Mets Monday: 2004 Fleer/New York Post sheet

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.

Finding different photos in Opening Day sets

Quick question for the blogosphere, so quick I’m not going to paste an image.  I hope an imageless post isn’t a horribly unspeakable act… Please, don’t beat me, I’m new here (sniff).

While poking around COMC, I found that the 2011 Opening Day Jose Reyes base card is different from the ‘regular’ Topps set photo.

I don’t collect Opening Day, but I buy packs here and there to get a fix.  The only base cards I keep are the ones where the photo is different from the regular Topps set, even if the difference is a photoshopped new uniform.  Right now, I’ve got a small stack of 2010 and 2011 Opening Day sitting around because I haven’t had time to check if they’re different from regular Topps, and I don’t have the available brain cells to remember what all of the current cards look like.

Does anyone know of a resource for information like this?  I’ve noticed that COMC will sometimes flag differences with an asterisk, like when a 1980 Burger King has a different photo than the corresponding 1980 Topps card… but they don’t seem to do this with Opening Day or Chrome.  At least that wasn’t the case with these Reyes cards.

Nudge to card dealers and COMC sellers:  I bought the Reyes, so it behooves you to help a fella out here.

While I’m talking about Opening Day, I’m going to pretend it’s my birthday, blow out the candles and make a BIG WISH that Topps would use a different design and/or different photos for Opening Day so that I could support a low-price-point product and feel like I’m getting value for my money.  I would say the same about Chrome, but I’m not a big “shiny” guy. (*GASP*!  Stone the heretic!)