December 10th – One Of The Biggest Offseason Days In Mets History

December 10th, 1984

The Montreal Expos traded Gary Carter to the New York Mets…
2003 Topps Retired Gary Carter

…for Hubie Brooks…
1984 Fleer Hubie Brooks

…Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans.
1984 Donruss Mike Fitzgerald

December 10th, 1982

The Houston Astros traded Danny Heep to the New York Mets for Mike Scott.
1982 Topps Mike Scott

Mike Scott would come back to haunt the Mets in the 1986 NLCS, but even his two wins couldn’t stop the Mets that year.

December 10th, 1971

The California Angels traded Jim Fregosi to the New York Mets
1973 Topps Jim Fregosi

…for Frank Estrada, Don Rose, Leroy Stanton…

…and, um, Nolan Ryan.
1992 Donruss Coke Nolan Ryan 1969 Mets

1990 Topps Magazine Cards And A Familiar-Looking Image

Earlier this week I was idly sorting through a box of oversized “I don’t know how to properly store this” stuff, and I ran across my Topps Magazine cards, still in sheet form but long since divorced from the magazines they came in.

I think I subscribed to the first 4 issues of Topps Magazine, but decided that it wasn’t exciting enough for me to re-up… Despite the inclusion of special cards which manage the difficult feat of being uglier than the 1990 Topps design.
1990 Topps Magazine TM9 - 12

While I was looking at this particular set of cards, I couldn’t help but notice that the Jim Palmer photo looked familiar…
1990 Topps Magazine TM13 - 16
…and that’s when I realized it might be from the same photo shoot as this past Sunday’s Hostess Card Of The Week:
1979 Hostess Jim Palmer
Although the Topps Magazine card is a bit washed out, both photos were taken in Yankee Stadium on a partly sunny day, both have the Brut cologne ad on the left, and in both photos Jim Palmer’s hair has an unintended flip on his right.

I don’t have a real point to this, other than “Heyyyyyyyy, lookathis!”  Having two similar Jim Palmer photos in the same week was nothing I’d planned, I’m nowhere near that organized… it’s just a serendipitous occurrence (and 25 cents goes in the “Big Word” jar).

Getting back to the 1990 Topps Magazine cards, these are pretty much what you’d expect from 1990 baseball cards.  On the first half of the sheet, we’ve got four ubiquitous-for-1990 faces in Bo (Overhyped 2-sport player) Jackson, Nolan Ryan (who had just reached 5000 K’s), Will “The Thrill” Clark and Robin Yount, the AL MVP of the previous season.

The second half of the sheet features the two 1990 Hall Of Fame inductees in Joe Morgan and Jim Palmer, as well as two players who’d been drafted in 1989 and made their Major League debuts that September.  Ben McDonald was the first overall draft pick, and went on to have a decent career with the Orioles and Brewers.

John Olerud played for 17 years for a number of teams and had a couple of exceptional seasons where he batted .363 and .354.  He’s also notable in that he’s one of those players who went straight to the Major Leagues without making any minor league stops.  In fact, he didn’t play in the minors until he did a brief stint with AAA Pawtucket at the end of his career, in what seems to have been an audition for the Red Sox.

Olerud’s card is interesting in that it lists him as both a first baseman and a pitcher, even though I can’t find any evidence of him having pitched in the pros… although he did pitch in college

Pack Animal: Fairfield 100-Card Repack

Last weekend I was jonesing to buy something other than 2012 packs, but the “local” card shop is 25 miles away and the next card show within a 2-hour drive is in… oh, let’s see… April.

I’d read some decent comments about these 100-card repacks, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I’ve got to say, I was pleased with the surprisingly decent payoff. Don’t get me wrong, this was the biggest “hit” in the repack (and the reason I bought this particular repack):

…but there were a number of cards which I would’ve gladly bought from a dime or quarter box, so I certainly can’t complain.

As you’d expect, there was a fair amount of junk wax, especially late 1980’s Topps and Donruss… but as it worked out, I ended up needing a few of the junk wax cards for sets that I collected at the time, but never quite completed, including The Earl Of Baltimore:

There were also 2-year-old Topps Update cards (also needed)…

…some “premium junk wax”… And I never stop thinking that it was a mistake to put the ‘tail’ underlining the team name in the 1990’s.  I doesn’t register much on the grand scale of uniform mistakes, but it looked wrong then, and it looks wrong now.

I also got a needed “junk insert”.

It sounds stupid, but the inclusion of one sole Topps Total card made me very happy… I’m foolish enough to try to complete the 4-year run of Total (2002 down, 3 more to go), and I don’t run across Total very often in my travels, so it was cool to get a card I wanted, even if it’s just for Juan Castro.

What surprised me most is that I didn’t get many of the “filler sets” that so often clog these repacks, like Upper Deck X or Documentary.

I also got an unopened pack of 1988 Score, another set which I never quite completed. I’ll open this pack in another post.

For the $4 spent, I could’ve bought a pack of Chrowman Bome and gotten absolutely nothing I wanted, or picked up yet another tedious “heroes beating the snot out of other heroes” issue of Marvel’s Avengers. I think I did pretty damn good in terms of entertainment and filling my needs.

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At this point, I’d like to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all; I hope that everybody gets to spend a relaxing and enjoyable day with their family and friends.

…And just be thankful for what you got…