Monday, June 6, 2016
Zistle the 30th (aka Whole Lotta Mets)
So, I'm steadily closing in on 8,500 unique Mets card in my collection. That's a number that I previously couldn't comprehend in terms of a team collection. Then again, I wasn't much of a "team collector" before I started this blog and friendly bloggers/readers began sending me any unwanted Mets. Now I've got the full-on bug and I'm loving every minute of it.
Aside from card shows and the assistance of the blogging community, I've also managed to accumulate a great many Mets via Zistle trades. Remind me: What did I do before Zistle, again?
Anyhow, my 30th Zistle trade involved a lot of cards going in both directions. The end result was nearly 100 new-to-me Mets. Big thanks to fellow Zistler Ryans0625 for working through the deal with me.
So, let's check out some of the most noteworthy (aka Amazin'!) cards from the trade, shall we?
In the lead-off spot is The Franchise, Mr. George Thomas Seaver, from the 2001 UD Decades set. It's a far-out insert from the "Disco Era Dandies" checklist. Really like this card, and who wouldn't with the groovy tie dyed motif? But, it strikes me as very peculiar that Seaver is pictured wearing the road jersey with the script 'New York' on the front. Why? Well, that jersey was worn for just one season (1987) and Seaver was neither a Met nor in baseball that season -- he retired at the end of the '86 season with Boston.
Definitely one of the real joys of this trade was acquiring a bulk of the Mets from the 1999 Topps Traded set.
I have very rarely come across Traded cards from this era either at shows or via trades, so I jumped at the chance to pick these up. Some good names in there with Benitez and the late Darryl Hamilton, plus the only card of Billy Taylor as a Met -- to my knowledge, anyhow.
Another fun set is Fleer Tradition from 2002...
A couple of not so very common Mets among this grouping, including Desi Relaford (only my second Mets card of his) and former Wilmington Blue Rocks skipper Vance Wilson (just my fourth or his).
This is from the '99 Tradition set. It's a "Warning Track Collection" parallel. Other than having red foil lettering and the weird Chinese dragon-esque logo in the bottom right corner, they're the same as the normal base. No serial numbering or anything.
Fleer Sports Illustrated was also a thing in the late 1990s.
This one of Bobby at the Bat is from the 1998 set.
And New Jersey's own Al Leiter from the 1999 release.
Let us not forget Fleer Premium, either!
Fonzie is sliding home in the uniform of the Negro League's New York Cubans. Great card!
Jeez, it's probably a mixed blessing I wasn't heavy into collecting at the time or the late '90s or early '00s because I'd probably go insane with all sets to keep track of. And that's just Fleer!
Upper Deck was further represented in this trade with some commons I needed from the 1998 set.
My main man, Butch Huskey! Large and in charge!
One of the best pinch hitters in Mets history, Matt Franco. Though, in this photo, it looks like he's about to foul the pitch off the bat handle.
Certainly one of the most forgettable Mets was Mel Rojas. He came over from the Cubs in the deal that sent Lance Johnson to the Cubs at the deadline in 1997. Rojas fashioned an unsightly 5.76 ERA in 73 games as a Met. Yuck. Still, he's got a scare few Mets cards, so I like this one for that reason. Plus, that Johnson trade also saw the Mets get Brian McRae and Turk Wendell.
More Upper Deck. And another Fonzie, this one from 2000 UD Ultimate Victory.
A good wind-up shot of Armando from 2002 Upper Deck flagship. A very underrated set.
Back to Topps with various and sundry products and years...
Horizontal Izzy from 1996 Stadium Club.
Awesome home plate celebration shot of Carlo Everett on this 1998 flagship card. Appears to be the aftermath of a grand slam!
Okay, so I only recently realized (last night, in fact) that Benny Agbayani is only featured in Topps products. No clue as to why. I've always known that Benny had very few cards, and I've been disappointed by that fact. But, it finally dawned on me that the has zero cards in any of the other company's sets. No Fleer, no Upper Deck, no Donruss, etc. Anyhow, here's one of the few endangered Bennys -- from 2001 Topps Chrome.
A photoshop special of Roger Cedeno from 2002 Gold Label. It's the same doctored photo they used for this Topps Total card from the same year. He was a Tiger the season prior and the backdrop is Comerica Park -- not Shea Stadium -- as the home white Mets uni would have you believe.
Now here's a product that is severely under-represented in my collection. In fact, this is my first base Topps Reserve card. I've got a Piazza relic from the same year (2002) thanks to Shane from SL.
A short-print from 2002 Heritage. Then again, I think every Met in the 2002 Heritage checklist is a damn SP. Damn them a thousand times! By the way, this design should look familiar to those of you who enjoyed ripping into some Topps Archives over the weekend. I did not, since Delaware and northeast Maryland have apparently banned the product from stores thus far. Two Targets and a Wal-Mart all barren. Grrrr.
One of my favorite cards from the 2011 Update release. Such a grand card for an underwhelming player. Hey, it happens, and it's why we love baseball cards!
A mini Johan insert from 2012 Topps. I am the proud owner of all 150 '87 minis from 2012. I skipped the drama and bought 'em as sets off eBay that year. Such a fun set to flip through.
My first card of Matt Reynolds, who unexpectedly found himself on the NLCS and World Series rosters last year thanks to the duplicity of Chase Utley. Reynolds delivered his first big league RBI during Saturday's win in Miami. Not only that, it was the game-winning RBI!
Did I mention I hate short prints? Because I do. Oh well, I'm happy to cross this 2014 Grandy SP off my team 'want list' at least.
Yet another dreaded SP. This high-numbered Yoenis, however, is ticketed for my 2016 Heritage set build. Thus, it remains on my Mets 'want list.'
Topps sure got some good mileage out of Noah's photo shoot from the subterranean batting cages. This one plus his Heritage card from last year's High Number set plus this year's regular Heritage card all feature similar photos in the same setting. [Ed. Note: Sounds like a future blog post to me, Mark.] BUT...and this is a big and important BUT...each photo features a different pose! That is a huge step for Topps. Bravo, boys and girls!
Oh, and one more thing before we part company...
Hey, there's always room for OPC, right?
This was a fun, fun trade. Much like the circle of card collecting blogs, Zistle is full of good folks looking to swap cards and build their collections. If you're not on board, get on! It's free and very addictive!