It’s been a little while since we last talked baseball cards… a few new sets came out, and I even have two new 2016 Mets partial team sets to show you.
I’d really been looking forward to Topps Heritage, since this year’s set is based on one of my favorite classic Topps designs. Now that I actually have most of the cards in hand (thanks Stubby!), I find myself with mixed feelings.
So let’s save that for another day and focus on the product that wildly surpassed my expectations: Topps Opening Day. It’s been years since I actually bothered getting the Mets team set from Opening Day… the cards are almost identical to the ones from the Topps flagship set, but you don’t get all of the players because Opening Day is less than half the size.
Except this year, I noticed half of the Mets in Opening Day aren’t in Topps Series One. Steven Matz and Lucas Duda will undoubtedly turn up in Series Two, most likely with the same image. Matt Reynolds and Ruben Tejada? Your guess is as good as mine… I could easily see Tejada getting bumped or digitally transformed into a Cardinal. (The better question is: “where’s David Wright?” but he did miss all but 38 games last season and is in Series One, so I’ll cut them some slack.)
(Tejada also has a pretty nifty super short print photo variation in Opening Day that I’d been planning to get, but the Mets released him before I had the opportunity and it has kinda killed my motivation. There are also super short print photo variations for Noah Syndergaard and Reynolds according to the Cardboard Connection’s gallery.)
So Reynolds’ first Mets baseball card (not counting autographs in Heritage and Spring Fever) was motivation enough for me to pick up Opening Day this year, but the set’s strength is in its inserts.
Opening Day gave us Mrs. Met’s first baseball card appearance, as well as two cards commemorating the Mets’ playoff success last fall. (There’s also a less interesting Matt Harvey card in an insert set dedicated to teams’ alternate uniforms, but the Mets wear their blue alternates often enough that seeing Harvey in the home jersey that he always wears isn’t very exciting…still, what’s one “miss” in a product that’s so much better than I expected?)
In actual baseball news, Matt Harvey weathered a health scare, Bobby Parnell got released by the Tigers, Philip Humber retired after learning he wouldn’t make the Padres’ roster and Jeff Francoeur managed to make the Braves roster.
We’re just days away from baseball games that count…I’m looking forward to caring enough to watch more than one game a week. 🙂
It’s becoming clear that Topps now thinks of the New York Mets as a second-tier team.
While there are 13 Mets cards in the 33o-card Topps Series 1 (14 if you count the National League Batting Leaders card), there are only three in the 220-card Topps Opening Day set that just came out (175 Jason Bay, 187 David Wright and 195 Ike Davis).
To compare, there are five Pittsburgh Pirates in the Opening Day set (17 Pedro Alvarez, 34 James McDonald, 144 Andrew McCutchen, 152 Neil Walker, 168 Jose Tabata and 193 Casey McGhee).
The Mets fare better in Topps Heritage, out this week, where they have at least 15 cards in the 500-card set:
1 NL Batting Leaders – Reyes, Braun, Kemp, Pence, Votto
27 Josh Thole
59 R.A. Dickey
78 Daniel Murphy
93 Johan Santana
107 Ruben Tejada
112 Mets – Team Card
191 Rookie Stars (Hendriks, Liddi, Moore & Schwinden)
204 Chris Schwinden
228 Rookie Stars (Hagadone, Satin, Hughes, Benson)
233 Terry Colins – Mgr
245 Lucas Duda
292 Justin Turner
363 Rookie Stars (Dominguez, Schwinden, Savery & Peacock)
426 Frank Francisco
436 Ike Davis
467 David Wright
475 Jason Bay
But then according to a preliminary checklist for this summer’s 350-card Allen & Ginter set, there are only five Mets cards to look forward to: 114 Johan Santana, 121 David Wright, 163 Tom Seaver, 164 Ike Davis, and 191 Jason Bay.
I can’t exactly argue that Topps is neglecting a lot of players with star power, but it does look like I’ll be saving money that I might otherwise have been tempted to spend on 2012 baseball cards this summer.
I had to pick up a few things at Target, so I stopped in the card aisle. Still no Topps Heritage cards.
Instead, I bought a couple more packs of Opening Day. I only got one Met, but it was the one Opening Day card I really wanted:
Not bad, not bad at all.