Charlie Williams (1947-2015)

Charlie Williams' 1972 Topps baseball card

Charlie Williams’ 1972 Topps baseball card

We almost made it through January, but this week we lost two members of the New York Mets alumni family. As I noted on Wednesday, Bill Monbouquette passed away on Sunday.

And now we get word that 1970s pitcher Charlie Williams died Tuesday as the result of complications following surgery. Greg Prince wrote about the man Mets traded for Willie Mays in 1972, and I’d urge you all to read it.

(If today’s social media forums were around in 1972, I wonder what the reaction would have been to trading a talented home-grown pitcher who was born in Flushing for an aging superstar.)

Williams continued to receive autograph requests in the mail right up until the end of his life, his brother-in-law told New York Times reporter Patrick McGeehan. “It was a regular thing for a long time,” he said. “People would want to complete their collections.”

(Interesting enough, SportsCollectors.Net shows collectors who wrote to Williams and recorded their results had an 0-for-16 success rate over the years.)

Will Johan Santana’s comeback be successful?

Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana is hoping to return to the major leagues in 2015 after missing all of the last two seasons due to injuries.

But Santana’s comeback has not been going smoothly. Santana, 35, retired six straight batters in his first appearance with the Navegantes del Magallanes on January 13th. However, Santana’s manager Carlos Garcia told reporters that the pitcher’s left shoulder has been slow to recover and he won’t pitch again in the  Venezuelan Winter League.

FOX Sports reporter Jon Morosi tweeted that Santana may still throw for MLB scouts, but those plans are unclear.

I’d love to see Santana’s comeback be successful – it’s always better to be able to leave on your own terms than to have injuries force you out the door. But at this stage, we might have to get ready to accept the idea that we watched Santana’s final MLB appearance on August 17, 2012.

Continue reading

Mets baseball cards from 2014’s Bowman Draft set

Michael Conforto's 2014 Bowman Draft baseball card

Michael Conforto’s 2014 Bowman Draft baseball card

Back in December, Bowman released its annual Draft set with cards of some of the top selections in the 2014 First Year Player Draft.

If not for a certain generous blogger posting about the Asian version of this set, I think I would have forgotten about it. And really, except for some of our first Michael Conforto baseball cards showing him in a New York Mets’ uniform, I wouldn’t have missed out on much that fits into my collection themes.

There are four Mets in the base set, two draft picks and two prospects. There are a rainbow of parallels for both the standard and Chrome versions… check The Cardboard Connection for details.

  • DP7 Michael Conforto
  • DP84 Milton Ramos
  • TP-26 Dominic Smith
  • TP-30 Brandon Nimmo

Continue reading

Who needs football? You can meet two former Mets on Sunday!

Signed Jack Fisher 1964 Topps baseball card from my collection

Signed Jack Fisher 1964 Topps baseball card from my collection

Sunday is the day of football’s “big game,” but I know some of you are like me and can’t wait for baseball season to return.

And if you happen to be in the area of Lebanon, New Jersey on Feb. 1, you’ll have to chance to meet and get autographs from a 1969 Met as well as the man who threw the first official pitch at Shea Stadium.

RC Collectibles, 1060 Route 22 West, will be hosting a sports cards and collectibles show and auction from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Former Mets Ed Charles and Jack Fisher will be signing autographs for $25 each, with a combo ticket available for $40. Photo ops with either former player are $10 each, and there is a special “golden ticket” option which includes autographs from and photos with both Charles and Fisher for $50.

If you’re still looking for a piece of the Mets’ old home ballpark, Shea Stadium Memorabilia will one of the vendors at the show.

Check RC Collectibles’ website for the most up-to-date information before you go.

I’m not planning to attend this event – if you do, please let me know how it goes!

“Pinstripe Pandemonium” Recap

The view from my front door early Saturday morning (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The view from my front door early Saturday morning (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

When I woke up Saturday morning, I didn’t think I was going to MAB Celebrity Services’ “Pinstripe Pandemonium” show.

As it turned out, the snow and rain was all but over. My friend Bart said he had no trouble getting to me, and the roads were clear from my place to the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights and both Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson had arrived in town on Friday.

In fact, we were there an hour and a half before Pedro was due to start signing autographs. We checked out the vendors’ tables – I found a couple of relatively inexpensive signed baseball cards for my collection, Bart bought a box of 2014 Bowman Draft cards.

Baseball cards signed by Dave Duncan and Joe Torre, along with a plastic souvenir mini-helmet given away at the show.

Baseball cards signed by Dave Duncan and Joe Torre, along with a plastic souvenir mini-helmet given away at the show.

We hung out in the lobby area outside of the hotel restaurant for a little while, and saw Johnson come down for breakfast. When you see “6-10″ written on the back of a baseball card, you know that Randy Johnson is tall – but it didn’t hit home until I saw him in person. Continue reading