Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vintage Values ('72 and '75 Edition)

I've been meaning to fill in some of the gaps in my 'vintage' Mets collection for some time now.  So, recently I swung by my local hobby shop and browsed through a couple of the '70s binders.  All the cards were either in "very good" or "excellent" condition, with most exhibiting perhaps minor corner/edge wear and occasional wrinkles (though not much of the latter, honestly).  Condition aside, for a quarter apiece, can you really go wrong?

I specifically focused on the 1972 and '75 sets.  Since I'm a chronological kinda guy, we'll start with the '72s I took home.  Included is the card in the lead-off spot of this post:  the 1972 Mets Rookie Stars tri-player card featuring the '72 NL Rookie of the Year, Jon Matlack.  Probably my favorite grab of the entire lot.

The rest of the '72s now...

Why didn't they center Duffy on this card?  Kinda drives my OCD wild.

This is my first card of Chuck Taylor, who played 20 games as a Met -- all during the '72 campaign.

And, now the '75s...

If the Matlack rookie is my favorite of this particular lot, Rusty is a solid second.

Jerry Grote and his mustache take the bronze.

Also, I did manage to get one non-Met...

Saw this one and instantly knew I had to have a copy.  I've been partial to Tanana cards ever since I was 10 and found out his birthday was also July 3.

All these for just four dollars total.  That's the type of value I can get behind!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cubbie Currency

Just a quickie today.  Several weeks ago I bought a blaster of Update to get a sampling of the stuff before I put a hobby box on my list to Santa.

Of course, you get one of these "coin" cards in each box.  I don't get super-excited about these normally, but I knew there were a couple Mets on the checklist.  Thus, I had the remote chance of getting a card that would be a valued addition to my collection.

As you can see, I didn't get a Met, but I was pretty happy to land the Kris Bryant card.  It's pretty funny, because as I was ripping open the wrapper, I was saying to myself, "I never get anyone decent with these things."  I guess I can't say that anymore.

I'm not necessarily enamored with Bryant, but it's always nice to get a rookie year card (even a faux-relic, yes) of a guy whose ceiling is unlimited.  I'll probably get  nice snap-tite or screw-down or magnetic case for this.  Sure, why not?

Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Zistle the 16th

As I alluded to in the prior post, I recently completed a pair of Zistle trades in close succession after going several months without a deal.  And here's the second of the trades.  It's not as 'sexy' as its sister trade, but every acquisition of Mets cards is an important one.  Even if we're mainly talkin' about overproduction era cardboard.

In the lead-off spot, Bobby Bo's 1993 Bowman base card.  It feels like I've been accumulating a lot of Bonilla cards of late.  He's not one of my favorite characters from the all-time Mets register, but just like you don't get to choose your family, you don't have any say who plays on your favorite club (unfortunately, sometimes).

Since we're on Bowman, might as well get these guys out of the way...

Yup, gobs of '91 Bowman.

Sorry.  I know this is one of the blandest sets of all-time.

Vince is right there next to Bobby Bo on the undesirables list in Metsdom.

Hang in there, we're nearly through.

Hey, at least it's not 1990 Bowman, right?

I needed all of these for my collection, believe it or not.

This is a strange one, for sure.  An artist's rendering (it seems) of someone named Tim Howard, who is not the present-day goalkeeper for the U.S. Men's National Team in soccer.  This Tim Howard ascended as high as Triple-A Norfolk by 1993 and then was out of pro ball.  He batted .323 with 89 RBIs at Single-A Columbia in 1990 which is why I suppose his card got the foil-stamped "MVP" emblem in the top left corner.

Okay, let's splash a little life back into this post...

A pair from 1993 Studio.  A pretty strong offering from Studio, I think.  I enjoy the super-sized sleeve patch as a backdrop for the cards.  That's short-term-Met Tony Fernandez followed by Howard Johnson, by the way.

Also represented in this trade was 1995 Topps.  This card is significant because it represents the first appearance of Jason Isringhausen on a Topps card.  Or, as the kids like to say, his Topps rookie.

I had a copy of this card already, but it had a pretty badly dinged corner.  And I can't stand that in a card that was produced within the current calendar year.  Plus, Big Bart deserves better!

And to wrap things up, my first card of prospect Amed Rosario.  The 20 year old from Santo Domingo is projected as New York's shortstop of the future.  In 2015, he was the youngest player in the Florida State League where he drew rave reviews for his plus-defense.  Rosario is still quite a few years from Flushing, but he's nonetheless one of the brightest assets in the organization.

With that, Trade No. 16 is in the books.  Thanks to Zistle member Gerry for the trade!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Zistle the 15th

It's been quite some time since my last Zistle trade.  In fact, my post recapping Trade No. 14 was August 25!   But, these things usually come in bunches and, sure enough, I've completed a pair of trades recently on my favorite hobby website.  So, let's see what the 14th swap had in store for my collection.

In the lead-off spot, one of my favorite all-time Mets featured on a great-looking set from the late '90s: 1998 Fleer Tradition.  A great action shot of the multi-talented left-fielder, framed beautifully on this full-bleed, borderless card.

If you've read my ramblings in the past, you know I have a huge soft spot for Carlos Baerga.  Here, the former All-Star is shown on a 1997 Leaf base card.  Carlos was very much on the down-side of his career by the time the Mets acquired him at the '96 non-waiver deadline.  In spite of that, he never went through the motions and always busted his butt.  And that really appealed to a 17-year-old Me.

It's funny, I don't think I even realized Saberhagen was included in the '95 Fleer checklist.  I guess because I bought a retail box of the stuff back in the mid '90s from K-Mart when they still had a sizable trading card section.  Thus I figured I had all I needed.  I was wrong, as it turns out.

Another guy who I had a soft spot for, Aaron Heilman will likely be remembered by most Mets fans as the pitcher who coughed up Yadi Molina's extra-inning homer in Game 7 of the NLCS.  Anyhow, this is Heilman's base card from 2003 Bazooka.  I already had his 'mini' from this set, and now I've got the daddy.

Another from Bazooka, this time the 2004 set.  This same photo was used on one or more of Garcia's cards from around this time.  Bowman or maybe Bowman Heritage or both.  I can't keep track.  Danny, by the way, is a former star at Pepperdine who played in 77 games over his two-year Mets and MLB career.

A great name who never amounted to much in the big leagues, Bartolome Fortunato was one of the players (along with Victor Zambrano) who the Mets got from Tampa Bay in the Scott Kazmir trade.  Over the course of two years in New York, Bart crafted a 7.06 ERA in 17 games.

This is a neat card that was on my Zistle want list for a while.  Though, I admit that doesn't indicate a whole lot since pretty much every Mets card I don't have is on my want list.  Nonetheless, I like the looks of this one. Adam Walker was one of the young arms from the Phillies system the Mets received in exchange for bullpen tandem of Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook in 2001.  Walker never made it beyond Triple-A.

And, we'll wrap up this trade with a pair from Fleer Tradition's 2003 offering.  We began the post with Tradition, might as well end with it, right?

As bad a taste as we Mets fans may have about Armando's time in Flushing, he still stands as the single-season saves leader in team annals with 43.  Well, he shares the honor with Jeurys Familia who met the mark this past year.  Armando also is second on the club's career save list with 160.

Slugger Cliff Floyd was hampered by assorted injuries throughout his career, but he still logged a pretty impressive resume.  Of his 233 big league homers, 81 came during his four-year stint as a Met.

A pretty nifty nine-card assortment, if I do say so.  Thanks go to Zistle member paulb for working out the deal with me.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Men of Autumn

An envelope of cards from north of the border greeted me recently, as Douglas of Buck Store Cards hit me up with another generous offering of football and hockey cards!

I was really excited to find the above Jim Kelly card along with the other cards from this year's Donruss football set.  I assume it's the entire Bills team set, but I could be wrong.  Anyhow, I love the look of this set.  It's very retro and colorful.

Shady McCoy is really starting to heat up for the Bills this year.  He has looked amazing the past few weeks after missing time with a balky hamstring.

Sammy Watkins kinda went off on social media a couple weeks ago.  I can't say I blame him; some people really need to get a life.  Apparently they have nothing better to do than harass professional athletes and their families on Instagram, I guess.

Robert Woods is very under-utilized on this team.  I don't think he's a true "number one" receiver, but he's a heckuva good second banana.

Matt Cassel, we hardly knew ye in Buffalo.  Pictured as a Viking, he's now a Cowboy.

The photo they used for this Super Mario card was from Buffalo's big victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Pack at RWS late last season.  Nowadays, everyone seems to beat the Packers.

Buffalo didn't have a first-round pick this past draft, but they grabbed Darby in the second round and seem to have struck gold.  The FSU product has been one of the best CBs in the league--rookie or otherwise.

This McCoy is from Donruss Elite.  It scanned badly because it's too darn shiny.

Here's an awesome die-cut insert of Mario from Panini Prestige.

I'm pretty comfortable saying that I like what Panini has done with their NFL cards.  They are head and shoulders ahead of Topps in all facets.  Just my opinion.  I'm not the biggest football collector anymore, but I still appreciate a well-done sports card regardless of the sport.

Since this envelope came from Canada, you knew it had to have some hockey.  Douglas did not disappoint.

Not one...

Not two...

But THREE tremendous cards of the great Mark Messier.  I still kinda get misty-eyed when I watch the Messier career-spanning DVD.  The guy was just a great player in every conceivable way.  Skilled, clutch, tough, name it.  He's on the Mount Rushmore of Kaz sports heroes, without a doubt.

Keep Calm and Stepan!

Gaborik netted 40+ goals twice for the Blueshirts in three-plus seasons on Broadway.

Richards kinda underachieved for New York, but I wasn't as down on him as most Rangers fans.  He collected 12 goals and 28 points in three postseasons as a Ranger.

Another new Gabriel for my collection.  I see Landeskog was suspended by the league for a couple games recently for an overzealous hit, shall we say.  Atta boy, Gabe!

And, the best for last...

Barry Beck played seven seasons for New York and was an All-Star for five of them.  This card hails from O-Pee-Chee's 1981-82 set.  The blurb on the back informs us that Barry "frequently knocked out opponents with crunching body checks."  My kind of guy!

Douglas, thank you for keeping me in mind, as always.  These are super additions to my Bills, Rangers and Gabriel collections, respectively.