I've been the recipient of some really thoughtful and generous trade packages recently, causing me to fall a tad behind on chronicling some of the neat cards I scored at the Concord Mall sports card and memorabilia show a couple weekends ago. I'm certainly not complaining, mind you; just pointing out fact.
As it concerns the All-Time Mets Project, I had a pretty successful go of it at the show. When all was said and done, I secured 22 new players towards the checklist, which you can view here. Concerning that checklist, I used the Ultimate Mets Database, cross-referencing it with the Trading Card Database, to accumulate what I believe to be the master list of Mets players with Mets cards. [Ed. Note: If you find any players missing, or any other errors, please feel free to holler at me!]
My usual favorite vendor was there, so I was a happy camper. She was my first stop and my only stop...and I was at the mall for three hours! With a pair of six-foot tables containing nothing but nickel boxes of cards from the '80s, '90s, '00s and today, I couldn't pull myself away. And why would or should I? There were easily a dozen monster boxes, all organized by year, which made the hunting all the more enjoyable and easy. Anyhow, 19 of the 22 ATMP additions came from her tables.
So let's take a look which previously M.I.A. Mets have added themselves to the mix...
1998 Topps Finest Rick Reed, #67
Arguably my favorite card of the lot you are about to view. A former scab player, Reed was tabbed the "poor man's Greg Maddux" for the Mets of the late '90s. I think the protective coating will have to come off this one before it lands in the binder. Notable Knowledge: Represented Mets in the 1998 and 2001 All-Star Games.
1983 Topps George Bamberger, #246
Coffee-stained teeth and lots of chest hair highlight this card of the ninth manager in Mets history. The Staten Island native resigned 46 games into the '83 season, his second as the club's skipper. Notable Knowledge: Former GM Frank Cashen regarded Bamburger, formerly with Baltimore, as the best pitching coach he had ever seen.
1980 Topps Jose Cardenal, #512
The Mets were one of nine stops for Cardenal, who crafted an 18-year big-league career. He appeared in just 37 games over two seasons in Flushing. Jose was released by the Mets in August of '80 and, soon thereafter, signed on with the Royals. Notable Knowledge: Hit two homers as a Met, both coming in a span of 11 days during August of '79.
1980 Topps Dock Ellis, #117
The man who claimed to have pitched a no-no in 1970 under the influence of LSD wasn't much of a sensation by the time he reached New York at the end of his career. It's strange that Ellis even has a 1980 baseball card, and a Mets card to boot. Firstly, he didn't finish the season with the Mets (he did so with the Pirates) and, secondly, he retired after the '79 season. Notable Knowledge: Posted a 3-7 record with a lowly 6.04 ERA in 17 games as a Met.
1978 Topps Nino Espinosa, #197
Which is better: the flamboyant collar or the far-out afro? Let's call it a draw and just enjoy this card of Espinosa. Notable Knowledge: Gave up league-high 107 earned runs in 1978.
1980 Topps Sergio Ferrer, #619
This is one of those players who was barely a ripple in the pond of baseball. Ferrer played in just 125 games over a four-year career. Two of those years (69 games) were in a Mets uniform. Well, at least his autograph is nice. Notable Knowledge: Zero career home runs, tied for the lowest total in history.
1980 Topps Gil Flores, #478
Now we're talkin'! Move over Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds, there is a new sheriff of mustaches in town! Look at that thing! Do you even care what he did in the majors? Notable Knowledge: Was second in the NL to Steve Garvey in 1978 in number of broken hearts.
1981 Topps Ed Glynn, #93
Man, Topps cards were pretty bland during this era, were they not? I guess the little ball cap is kinda nice, but... Blah! Glynn is a homeboy, meaning he was born in Flushing, Queens. In fact, the back of the card informs us that Ed was a hot dog vendor at Shea Stadium prior to signing with Detroit in 1971. Notable Knowledge: Re-read the prior sentence.
1982 Topps Greg Harris, #783
Hey, cherry Greg Harris rookie card, man. Actually, I had no idea that Harris even began his career as a Met. I just remember him as the journeyman that he was -- eight teams over a 15-year career. Journeyman or not, if you play 15 years in the top baseball league in the world, you're doing something right. Notable Knowledge: Greg can pitch with with either arm. Look it up!
1980 Topps Andy Hassler, #353
In case you haven't noticed the trend, I found quite a few Mets I needed from the 1980 set. Which is fine with me, since that's my birth year and I rather like the look of the '80 cards. Hassler played in New York for part of the 1979 season, and that's it. Therefore, he was either a Pirate or an Angel when this card was pulled from packs during the spring/summer of '80. Notable Knowledge: Logged 4 wins and 4 saves in 29 games as a Met.
1980 Topps Rich Hebner, #331
Another one-and-done story. Hebner was a solid, clutch player for both the Pirates and Phils, but never warmed to New York after being dealt to the Mets in March of '79. He was traded to the Tigers on Halloween of that same calendar year. Notable Knowledge: Went 4-for-5 with a homer an 4 RBIs in his Mets debut.
Okay, that's half of the new ATMP class. I'll save the rest for next time. Besides you've endured enough Mets no-names for one visit.