I haven’t seen my friend Bart in forever, so when he asked if I wanted to go to a sports card & memorabilia show today, I said “sure.” The Westchester County Convention Center was also hosting a reptile expo today, and that drew a bigger and more diverse crowd, but there was plenty to see at the card show.
I found a “vintage” signed Marv Throneberry card from a Renata Galasso baseball card set honoring the 20th anniversary of the 1962 original Mets, signed photos of current Mets’ second baseman Jeff McNeil and once (and perhaps future) Mets’ infielder TJ Rivera, a double-signed photo of Lee and LJ Mazzilli, signed photos of three members of the Magnificent Seven gold medal women’s gymnastics team from the 1996 Olympics, and a few $3 Oyo Sports figures that I didn’t have.
I also snagged a baseball card album so I can start organizing my Mets autographs from the past few years. My first binder held 50 years of Mets’ players, but it’s time for a new one. So I’ll be updating my Mets autographs needed list sometime soon, but probably not until after the holidays.
But as fun as it was to go to a sports card show and find some cool things to add to my collection, the highlight of my day was getting to see an old friend again.
Forget about the snow that’s falling as I write this. Spring training officially got underway this week. Mickey Callaway is excited about his new team, which is good because you know you’re in trouble if your first-year manager isn’t excited about his team in February.
Zack Wheeler may not be happy, but Vargas makes the Mets a better team. Now Wheeler gets to compete with Matt Harvey, Stephen Matz, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Chris Flexen and Rafael Montero for two starting spots and three or four bullpen spots. And when the inevitable injuries occur, the Mets should have better options to turn to than they did last year.
Since it looks like the Mets might only carry four outfielders to start the season, they’re talking about giving Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores some reps in the outfield this spring. Now let me go on record to say that Wilmer Flores, outfielder, is a terrible idea. Jose Reyes is probably not going to be a good outfielder at this stage of his career either. But if the Mets are determined to stick them there at some point this season, I hope they get the ‘experiment’ started this spring.
Let’s find out whether Reyes or Flores can play out there in meaningless exhibition games, and give them enough experience to let them be at least somewhat comfortable before that day game after a night game comes along when Juan Lagares is banged up and Yoenis Cespedes doesn’t feel up to playing. (Hey. at least the Mets brought back Matt den Dekker on a minor league deal so there’s somebody that can play centerfield in Triple-A.)