10 Types of Mike Piazza Memorabilia Cards Worth Owning

Celebrating a Hall of Fame Cardboard Career

Over at Beckett, Ryan Cracknell covered some great Mike Piazza cards, from gems to oddballs. The list is heavy on older cards (Dodgers) and autographs ($$$) and a bit light on memorabilia. Which is a shame because Piazza has one of the richest memorabilia checklists of any retired Met. Now that he’s enshrined in Cooperstown, you’ll probably want to add some of his memorabilia to your collection, so here’s a list of some good options to start with.

Wood

1999 UD MVP Game Used Souvenirs
2001 US Pros & Prospects Dual Bat

When Upper Deck introduced bat cards in its 1998 products, the Mets lacked a representative. Piazza would be the first Met with wood in cardboard in 1999. Bat cards have since fallen out of favor, but the old ones are still works of art.

Mets Patches

2000 Upper Deck Game Jersey Patch P-MP
2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade
2016 Topps Museum Collection Primary Pieces Quad Relic

When the memorabilia craze took hold in 2000, Upper Deck kicked things up a notch with a patch version of its Game Jersey insert set. Piazza was the first Met here as well and more of his patch cards have been made every year since 2000.

Leather

2001 Fleer Authority Diamond Cuts
2001 UD Gold Glove Leather Bound (not shown)
2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade

Piazza’s memorabilia wasn’t limited to just bats and jerseys. In 2001, his game-used offerings also included leather from shoes and gloves. Today, such oddities are rare.

Jumbo Jersey Swatches

2002 Flair Sweet Swatch
2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade
2015 Topps Museum Collection Momentous Material

As memorabilia swatches started to get smaller, Fleer made them a whole lot bigger in their various Sweet Swatch box topper sets. It took at least two jerseys to provide enough jumbo swatches for the 1,000 base 5×8 jersey cards and 95 patch cards in 2002 Flair. Despite their size though, these cards still couldn’t fit much more than half of a letter. Since then, jumbo jersey cards have gotten a bit smaller. Some barely leave room around the material for the front of the card.

Roger Clemens

2001 UD Sweet Spot Game-Used Bases
2003 UD MVP Base-to-Base
2004 Donruss Leather & Lumber Rivals

Piazza’s heated rivalry with Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens was featured in cardboard several times following the 2000 season. Available options include World Series bases (some from the infamous bat toss game and some from the Shea Stadium games afterward), dual game-worn jerseys, and even bat cards.

Marlins

2004 Leaf Certified Materials Fabric of the Game
2004 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade
2004 Playoff Honors Tandems

His time with the Marlins was short, but Piazza’s Marlins jerseys lived on in cardboard for many years. Some of the best came in 2004, six years after his five games with the team.

Multi-player

2005 Fleer Classic Clippings
2005 Flair Dynasty Foundations
2015 Topps Museum Collection Four-Player Quad Relic

By 2005, the memorabilia market was going completely nuts. More and more swatches of material from more and more players were being crammed into cards. Booklets and double-sided memorabilia cards weren’t uncommon. What was uncommon though was to find a multi-player card with nothing but stars. Most followed a familiar formula: one or two future Hall of Famers or fan favorites and one or two guys you had forgotten about by now, usually someone like Timo Perez or Kaz Matsui. The Dynasty Foundations card is rare in that it features nothing but Hall of Famers, all shown as Mets.

All-Stars

2002 UD Diamond Connection Diamond Collection
2005 Leaf Certified Materials Gold Team
2005 Topps Series 1 All-Star Stitches
2005 Topps Update All-Star Stitches

Piazza was named to seven All-Star games as a Met, but two, 1998 and 1999, predated the use of All-Star workout jerseys in cards and Piazza missed the 2000 game because of a Roger Clemens fastball. Two more, 2001 and 2002, came before Topps secured exclusive rights to the material and the final two, 2004 and 2005, were captured in the annual All-Star Stitches insert set.

Winning Materials

2000 SPX Update Winning Materials
2004 SPX Winning Materials
2006 SPX Winning Materials

While the format changed from year to year, the Winning Materials insert set was a constant for SPX from 2000 to 2007. Piazza was featured in five of these sets, sometimes by himself and sometimes with a teammate. The material choices ranged from ordinary swatches to pieces of special event or batting practice jerseys. And occasionally pieces of random baseballs…

Other Patches

2005 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads
2007 UD Ultimate Collection America’s Pastime
2004 Fleer Patchworks By the Numbers

Piazza has had patch cards from at least four of the five teams he’s played for. Only the Padres are without a patch that I’ve seen, but it’s always possible for that to change [Update: Piazza has Padres patch cards in 2016 Panini Immaculate, but only 10 total cards]. As for the one on the right, I have no idea where that came from.

And One More…

2001 UD Legends Legendary Game Jerseys

I always like when the jersey in the photo matches the material in the card. In this case, not only do the two match, but the jersey is also a rare black mesh variety. 2000 was a strange time for Mets uniforms and nothing else demonstrates it quite like this. This seems like a fitting way to go out as we welcome Mike Piazza to Cooperstown.

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