Here’s the top third… well, probably more the top 45%… of a sheet of cards that appears to have been part of a New York Post promotion. I didn’t live in metro NY in 2004, so I didn’t experience this promotion first hand, I just got this sheet at a show a few years ago. I don’t know any more about it than the header says… If you brought this sheet to a Mets Clubhouse Store and bought a Fleer pack, you got a special card of rookie sensation Kaz Matsui! Yee-haw! I don’t know how one would have obtained this sheet in the first place, maybe it was inserted into the NY Post… but that’s sheer conjecture.
The sheet’s too big to scan as a whole, much like it’s too tall to fit in any sort of plastic sheet. It is a nice looking sheet, though… it would look even better if I was able to get a decent scan. The entire sheet has 9 cards on it, here’s the header plus cards 1 through 3. The cards you don’t see are Ty Wigginton, Cliff Floyd, Mike Cameron, Karim Garcia (gak!), Mike Piazza and Tom Glavine. I’ll include the other cards in a future post.
Two of these cards are a bit painful for a Mets fan to look at, as they reflect the plan going into the 2004 season… “We paid big bucks to get Kaz Matsui from Japan, so let’s have him play short and move this rookie – what’s his name again? Reyes? Yeah, move him over to play second. He’s young, he’ll get over it.” Just in case I need to tell you how that worked out, Reyes is about to get a huge contract from somebody (I long ago resigned myself to the idea that it won’t be the Mets) and Matsui played much of 2010 in AAA and for 2011 went back to Japan to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
To be honest, I always felt a little bad for Matsui. Being a 7-time Japanese all-star didn’t convey to MLB stardom, and the fans took out their frustrations on him. Yeah, he wasn’t anywhere near as good as he was built up to be, but the man tried. It wasn’t like he just sat back and collected a fat paycheck.