10 things that some of you may like…but I don’t

A few weeks ago I saw some of you posting about things that “you like but other’s don’t.” Dime Box Nick had some great thoughts and so did the fine folks over at Sport Card Collectors (Ummm…he has a card with ECTOPLASM in it! *adds to my want list*)

This kind of post is right up my alley because when it comes to my collection, it’s well… pretty unorthodox. I don’t tend to like a lot of the things that others do…and judging from the stats on this blog, the opposite applies as well. I think that’s what makes it so hard for me to get into “trading” with other collectors online. I just have a hard time finding collectors who “get me.” I can’t blame you. Half of the time, I don’t even “get me.” With the exception of set completion attempts, I’m kind of a free bird when it comes to what I acquire.

After reading some of your posts, I believe a few of you went the other way with it and posted about things that “10 things that OTHERS like… but YOU don’t.”  I find that direction a bit easier to write about.

I will however, change the title just bit more. Let’s face it, I have no idea if YOU as the reader like any of the things listed below. You may like them and you may not. Let’s just call it “Things that SOME of you may like…but I don’t.

#10 – Super high end product

No matter how beautiful the cards, exclusive the signatures, or how rare and “close to the game” the relics are; I just can’t stomach an almost $1,500 price tag for 8 cards. I’ve never been a gambler so I’ve never enjoyed the “chase.” I’ve also seen far too many anti-climactic breaks of product like this at my local card shop or local card shows to even give product like this a second look.

#9 – Digital Cards

What in the .jpeg is this world coming to?!

Beckett.com features an article on digital cards where they say, “There’s a whole new type of collector out there with more than a million users and 75 million sports cards that you simply won’t find in the best of hobby shops or in any retail store aisle — unless you’re on a smartphone.”

Some are saying that digital cards are the wave of the future, much like streaming music has started to replace consumer purchases of music CD’s.

I’m a very savvy guy. I fully embrace the innovation and evolution of brands and concepts…but this, is seriously never going to be something that I “get.” If you are a digital card collector, I’d love to hear why you enjoy it. Leave a comment.

#8 – Relic Cards “Not From Any Specific Game or Event”

Can we all just agree the “relics” have run their course? When they hit the hobby in the 90’s I thought it was a fantastic “innovation.” Within a decade, the concept was bastardized 100 times over. Along the way the manufacturer “guarantee” claimed less and less. I have Gary Carter relics from the late 90’s that clearly state “You have just received a bat relic from a bat used in an official Major League game by Gary Carter!” Today, there is absolutely no telling what you have. Most “guarantees” state: “The relic contained in this card is not from any specific game, event, or season.” The following Babe Ruth relic could have been shaved off of a wooden train set for all we know. Yet, it’s currently selling on Ebay for $164. The “guarantee” SHOULD say: “We guarantee that Babe Ruth nor anyone he knew has ever had anything to do with this piece of wood.”

#7 – Corporate naming rights

Admittedly, I have a somewhat weak argument here but nothing gives me that “nostalgic ballgame feel” like saying “Guaranteed Rate Field.” I can give “Coors Field” as pass and would probably give “Citizen’s Bank Park” a pass if they omitted the “Bank” in the name. “Tiger Stadium” was sold off and replaced with “Comerica Park.” As iconic baseball field names such as “Yankee Stadium”, “Dodger Stadium”, “Fenway”, and “Oriole Park at Camden Yards” continue to tie us to baseball’s wonderful history, they a quickly being outnumbered by baseball spaces such as “PNC Park”, “Minute Maid Field”, “Target Field”, “Globe Life Field.” I absolutely hate them all and one thing is for certain, when the corporation’s contract is up, the name will be replaced with something equally as preposterous.

#6 – The MLB Draft

Bless MLB’s little heart. They work so hard to hype something so boring and in the case of probably 7 out of 10 drafts, completely useless. 40 rounds of drafting teenagers. The MLB draft will never be an “event” worth watching to me and while I don’t watch the NFL or NBA draft, I can see why others would. Those players are drafted and can make an immediate impact. In the case of baseball, most draftees will toil for years in the minors and never see a major league batter’s box.

#5 – Instant Replay

Get rid of it. It sucks.

We need to stop trying to “perfect” the human officiation of the game. We are humans. We make mistakes. Sometimes a team benefits from that and sometimes they don’t. With instant replay, the “rules” are too ambiguous, teams have far too long after the play to challenge the call, it takes too long, and frankly; it cuts down on the ass-chewings that managers and umpires could be giving each other. Having to stop the game after an exciting play to allow the umpires to go watch the replay and phone New York brings the excitement of the game to a screeching halt almost as bad as stopping the dancing at the wedding so the bridesmaid can ramble through a drunken toast to the bride. If ANYTHING, umpires need standardized (re)training of the strike zone. I’m sick of seeing 5 umpires have 5 different strike zones.

#4 – Plain Clothes Player Cards

Okay so two of these cards DO feature players in jerseys…but, they have plain clothes on underneath. I detest the Rivera card so bad that I have given 3 copies away for free, while others clamored for the Ohtani, I turned my nose up to it, and has their ever been a worse example of a baseball card than Manny Machado’s Topps NOW card?

I will however make an exception in some cases. Like this one.

#3 – Sloppy autographs

Let’s move past the soap-box answer of “beggars can’t be choosers.” I’m not talking about those signatures that end up sloppy because the player was walking to the team bus or maybe that blue sharpie signature ended up with a smudge on it. I’m talking about those autographs that clearly show that the player simply doesn’t care to take the time to produce a good product — and yes, their autograph is a product of their personal “brand.” In most cases today, they are sitting at a table and signing the cards/stickers for the manufacturer. It is evident that penmanship is not taught in schools (or at home) anymore. Because of that, current players tend to have signatures that I have no desire in owning — regardless of how popular/good the player is or what the value is. Trout, Freeman, Harper all have lackluster signatures that I don’t want.

There is an anecdote out there about Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew signing autographs at Twins Fest one year. He was joined at the table by Mike Cuddyer and Tori Hunter who were both rookies at the time. Killebrew who has one of the most beautiful signatures in the game, saw the two players slapping quick signatures on cards, photos, and balls to keep the line flowing quickly. He stopped them both and remarked that these people are here to meet their role models and will be proudly displaying these autographs for years to come. The worst thing they could do was to give the fans something that they put no effort into. The two players remembered that and actually produce some very nice signatures.

Someone needs to have that conversation with Harper. If you make a commitment to sign for someone, make it a good one. If you don’t have it in you that day, just don’t sign.

#2 – Signature Stickers

I’ll rail on signatures a bit more. I have no use for signature stickers. Would you ever stick a sticker on a baseball card? No you would not.

Upper Deck had no problem with Stan “The Man” Musial signing stickers up until his last breath. You can see the result of that greedy move here. I’m sure Musial consented to signing these stickers but to me; it is still in bad taste. These cards just hurt my heart when I see them.

#1 – Fantasy Baseball

I love baseball. I really do. But, I don’t LOVE baseball enough to track third-string shortstops and analyze the DL every second of every day. I’ve played fantasy baseball a few times and I never do well despite taking the time to doing my homework and evaluating the projections. I hate the projections. Using past performance of a player along with the upcoming schedule to predict an outcome is 50/50 common sense and guess work. I might be able to be a professional “projector.” After all, I’m a real good guesser AND I have some common sense. The last time I listened to a fantasy projection, I started Mike Leake against the White Sox and he got shelled for eight runs on 12 hits. Didn’t help that DeGrom got injured too. I can’t say that I enjoyed it or that it was fun. If I could, I’d leave fantasy baseball one star on yelp. “Do not recommend.”

7 Day Trading Card Challenge (3 Weeks Later)

I ran across a pretty cool card “challenge” a few weeks ago from Hall of Fame blogger “Cardpocalypse.”  I knew I wanted to participate and I even have “7 Day Trading Card Challenge” written on my work “task list” which tells you that I have no shame mixing work and pleasure – shhhh, don’t tell my boss.  Now that I think about it, I doubt he would mind.  He fully endorses ANYTHING that helps his employees stay sane and focused – even if it means breaking from work for a bit to “reset.” That to me, is cool.

Life is pretty unorthodox right now which I know you all can understand.  I have a list of things that I’ve been meaning to get to but it either seems that other things get bumped up on the priority list or time simply slips away.  Then there are the evenings where I have the time…but not the energy.  I guess the added stress of navigating the world live in can take a toll.

First it was the coronavirus…then social unrest due to the unfortunate event in Minneapolis…and now apparently, anti-fascist groups can just move right in and decide they now own 6 blocks of public city space.  And, whatever happened with the murder hornets?!  They promised us MURDER HORNETS!!!

SO anyways – you can imagine how excited I was to find out that one of my favorite bloggers added me to his blogroll.  I read his blog several times a week and consider it a “Hall of Fame” baseball card blog.  Thanks Night Owl Cards!  I’m seriously “fan-girling” over here!

He posted up his card challenge selections tonight – all at once.  Which honestly is more my style too.  I’d rather knock it all out at once.  After all, it’s been on my “to do” list since the end of March.    

Ok so let’s get to it. 

Favorite Card Acquired During Quarantine

About three weeks into this government imposed house arrest, uhhh…I mean, “quarantine even though I’m not sick” a good friend of mine called me and said, “So how is the quarantine going? You’re in heaven aren’t you!” Of course, she was making light of the fact that despite what some may thing, I’m a pretty introverted homebody. I have no problem staying home – I just take issue with the government mandating that I do pretty much anything that I don’t want to do. So anyways, best card that I’ve acquired over the past few months? Gotta be this Gary Carter art card. I’m not a huge collector of art cards but I do collect Gary Carter and I have always loved Carter’s 1977 Topps card. When I was about 10 years old, my Uncle Tom bought me this card at a card show.

Card from Current Year with a Unique Photo

While there are certainly more EXCITING photos out there, I don’t think I have ever seen a card committed to featuring someone such as Nolan Ryan taking a lead off of first base.

Favorite Football Card in Your Collection

I’m a baseball guy through and through so I would say that 98% of my collection is focused on baseball cards. I do have many of the key rookies from 1980 through the late 90’s though. One of my favorites is the 1986 Topps Jerry Rice. It’s a classic card and I will never forget how I got it. In 4th grade, a kid in my class asked if I wanted to buy a binder of cards. He showed me the binder and it was the complete 1986 Topps football set. He said he wanted $10 for it. The next day, he had $10 and I had the cards. My favorite card in my collection is far from the most valuable though. DJ Dozier was a local two sport superstar from my area. After being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1983, he would turn down the offer to play baseball and go on to be a Heisman finalist at Penn State and then drafted by the Vikings. He also decided he wanted to play professional baseball. In 1990, the Mets signed him as an undrafted free agent. For a few years he played AAA ball here in Norfolk for the Tides so it was quite a big deal to see him in person. Dozier was a two sport player before Deion made it a big deal.

Favorite Basketball Card in Your Collection

Not a lot of basketball cards to pick from if you were to thumb through my collection. I do have an absurd amount of Jordans and some of them are spectacular as you would imagine. This John Havlicek is probably my favorite though. In the early 2000’s, I was the Food & Beverage Director at a private golf and yacht club here in Virginia Beach and we did a ton of weddings. One summer my team had the privilege of hosting the wedding and reception of John’s son. John was there and was an absolute pleasure to be around. Scott Van Pelt was there too. He was the best man and gave one of the best speeches I have ever heard at a wedding.

Favorite ‘other’ Sport Card in Your Collection

I have an old college roommate that would fight you to the death if you said that wrestling wasn’t a “sport” so I feel comfortable enough featuring this sweet WWF card of the Ultimate Warrior. I was never a fan of the “sport” as a kid which was rare given that it was the 80’s. I did however appreciate the “characters” of the sport. My brother was a big “Hulkamaniac.”

Favorite Non Sport Card in Your Collection

I mean, One-Eyed Willie is only ONE of the MANY great characters in this Spielberg classic but if I had to choose from my very few non-sport cards, it would go to this guy. He gave an eye for it after all. The Goonies is one of my all-time favorite movies as well.

Best Hobby Trend to Emerge This Year

I’m admittedly one of the most unenthusiastic collectors out there. Especially when it comes to new “trends.” A lot of bloggers have said that the Topps Project 2020 is the most exciting trend of the year. Personally, it’s not for me. Like, at ALL. I think the biggest trend that I have seen this year has been the proliferation of collectors showcasing their collections and box breaks on social media. Of course, this is a result of so many card shops being shut down and folks being inside with little else to do. I’ve found myself reading more blogs and following more collectors on Instagram. While I don’t partake in Facebook, I’m sure more and more collectors are connecting on Facebook as well. I think this is good for the hobby.

Well this was fun! Many thanks to Cardpocalypse for putting this challenge together! Have a great week.

42 years of the BEST Mets cards (Part 1)

Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes browsing through the posts in this blog would have no doubt that I am a Met’s fan.

How I came to be a Met’s fan is likely attributed to where I am grew up and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with New York.

I grew up in the Tidewater area, which for anyone outside of the “Tidewater” area means nothing.  Another local name for the Tidewater area is “Hampton Roads”, which to anyone not from the area ALSO means nothing.

The Tidewater/Hampton Roads area is what we locals collectively call the areas of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, and depending on which local you ask; the Virginia/North Carolina border areas.  Local travel and tourism organizations have been debating for years about whether the state should replace the term “Hampton Roads” with something more descriptive and meaningful to where we live.  If you live in Ohio and you tell your family that you’re taking them to “Hampton Roads” for a week of fun probably doesn’t generate very much excitement.  It has been suggested that we rename the area “Coastal Virginia” to reflect our most popular attraction, waterfront views, seafood, and ocean breezes.   

But I digress.

My connection to the New York Mets lies in Norfolk, Virginia.  The longtime home of their AAA minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Tides.  From 1969 to 2006, the Tides would serve as the Mets’ minor league affiliate and call Metropolitan Park or, as the locals called it, simply “Met Park.”  In 1992, the Tidewater Tides would move out of Metropolitan Park into their new home Harbor Park and would change their name to the Norfolk Tides. 

Metropolitan Park – Norfolk, Virginia

From the mid 80’s through today, I have attended many games at both stadiums and have seen many future major leaguers come through the area.  Getting to see former Tides in their Met’s uniforms on TV was a thrill.  I have great childhood memories of attending games at “Met Park” and getting autographs of future stars like Darryl Strawberry, Gregg Jefferies, Clint Hurdle, and Ron Darling.

Here is a list of the Mets cards that I consider the “best” of each Topps flagship set.  These are not necessarily the best player each year, but rather, the card that I like the best.  In some cases, the card may not be that impressive.  There will be some cards that you look at and wonder why it was chosen. It is simply the best of the other bad ones. 

Let’s begin in 1978. One for each year that I’ve been alive – three up, three down.

Leading off the countdown is Jerry Koosman and he comes out on top two years in row with my favorite cards of the 1978 and 1979 sets.  At first glance, one would think that Topps recycled the same photos.  They are slightly different though.  Koosman would have a terrible 1978 as did the rest of the team.  The ’78 Met’s had the worst record in the National League, with a 66-96 mark, coming in 24 games behind first-place Philadelphia.  The Mets would be in rebuilding mode for a few more years with no clue what they were trying to rebuild.  Despite being pictured in his Met’s uniform on his 1979 Topps card, Koosman never played a single game for them.  He had already been traded to Minnesota where he would have a resurgence and go on to win 20 games.  Ed Kranepool has the top card in 1980 and is another featured player that never wore the Mets uniform that year.  He would retire at the end of 1979.  His last at-bat of the season resulted in his 225th career double and would secure one of the many team records he would hold for years to come.  In 1980, he and several other potential investors made an unsuccessful bid to purchase the Mets.  I like this card as it features him in the on-deck circle and that’s not something that you see very often.

Topps pretty much summed up John Pacella on his 1981 card.  You can see him unleashing a fastball with such fury that his cap has fallen off.  The Mets’ play-by-play guys would make a big deal about Pacella’s cap falling off and how it was a result of how hard he threw.  The fact of the matter was that it was really his poor mechanics.  On the back of the card, Topps would make mention of impressive or interesting things about the player. For John Pacella, the only interesting thing they could come up with was “John has a unique habit of losing his cap each pitch.” 1981 would be another dismal year for the Mets as they finished 5th in their division.  Mookie Wilson takes the top spot in 1982 which also happens to be one of my favorite Topps designs.  We see a great shot of the Mets center fielder following through on what may have been one of his five home runs that season.  Yes, the Mets were terrible in 1982 and finished in last place. 

1983 would prove to be no different in terms of division standings.  They would come in last place again, BUT 1983 was the beginning of the club’s turning point as it would be the last losing season for the next seven years.  Darryl Strawberry’s 1983 Topps Traded card is the best of the bunch.  I don’t own it but hope to someday.  He was a hometown favorite during his time here with the Tidewater Tides. Strawberry would win the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1983, and go on to make eight consecutive All Star Game appearances and win four World Series titles.

Keith Hernandez takes the top spot for 1984 and 1985.  In 1984 Hernandez would come over from St Louis in a trade for Rick Owneby and Neil Allen.  He would take over first base for the rest of the season and send the aging and strikeout prone Dave Kingman to the bench.  The addition of Hernandez and Strawberry along with George Foster and Rusty Staub both bouncing back with great seasons put the Mets on the path to being a winning club.  They would see a second-place finishes in 1984 and 1985.   The 1985 card of Hernandez resonates so much with me (I think) because it was featured on the top of the 1985 Topps wax boxes.  I remember seeing it every time I would reach for a pack at my local card shop.  As a kid, you always thought that the “best” cards were the ones featured on the boxes. Of course, you can’t call yourself a baseball fan if you’re not familiar with the Met’s magical year of 1986.  I’ve always been a fan of cards featuring catchers and plays at the plate so the top spot for 1986 goes to Ronn Reynolds.  Literally a guy who “couldn’t hit his weight” (career .188 batting average vs 200 lbs), he would be shipped off to Philadelphia at the close of the 1985 season as the newly acquired Gary Carter would take over duties behind the plate for many years to come. 

1987 was the toughest year for me to pick the “best” Met’s card from Topps.  There are several that are some of my all-time favorite cards…of any set for that matter.  You have two cards featuring gritty plays at the plate with Kevin Mitchell and Wally Backman.  Ron Darling is depicted driving off of the mound with his picture-perfect mechanics and newly acquired third baseman Howard Johnson also has a nice card.  The top Mets card for me in 1987 however, is none other than Gary Carter.  This card would make him my favorite player and the set in general would go on to become a favorite of many collectors that grew up in the 80’s.  1988’s top Met’s card goes to Carter again.  It’s a nicely framed action shot from Shea Stadium featuring Carter at the plate.  That year Topps produced 2-pocket folders that replicated their 1988 Topps baseball cards.  My Granny purchased a few for me.  One of which was Gary Carter.  This went right into my Trapper Keeper and I stared at everyday of sixth grade.  The Mets would find themselves back at the top of their division in 1988 only to lose to the LA Dodgers in the NLCS.  Darryl Strawberry takes the top spot for the 1989 Met’s set.  A prolific home run hitter for the Mets, Topps captures Strawberry at the plate and laser focused on the next pitch.  He would make the All-Star Team that year with 29 home runs and the Mets would finish in second place. Topps produced school folders in 1989 as well. They pop up on Ebay from time to time.

 Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have absolutely no use for the 1990 set.  I absolutely hate it and should mean something as it is coming from a collector who really looks for all the good things in a set before I look for the faults.  In this case, the design is terrible, the color scheme is terrible, and the photography is terrible.  It’s literally 791 cards of complete and utter junk.  I do like Howard Johnson’s card though which is why I didn’t say it was “792 cards of complete and utter junk.”  The Met’s weren’t “junk” that year either as they finished in second place, four games behind Pittsburgh.  1991, however marked the start of the toilet bowl spiral for the Mets.  With a weird mix of checked-out former stars from their ’86 World Series squad, free agents that were not really interested in being a part of “rebuilding phase” and prospects that probably had no business being on the big-league club anyways. It’s no wonder that they would finish 20.5 games out of first.  Darryl Strawberry pulls the best card of the Mets that year despite not actually playing for them.  The 1991 Topps design has always been a favorite of mine and other collectors and they gave Strawberry a great card as he closed out his career with New York.  Strawberry signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers in November of 1990, marking the end of his time in blue and orange and inking a lucrative five-year $22.25 million deal.  1992 would get even worse for the Mets despite the owners breaking out the checkbook and signing what they hoped would be major acquisitions that would curb the losing and make everyone stop wishing it was the mid-eighties again.  Despite the talent, the team was an absolute disaster and would go on to lose over 90 games.  Even Topps seemed to have little interest in the “Worst Team Money Could Buy” (according to Bob Klapisch’s book), as nearly every card is unremarkable.  They did feature an aging Hubie Brooks and former Tidewater Tide rounding third base.  He gets the top spot for 1991 but by the time that card hit collector’s hands, he was playing for the California Angels. 

The next three years all go to catchers.  The best thing about the 1993 team set is this Todd Hundley card and it’s not even that great. The photo looks to have captured the aftermath of a passed ball or errant throw from an infielder. I can’t think of any of situation where a catcher would end up like this. Sure, it’s a Mets card of a catcher and it even features the cool rookie cup, but it’s simply the best of an overall very mediocre collection of Mets.  While every Mets’ fan was hoping to forget the disaster that was the season of 1992, the Mets actually got worse in 1993; losing 100 games – the worst season since 1967.  1994’s players strike actually allowed the Mets to hang on to a third place finish in their division.  Charlie O’Brien gets the nod for 1994 and is featured on his Topps card getting ready for a play at the plate with Houston’s Steve Finley.  Coincidentally, it would be Todd Hundley that would replace O’Brien behind the plate.  O’Brien was traded to Atlanta in November of 1993 so he never saw action for the Mets in 1994.  1995 would be a nicer year for the Mets as they finished 2nd in the division.  Third-string backup catcher Kelly Stinnett gets the top card for that season.  Despite the terrible Topps design, he is featured nicely framed and following through at the plate. 

Due to an injury, Bill Pulsipher sat out the entire 1996 season.  It was a return to the Mets losing ways as they finished 4th in the division.  He does get the top card of the 1996 Mets set though.  I’ve always liked this card as it was his first Topps base card that showed him actually on the field playing.  He was a member of the Norfolk Tides for much of the 1995 season and then off and on through 2000.  I saw him play here locally many times.  Another former Norfolk Tide gets the top card of the 1997 Mets set.  This is the year I graduated from high school and Mets would roll to another mediocre 3rd place finish but this season was the start of a turnaround.  Infielder Butch Huskey can be seen on his 1997 Topps card signing autographs for fans at Shea Stadium.  This is something that he did often during his time here in the minor leagues.  The 1998 Mets season was a heart breaker.  They were one of the best Mets teams to come along in a decade and they played splendidly throughout the season.  However, any hope of making the playoffs was dashed as they squandered away the last five games of the season.  John Olerud gets the nod for the top card in the 1998 Topps set.  The design of this set is not particularly my favorite, but I do just love this card.  I love the bright uniform set against the dark background and the gold border works well.  We also get a great shot of Olerud fielding with his signature batting helmet on. 1998 would be the best year of Olerud’s career setting a franchise record for both batting average and on-base percentage, both of which still stand to this day.

I had to go with Mike Piazza for the top card of 1999.  It has a very “1987 Gary Carter” throwback feel to it.  1999 would be Piazza’s first full season with the Mets and he would help them break into the post season and reaching the NLCS before losing to Atlanta.  It would be manager Bobby Valentine’s first taste of the post season in his 30+ year career.  2000 would be another great year for the Mets as they reached the World Series for the first time in 15 years.  The Mets starting rotation featured five men who all finished with a record of .500 or better and while not unheard of, one must remember that this was the height of the steroid era.  Hitters were swatting more home runs further than they ever had before.  Shortstop Rey Ordonez gets the top card of the 2000 set.  Given Ordonez’ athleticism on the field, it’s kind of a boring card.  Nothing more than a routine tag-out of Ellis Burks at second.   He gets the top card of 2001 as well which tells you how bad the OTHER cards in the set are.  The card is unremarkable despite a remarkable year.  2001 was not only the year I graduated from college but also a turning point in American history.  On Tuesday September 11, a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks became the deadliest on American soil in U.S. history.   As New York suffered horrific losses, baseball was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind and with that; Commissioner Bud Selig would cancel all games through the end of the week and announced that the season would resume on Saturday, September 17.  After three games against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, the Mets would return home to a battered New York City to play the Atlanta Braves.  It would be the first baseball game in New York after the attacks and no one was sure how to approach this game.  It would be a Piazza 3 run home run in the eighth that would bring all 41,000 fans in Shea Stadium to their feet…together as one, momentarily forgetting the pain in their hearts.  The Mets would hold on to the lead for the win and baseball would find itself as an integral part of the healing process.

As we wrap up a heavy moment; let’s close out the blog for today – 1978 through 2001 which is 23 years of Mets’ cards and commentary. Stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore 2002 through 2020.