There are moon shots. And then there are moon shots.
This cool Ultra (Ultra cool?) Mo Vaughn insert comes courtesy of my buddy Shane of Shoebox Legends. It's a fantastic card and one that I wasn't aware of previously. Those are always the best kind, right?
Anyhow, I immediately knew which home run this card was referencing. It was from the 2002 season, a less than successful campaign for the Metropolitans. It was an OK statistical season for Big Mo, who took his powerfully prodigious frame to the Big Apple in 2002 after a year away from the game due to injury.
And on one June night in Flushing, Queens, the former AL MVP launched a baseball to a part of Big Shea that very few men--if any--have approached.
One of the most amazing homers I've ever watched from a Mets player. Sure, it wasn't a huge game or a meaningful home run. It wasn't not a Todd Pratt, Benny Agbayani or Mike Piazza moment. Nonetheless, it's remained with me, quite vividly at that.
Along with this memory-inducing beauty of a card, Shane offered up his usual array of terrific cardboard treasures.
No stranger to memorable Shea Stadium home runs himself, Todd Hundley looks A-OK on this '93 Topps Gold parallel. One of my favorite Mets Rookie Cup cards of all-time.
Just when you think you've seen every David Wright card out there... This is around the time when Upper Deck started to get a little wonky. Nonetheless, I dig this one of the Mets captain.
Two words: Shinjo insert.
Speaking of wonky, Topps offered up the over-indulgent Moments & Milestones set for a couple years towards the end of last decade. For every stolen base (all 78 of 'em) that Jose swiped in 2007, there is a serial-numbered card in this set. I'm very satisfied having this one, don't get me wrong. But, I'm not nutty enough to want all 78 cards of Jose from this set. I mean, c'mon.
Definitely no wonkiness here. I've absolutely got a thing for early Topps Finest, and the '93 edition ranks right up as one of the best from this product's lineage.
How about a little minor league ink? Far from a household name, Pat Strange actually appeared in 11 games over two season (2002-03) for New York. I like the obscure auto cards. When it comes to my team, the more obscure or, ahem, strange the better!
Another for the Vlad Guerrero collection. This one is die-cut, in case you can't tell. And, even though he's pictured as an Expo, this would qualify as an Angels card if you're keeping scoring at home.
Let's finish up with a couple of non-baseball, shall we?
A controversial player from Celtics annals is Antoine Walker. You either were fiercely loyal to him or he drove you to drink. I was always in the former category. Loved him and his unorthodox game. He had an ugly shot, jacked up a ton of 3's, was essentially position-less, and had a tendency to shake 'n shimmy his way down the court after nailing a big basket. I still have an AW jersey in my closet somewhere.
Nothing controversial here. Lundqvist will finish his career as the most accomplished net-minder in Rangers history. He recently joined an elite class that includes Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur as the only goalies in NHL history to log 10 or more seasons of 30-plus wins. In fact, Hank has won 30 or more games in all but one of his 11 season. And that lone season he didn't reach 30 was the lockout-shortened 2012-13 year which saw him lead the league with 24 wins. He's pretty good.
By the way, Shane's pretty good, too. Another amazin' assortment, my good man. Many thanks!