Monthly Archives: May 2012

Collect the Mets Fundraiser

Six boxes of Topps Archives and all I got was this lousy Bryce Harper autograph

Here at Collect the Mets, we strive to bring you the best coverage of Mets baseball cards and collectibles past and present.  We never quite get there, but we try.  And by we I mean me.  And the army of spammers commenting on my posts.  I’m telling you, it’s like they never sleep.

Every card image you see on this site is scanned from an actual card that I have in-hand – no promotional images, stock photos, or pictures grabbed from eBay are ever used (unless I decide to change this, at which point anything I did not personally scan will be clearly noted).  This would probably be more impressive if I had posted a few more of the thousands of cards destined to appear on this site…

The main factor keeping this blog from achieving greatness is time, but money comes in real handy too.  I sunk a lot of cash into Topps Archives in the hopes of pulling a few of the 19 former Mets autographs in that product, but only got an Olerud out of it (in a Blue Jays uniform unfortunately; Topps seems to have ignored my suggestion to show him as a Met).  And while Bill Buckner should be considered an honorary Met for his Game 6 heroics in the 1986 World Series, I already have all I need of him on a dual auto card with Mookie Wilson.  That means 11 autos headed for eBay to bring in the cash to get the haul I was after.

Well, 11 autographs and this thing.

I mean look at it, they didn’t even bother to have a proper front printed, it’s just a crooked sticker.  Everyone hates redemption cards, right?  And Bryce Harper, he hasn’t even played a full season in the majors!  He’s no Jack Clark, that’s for sure.

All this and more can be yours, just put your bids in here and hope for the best.  All proceeds will go towards increasing my backlog of great Mets game-used and autograph cards to scan and post.  I think we can all agree that this is a worthy cause.

Binghamton Mets 7, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6

Jefry Marte comes alive!

Just stand there and take it in.

Box Score

After three games won by wide margins, it made sense that the final game in the series would be a tough back-and-forth match that was up for grabs until the final swing.  The Fisher Cats offense knocked in 5 runs against shaky B-Mets starter Greg Peavey, but the B-Mets offense was back in action after getting shut out on Saturday, knocking in 7 runs on a single, double, and three home runs.  The Fisher Cats rallied back for one run off Robert Carson in the 9th, but Carson ended the inning without further incident for his first save with the B-Mets.

Matt den Dekker, Sean Kazmar, and Jefry Marte all homered for the B-Mets and all three made key defensive plays to keep the game close.  Marte was busy fielding balls at third, Kazmar made a spectacular grab to rob Mike McDade of a base hit, and den Dekker kept busy chasing down anything that dropped in center to limit the damage when he wasn’t driving runs in.  Marte’s 2-run shot in the 7th was his first with the B-Mets and gave them the lead for good.

With so many balls in play, defense and baserunning were key in this game and both teams had their great plays and blunders.  The B-Mets botched their first pickoff attempt when the throw from catcher Juan Centeno went into right field, but they nabbed John Tolisano trying to steal second and picked off Justin Jackson at first.

Juan Lagares reached base twice on bad throws from Fisher Cats third baseman Mark Sobolewski, but he pushed his luck the second time and was caught stealing.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 9, Binghamton Mets 0

Revenge of the Fisher Cats

Yeah, that's how this game went.

After two big wins in Manchester, the B-Mets’ good fortune ran dry on Saturday.  The Fisher Cats hit Darin Gorski for 9 runs on 10 hits before he made his exit with no outs in the top of the 5th.  Kevin Mulvey, Brad Holt, and Robert Carson recorded the final 12 outs without giving up any more runs, but the B-Mets’ offense failed to get a runner past third despite several opportunities.

Box Score

How do you spell relief? M-U-L-V-E-Y-H-O-L-T-C-A-R-S-O-N

If at first you don't succeed...

Now, there were some highlights in this game.  For the second game in a row, Matt den Dekker had leadoff single in the first and reached on a HBP.  He did the former on the first pitch, but it took two attempts to plunk him (the first resulted in a passed ball that sent Zapata from first to third, where he watched the rest of the inning unfold).  The HBP accounted for 20% of the runners put on by Yohan Pino in an outstanding start for the Fisher Cats.

You win some...

The game had its share of close plays and interesting moments, some of which went in the B-Mets’ favor.  Pedro Zapata beat the throw on an infield single, Justin Jackson swung and missed so badly that he was lifted off the ground, Reese Havens applies a tag to end the 4th inning on a stolen base attempt, and Kevin Mulvey slides into first base to make the out.

And you lose some

Not everything turned out for the better though (understatement…).  A throw to the plate didn’t make it in time to prevent one of the four runs in the 4th and the Fisher Cats wrapped up their scoring for the day with a three-run home run in the 5th.

Lots of sad trips back to the dugout today...

Binghamton Mets 11, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 4

Den Dekker and the Mets deck Deck (goose?)

I didn’t get to see Zack Wheeler pitch last night, but this game certainly made up for it.  Matt den Dekker set the tone with a leadoff single that would start him on his first of three trips around the diamond in the B-Mets 11-4 victory that had the Mets trying to outdo the fireworks that followed the game.

Alpha and Omega: Matt den Dekker leading off with a single and the final swing in the bottom of the 9th

Fisher Cats starter Deck McGuire gave up 5 runs and was lifted with one out in the first inning.  B-Mets starter Gonzalez Germen looked like he wouldn’t fare much better in the bottom of the inning, but he escaped a bases loaded jam after giving up two runs.

After two uneventful innings, the B-Mets padded their lead with a trio of home runs: den Dekker in the 4th, Josh Rodriguez in the 6th, and Eric Campbell in the 8th.  Edgar Ramirez relieved Germen and pitched the last two innings, ending the game with a swinging strikeout.

Box Score

Den Dekker contemplates home run, den Dekker hits home run, den Dekker celebrates home run

Josh Rodriguez, Eric Campbell, and Matt den Dekker debate who should hit the next home run

And now it's Eric Campbell's turn

More to come…

CTM Mailbag – May 2012

Ike’s slump, Harvey’s chances, declining Mets representation, and a whole lot of nonsense

The results of our Reader Poll are in and I have a reader!  This is quite an achievement, but just getting a reader to your blog isn’t enough.  No, you need to work on getting said reader to return and eventually (don’t rush it) getting your readership into plurals.  It’s about giving the people what they want and people like their entertainment to be interactive, or so I am told.  In an effort to reach out to the fan community and give them a voice on this site, I’m starting a mailbag feature.  Post a comment here or send me a message via Twitter or however else the kids are communicating these days and I’ll do my best to get back to you at some point in your lifetime.

Neuner wrote:

Due to various troubles we come across concerning our pcs and the risks they will obtain via different viruses and also spyware, many of us wanted to keep them safe as well as collateralized. Perform every thing to make sure that we do not screw up along with any of their components as well as may be a selection of their packages, but it is horrifying to wake up each morning and then know that our own cherished computer systems are being invaded by simply these harmful software programs trying to shatter and make up a extreme harm to them. This is how malware solution was invented.

I don’t think you can connect Ike’s lack of game-used cards so far this year to his poor start to the season.  Sets are planned out months in advance, so, if anything, it would be his season-ending injury last year (and the botched treatment) that has kept his material out of 2012 products.  The good news is that he is hitting again and his one 2012 game-used card so far is a beauty – a dual Jumbo Lumber bat card booklet with Wright in 2012 Museum Collection.  I’d say things are looking up.

LogemannMahr18 wrote:

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A month ago, I wasn’t very hopeful for getting Matt Harvey game-used cards this year, but two factors have me rethinking this.  First, Pelfrey’s season-ending injury has opened a door in the rotation, and while Harvey won’t be rushed, he could find himself in a very important role when he makes his MLB debut in August or September.  Second, Topps has tweeted a picture of a Harvey jersey they have in their possession, so the material is there waiting to be cut up.  Between the in-hand jersey and a near-certainty of a late-season call-up, it makes sense for Topps to plan for some Harvey cards in one of their late-season products.

NagaoRuffing584 wrote:

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Poor Mets representation in 2012 Topps sets is definitely a concern that has been noted by the blog community.  Looking back at 2011, there was a lot of player diversity in Mets game-used cards, but most of those players are no longer with the team.  Beltran and Reyes were mainstays who also represented the team at the All-Star game, but now they’re gone.  Angel Pagan and Fernando Martinez were also starting to get some representation, but they’re gone too.  Jason Bay is Jason Bay, so Topps will probably get a few more cards out for him despite his lack of production on the field.  Jon Niese has been featured on one card this year and Josh Thole has all but been forgotten; Dillon Gee is the only 2011 newcomer with multiple game-used cards, all in 2012 Museum Collection.  That just leaves David Wright, who is left carrying the whole team.  While a lot of the other players have a strong following among the team’s faithful, they lack the widespread appeal that would make them no-brainers for game-used sets.  Without that, it could be a long road ahead to get the Mets some respect from Topps.  Winning would sure help in that department (their strong start this year did not go unnoticed by whoever is running their Twitter account, so that’s something).

thelmarosendahl8037 wrote:

If you want to get the best deal on your auto insurance policy, work on your credit. Most states use your credit score to determine your premium, believing that individuals with a lower score are at a higher risk for accidents. Do everything you can to raise your score, and the cost of your insurance will drop as a result.
Whatever cause you need temporary car insurance, it is a simple and simple matter to set up. Insurance providers need fewer particulars than they need for a twelve-monthly insurance policy. You’ll need to give them the car registration and inform them the length of time you wish the cover to be, and that’s pretty much it. It really couldn’t possibly be easier, and when you consider how dim a outlook the police force take about driving without cover, well, how does a two hundred pound instant payment and 6 penalty points on your license grab you? Other than the damage to your driving record there’s clearly damage to the leased/borrowed/hired auto that you would need to pay for, to not point out any injuries you cause as a result of an accident. One other big plus of this kind of insurance cover is it is extremely affordable, you can get comprehensive cover for an inexpensive rate. You have no defense to not have temporary vehicle insurance, so if you understand you could drive a car other than your own for a short time, go examine the insurance cover now.I’m a Chicagoan and, of course, I like to think that there’s something special about anything Chicago, including Chicago auto insurance. But, as far as Chicago insurance goes, there just isn’t. That, however doesn’t mean that there’s nothing about Chicago insurance that’s specific to Chicago. There is. But it’s not special, something similar happens in all large cities.

If we do get any game-used cards from the bench players and injury replacements in 2012, it probably won’t be until late in the year like Justin Turner’s jersey card in 2011 Bowman Sterling last December.  The main problem here is the lack of exciting options; Scott Hairston and Ronny Cedeno just aren’t relevant enough to bother with, Mike Baxter, as good as he is as a pinch hitter, just has too limited an upside, and Turner has already been covered.  Josh Satin has a shot given his service time last year, but he has yet to get past Taxi Squad status this year.  Jordany Valdespin and Zach Lutz have a shot, but not until next year, at the earliest.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis is a viable option as a regular for most of the season so far (and a pretty good one at that), but I don’t know if Topps can work quickly enough to make something happen before the end of the year.

Doug Dickey wrote:

Hey man, nice blog!  Just thought I would throw it out there that I have collected R.A. Dickey since I was a kid (same last name) and I have managed to create a enormous collection.  Check out my site if you want:
I have some of his most rare cards that you might like to take a look at in there. I’ve almost managed to collect every single one of his cards as well :).

OK, who let a spammer in here?  Wait, is that relevant commentary?  Could this be a real comment?  The use of a link in the message body matches the typical spam format, but there’s a chance it might be legit.  If so, you probably won’t like to know that I have this:

Sorry, but this one is staying in my collection.  Your pursuit of all the Dickey in the world will forever come up short.

The Side Panel: On sibling teams and other anniversaries

Leftovers from a Mets series in Houston 26 years ago

Back in 1986, the Mets celebrated their 25th anniversary.  Yeah, it was really their 25th year, not their 25th anniversary year, but they weren’t the only ones who had trouble figuring out those details.  Their fellow 1962 expansion team in Houston (originally the Colt .45s, now the Astros) also celebrated their 25th anniversary a bit early in 1986.  For the first time since the 1986 NLCS, both teams are celebrating a major anniversary in Houston this week.  They even got the year right this time.

Two days after hosting the 1986 All-Star Game, the Astros opened a four-game series against the Mets at the Astrodome.  This would be my first time seeing the Mets play in person, though I don’t know which game it was.  It could have been the 13-2 blowout against former Met Nolan Ryan or any of the three losses that followed (I’m hoping for the former, not that it matters now).  In the days before we externalized all of our memories with Facebook and Twitter and cell phone cameras, the details of our past are shrouded in faded memories.

Quickly discarded memories of seeing the Mets play from way down the right field line (Ooh, gift shop!) weren’t the only thing I left that game with.  As luck would have it, there was a free 25th anniversary hat given out as a promotional item that day.  I don’t know if this was a one-time giveaway or what, but I left Houston that year up two hats (this and one from the All-Star Roundup, sponsored prominently by Chevrolet).  And for those of you following on Twitter, this is the hat I was looking for when I found that other hat we shall not speak of.

Still looking for whitening tips...

This was quite the classy hat in its day, with the full cloth back and metal rings around the holes.  It’s a one-size-fits-all plastic snapback, as were most hats back then.  It hasn’t aged particularly well; there’s a lot of discoloration and the foam liner started breaking down about 20 years ago.  It’s clear that these hats weren’t made to last for the team’s next 25 years.