Ever since the Mets called up outfielder Mike Baxter, I’ve been looking for some of his baseball cards.
Although he made his major league debut with the San Diego Padres last September, Topps has not included him in any of their baseball card sets yet. So that left me looking at minor league team sets. (I like the faux-Polaroid on grass design the San Antonio Missions used in 2009.)
Meanwhile, I must have half a dozen 2011 David Wright cards sitting on my desk that I haven’t managed to put away yet.
I know Wright is more popular than Baxter. Even I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of him until a few weeks ago. And a 1-for-8 September is not going to build a lot of excitement about a rookie in any case. But I’d still be happier if there was more of an effort to give these less well-known players a baseball card out of the hundreds of different ones produced each year.
Baxter was called on to pinch hit for Ryota Igarashi in the bottom of the eighth inning, after Igarashi gave the Padres a four-run lead in the top half of the frame. With runners on first and second base, Baxter hit the first pitch he saw out into left field. It grazed the top of Kyle Blanks‘ glove and went over the left fielder’s head for an RBI double, starting the Mets’ comeback.
Lucas Duda got the big hit off Heath Bell in the ninth inning that earned him a post-game whipped cream pie-in-the-face during his on-field interview, but Baxter’s eighth inning hit was every bit as important.
Not to be overlooked, Jason Bay hit his 200th career home run, becoming only the third Canadian player to reach that mark. Since the beginning of August, Bay is batting .421 (8-for-19) with a double and a pair of home runs. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but I still want to believe it’s a sign that he’s turning things around.
Maybe last night’s game won’t be featured on Mets Classics, but it turned out to be pretty fun to watch.