Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Ex-Mets’ autograph signing appearances in March 2014

calendarAfter a very quiet February, the autograph show circuit picks up a bit in March with the White Plains sports card show as the major event.

If I lived a bit closer (and had some money that I could afford to spend), I’d love to go – there are some “fresh” autograph guests that haven’t done shows in the area recently, if at all, and I’ve heard good things about the card show aspect.

If money really was no object, I’d also take advantage of Joe Torre‘s appearance at the Steiner Sports store this week to obtain his autograph for my All-Time Mets collection.

Reality says that I should be happy to be able to buy the basic 2014 Topps Heritage Mets team set once the cards come out, but here’s the information on those upcoming events in case you’ve got more money available for discretionary spending than I do.

White Plains “March Madness Show”

Autographed Ed Kranepool 1973 Topps baseball card from my collection
Autographed Ed Kranepool 1973 Topps baseball card from my collection

JP’s Sports & Rock Solid Promotions will hold its bi-monthly sports card show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y. on March 21st-23rd. Admission is $8 per day, with kids under 12 admitted free.

Five members of the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets team are scheduled to attend and sign autographs on Sunday, March 23rd: Ed Kranepool, Jerry Grote, Art Shamsky, Ron Taylor and Jim Gosger. Kranepool and Grote will cost $15 per signature; the others will cost $20 each.

Other notable guests for the weekend include future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera ($299), 1987 NL Rookie of the Year Benito Santiago ($25), 1978 NL Rookie of the Year Bob Horner (1 free autograph with paid admission Sunday), and 4-time AL All-Star Ruben Sierra (1 free autograph with paid admission Saturday)

For more details about the autograph guests and their fees, visit

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20 years ago today, the Mets trade for a former Cy Young Award winner

On December 11th, 1991, the New York Mets made a five-player deal with the Kansas City Royals that brought two-time Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen to New York.

Bret Saberhagen's 1993 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Production baseball card

With Dwight Gooden recovering from rotator cuff surgery and Frank Viola departing via free agency, Mets GM Al Harazin was looking for an ace and he thought he’d found one.

“I was with [Saberhagen] at the 1990 All-Star Game, and I warmed him up,” Jeff Torborg, the manager of the Mets and a former catcher told New York Times reporter Joe Sexton. “He had as good stuff as anyone on that All-Star staff. A lot of times, until you get close, you don’t know how good a guy is.”

Saberhagen’s tenure with the Mets was marred by injuries – just once in four seasons did he exceed the 150 inning mark with New York. Saberhagen’s best year with the Mets was 1994, when he was named to the All-Star team and finished with a 14-4 record with a 2.74 ERA in the strike-shortened season.

When I think of Saberhagen as a Met, I tend to remember a practical joke gone wrong from the nightmare 1993 season. He filled a squirt gun with bleach and got three reporters who were interviewing Gooden, though Saberhagen said that he was actually aiming for a team employee who had played a practical joke on him earlier.

Of course, I hated the trade as soon as I heard about it. Sure, Saberhagen had a good track record, and the Mets were getting utility infielder Bill Pecota (who I probably had  never heard of) as a throw-in.

But they were giving up one of my favorite players, Gregg Jefferies, as well as scrappy utility player Keith Miller and 1988 NL MVP candidate Kevin McReynolds. (Ok, I wasn’t all that upset about McReynolds leaving – he always gave me the impression that he’d rather be off hunting than playing baseball.)

Continue reading “20 years ago today, the Mets trade for a former Cy Young Award winner”

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Chris Potter Sports Announces New Signings

signed 1962 Topps Jay Hook card from my collection

Chris Potter Sports announced a new round of private signings, including a number of former Mets. Items are due by Aug. 15 and will be shipped back by Oct. 10.

Ralph Kiner, Rusty Staub, Mike Torrez, Mickey Lolich, Dean Chance, Bret Saberhagen, Kevin Collins, Jim Gosger, Frank Tanana, John Franco, Jay Hook and Joe Christopher are among the names that might be of interest to Mets fans. Prices range from $8-$50, depending on the player and the item to be signed.

I know I need Chance for my Mets all-time roster project, but I have to figure out if I need any of the others for side projects.

Posted in Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

Card of the Day: 1993 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Production Bret Saberhagen


1993 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Production Bret Saberhagen
1993 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Production Bret Saberhagen

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.