Thursday, January 27, 2011


For the longest time I've coveted the 1967 high-number N. League Rookies card of Shaw/Sutherland, but the asking/ending price is always too dear.

So one day on a whim, I hatched an ingenious plan. I came across a newly listed copy of this N. League Rookies Hernandez/Gigon card at a reasonable buy-it-now price and I pulled the trigger.

Now, the plan was that the sheer ardency of my devotion to the Mets would have an alchemical effect on this card, and eventually transform it within its holder to a Shaw/Sutherland. I was even willing to see it step down a half grade during the transmutation.

Well I've had the card for almost a year, and much to my dismay it's still a Hernandez/Gigon.

I haven't given up on the whole alchemy thing just yet, but if anyone's willing to trade a PSA/SGC/BVG 7 Shaw/Sutherland for this card, the end result would be just as satisfying...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This card is walking like a panther.

It's so effing ineffably kool that I need to stop myself from buying it again whenever I see it for sale. Maybe one day I'll just liquidate the rest of my collection and pursue a stack of 200 or so of these babies.

What makes it such an amazing piece of cardboard? Well, the lineup of player photos helps.

Memory tells me that it's rare to see a vintage three-player rookie card where everyone is wearing actual big-league hats. This card looks like a winning pull on a Mets' slot machine.

Then there's the general mien of the players themselves. Matlack smirks like he knows he's going to win the 1972 ROY award. Teddy wields his pine-tarred bat, defying you to call him a light-hitting utility player.

And Rich Folkers? Well, he might look like a math teacher, but I'm pretty sure I got my young mouth washed out with soap for saying his name around the house.

Finally, there are the inks. The clear blue-sky background in each frame, the deeper blues of the aforementioned hats, and the orange/yellow player names all just dance off the black card.

And while the other Mets' cards in the 1971 set used orange for the team name, this one (and the low-number Bobb/Foli rookie) utilized a deep red ink. It's like Barnett Newman designed the damn thing.

Let everybody know...

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This card represents layers of missed opportunities.

If you're a Mets' fan, the top layer is obviously the very fact of the trade. The team relinquished the eventual all-time strikeout king and author of 7 no-hitters for 364 Jim Fregosi at bats. 5 HRs, 43 RBI, and a .233 average later, Fregosi was sold to Texas.

The truly surreal thing about the trade is that Nolan Ryan was part of a package of four players that the Mets shipped to the Angels in the deal. Is it any wonder that Nolan put the no no-no hoodoo on the Mets in return?

Another key missed opportunity here is the Topps layer.

The 1972 Traded subset adds extra flavor to the high-number series. The removal of the team name from the marquee and the blocky “TRADED” stamp are great design elements, and the initial run of players is pretty unbeatable: Carlton, Morgan, McLain, Frank Robinson...

But then Fregosi breaks the spell, and things wind down with Wise and Cardenas.

And believe it or not, this is actually Fregosi's third card in the 1972 Topps set. He appears as an Angel on #115, then as a Metropolitan in a boyhood photo on #346, and finally on this Traded card.

Ryan, on the other hand appears once, as an airbrushed Angel on card #595.

In the 1972 set in my mind, there is a Mets' Ryan card in series 1 or 2, and a Traded card picturing him as an Angel in the last series...