Posted in Uncategorized

Mets baseball card of the week: Dwight Gooden 1988 Action Packed test issue

Most sports card collectors who were in the hobby in the 1990s remember Action Packed as a brand of football cards with distinctive embossed player images and gold metallic borders.

Gooden-AP-front Gooden-AP-back

In 1988, the company tried to get a license to produce Major League Baseball cards and they produced a six-card sample set. In addition to Dwight Gooden, the set also includes Wade Boggs, Andre Dawson, Carney Lansford, Don Mattingly and Ozzie Smith.

Smith’s card is considered more rare than the others, but none are particularly expensive – the 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards listed a common card’s value at $6, and there’s a full set for sale from an eBay dealer for $35.99.

While the front of the card uses the same design as the company’s 1989 and 1990 football offerings, the cardbacks are done in a vertical style that is closer to Score’s 1988 set than what the later horizontal Action Packed cardbacks would look like. (This baseball card does have rounded corners – they are not just an artifact of my blog theme.)

Action Packed did not secure any kind of a baseball license until 1992, when they made an 84-card set featuring retired players.

After missing the first two months of the 1987 season because of a drug suspension, Gooden returned to All-Star form in 1988. He finished with an 18-9 record, 3.19 ERA and 175 strikeouts.

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Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Sadly, we’re still talking about Santana

The Mets and the media are still turning Johan Santana‘s spring into a circus.

Terry Collins
Terry Collins (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Today it was Terry Collins‘ turn to get in on the act, and he sounds every bit like the lame-duck manager he is:

Said Collins: “I asked, ‘What did you get on the mound for?’ And he said, ‘Because I felt good.’ And I said, ‘It was unnecessary.’”

Said Collins: “I said, ‘The last thing I need is to have you wake up tomorrow stiff and then we take a huge step backward because you wanted to show everybody you’re OK….

[via ESPN New York]

So, here we have Santana – a $25 million+ investment who was until recently expected to be the Opening Day starter – throwing without his manager’s approval or knowledge until after the fact.

The Mets are really looking like winners here, aren’t they? And it all started because Sandy Alderson – the one who was supposedly hired to make the Mets look more competent and respectable – decided to open his mouth in front of a bunch of reporters.

Fun if you’re a tabloid reporter or sports radio talk show host… otherwise, not so much.

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

And while we’re on the subject, here’s an even less-fun story via TMZ, of all places: Dwight Gooden has a temporary restraining order filed against him because he allegedly threatened his estranged wife and her family.

If you want some good news regarding the Mets… well, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is only expected to miss a week or so after injuring his knee while stealing a base on Sunday. The way things have been going, I was afraid it would turn into a season-ending injury and it didn’t, so at least there’s that.

And I’ve got a couple of new additions to my Mets autograph collection. Non-roster outfielder Andrew Brown signed a card I mailed to him via Mets spring training camp, but the Mike Piazza card was a purchase.

Mike-Piazza Andrew-Brown

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Baseball book signings

Spring is just around the corner, and that means a new crop of baseball books. Among them:

  • Mike Piazza‘s “Long Shot” is probably the one that will get the most buzz, and the former Mets catcher is scheduled to do two book signings in New York next month. One will be at the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue in Manhattan on Feb. 11th; the other will be at the Barnes & Noble in Carle Place on Feb. 12th. For more information, visit Mets Hot Corner.
  • Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona is scheduled to hold a book signing for “Francona: The Red Sox Years” on Wednesday, Jan. 23rd, at the Barnes & Noble on East 54th Street in Manhattan.  For details, check Celebrity Book Signings & Events.
  • WFAN Mets broadcaster Howie Rose‘s “Put It In the Book!: A Half-Century of Mets Mania ” is due out March 1st. I’m not sure he rates a book signing, but I’m mentioning it because it’s the one book of this group that I actually want to read.
  • Dwight Gooden‘s “Doc: A Memoir” is scheduled for publication on May 28th, and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t have a few New York-area book signings to support it.

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Doc Gooden to take part in Lakewood’s South Atlantic League All-Star festivities

The Lakewood Blue Claws will host the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game, and for the first time it will be expanded into a two-day affair.

Dwight Gooden threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field on Banner Day this season (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Today, the team announced the first two participants in the “Celebrity Hitting Challenge,” which will take place on June 17th, the day before the All-Star Game itself.

As part of this event, there will be two teams of celebrities who square off in the “Celebrity Hitting Challenge.” Targets will be placed around the field, and hitting these targets or other obstacles will earn points for each team. Additional details will be announced, as well as many other participants, in the coming months.

Former New York Mets and New York Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden and former Philadelphia Phillies closer Mitch Williams are scheduled to take part in the event. While most Mets fans remember Gooden had some real hitting ability (for a pitcher, anyway), I don’t know how many baseball fans are aware that Williams’ first Major League hit was a home run.

“We’re excited to stretch the All-Star festivities into two-great nights at the ballpark for our fans,” said BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown in a press release. “Mitch Williams and Dwight Gooden are a great pair of participants to start with and we have many more to come.”

All-Star Game tickets are currently available to people who buy Lakewood Blue Claws ticket packages. Individual tickets will be sold beginning in March. For more details, visit the team’s website.

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Gooden, Fernandez scheduled to appear at Roselle restaurant tonight


Dwight Gooden at his Mets Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former New York Mets pitchers Dwight Gooden and Sid Fernandez are scheduled to appear at Central Park Bar, Restaurant, Sushi, Banquet, 2401 Wood Avenue, Roselle tonight between 6 and 8 p.m.

Combo autograph tickets are $39, and dual-signed photo ops are available for $65.

For more information, call 1-732-928-8600

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