I know I’m late to the party, but I just got my 2017 Topps Series 1 Mets team set in the mail this week.
Player selection is pretty good, considering Topps has to save some recognizable names for Series 2 in a few months. I haven’t double-checked the 40-man roster lately, but I think everyone pictured is still part of the Mets’ organization. (I’m puzzled by the decision to include Matt Reynolds over printing a T.J. Rivera rookie card, but I can easily overlook it since it’s the biggest head-scratcher.)
Aubrey Huff was a pretty good baseball player for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and others, last appearing in the major leagues in 2012 with the San Francisco Giants.
He’s also an artist and seemingly a fan of Marvel superheroes. If you looked at Huff’s Twitter feed today, you’d have seen paintings of Iron Man and Captain America that he’s hoping to get signed by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans for a charity auction.
The New York Mets’ 2016 baseball season lasted 163 games, ending last Wednesday when Jeurys Familia gave up a three-run homer to Conor Gillaspie in the ninth inning of the National League Wild Card Game. The Mets hitters couldn’t figure out how to deal with San Francisco Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner, who pitched a shutout.
I won’t lie – it was a frustrating loss. But several days later, I’m willing to tip my cap to Bumgarner and the Giants. They were the better team on Wednesday, though they’re standing on the brink of elimination from the National League Division Series. The Giants ran into a team that’s better than them in the Chicago Cubs. That’s how baseball is supposed to work…and sometimes it does.
Terry Collins took a team to the postseason, if only for three hours, with a rotation that included unheralded rookies Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, along with ageless veteran Bartolo Colon and the Mets’ one enduring ace, Noah Syndergaard. He patched together an infield that included just one Opening Day starter. And somehow, he kept everyone believing that a playoff push was possible when common sense said to start planning for 2017. If that’s not worthy of Manager of the Year consideration, I don’t know what is.
So now we wait and watch to see who will be crowned the 2016 World Series Champ, even though it won’t be the Mets. I’m rooting for Daniel Murphy and his Washington Nationals teammates, but I could see myself switching over to Justin Turner‘s Dodgers if the Nats don’t make it.
The Mets have a host of important roster decisions to make this winter…the team that starts 2017 may not bear much resemblance to the one that finished 2016. That’s ok, and it makes for an interesting hot stove season.
Meanwhile, I have a bunch of baseball cards to sort, checklists to update and autograph request letters to write.