Sports card bloggers have a pretty cool little network going on. I'm certainly not--nor do I count myself--among the middle-of-the-order guys when it comes to blogging about baseball cards. If the hobby blogosphere were the solar system, I'd perhaps be Pluto. And that might be generous. But, hey, I'm okay with that! This is just for fun and I'm not looking for any awards.
What's my point? Well, you don't have to be Saturn to get discovered. Such was the case a couple weeks ago when a gentleman named Jeff contacted me via email about a potential trade. It turns out he found my blog via one of the big planets in the blog galaxy--none other than my buddy Shane over at Shoebox Legends.
Anyhow, long story short, Jeff was generous enough to hook me up with nearly 100 cards for my Mets collection! There were big stars like Piazza, Beltran and Seaver, as well as guys that only a Mets fan or collector would get excited for, such as Jay Payton, Steve Trachsel and Alex Ochoa.
Here's a broad sampling of the great Mets cardboard that Jeff sent along. Let's begin with the big names.
This is one groovy insert, Kevin Arnold. I bet Paul and Winnie will be way jealous of this one!
The two most potent home run hitting catchers of all-time on one card. Can you beat that?
A red Turkey Red parallel rounds out the Piazza portion of the post.
The Mets have had some pretty good southpaws throughout their colorful history...
The only man to throw a no-hitter in a New York Mets uinform. This is a black Walmart parallel of Johan.
Speaking of parallels, this is the Electric Diamond parallel of Johnny Franco's '94 Upper Deck base card.
Mike Hampton's stay in the Big Apple lasted all of one season, but he sure gave Mets fans more than a few fond memories during that time.
If you know me, you know I'm a Jeff Kent guy. I was lukewarm on him when he was in Flushing, but I appreciate the hell out of the man's career accomplishments. And his cards, too!
Kent is, in my mind, a no-brainer HOFer and should have made it on the first ballot.
Here are some more great names from this annals of Mets history...
George. Thomas. Seaver. He is the alpha and omega of Mets super-stardom. It's always an honor to get a new card of his.
Carlos Beltran was a great Met. If I'm talking to a fellow fan and, right out of the box, he/she brings up the strikeout versus Wainwright that ended the '06 NLCS, I discontinue the conversation immediately.
Another guy who put up some unbelievable seasons in Queens. Jose Reyes will always be a fan favorite in Flushing.
A couple of essentials from '94 Topps. Not sure how I didn't have that Doc already!
Fonzie is probably in my top-three of favorite Mets all-time. This is a nice-looking Topps Gallery card of the former All-Star second baseman.
This next round of cards represents players who maybe only I (or a similarly afflicted Mets fan) might appreicate...
Jay Payton was the center fielder on the Mets' 2000 NL pennant-winning team. He had some nice moments for the club, but overall never achieved the promise that carried him through the minor leagues.
Another guy who just never panned out. He had a nice smile and a great looking swing, though. That must count for something, right?
This guy was a workhorse. Trachsel gave you innings and effort, even if it took about seven hours to complete six innings of one of his starts.
Timo Perez was the ultimate supernova. He exploded onto the scene just in time to help the Mets to the World Series in 2000 and then kinda fizzled thereafter.
Alex Ochoa was the previously "untouchable" prospect the Mets pried away from Baltimore in the Bobby Bonilla trade. The only thing I can say about him is that he hit for the cycle on my birthday in 1996.
Another member of the 2000 NL champions, Darryl Hamilton suddenly and tragically died last week. He was just 50.
After getting denied by Barry Larkin in July of 2000, the Mets settled on Baltimore's Mike Bordick at the trading deadline to sure-up their shortstop situation. He homered in his first game as a Met, but was otherwise uninspiring both in the field and at the plate.
Yeah, I know, it's Tim Bogar. But, c'mon; it's Tim Bogar!
I love both of these photo choices from 1995 Collector's Choice:
Orsulak sitting on one of the folding chairs that you bring out from the garage when you're hosting poker night with your pals.
Harnisch leaning against the side of an oil tanker to sign a quick autograph.
One of my favorite 'cup of coffee' Mets was Jason Tyner. He played in 13 games for the 2000 Mets before being traded to Tampa Bay later that same season.
This is a Bowman Heritage mini of Brian Bannister who pitched in eight games for the club in 2006 before being dealt to K.C. in the offseason.
Aside from hitting three home runs for the 2001 team, the most noteworthy part of Alex Escobar's Mets affiliation was his inclusion in the Roberto Alomar trade in December of '01.
And, we'll finish things out with four cards that would be cool irrespective of the player featured on them...
These, of course, are "State and Hometown" parallels last year's Bowman release. For my money, these are among the best and most interesting inserts and/or parallels Bowman--or Topps, for that matter--puts out.
Jeff, I can't thank you enough for this huge lot of cards of my beloved Mets! They have certainly found a good home with me here in the Kuiper belt of blogging...