Posted in New York Mets, Uncategorized

Crossing off a few cards

Marc, who runs the Astros-centric blog Remember the Astrodome, offered to send me a couple of baseball cards from my wantlists last week. In return, I knocked a bunch of cards off of his 1980s Astros wantlists.

Wilfredo Tovar's 2014 Topps Heritage card (from my collection)
Wilfredo Tovar’s 2014 Topps Heritage card

Until I opened Marc’s envelope, I’d forgotten that I never finished this year’s Topps Heritage Mets team set… only nine more regular cards and three shortprints to go.

Continue reading “Crossing off a few cards”

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Autograph of the Week: Thomas Coyle

Thomas Coyle 2014 Bowman autograph insert card
Thomas Coyle 2014 Bowman autograph insert card

Thomas Coyle is a second baseman in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays farm system. A 16th-round draft pick in 2012, the 23-year-old Pennsylvania native is hitting .249 with five home run, 27 RBI and 22 stolen bases through 92 games for the Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Single-A Florida State League.

Coyle could be an interesting sleeper prospect if his offensive numbers improve once he leaves the pitcher-friendly ballparks of the Florida State League behind, or he could find himself trying out for independent league teams in another year or two if they don’t.

Among younger baseball players, Coyle’s autograph stands out because it is fairly readable.

I received this card as part of the prize in @seansa91‘s Twitter contest earlier this summer.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Autograph of the Week: Nick Kingham

Autographed Nick Kingham 2014 Bowman baseball card from my collection
Autographed Nick Kingham 2014 Bowman baseball card from my collection

As a Mets fan, I’m excited about the young pitchers who are coming up through the minor league system. But sometimes, it’s good to remember that just about every team has its own highly-regarded pitching prospects.

Nick Kingham, who was just promoted to Triple-A a couple of weeks ago, could be part of the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation in 2015. In pre-season rankings, Kingham was regarded as the third-best pitching prospect in the Pirates’ system, behind Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow. Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both counted him as one of the top 100 prospects in the game going into 2014.

Pittsburgh drafted Kingham out of Sierra Vista High School (Las Vegas, Nevada) in the fourth round in 2010. According to PiratesProspects.com, the 22-year-old right-hander has a mid-90s fastball that occasionally tops out at 97-98 mph, as well as an above-average curveball and changeup.

I received this card earlier this week as part of a Twitter contest prize from @seansa91.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Mets baseball card of the week: 2011 Bowman Johan Santana gold version

(If you are seeing this card with rounded corners, it's because of how my blog's theme displays photos.)
(If you are seeing this card with rounded corners, it’s because of how my blog’s theme displays photos.)

Johan Santana signed a one-year minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles last week. He missed all of last season after having shoulder surgery, and isn’t expected to pitch again until June. There is some speculation that the Orioles may try to use Santana as a reliever when he does return, but I’m hoping that things work out whatever his role may be.

I spent part of Saturday afternoon cleaning up the piles of baseball cards that had been accumulating on my desk since last summer. This 2011 Bowman Johan Santana card was among them. I don’t remember where or why I got it – it may have been a throw-in from a trade package or gift, or I may have picked it up because Santana is one of my favorite recent Mets players. (I may even have had thoughts about putting together the gold version Mets team set.)

Whatever the reason, I  like the card. The horizontal design makes me think of the classic 1955 Bowman set, which showed the players inside of a border intended to resemble a television set. The 2011 Bowman design makes me think of the Star Trek bridge viewscreen more than a television set, but it’s a similar principle.

I miss the hybrid black Mets cap with the blue bill that Santana is wearing, even though it’s only been out of use for a couple of years. Five years ago, if you told me I’d miss any part of black Mets uniforms, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Two questions for you today:

  1. Do you think Johan Santana will find success with the Baltimore Orioles?
  2. Did you like the Mets’ predominantly black uniforms, and do you miss them now that they’re out of use?

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

Posted in Uncategorized

2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Mets checklist

Dominic Smith's 2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball card (from my collection)
Dominic Smith’s 2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball card (from my collection)

I more or less overlooked Topps’ annual Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects set when it came out last November.

I got a few cards in a Christmas gift, and a few more in a birthday gift… and I started to wonder how close I was to completing the Mets team set. It turns out that I have most of the ones that matter to me.

The Mets have six players in the 130-card draft picks portion of the base set, one in the 45-card rookies part and one in the 45-card top prospects segment. They have the same eight players in the Chrome versions, and then there are three “common” inserts. (Here’s a link to the full checklist on Topps’ website.)

I’ve got the eight regular cards plus the Kevin Plawecki insert – I’ll have to find the Matt Harvey & Rafael Montero inserts at some point.

Draft Picks
BDPP1 Dominic Smith
BDPP38 Andrew Church
BDPP39 Casey Meisner
BDPP40 Ivan Wilson
BDPP72 Luis Guillorme
BDPP107 Gaither Bumgardner

Top Prospects
TP-22 Noah Syndergaard

Rookies
20 Zack Wheeler

Kevin Plawecki's 2013 Bowman Scouts Breakouts baseball card (from my collection)
Kevin Plawecki’s 2013 Bowman Scouts Breakouts baseball card (from my collection)

Chrome Draft Picks
BDPP1 Dominic Smith
BDPP38 Andrew Church
BDPP39 Casey Meisner
BDPP40 Ivan Wilson
BDPP72 Luis Guillorme
BDPP107 Gaither Bumgardner

Chrome Top Prospects
TP-22 Noah Syndergaard

Chrome Rookies
20 Zack Wheeler

Futures of the Franchise
FF-MH Matt Harvey

Bowman Scouts Breakouts
BSB-KP Kevin Plawecki
BSB-RMO Rafael Montero

Continue reading “2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Mets checklist”