Posted in Baseball, Newark Bears

Our second Met in Cooperstown

Piazza-20160106_195946Last night, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza would be inducted this summer as the Class of 2016.

Griffey set a new record, appearing on 437 of the 440 ballots cast. (The old record was held by Tom Seaver – our first Mets representative in Cooperstown – who received 98.84 percent of the vote in 1992.)

It took four years, but Piazza finally crossed the 75 percent threshold in this year’s election. And while I can’t figure out how a man who’s been retired from baseball since 2007 managed to do anything that “made him a Hall of Famer” since the last election, I’d rather celebrate the voters getting something right.

Continue reading “Our second Met in Cooperstown”

Posted in Auction Watch

You could own Tom Seaver's 1969 World Series cap

Tom Seaver's game-worn Mets cap from the 1969 World Series (Image credit: Press Pass Collectibles via eBay)
Tom Seaver’s game-worn Mets cap from the 1969 World Series (Image credit: Press Pass Collectibles via eBay)

The matchups haven’t all been set yet, but we’re about to begin another season of playoff baseball. And for the first time in 9 years, I have a real rooting interest.

But while we’re waiting, let’s take a look at a piece of memorabilia from the Mets’ first World Series appearance.

If you’ve got $9,999.99 burning a hole in your pocket, you could own the cap Tom Seaver wore in 1969. Press Pass Collectibles is selling the cap, which had previously been owned by a family member of a former Shea Stadium security officer.

(If you’d like something to remind you of the Mets’ last World Series appearance, you could pick up a 2000 National League Championship ring that belonged to minor league coach Roger La Francois or one that belonged to a team trainer for a bit less.)

Posted in Uncategorized

Four random Mets baseball cards

Tom-Seaver

C-3PO is helping me show off a few baseball cards that arrived in my mailbox this Saturday. I finally wrapped up my 2015 Topps Series 1 Mets team set thanks to some help from Lonestarr, Phungo and a birthday gift from my friend Greg… now I just have to decide how much energy to put into chasing down the inserts for it.

I like the concept of the “This Date In History” cards, whatever their official name happens to be. And how can you go wrong with a Tom Seaver card?

Well, you can stick him on the front of a card commemorating a game that he didn’t pitch in, I guess. July 20th, 1969 is significant because it’s the day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to land on the moon, and the Mets won the second game of a double header against the Montreal Expos on utility man Bobby Pfeil‘s bunt single. Don Cardwell started for the Mets, Jack DiLauro got credit for the victory, and Tug McGraw, Cal Koonce and Ron Taylor also pitched in relief… Seaver presumably watched from the dugout.

But it’s still a cool card, AJ, – it will get added to my Mets team set.

Continue reading “Four random Mets baseball cards”

Posted in Uncategorized

2014 Topps Update Mets inserts

Yesterday we looked at the Mets cards in the 2014 Topps Update base set. Today it’s time to focus on the inserts.

All-Star Stitches is my favorite long-standing insert found in Topps Update because it’s the last relic card that actually makes any kind of claim about what game or event that the relic it contains is from. The Mets had one All-Star representative this year, and it was Daniel Murphy. There are versions of his card with red and blue jersey material swatches… since they were relatively inexpensive, I picked up one of each.

Daniel-Murphy-ASB

Daniel-Murphy-ASR

Daniel-Murphy-AS-B

There are also a few more limited All-Star Stitches cards featuring Murphy: a gold parallel serial numbered to 50, a unique platinum parallel, a jumbo patch card serial numbered to 6, and a combo card featuring jersey swatches from both Murphy and Derek Jeter serial numbered to 25.

Continue reading “2014 Topps Update Mets inserts”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Random thoughts inspired by 9 Mets baseball cards

Geof surprised me with a couple of envelopes filled with Mets baseball cards this week. Here are a few of my favorites and some that just caught my eye.

2002 Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball Tom Seaver insert card
2002 Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball Tom Seaver insert card

I had just gotten back into baseball card collecting in 2002, so I really don’t remember whether “Heroes of Baseball” was a full set released by Upper Deck that year or just the name of this insert series. This card, #HTS3, commemorates the April 22, 1970 game when he struck out the last 10 batters en route to a 19-strikeout performance.

Mets fans of a certain age undoubtedly remember that game. Younger fans might remember hearing about it during a Mets broadcast – particularly during the era that Seaver was a TV analyst for the Mets, it seemed to come up quite often.

Continue reading “Random thoughts inspired by 9 Mets baseball cards”

Posted in Uncategorized

Mets baseball cards, from Tom Seaver to Zack Wheeler

I want to thank Geof for surprising me with these Mets baseball cards (and a Mets windbreaker.) They brightened my day, and are giving me something to talk about besides last night’s discouraging loss to the Brewers.

 

IMG_0136

How can you go wrong with Tom Seaver? (I haven’t bought any Gypsy Queen cards this year – is this a parallel or did they go black & white with the set?) Continue reading “Mets baseball cards, from Tom Seaver to Zack Wheeler”

Posted in Uncategorized

Mets baseball card of the week: 2013 Topps Archives Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver's 2013 Topps Archives baseball card
Tom Seaver’s 2013 Topps Archives baseball card

I really don’t “get” the modern incarnation of Topps Archives. The concept started off well.

Topps introduced the “Archives” brand in 1991 when it reprinted its 1953 baseball card set at standard size on modern cardstock with a glossy finish. They followed it up with a reprint of the 1954 set in 1994, and a 1995 reprint set of some classic cards of Brooklyn Dodgers from the team’s final years in New York.

I actually collected and completed the 1991 set and bought a number of packs from the Dodgers set on closeout from Toys ‘R’ Us in the mid-1990s.

Topps brought the brand into the 21st Century in 2001 with a 450-card set featuring reprints of classic rookie and final year cards from various sets. They repeated the concept in 2002 with a smaller, 200-card set focused on players’ “best” years.

That’s where things started to get a bit bizarre – Topps re-created cards from the 1980s overproduction era that were more valuable than the originals because the new ones were more scarce.

Ten years later, Topps re-launched the brand again with a set including a mix of current and retired players on classic card designs. For 2012, they chose 1954, 1971, 1980 and 1984. For 2013, they picked 1972, 1982, 1985 and 1990.

There seems to be little rhyme or reason behind the player selection for each year, so in last year’s set we got this bizarre Tom Seaver card, using a relatively early photo of the Hall of Famer as a Met on a 1982 card design even though Seaver actually appeared in the 1982 set as a Cincinnati Reds’ player.

Maybe we can pretend its from an alternate universe where Seaver remained with the Mets for his whole career.

Topps is bringing back the Archives set again in 2014, this time featuring designs from 1973, 1980 (again), 1986 and 1989. I’m sure it will produce at least a few baseball cards that will leave me scratching my head.

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