Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

“Long Island National” sports card show has distinct Mets theme

New York Mets outfielder Matt den Dekker hits at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Matt den Dekker is scheduled to sign autographs at the Long Island National sports collectibles show on Oct. 25. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Next weekend, Hofstra University will be site of “Long Island’s Largest Sports Collectible Show,” which boasts “over 300 tables” of sports memorabilia for sale as well a number of autograph guests.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, Mets Hall of Famer Rusty Staub and current Mets outfielder Matt den Dekker highlight an autograph slate that also includes former Mets coach and manager Frank Howard, 1969 Mets catcher Jerry Grote, former Mets pitcher Frank Viola, and baseball Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Andre Dawson. Autograph fees range from $15 for Grote to $49 for Dawson. Howard will sign one item for free with paid admission to the show.

Sunday’s lineup includes five members of the 1986 Mets: Mookie Wilson, Doug Sisk, Rafael Santana, Danny Heep and Kevin Mitchell. Autograph fees are $25 per player, except for Sisk who will sign one free autograph with paid admission to the show.

Details and guests are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, visit

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Things to be happy about the day after the Mets’ season “ended”

Matt den Dekker's 2014 Topps baseball card
Matt den Dekker’s 2014 Topps baseball card

The New York Mets finally acknowledged reality after Bryce Harper gave the Nationals a series victory in Washington Thursday afternoon – the playoffs are not a possibility this year.

But there was still quite a bit to be happy about on Friday night:

On a team level, victory number 55 comes too late to matter very much – but we can still celebrate the personal milestone achieved by Colon.

Flores and den Dekker may not perform any better than Chris Young and Ruben Tejada, but it’s time to find out as much as we can about them. It’s better if they can succeed at the major league level, but if they fail, at least Sandy Alderson will should know not to count on them during his off-season planning.

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

New Mets: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Matt den Dekker & Vic Black

Several players have made their Mets’ debut over the last few weeks, though they went largely unheralded.

Daisuke Matsuzka makes his Mets debut on Aug. 23, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Daisuke Matsuzka makes his Mets debut on Aug. 23, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Daisuke Matsuzaka has gotten the most attention of the Mets’ recent additions, but for the wrong reasons.

  • Aug. 23:  5 innings, 6 hits (2 home runs), 1 walk, 5 runs, 86 pitches (0-1, 9.00)
  • Aug. 28: 4.1 innings, 6 hits, 4 walks, 4 runs, 110 pitches (0-2, 8.68)
  • Sept. 2: 3 innings, 7 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 6 runs, 72 pitches (0-3, 10.95)

Matsuzaka will get another start on Sunday, but I’ve excused myself from watching any games he pitches unless I have the misfortune to actually be at the ballpark.

I’m not looking forward to acquiring his autograph for my collection – I can’t imagine he’ll want to sign at the ballpark and he doesn’t sign through the mail very often, if at all. On the bright side, he has signed a fair number of certified autographs for the card companies over the years… too bad there are enough collectors seeking them to keep them fairly expensive.

Continue reading “New Mets: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Matt den Dekker & Vic Black”

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Photos & thoughts from this weekend’s Binghamton Mets vs. Trenton Thunder series

The Binghamton Mets took two out of three games from the Trenton Thunder this weekend during their only visit to New Jersey in 2012.

I’d originally planned to attend just the Sunday afternoon game that was included in my ticket plan, but I ended up trading another game I couldn’t go to for a ticket to Friday night’s game as well. I missed the 12-0 B-Mets blowout victory on Saturday, but I got to see most of Friday night’s 9-7 Binghamton win and all of Sunday’s ten inning 3-2 B-Mets defeat.

Two Binghamton players really impressed me:

  • Matt Den Dekker made a highlight reel-worthy catch (at the 0:18 mark of this video) and had a five-hit game on Friday, then added another two hits on Sunday. On Monday, he received the Eastern League Player of the Week award and a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo. I’m sure we’ll see him in the major leagues in the future, though maybe not with the Mets – he’s another lefty hitter and at some point they’re going to have to start thinking about lineup balance.
  • Zack Wheeler didn’t pitch in this series, but he went down the stands signing autographs and talking to fans before the game, and spent another five or ten minutes signing autographs after the game before he got on the bus. Really, all of the Binghamton players were good about signing for the fans – but none of the others has gotten anywhere near the degree of hype that Wheeler has. (I can’t help but contrast him with recent Yankee prospects like Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances, who didn’t seem to want to pick up a pen – at least on days I was there.)
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Get well, Kid

The news about Gary Carter’s health is not good, according to reports yesterday. I’m still hoping that this story will have a happy ending, but the odds seem to be against it and getting worse all the time.

Gary Carter's 1989 Topps Record Breaker baseball card

The question of whether the Mets should retire Carter’s number eight came up again. Last summer, I supported the idea. Today, I have to ask what purpose it would serve. The organization has had years to retire Carter’s number if those in charge wanted to, and I think Carter and his family have more important concerns now. Still, if a uniform number retirement would bring a measure of happiness to Carter or his family, let’s do it.

In happier news, Toby Hyde’s Mets Minor League Blog posted an interview with 2009 top draft pick Steven Matz, who is hoping to make his pro debut this season after needing Tommy John surgery.

And the Mets announced that two highly-regarded prospects, pitcher Matt Harvey and outfielder Matt Den Dekker, have been invited to major league spring training. Even though neither player has much chance of being on the the opening day roster, I’m looking forward to getting to see them this spring.

We’re 31 days away from the beginning of spring training, when Mets pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie.