Mets ’19 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Alex Markle on being the lucky winner of the Ronny Mauricio 2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection Blue Ink Auto #’ed/200.  Once Alex Markle sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Mets ’18 Topps Stadium Club Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Steve D. on being the lucky winner of the Phillip Evans 2018 Topps Stadium Club RC Auto.  Once Steve D. sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Mets ’17 Topps Fire Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Marc on being the lucky winner of the Steven Matz 2017 Topps Fire Auto #’ed/200.  Once Marc sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Mets ’17 Topps Chrome Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Brett Alan on being the lucky winner of the Seth Lugo 2017 Topps Chrome RC Auto.  Once Brett Alan sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Mets ’17 Topps Archives Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Brett Pasternack on being the lucky winner of the Dave Magadan 2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto.  Once Brett Pasternack sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Card of the Day: 1965 Topps Mets Rookie Stars #533

 photo 65toppsmetsrs_zpsyw32fetn.jpg

Mets ’16 Topps Gypsy Queen Jersey Contest Winner Announced

 photo harvey16gqjersey1_zpscq7vi7fe.jpg

Congrats to Mark on being the lucky winner of the Matt Harvey 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Jersey.  Once Mark sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Mets Sweet Spot Auto Contest Winner Announced

 photo parnauto_zps2bdd9fba.jpg

Congrats to dawgbones on being the lucky winner of the Bobby Parnell 2009 Upper Deck Sweet Spot – Sweet Beginnings RC Auto #ed/699.  Once dawgbones sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Harrisburg Senators vs. Binghamton Mets – 8/4/13

Sunday afternoon was a great day to watch the Harrisburg Senators take on the Binghamton Mets.  The Mets started the game with a lead off triple, and their momentum sure didn’t stop.  In the end, the Senators lost 6-0.  These were probably some of the best seats we’ve ever had for taking photos.  Its great to be behind home plate, but the net would always get in the way.  Down third baseline was much better.  It was Drew Storen bobblehead day, and I picked up four new pins for my collection.

I will say this.  The Senators serve the best tasting soft pretzels.

 photo IMG_1982_zpsa94699cb.jpg

Senators 1B Justin Bloxom at bat.  Bloxom has 58 RBIs this season and has cards in 2010 Topps Pro Debut and 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition.

 photo IMG_1983_zps38c75143.jpg

 photo IMG_1985_zpsf194296b.jpg

 photo IMG_1984_zps2bb5a661.jpg

 photo IMG_1987_zps879a37fe.jpg

The first 1,000 fans through the gate received a Drew Storen bobblehead.

 photo IMG_1981_zps458faaea.jpg

Rascal stopped by while I was watching the game.  As you can see, I was wearing my 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention shirt and an official Sports Card Album hat.  I sorta felt like that clip from Wayne’s World…haha!

Meeting Your Baseball Hero: Guest Blogger James Ryan of Sports Locker

Meeting Your Baseball Hero

There are more nerve racking moments in life (health scares, getting married, and having children), but finally meeting your baseball hero must be on the list. My favorite team is the New York Mets and my childhood baseball hero is Gary Carter.

I became a Gary Carter fan after watching a game with some school friends on April 9, 1985. It was Gary Carter’s first game with the Mets and he cracked a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals. What a debut! I was also a catcher (for my little team in Logan Township, New Jersey), so cheering for Carter was easy. My favorite team had a new player who hits home runs on demand, plays the same position I do, and was becoming the main guest on Kiner’s Korner! What’s not to like?

As a kid, having a baseball hero is more than just catching an update on the local news. You need to have the t-shirt with his number, find his baseball cards, check the box scores every day and defend him in the school cafeteria no matter what!

Of course I’ll always have my Game 6 memories. Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner may have captured the front-page headlines, but I’ll never forget that it was Gary Carter who started the rally with 2 outs in the 9th inning.

I didn’t spend the time to cutout and save box scores or Sports Illustrated issues, but I did begin purchasing the new cards that came. I had his cards from the ‘80s and the new ones later on that had a piece of Gary Carter’s jersey, his bat, and the autograph cards. I even had a card that had a piece of his old Nike shoes!

Eventually I realized that I wanted to expand my collection of Gary Carter memorabilia to more than baseball cards – I wanted to get an in-person autograph. I finally had my opportunity at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio (The National).

At the National

TriStar runs the autograph pavilion at The National and in 2007 their guest list included Hall-of-Fame catcher, Gary Carter. Now in my 30s, and twenty-one years after “Game 6,” I couldn’t believe that I would finally have my chance to meet my baseball hero.

What would I ask Carter to sign? Should I get a jersey? Should I ask him to sign a bat? How would a photo looked signed? I decided to get a couple of All-Star logo baseballs signed. He was the Most Valuable Player of the MLB All-Star game in 1981 and 1984.

Leading up to the National and standing in line on that Saturday, I experienced all the emotions of an elementary school kid getting on the bus for the first time.

  • What should I wear?
  • What should I say?
  • How do I talk?
  • What is my name?

When it was my turn in line, I tried to keep my voice from cracking like Peter Brady’s (when it’s time to change…) and exchanged greetings. I handed over my tickets, baseballs, and shook Gary Carter’s hand! Gary was great. I talked about watching him start the Game 6 rally and he took his time signing the baseballs and talking about the game.

While signing the All-Star game baseballs Gary asked me, “Are you some kind of All-Star game collector?” My response to Gary (without hesitation), “No sir. I’m a Gary Carter collector.”

You can insert your own rim-shot or Gong Show noise here, but I swear it was the first response that popped in my head. Fortunately for me, Gary responded with, “well give your camera to that guy (pointing at the man behind me whom I didn’t know) and come around the table for a few pictures.”

I don’t know who the guy was in line behind me. I never got a chance to say thank you, but his photography skills preserved an awesome moment.

Today, I have the Gary Carter autograph baseballs displayed in my office and I think about the great autograph experience. My collection has come a long way since pinning a 1987 Topps Gary Carter baseball card to my NY Mets pennant.

When I look at the collections kid’s have today, I think:

  • What player will they want to meet 20 years from now?
  • Which player will be as gracious as Gary Carter?
  • Will the heroes of a few years ago like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds create experiences like Gary Carter did for me?
  • Will stars from this year like Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, or Tim Lincecum follow Carter’s footsteps?

I don’t have the answers, but next time, I hope I’m the guy taking the pictures.

James Ryan runs SportsLocker.blogspot.com

Photobucket