The Mets off-season to date had been depressing. (Well, yesterday’s news about Andres Torres signing a one-year deal to return to the San Francisco Giants was a bright spot. It’s good for Torres, and even better for me – I didn’t want to watch him play for the Mets again in 2013. On the other hand, Manny Acosta‘s decision to sign with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan doesn’t really inspire strong feelings at all.)
So let’s look at some baseball cards instead. I’ve picked up around a dozen new autographs for my collection of former Mets players over the last month or so, and I had a few scans lingering on my computer’s hard drive that I’ve never gotten around to posting. I’m going to try to remedy that between now and Christmas.
Most of these guys are more obscure than Torres and Acosta will be in a few years, so you’re forgiven if you don’t remember them. (I don’t remember all of them myself.)
First up, Gary Bennett, who appeared in one game for the Mets in 2001. He was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies for Todd Pratt on July 23 and traded to the Colorado Rockies for a minor league outfielder exactly one month later. Bennett’s claim to fame with the Mets – if you can call it that – is a 1.000 batting average. He singled off of Florida Marlins starter Chuck Smith as a pinch hitter for Kevin Appier in the Mets’ July 24th loss to Florida.
Bennett spent parts of 13 seasons in the major leagues from 1995-2008, playing for eight different teams. He never appeared in more than 96 games in any one season.
It’s proven impossible for me to obtain Bennett’s autograph by writing to him and asking him to sign a baseball card, and I never had the opportunity to ask him in person when he was still playing. This card was purchased for $2 from Main Line Autographs.
Outfielder Daryl Boston spent three seasons with the Mets, from 1990-1992. He was claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox a month into the 1990 season. He ended up platooning in center field for most of that time. According to the back of his 1993 Topps baseball card, “Daryl delights audiences with excellent impersonation of singer Stevie Wonder.”
Boston spent parts of 10 seasons in the major leagues from 1984-1994, playing for four different teams. He is one of a multitude that has played for both the Mets and the Yankees.
I have a couple of White Sox-era signed cards I got by writing to Boston during his first year with the Mets, but I couldn’t remember if I’d ever gotten a Mets card signed. This one was purchased for $1 from Main Line Autographs.
Pitcher Dicky Gonzalez made seven starts and nine relief appearance for the 2001 Mets, finishing the year with a 3-2 record and a 4.88 ERA. The following spring, he was included in a trade with the Montreal Expos that brought reliever Scott Strickland to New York. Gonzalez never played a game for Montreal, but briefly returned to the major leagues in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
I had no luck obtaining Gonzalez’s autograph through the mail when he played for the Mets, and had no opportunity to ask him in person. Since his retirement, I’ve been unable to locate an address to write to him. This card was purchased for $1 from Main Line Autographs.