Citi Field sunset (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Citi Field sunset (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

We’re one month into the Major League Baseball season, and the New York Mets have a 16-14 record and are just a game out of first place in the National League East. Only the most wildly optimistic fans expected the Mets to be competitive this year, but so far they are.

Will it last? Probably not, but let’s enjoy it while we can.┬áThe early success has been based on great starting pitching, just enough hitting and a bullpen that hasn’t blown up too often even though the Mets are already on their third closer of the season. That doesn’t seem sustainable over the long haul, but┬ástranger things have happened.

I’ve made it to three games at Citi Field so far, and the Mets have a 1-2 record in them. I’m planning to go to one more, so maybe they can get back to .500 when I’m watching.

I can’t say I’m thrilled about the team’s latest marketing campaign that seems to suggest that only “true New Yorkers” can be real Mets fans, though.

I’ve also been to a couple of Trenton Thunder games. The New York Yankees’ Double-A farm team looks like it could be good again this year – they are off to a 19-11 start. The Yankees’ two top prospects — catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Mason Williams — are both in Trenton to start the year. I’ve been impressed with Sanchez’s bat, but then again, I remember Jesus Montero in Double-A and how his major league career has turned out.

Almost everything was for sale at the Newark Bears' liquidation auction on April 26, from uniforms and mascot costume pieces to office equipment. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Almost everything was for sale at the Newark Bears’ liquidation auction on April 26, from uniforms and mascot costume pieces to office equipment. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

One place I won’t be going to watch baseball anymore is Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. I spent a couple of hours at the Newark Bears’ liquidation auction last month, and came home with a 2012-2013 home jersey last issued to Mike Gedman for $12.31.

I will cherish the memories of good times I had at that ballpark and the friends I have made their over the years, but all good things come to an end.

I’m not quite ready to bring this blog to an end, though I will be surprised if I have many readers left at this point.

  • I am writing about the Mets at HotStoveMLB.com, so you can read what I have to say about on-field issues there.
  • I will still write about baseball cards and collectibles here, and while finances are severely limiting my ability to add to my collection, I do have a couple of cool things that I want to show you over the next few days.
  • I should have a review of Out of the Park Baseball 15 posted here in the near future.
  • You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Flickr, which will all probably be updated more frequently than this blog.

Your turn (feel free to answer any or all):

  • What’s the biggest surprise of the 2014 baseball season?
  • What’s the coolest minor league promotion you’ve seen this year?
  • What’s your favorite baseball card of 2014 (so far)?
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About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper in New Jersey. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

4 responses »

  1. Ryan says:

    Paul- It seems like many of us long-time bloggers are slowing down these days. Hope that all is well and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts over the years!

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thanks, Ryan. I don’t make it around to comment as much as I used to, but I still enjoy reading your blog & seeing who you’ve added to your collection recently.

      Like

  2. Will in Central NJ says:

    Hi Paul, good seeing you at the Bears’ liquidation/auction. That’s my right arm/red sleeve in the photo above. I didn’t purchase much—I bought a paperweight replica of the 2007 Atlantic League Championship ring—but I did allow myself to wander around the entire facility. I went into each dugout, down to the bullpens, along the warning track, into the groundskeepers’ shed, the batting cage, into the weeds under the hulking scoreboard. It was a sad and bittersweet day.

    While many of the jersey tops were auctioned off, my wandering in the bowels of the stadium led me to a laundry room where there was a mountain of uniform pants: pinstriped, solid white, solid grays. There were names handwritten into the waistbands; sometimes there were 3 or 4 names, with the preceding ones crossed out in magic marker.

    Adding to the surreal feeling of the day was another small mountain nearby–this one of baseball cards, loose and in plastic sheets, from autograph-seeking fans across North America. (Torn envelopes from Quebec and every state in the union were mixed in). You can imagine which of the former Bears’ managers were flooded by these autograph hunters’ requests—I actually felt empathy for the former managers, if they found themselves faced with such requests every day, every week.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      I kind of wish that I’d wandered around a little more, but it was sad enough just seeing the offices & main concourse.

      I would guess that the mountain of mail accumulated over the course of the season. I don’t remember Garry Templeton being a very good autograph signer via mail – that was the reason that I was excited about the Bears hiring him.

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