While I was sorting a box of baseball cards this weekend, I ran across a familiar face… Mets reliever Vic Black.
Black wasa originally selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with a supplemental pick at the end of the first round of the 2009 draft. He began his professional career with the State College Spikes in the New York-Penn League that year, so he’s one of a handful of players Topps chose for their inaugural “Pro Debut” minor league set who was actually making his pro debut.
Late in 2013, the Mets acquired Black and second baseman Dilson Herrera from the Pirates in exchange for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.
Minor League Mondays is a feature where I show you one of the dozens of minor league team sets I’ve collected over the years. Except this week, I’m not going to feature a team set.
Instead, let’s take a look at what passes for the Mets team set from this year’s Topps Pro Debut release. There are 330 cards in this year’s single-series release, as well as 100 All-Star insert cards and various autographed and game-used cards. Since there’s 30 major league organizations, you’d think that Topps might include whoever they considered the top ten prospects for year team.
I don’t know how the other teams fared, but the Mets only had four cards in this year’s base set. That’s not even one for each minor league affiliate. They are:
I picked up five packs of Topps Pro Debut Series One this week. For $17.50, I got 40 cards — that works out to approximately 44 cents each. (I think I remember one of the reasons I stopped buying packs of baseball cards on a regular basis.)
Somehow, I ended up with five Yankees prospects — a pair of AA All-Star inserts featuring Jorge Vazquez and Eduardo Nunez, a pair of Charleston River Dog guys I don’t remember and a Gulf Coast League Yankee by the name of Chris Smith.
Topps’ first foray into the minor league card market is a set that I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced. I’m a little bit disappointed by the selections from the Mets’ system — some of the guys that were included seem more like “organization” players to me, while top prospects like Ike Davis and Jenrry Mejia are absent or limited to an insert set. That could be addressed in Series Two, I suppose.
The base cards use the same design as the regular 2010 Topps set – you either like it or you don’t. I’m going to try to track down the Mets prospects that were included in the set, but I’m also going to pick up some packs for the fun of it as long as I can do it without feeling like I’m getting ripped off.
I should have all the Mets from the 1-200 portion of the set listed correctly, but I haven’t seen a copy of the checklist that included team identifications for cards 201-220 or the inserts. If I’m missing anyone who is pictured in the uniform of a Mets’ affiliate, please let me know.