Author Archives: mttlg

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.

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Player Spotlight: Jenrry Mejia

Stomp you later, Jenrry. Stomp you later forever…

Plenty has already been written about Jenrry Mejia’s stunning fall from grace and far more will be written needlessly. Ted Berg sums things up nicely without any of the sanctimonious moralizing that hacks and blowhards rely on in place of actual discussion about performance enhancing drug use in baseball. As tends to be the case, what we know is dwarfed by what we don’t know and what we don’t know that we don’t know. In the end, it’s a sad story with many questions and few answers.

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Player Spotlight: Bobby Bonilla

It’s July 1st, do you know where your $1.19 million are?

It’s that time of year again – Bobby Bonilla gets his annual paycheck from the Mets and the entire world laughs at the team for a move that actually saved them money in the (Madoff-fueled) long run. What seems like a massive waste now actually made good fiscal sense at the time, at least as much as can be expected from an ownership group heavily invested in a Ponzi scheme. In cards though, Bonilla is the model of efficiency, managing the rare three-way solo appearance in bat, jersey, and patch cards. And none from his time(s) with the Mets.

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Casey at the Pen

A rain delay anecdote

Due to the nature of the New York Penn League schedule, I only get one chance to see the Brooklyn Cyclones each year (technically three if you count individual games). When rain threatens to cancel one of those games, I have no choice but to tough it out and hope things clear up. In 2013, that didn’t work out so well. 2014’s second Cyclones game in Lowell was shaping up much the same way.

The nice thing about the rain is that it keeps the binder people at bay. You know the ones, lining the railings before games with binders filled with cards to be signed by the dozen. Do people actually buy those things? I don’t understand it, but they must make enough to justify being there. Except in the rain. On this day, there were only two or three people waiting by the dugout, so I slipped in on the off chance that someone might show up on the other side of the railing. That person ended up being Casey Meisner.

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Dear Binghamton Mets, It’s Not Too Late to Fix This

Seriously, just say no to bad team names

I go to about 10 Binghamton Mets games each year, all on the road. As such, some amount of team merchandise is a must for me in addition to the usual big-league Mets gear. The problem with the Binghamton Mets though is that they have no real identity beyond being a Mets affiliate with a boring dark blue base color. After the New Britain Rock Cats moved to Hartford and changed their name to the Yard Goats, the solution to that problem seemed clear. The team didn’t move, but 2016 would be the last year for the Binghamton Mets.

Some people weren’t too happy with the “Yard Goats” name, but it was actually quite brilliant. It has the requisite animal name while also being an obscure railroad reference, making for easy and interesting mascots and graphics with some sort of tie to the area’s history. The merchandise was a big hit, partly due to the use of the colors from the long-departed Hartford Whalers. Like the Yard Goats and other minor league teams, the Binghamton club had a naming contest and selected six finalists. Would they be odd, quirky, clever, or endearing? Um…

Bullheads. Gobblers. Rocking Horses. Rumble Ponies. Stud Muffins. Timber Jockeys. No, I’m not hurling insults at the team for picking bad names, those are the names selected as finalists. Can you imagine wearing any of those across your chest? All hope is not lost though, we might be able to pull a Boaty McBoatface and sneak in a better name while keeping a nod to the fan choices.

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2016 Mets Debut Autographs

The more things change…

When the dust settled after the 2015 NL Champion Mets’ offseason, not much had changed. Daniel Murphy became Neil Walker, Ruben Tejada became Asdrubal Cabrera, Kirk Nieuwenhuis became Alejandro De Aza, and Carlos Torres became Antonio Bastardo. Throw in Jim Henderson as typical bullpen churn (who somehow does not have any autographs despite being fairly prominent a few years ago) and you have your 2016 New York Mets. Just to reinforce the fact that little had changed since the (Royals’) celebration at Citi Field, all but Bastardo made their debuts in Kansas City on a trip that the Mets were three outs away from taking five months earlier. When Travis d’Arnaud hit the DL again, journeyman catcher Rene Rivera was brought up to back up Kevin Plawecki (Rivera has no autographs but an unsigned proof for an autograph card exists). Meanwhile, Matt Reynolds is on the outside looking in, racking up Rookie Cards while waiting for a chance to get back on the roster and maybe even into a game.

Neil Walker Asdrubal Cabrera Alejandro De Aza Jim Henderson
3 April 2016 3 April 2016 3 April 2016 5 April 2016
Antonio Bastardo Rene Rivera
8 April 2016 30 April 2016