Monday, April 20, 2015

To Be or Not To Be (A Mets Card)

I'll admit it, I've got my hang ups about a great many things.  And that extends way beyond the hobby, but this ain't the place to broadcast my mild (or not so mild?) neurosis.  Rather, I'll keep it to baseball cards.  For now anyway.

I'm very particular when it comes to admitting a certain card into my Mets collection.  I'm sure that's not a unique trait for a collector, but I think I spend way too much time thinking about the minutia of the hobby. Ad I let it fester and nag so that it starts to effect the fun of it.

Like I said, neurosis.

Case in point: Tony Phillips' 1999 Fleer Tradition Millennium Edition card.  Looks like a Mets card--and a really outa sight one at that--at initial glance.  Phillips in his trademark batting crouch, awaiting a pitch at ol' Shea Stadium, wearing the blue and orange accented uniform of the New York Mets.

However, look a little closer at the team name listed above Phillips' name on the front of the card.  And notice the annoying little "Free Agent" icon stamped on the left side.

And then there's the back...

That little Oakland A's emblem makes it officially official: This is an Athletics card.

But, does it have to be?  I mean, I can make it whatever the heck I want, right?  If I darn well wanted to, I could put this in a binder with a bunch of Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles California cards, correct?  Sure, it's shattering common sense and human decency if I did so, but so what?  It's my collection to celebrate or ruin my own way.

It is with the spirit of defiance that I decided to buck the norm and classify this as a Mets card in my collection. It'll sleep in the same bed as the rest of the official Mets cards which feature Mets logos and team banners, etc. Fleer can't bully me into shuffling this beauty into the abyss of my other Athletics cards.  And I'll rest well tonight having come to this huge life-changing decision.

At least that's what I'll tell the therapist.



  1. The one that I "had to have" was the 1962 Don Zimmer. Because the Mets were new, the early '62s were of the "big head no hat" variety. Zim was slated for a later series, so they had a gorgeous picture of him in Mets regalia. But, by then, he'd been traded to the Reds. So they kept the great picture, but changed the team designation. If I considered it a Reds card, rather than a Mets card, then Zim would have no Topps issued Mets cards. So, to me, its a Mets card. And my '62 Mets team set would not be complete without it. Demonstrating my inconsistency, however, they also used a Mets photo on Zim's '63 card (though the "NY" on the cap is not visible). That one, I do NOT consider a Mets card.

    1. Great stuff, Stubby! I know exactly the Zim you're talking about, and I think you did the right thing. I have one of those on my vintage wish list for the exact reason!

  2. I hated when the card companies did this. Isn't second series and beyond for cleaning up this kind of mess?