Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Most Agreeable Question

There are many questions in life that you either wouldn't like to be asked or don't wish to honestly answer. For instance, Do you know how fast you were going, sir?  Or, Where do babies come from?  I could go on, but I'm sure you have your own laundry list of uncomfortable inquiries that you could easily rattle off.

But, one question I'll never clam up at: I have a bunch of Mets cards; are you interested in a trade?

If only all of life's questions could be so easily processed and answered!

In this season of peace, joy and immeasurable stress, Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year posed that blissful question to me via email.  I was all too happy to oblige him with a prompt and affirmative response!

In a relative jiffy, a padded mailer stuffed with two fat team bags arrived in Delaware, bursting with approximately 60 new Mets for my collection.  Straight from Tom's trade box, the cards covered a broad array of years and brands.  In other words: perfect!

There were inserts that I've never come across before, such as the "Before They Were Great" Tom Seaver card you see in the lead-off spot.  It's from 2014 Topps which was, y'know, last year.  Damned if I remember seeing these, though.

There were oddballs-a-plenty, too.

Do you consider cards from those little grocery store or pharmacy boxed sets of the '80s to be oddballs? Regardless of what you call them, I think they're among the most fun to track down as a team collector.

Maybe the rarest of all are the cards that were once-upon-a-time included in monthly sports card magazines as part of an uncut sheet.

Sure, they're normally rip-jobs of classic Topps designs, but I still think they're fun.

Speaking of fun, the Star company put out these mini sets for various stars of the late '80s.  They are great padding for team and player collectors alike!

I don't think I've ever seen a horizontal Star card before, have you?  It's a great look for that Gooden card!

Of course, the 'grandaddy' of oddball cards would have to be SSPC brand, right?

Koosman brandishing a bat?!  Clearly this is a card of elite stature!

Bud Harrelson's given name is Derrel.  I didn't really ever give it any thought until I read it on the back of this card.  By the way, I like the 'one glove' look for Buddy.

I'm not too snobby when it comes to cards of my team.  Panini does't necessarily "do it" for me since they don't have the MLB license for logos, etc.  But, I welcome them into the fold just as I would for any other mainstream card, oddball or other.

What a great name, huh?  Rainy.  Unlike Bud, Rainy isn't a nickname.  Lara put up a 9-5 mark with a 4.10 ERA in 24 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this past year.

Now, each of these next two are from major manufacturers, but I'd consider them both to be oddballs.

Score's Young Superstars or Hottest 100 Young Stars or whatever.  Gotta have 'em.

I like these mini League Leader cards.  In '87, '89 and '90 they still captured the essence of the main set's design elements.  Like Topps Total and ML Debut, this is a set concept I'd like to see restored.  I'm not holding my breath, though.

While we may no longer have mini League Leaders or Topps Total, at least we have a fun set like Heritage Minors nowadays.  This is actually my first Mets card from the 2012 edition.  Kolarek is still toiling in the minors and has been stalled out at Double-A Binghamton each of the last three seasons.

Opening Day is a set that misses the mark, sadly.  I appreciate the fact that it's cheap and has some fun inserts, but do I really need essentially the same card with the same photo over three sets (that includes flagship and chrome)?  Regardless, as a completist, ya gotta get 'em all.

Ginter inserts from 2015.  I know A&G is the darling of most of the collecting world, and these are pretty nice cards, but I just don't get the intense passion this brand generates.

Now, Topps Traded or Update on the other hand, that's something I always get excited for.

Ramon Castro from Update '07.

David Wright All-Star from '06 Update.

Noah "Rookie Debut" base card from '15 Update.

And, let's finish up with a few more assorted highlights...

A yellow retail parallel from 2015 Bowman.

A pretty basic design from Donruss in 2003, but less is more.  Let the photo do the talking.

The true rookie of Ruben Tejada.  We'll see where Ruben fits into the Mets infield plans next year in the aftermath of the Asdrubal Cabrera signing.

A sharp looking number from 1999 Bowman Chrome International.  It's tough to make out in the scan, but some palm trees adorn the background to represent Dotel's homeland of the Dominican Republic.

Apparently I still need some '93 Stadium Club cards!

Still kinda on the fence about last year's Finest.  At the end of the day, though, I think I like it.  It's got a lot of old-school Finest's aura about it.

Shall we end on a high note?

Nah!  Bobby Bo from 1994 Triple Play.  Hey, like Grandma used to say when my uncles used to get intoxicated and argumentative every holiday, "You can't choose your family."

Tom, thanks for contacting me about these cards; they are great additions to my collection!

And, by all means, feel free to ask me the same breezy question any time!



  1. Sometimes I surprise myself with the variety in my collection. There's a little bit of everything there!
    Glad you liked the cards and Happy Holidays to you!

  2. I collected Triple Play back in the day!

  3. I'd never heard of that "Before They Were Great" insert set either... That's a nice-looking Seaver. All of these cards are nice, even the Star cards!

    FWIW, Adam Kolarek is gone from the Mets organization... He'd signed with the Orioles as a minor league free agent earier this offseason, and this past week the Rays selected him from the O's in the minor league phase of the Rule V draft.

  4. I like this bunch alot!Surprisingly,though,my favorite is the Tejada first year card.He's really grown on me and hopefully he can stick around to back up whoever It is that's going to play short next year.I'm gonna have to track down some Tejadas at some point.