Friday, January 8, 2016

San Francisco Treat (aka Zistle the 21st)

For the 21st edition of my Zistle trading experience, I had the pleasure of conducting a pretty sizable team swap with site member bbronzan.  He lives a bit north of San Francisco and, thus, is a big Giants fan.  He had some Mets I wanted and I had some extra Giants.  It was a pretty good match!

Initially, I approached him about doing a smaller PWE-sized deal, but he countered with more of a whopper. By that I mean in the neighborhood of 60 cards!  Hey, 60 new Mets always works for me!  I'm not always a huge fan of doing bigger trades, but every so often they're just what the doctor ordered.  Especially if my trade partner has a lot cards that make me say Oooh!

Such was the case, so here we go!  I've scanned the majority of the cards from the trade, as many were images that were absent from the Zistle library.  So, buckle up, as I'll share here roughly 2/3 of the cards I netted.

In the lead-off spot, I figured I would show the card that initially caused me to investigate a trade possibility.  I'm a big fan of the Fleer Platinum releases from the early '00s, and this Robin Ventura from the 2001 set was right up my alley.  Lots of good non-action photos in this set.  Anytime an equipment bag is involved, I'm game!

Another big selling point for this trade was an abundance of Mets from '94 OPC.

There were a few...

What can I say?  This is a pretty under-appreciated set, in my opinion.  The design fits in well with it's time, but isn't dated by any stretch.  Colorful and sharp.  Good photo choices, too.

Fleer 2002 was another set that my trade partner had a bit of.  I dig this set mostly for it's patriotic design scheme.

Vance Wilson.  Now there's a guy I don't have nearly enough of in my Mets collection.  For a couple years in recent past, he was actually the manager for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Single-A, Royals), just up the road from where I live.  I'm told he was something as a hot-head as a skipper.  Winning the games was a bit more important than player development.  It's a delicate balance, obviously.

Just above Vance, "Super" Joe McEwing.  Interestingly enough, Joe was briefly a manager in the same league as Wilmington--the Carolina League--with Winston-Salem (White Sox).  Nice guy.  I had a chance to meet him before a game in Wilmington and had him sign a Mets t-shirt for my father.  Dad Kaz, you should know, was as big a Super Joe fan as you'll find.

These "Changing Places" cards are also from '02 Fleer.  They're subset cards that highlighted notable players who changed addresses during the off-season.

Here are some more Robins...

A few Jeff Kents...

Interesting that Kent's '94 TSC Dugout Dirt subset card and the '95 TSC base are nearly identical at first glance. Though, he's got long sleeves in the '94, plus there are dugout phones in the background of the '95.  I happen to think Jeff's '95 TSC is one of his finer cards.  As purdy as a portrait.  And, please don't get me started about his snub from Cooperstown...again.  I could rant.

Instead, how about a couple from a guy who is a HOFer...

It's always an occasion to add a couple new Rickeys.

A pair of Rey-Os....

Some southpaws who had a hand in the 2000 NL pennant-winning Mets club...

(Despite the Astros uni, this is a Mets card.  "Traded to Mets" and the "Mets" under Hampton's name make it so.)

The closer on that 2000 team--and the man who cost the Mets Game 1 of the Series and perhaps the whole shootin' match--was Armando Benitez...

(Another "Traded to..." entry.  Not as pretty, but it still counts.)

And, without commentary, the rest of the highlights from this terrific trade package...

Still with me?  Good!  Because there is a two-part grand finale to this post.  Well, how grand it is will be up to you, the reader, but go ahead and check it out.


An ordinary enough 2001 Fleer Ultra card, but it's such a cool photo choice that it's been prominent on my non-published-but-always-in-my-head Most Wanted list for some time.  Bell was a short-timer in New York, but as I've opined many times before, he's one of the most colorful characters in the history of the club.  And that's saying something if you stop to think about it!

Finally, this guy has been getting a lot of ink of late, and for all the right reasons...

Hall of Fame.  Period.  As a Mets fan, you couldn't possibly be any prouder of Mike Piazza.  He had many a great season for the team; led them to back-to-back playoff appearance; took them to a World Series; and is very visible with the Mets to this day in the realms of team PR and general fandom.  He is a Met through and through.

Not only that, but he was adamant in declaring his allegiance to the blue and orange upon getting the call to Cooperstown.  Could we Mets fans love him any more, really?

Perhaps we're a bit late on this final card, but it doesn't take away any of the juice.

Holy Christmas ornament, Batman!!  I've always wanted one of these things, and my trade partner Brandon surprised me by including it unannounced!  A pretty weird concept for a trading card, I must admit, but that's what makes it all the more amazing.  Leave it to Pacific, right?

Welp, that's a wrap on Zistle Trade No. 21.  A most wonderful swap for sure.  I wouldn't be surprised if bbronzan and I hooked up for another exchange somewhere down the road.


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