Bartolo Colon is going to do his best to give me another year where there is at least one active major league ballplayer older than me.
The 42-year-old Mets right-hander told Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert that he wants to pitch in 2016 and hopes to catch Pedro Martinez for second place in wins by a Dominican pitcher. (Colon currently has 218 career wins, one less than Pedro.)
“For me to be with Pedro second most wins by a Dominican is specials, but I know Pedro was a better pitcher than me,” Colon said.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I didn’t think I was going to MAB Celebrity Services’ “Pinstripe Pandemonium” show.
As it turned out, the snow and rain was all but over. My friend Bart said he had no trouble getting to me, and the roads were clear from my place to the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights and both Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson had arrived in town on Friday.
In fact, we were there an hour and a half before Pedro was due to start signing autographs. We checked out the vendors’ tables – I found a couple of relatively inexpensive signed baseball cards for my collection, Bart bought a box of 2014 Bowman Draft cards.
We hung out in the lobby area outside of the hotel restaurant for a little while, and saw Johnson come down for breakfast. When you see “6-10” written on the back of a baseball card, you know that Randy Johnson is tall – but it didn’t hit home until I saw him in person. Continue reading ““Pinstripe Pandemonium” Recap”→
This October will be the 15th anniversary of the New York Mets’ last World Series appearance… but not surprisingly, the folks at MAB Celebrity Services are only interested in the winners of the 2000 World Series.
Next weekend, they’ll hold “Pinstripe Pandemonium,” a celebration of the 2000 New York Yankees World Championship team. The show will also feature appearances by other Yankee “legends” and three of the four newly-elected baseball Hall of Famers.
Fans will have the opportunity to meet and get autographs from former Mets Pedro Martinez ($159+), Doc Gooden ($35), Doc Medich ($20+), Rick Cerone ($30), Paul Gibson ($25), Mike Stanton ($25+) and Shane Spencer ($20).
I don’t expect to get anything signed at the show – I already have all of the ex-Mets and cannot even think about paying the $199 fee to have Randy Johnson sign an 8×10 photo – but I plan to tag along with my friend who wants to see Martinez and Johnson. Maybe I’ll find an inexpensive card or two to add to my Mets autograph collection while I’m there.
Pinstripe Pandemonium will be held at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights-Meadowlands in Hasbrouck Heights on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, including the full guest list and prices, visit mab-celebrity.com.
While Pedro Martinez will be remembered by most for his achievements with the Boston Red Sox, my strongest memory comes from one of about a dozen games I went to at Shea Stadium in 2005.
While we were settling in to watch the start of the game, Pedro quickly retired the first two Arizona Diamondbacks batters. Then, with Luis Gonzalez at the plate, all of the sprinklers on the infield suddenly turned on!
Many pitchers would have let something like that throw them off of their routine. Not Pedro. On the Diamondvision board, you could see Pedro smiling and laughing about the ridiculous situation. While the other players left the field during the delay, Pedro stayed out there. Once order was restored, he struck out Gonzalez and went on to pitch eight innings of one-run ball as the Mets won 6-1.
After the game, Pedro told reporters, “Water is a blessing, I believe. So I got wet.”
I hope the Mets invite Pedro Martinez out to Citi Field sometime this summer to honor him and give fans one more chance to applaud.
With all the talk about Curtis Granderson signing with the Mets last week, I thought I’d highlight a baseball card the commemorates the last time the Mets signed an aging star to make a statement.
Pedro Martinez was a star of a different order of magnitude than Granderson, of course, but both free agent signings had as much to do with making a statement as they did with baseball.
When the Mets signed Pedro to a four-year, $53 million contract nine years ago next week, they were coming off their third straight losing season and had just hired Willie Randolph to replace Art Howe as the team’s manager.
That move, plus the January 2005 signing of Carlos Beltran, sent a signal to fans that a new era was beginning in Queens. The 2005 Mets team finished with a modest 83 wins and were not in playoff contention in September, but they were a lot morefun to watch – especially on the days that Pedro pitched. (And we all remember what happened the next year… and what should have happened in 2007 and could have happened in 2008)
In 2006, Upper Deck included a “Hot Stove Headlines” insert set in its “First Pitch” product. It featured 20 baseball stars who had recently changed teams and used black and white photos from the players’ introductory press conferences instead of more traditional baseball card action shots.
Besides Pedro, two other Mets were included: Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado. There isn’t a lot of demand for the cards in the set – if you can find them, you could expect to pay around $1 per card.
(If you’re seeing rounded corners on the scan, it’s an artifact of my blog theme. The Hot Stove Headlines inserts have standard, 90-degree corners.)