wearing. No. Just no. So very much no.

I remember 1992 and 1993 too well to believe that a big payroll guarantees a winning season, but Fred, Jeff and Saul need to understand that money is going to be a sore spot for fans until the Mets are winning.

Posted in Baseball, Newark Bears

Our second Met in Cooperstown

Piazza-20160106_195946Last night, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza would be inducted this summer as the Class of 2016.

Griffey set a new record, appearing on 437 of the 440 ballots cast. (The old record was held by Tom Seaver – our first Mets representative in Cooperstown – who received 98.84 percent of the vote in 1992.)

It took four years, but Piazza finally crossed the 75 percent threshold in this year’s election. And while I can’t figure out how a man who’s been retired from baseball since 2007 managed to do anything that “made him a Hall of Famer” since the last election, I’d rather celebrate the voters getting something right.

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Posted in Autographs

Spend "A Glorious Day with the Amazin's" on Sat., Nov. 14

Autographed 1988 Topps Dwight Gooden card from my collection
Autographed 1988 Topps Dwight Gooden card from my collection

MAB Celebrity Services invites you to spend “A Glorious Day with the Amazin’s” on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Crowne Plaza Fairfield in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Twenty-two current and former New York Mets will be guests at the autograph show, including members of four of the five Mets teams that played in the World Series.

Highlights of the show include appearances by Travis d’Arnaud, Endy Chavez, Billy Wagner, Sid Fernandez, Dwight Gooden, Mookie Wilson and Jon Matlack, as well as non-Mets guests Ozzie Smith, Whitey Ford, Don Mattingly and Bill Buckner.

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Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

October autograph collection acquisitions

I added 14 autographs to my collection in October, some of which I’ve already showcased. But since I didn’t get to them all, here’s a roundup:

Billy-Wagner-cards
Two signed Billy Wagner cards: 1994 Signature Rookies (left) and 1995 Classic Five Sports (right). Purchased for $2 each when I visited the Lancaster, Pa. area to watch the final game of the 2014 Atlantic League Championship Series

Billy Wagner spent 16 years in the major leagues, recording 422 saves while pitching for the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Atlanta Braves.

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Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Early Billy Wagner autographs

Billy Wagner didn’t have a Hall of Fame career, but he was a pretty good closer for a long time. In a 16-year career, Wagner earned 422 saves and went to the All-Star game seven times.

So I was a little surprised to find a pair of autographed baseball cards in a five-for-$10 box along with the likes of Jorge Toca and Geoff Getz at the collectibles shop I visited in Pennsylvania earlier this month.

Autographed 1994 Signature Rookies Billy Wagner card
Autographed 1994 Signature Rookies Billy Wagner card

Wagner’s first certified autograph came in the 1994 Signature Rookies set, released a year after the Houston Astros made him the 12th overall pick in the amateur draft. Can you believe Signature Rookies asked him to sign 8.650 of these cards?

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Exit the Sandman

billy-wagner1

Billy Wagner escaped the sinking ship of the New York Mets 2009 season today. (Hopefully he will make it to Boston in one piece — Mets pitchers are not exactly having much luck today.)

Wagner spent just three seasons with the Mets (plus his cameo this year), but he still ranks fourth in franchise history in saves. He saved 101 games in 118 opportunities in those three years, trailing only John Franco (276), Armando Benitez (160) and Jesse Orosco (107).

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Posted in Autographs, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

In the mailbox – eBay wins

Today’s mail brought some eBay winnings.

I got a pair of 2008 Topps Silk cards from seller frelly22, who got them out to me very quickly.

 

I paid a little over $7 for Johan Santana, and $1.99 for Billy Wagner. The neat thing about the Wagner card is that it’s #50 of 50, so I guess I got the last one. 😀 Of course, it’s a little bit miscut… what are you going to do? 

Continue reading “In the mailbox – eBay wins”