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A call for a 1962 Mets reunion this year

A signed Jay Hook 1962 Topps card from my collection. Hook earned the win in the Mets first-ever victory.

Today, Greg Prince wrote about “The Living Memory of the 1962 Mets” at Faith and Fear in Flushing (the best Mets baseball blog on the internet)

Noting that 29 of the 45 men who played for that original Mets squad are still with us, Prince calls on the team to bring those players (as well as some colorful characters who didn’t quite make the cut) to Citi Field this year to introduce them to a new generation of fans:

But no scheduled 1962 reunion? While there are still, after 50 years, more 1962 Mets living than not? That’s no way to celebrate 50 years. If you can’t bear to call it Old Timers Day, then call it something else like Original Mets Day (and don’t dither because you worry every wanna-be wag will make some crack about the 2012 Mets paying tribute to the 1962 Mets already, look at their record, haw-haw). Expense? You just beat the rap…I mean settled out of court on your biggest potential expense. Surely the Mets alumni you’d have to fly in will rate a senior discount.

I hope the Mets take this suggestion to heart.

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47 days until spring (training)

There are 47 days until New York Mets pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie for spring training.

Hisanori Takahashi 2010 Topps Chrome autographed card from my collection

Since 1962, 14 Mets players have worn #47. Jay Hook was the first, Hisanori Takahashi was the last,  Tom Glavine was the most famous and Joe McEwing was the most versatile. But the player I associate with #47 is 1986 Mets closer Jesse Orosco. Who can forget the sight of Orosco’s glove flying up into the air as he celebrated getting the last out of the 1986 World Series?

GM Sandy Alderson made a bit of news yesterday, signing minor league free agent infielder Omar Quintanilla (as first reported by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.) The move was widely panned by Mets fans, but for the sake of my own sanity I’m going to pretend that Quintanilla was signed to back up Reese Havens, Jordany Valdespin, or whoever else might be playing the middle infield positions for the Buffalo Bisons this year. (At least until Quintanilla ends up on the major league roster, anyway.)

ESPN New York also reported the oh-so-exciting details of the contracts given to new Mets relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. If any of the beat writers start keeping track of the number of games Rauch finishes because of his modest contract incentives, I think I’m going to end up pulling out what’s left of my hair in frustration.

The Mets have their winter blood drive scheduled for Thursday – all donors will receive a voucher for a pair of tickets to a game in April.

In hobby news, Nick Diunte profiled Chris Potter of Chris Potter Sports (the guy behind the private autograph signings I seem to be plugging just about every month.)

Rare autograph appearances by Mike Piazza & Choo Choo Coleman

Next month’s White Plains sports card show is shaping up as a “must attend” event for Mets autograph collectors.

Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza poses for a photo on Beanie Baby Day at Shea Stadium in 1999 (Photo credit: slgckgc)

Mike Piazza will be the headline guest on Saturday, January 21st, with autographs starting at $149. A limited number of autograph tickets for bats and jerseys will be sold $249. Inscriptions and personalizations are an additional $50. While those prices are likely going to prove too high for my budget, I don’t expect to see a significantly better deal anytime soon. When Piazza goes on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2013, expect his autograph prices to get even higher.

JP Sports is also bringing in original Mets catcher Choo Choo Coleman, for what is billed as his first autograph show appearance ever on January 21st. Autographs will be $25.

Other former Mets players attending the show include Jay Hook, John Franco, Al Jackson, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and Gary Sheffield. More guests may be added before the show date. In case you can’t make it, mail order is available.

Not to be outdone, MAB Celebrity Services is planning a 50 Years of Amazin’ Baseball autograph show at the Cesar’s Club at Citi Field on Sunday, January 22nd.

Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Tom Seaver headline a lineup that also includes Coleman, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Ron Swoboda, Cleon Jones and Ed Kranepool, as well as special guests Al Kaline and Luis Aparcio.

Start saving your money. 🙂