Thursday, January 7, 2016
I think of him as a Dodger II
This is kind of a repeat of last year's post, which just goes to show you how well the Dodgers did in the '90s hanging onto superstars who would one day be Hall of Famers. Two straight years of this stuff.
Mike Piazza announced today that he would go into the Hall of Fame as a New York Met. No surprise there. He's made his love for the Mets and their fans known just as he's also made his grudge against Dodgers management of the late '90s known. I've assumed this day was coming for a long time.
But that doesn't change the way my brain thinks or what my collection looks like. Every time I see Piazza dressed in a Mets uniform, my brain is surprised. It has to be reminded again -- oh, yeah, Piazza played for the Mets, too. I have 460 cards of Mike Piazza. Three of them are Mets cards. A handful others are A's or Padres cards (no, I don't have any Marlins Piazzas -- why would I want those?). All of the rest of them are Dodgers cards.
So, of course, I think of him as a Dodger. I'm a Dodger fan, my collection is filled with Dodger Piazzas. I set up the world in which I live. But so have Mets fans.
Mets fans have Piazza in a World Series, the Dodgers have Piazza rookie mojo cards and his Rookie of the Year award. Mets fans have Piazza on their team for 8 years while the Dodgers fans have him for only 6-plus. Piazza's greatest individual years statistically probably came with the Dodgers, but cumulatively, his stats for the Mets are better.
Piazza was drafted by the Dodgers in the 62nd round -- allegedly as a favor to Piazza's dad by Tom Lasorda -- would he even be able to do those things for the Mets if it wasn't for the Dodgers?
But, of course, Piazza was a Met when 9/11 happened. And that pretty much ends the argument. This really is an emotional argument, you know -- on many levels -- and it will never be solved to the satisfaction of everyone.
But, when I think of Piazza, I think Dodger first, second, third, fourth and fifth ... the Mets might come up eventually (but they do come up before the Padres).
Also, when I think of Piazza, I think of him as the king of '90s cards. Again, that's my collection talking. There are definitely other players during that era who put forth the same abundance of excellent cardboard during the '90s. Ken Griffey Jr., for example. You know, that other guy elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday.
But this is the kind of stuff I'm looking at in my Dodgers/Piazza collection. My Griffeys can't handle that -- because I'm not Junior Junkie (who laughs at the mere thought of only 460 cards of one player).
Also, when I think of Piazza, I think of him as the king of inserts -- the king of DIECUT inserts. Because I have more of those of Piazza than any other player -- even Hideo Nomo, I believe (although I need to do research on that).
So, without any more words, here are 10 diecut greats of Piazza:
Funny, they're all Dodger cards.
Enjoy your moment, Mike. It's about frigging time.