Posted in Site News

Bringing things to a close

Some of you may remember when this was a more active site, with new posts at least once a day. I’d write about the Newark Bears games, visiting different ballparks, adding new items to my baseball card and autograph collection, or my thoughts on the New York Mets.

The Bears are long gone…collecting has slowed due to life changes and changing interests. Trips to the ballpark have also slowed — again due to life changes — and I’m finding less motivation to write about them.

I visited one ballpark I’d never been to last year: Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I think I shared a few photos on Facebook, but I never got around to writing about that trip here. I went to the Mets’ home opener last week…and I still haven’t gotten around to writing about that either.

Part of that is knowing that there are so many better bloggers who write about the Mets that you could be reading…part of it is often not having time to stop & reflect until the news cycle has already moved on to the next thing.

And despite good intentions, I realize that is not going to change.

So thank you to those of you who’ve stuck with me over the years. I’ve made a few real life friends as a result of this blog, as well as a number of online ones. But even if we’ve never talked, I appreciate that you took the time to read whatever I had to say.

RandomBaseballStuff.com will remain online though the end of the year, at least…and maybe longer — it would make me sad to see this url turn into an SEO spam blog. But this is likely to be my last post here.

If you want to keep in touch, you can find me on Facebook, on Instagram as @pwhphotos, and on Twitter at @MetsFanPaul.

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Posted in Site News, Uncategorized

New Year’s Goals

(Image via morgueFile)
(Image via morgueFile)

Happy New Year! With 2014 officially behind us, we are that much closer to Opening Day.

A few years ago, I resolved to stop making New Year’s resolutions. It’s the only one I’ve managed to keep.

But I will offer up a few goals for 2015:

  1. Writing – I want to write something here at RandomBaseballStuff.com at least once a week during 2015. I’m not going to try to be a baseball card blog, or a Mets blog, or a minor league baseball blog as I have at various times in the past (though I’m sure all of those topics will come up from time to time.) Instead, I’m going to pick one thing (related to baseball) that interests me each week and write about it… hopefully, whatever topics I choose will also interest some of you. At the very least, I’ll be true to my blog title.
  2. Baseball – In the past, I’ve set goals of visiting new ballparks or attending particular events. I’d like to do that this year, but they wouldn’t be very realistic. Instead, I’m going to aim to attend at least one Mets game at Citi Field and see the Binghamton Mets play at least one game in Trenton. If I’m able to go to more games, travel, or see other ballparks in the New Jersey or New York metropolitan area, that will be a bonus.
  3. Collecting – I plan to put together the 2015 Topps and 2015 Topps Heritage Mets team sets, and pick up the 2015 team sets of the Las Vegas 51s, Binghamton Mets, St. Lucie Mets, Savannah Sand Gnats, Brooklyn Cyclones, Kingsport Mets (if they make one) and Trenton Thunder. I hope to add a few autographed baseball cards to my Mets autograph collection. If I can do more, that will also be a bonus – but these are my priorities.

Have you set any goals for 2015?

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

Posted in Baseball, Baseball Cards, Site News, Uncategorized

I’m still here

Citi Field sunset (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Citi Field sunset (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

We’re one month into the Major League Baseball season, and the New York Mets have a 16-14 record and are just a game out of first place in the National League East. Only the most wildly optimistic fans expected the Mets to be competitive this year, but so far they are.

Will it last? Probably not, but let’s enjoy it while we can. The early success has been based on great starting pitching, just enough hitting and a bullpen that hasn’t blown up too often even though the Mets are already on their third closer of the season. That doesn’t seem sustainable over the long haul, but stranger things have happened.

I’ve made it to three games at Citi Field so far, and the Mets have a 1-2 record in them. I’m planning to go to one more, so maybe they can get back to .500 when I’m watching.

I can’t say I’m thrilled about the team’s latest marketing campaign that seems to suggest that only “true New Yorkers” can be real Mets fans, though.

I’ve also been to a couple of Trenton Thunder games. The New York Yankees’ Double-A farm team looks like it could be good again this year – they are off to a 19-11 start. The Yankees’ two top prospects — catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Mason Williams — are both in Trenton to start the year. I’ve been impressed with Sanchez’s bat, but then again, I remember Jesus Montero in Double-A and how his major league career has turned out.

Almost everything was for sale at the Newark Bears' liquidation auction on April 26, from uniforms and mascot costume pieces to office equipment. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Almost everything was for sale at the Newark Bears’ liquidation auction on April 26, from uniforms and mascot costume pieces to office equipment. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

One place I won’t be going to watch baseball anymore is Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. I spent a couple of hours at the Newark Bears’ liquidation auction last month, and came home with a 2012-2013 home jersey last issued to Mike Gedman for $12.31.

I will cherish the memories of good times I had at that ballpark and the friends I have made their over the years, but all good things come to an end.

I’m not quite ready to bring this blog to an end, though I will be surprised if I have many readers left at this point.

  • I am writing about the Mets at HotStoveMLB.com, so you can read what I have to say about on-field issues there.
  • I will still write about baseball cards and collectibles here, and while finances are severely limiting my ability to add to my collection, I do have a couple of cool things that I want to show you over the next few days.
  • I should have a review of Out of the Park Baseball 15 posted here in the near future.
  • You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Flickr, which will all probably be updated more frequently than this blog.

Your turn (feel free to answer any or all):

  • What’s the biggest surprise of the 2014 baseball season?
  • What’s the coolest minor league promotion you’ve seen this year?
  • What’s your favorite baseball card of 2014 (so far)?
Posted in Site News, Uncategorized

Announcement

You may recall that I was considering shutting down RandomBaseballStuff.com this month.

I want to thank everyone who offered words of encouragement – I’ve decided to keep my blog online for another year.

I probably won’t be writing something every day like I have so far in December, but I’m not ready to walk away from a site I’ve been running for the past six years.

Posted in New York Mets, Site News, Uncategorized

Mets baseball card of the week: 1972 Topps Bud Harrelson

The next two weeks are probably the swan song for this blog. The domain renewal is coming up, and I don’t really feel the same enthusiasm for baseball that I did when I began.  

I could still change my mind, but I’m having a hard time imagining what I might find to say about the 2014 Mets that anyone would want to read and other commitments will keep me from going to more than a handful of minor league games next season.

I do want to thank everyone who stops by to read Random Baseball Stuff, and I appreciate the friends I’ve made because of this blog. 

1972-Bud-HarrelsonWith that out of the way, let’s take a look at our Mets Baseball Card of the Week.

In  1972, Topps came up with the idea for a “Boyhood Photos of the Stars” subset, using old family photos for a “then and now” look at some of the game’s more prominent players. (In reality, I suspect the checklist had a lot to do with which players had moms that sent in old photos.)

I know Bud Harrelson as a coach and manager, first of the New York Mets and later of the independent Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks.  For me, regular baseball cards from his playing days are a glimpse into the past. Looking at this baseball card might as well be stepping into a time machine.

Depending on condition, you could expect to pay between 50 cents and $1 for your own copy of this card.

Posted in Site News, Uncategorized

Thank you

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts during an incredibly difficult week.

As much as possible, I’m trying to get back to “normal.” Part of that is writing about baseball-related things here.

I’m not quite “there” yet, but I did have a mostly-finished article about the 2013 Trenton Thunder All-Time Team baseball card set that I’m going to post in a few minutes.