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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What’s in Your Binder?

I’ll show you mine…

If you’re like me, you have more cards in boxes than you know what to do with. Small boxes, large boxes, multi-row boxes, toploader boxes… For most cards, their final resting place (before the inevitable trash can or recycle bin of fate) will be a cardboard box, never to be seen by human eyes ever again. It’s an efficient method of card storage, but efficiency often comes at the price of emotional connections. Sometimes, we want to keep cards viewable, even if we are the only ones who ever view them. And for that, we have binders.

Binders can hold a great number of different things. You name it and there’s a pocketed binder page made for it. Comic books, coins, postcards – if it’s flat, it fits in something. Nothing though, aside from a single sheet of paper, fits better than the 9-pocket sports card page. There’s just something about pages of plastic-encased cardboard that just feels right. Some people put every card in pages. Others limit the honor to a select few. In any case, I have just one question: what’s in your binder?

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2016 Mets Card Spring Preview

Unfinished business (scanning last year’s cards…)

Well, it’s that time of year again… Florida is relevant for baseball, prospect lists are coming out left and right, and I’m still digging through a backlog of 2015 cards to scan in the hopes of closing out 2015 before Opening Day (probably not happening…). But the card releases don’t stop, so I have to let you know what to expect in 2016. One thing’s for sure – there’s going to be a lot for Mets fans to chase in 2016.

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Product Spotlight: 2015 Topps Heritage High Number

Back in packs, RCs are stacked

Heritage and I have a strange relationship. When the debut edition became the hottest product of 2001, I chose to sell while it was hot rather than chase the set. I skipped the next decade of Heritage and have bought some each of the four years since, never quite finishing any sets and always falling short of getting my money’s worth. Still, I keep coming back to be somewhat disappointed the next year…

Heritage High Number is a different story. I skipped it in 2012, bought a set at about full price in 2013 and made most of my money back on the autograph, and then never got around to buying a set in 2014. When I finally did pick one up the next year at a steep markdown, I still made back about half the price on the autograph. Not a bad track record, but there’s only so much you can get out of the 100-card factory set format. 2015 Heritage High Number though returned to a standard pack format and in the process became a strong contender for the hottest product of 2015.

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