This time on the Mets Memorabilia review, let’s take a look at the 2013 All-Star Game program from the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.
Now this magazine is a far cry from the 1964 one from Shea Stadium, in which the program was probably roughly 60 pages, and sported an illustrated cover of a dynamic batter running to first, along with an illustration of Shea and the Hemisphere from the nearby World’s Fair.
Clocking in at 288 pages, and a nice glossy finish on the cover, oh and cover price is a nice $15. Okay, its not the 1964’s 50 cents, but hey this is something that is worth the cover price. Though the thing is, back in 1964, that was the only cover you were going to get. This bad boy?
Let’s see…there is the Stadium Edition which is Citi Field and the Robinson Rotunda at night, which you can also get in regular “Special Edition” format, there is David Wright on the Special Limited Edition in front of a Citi Field backdrop, there is also this version of the cover with Mr. Met instead of Wright. You can also get two versions of a snazzy looking art cover done by Charles Fazzino, one blue bordered and one black bordered. And finally there are Limited Collector Editions featuring, I’d assume, all 78 selected participants on one cover each (including Wright and Matt Harvey) as well as several Futures game participants though these are usually just sold through the individual teams (i.e. last year you could pick up either the Wright or R.A. Dickey cover at Citi Field during the second half of the season). OH, and then there is a special commemorative limited cover featuring the All-Star Game MVP Mariano Rivera.
WHEW! And I thought comic book variant covers were bad!
Cracking this bad boy open sees that it is a nice blend, per usual for this kind of MLB produced publication, of national stories and local flavor stories. Up first we get the usual rigamarole of the Commissioner’s letter and brief bios of MLB executives out of the way, followed by broadcast information. Obviously FOX and ESPN Radio carried the game while contributions all weekend were made by ESPN, MLB International (ex-Met radio guy Gary Thorne was in that booth), and MLB Network.
People Magazine’s Tribute For Heroes which was spotlighted during the pre-game ceremonies and Stand Up 2 Cancer get a writeup next, along with other ASG related community outreach and fun activities. And for some reason the “Top of The Order” section continues with a breakdown of Joey Votto numbers.
The guy who threw out the first pitch, Tom Seaver’s ASG exploits gets a page and a half spotlight article. And there is also a piece on instances of the connection the number 7 has in Met history, from the 7 Train Subway Line, to the uniform number (and when it has been in the ones digit, i.e. Keith Hernandez and Johan Santana) to interesting 7s in Met statistical feats. This is followed by a one page profile of Harvey, a “getting to know fun Q&A” section with several Twitter handles, including Jay Horwitz’ @Jay_HorwitzPR, a look at Columbia University player Joey Falcone (son of ex-Met Pete Falcone), Mr. Met, Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing getting a salute at Fenway Park, and finally some Home Run Derby figures to wrap up the “Top of The Order” section.
The first feature is “From Rooks To Kings” which spotlights the young stars of the game. Interestingly this is followed by “…And They’re Off” which covers the same ground, though this one heavily features Harvey.
The release of the movie 42 allows for at the movie and the Jackie Robinson legacy in the next feature piece, and this is followed by an article on why strikeout totals seem to have gone up in recent years. These pieces are followed by a lighter side piece that examines the…ummmm…unique smells and other bizarre things that come with life on the road.
We go back to more serious things with a look at the All-Star Game beginnings in 1933, and back to the lightheartedness with a photo gallery look at the current day facial hair culture in the game! The gallery does include ex-Met Jose Reyes, and current Met Justin Turner. The time machine is entered again for a look at the 75th anniversary of Johnny Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters, and this is followed up by a glimpse into the future by spotlighting some young talent that performed in this year’s World Baseball Classic. And finally, well for this part of the book, the idea of adding more skills competition events alongside the Home Run Derby is put forth in a piece called Skills & Thrills.
This is followed by the scorecard section of the book, which features photos of players selected prior to the start of the weekend as players were added due to the Final Man Vote, nagging injuries or pitchers were deemed ineligible after making a start on Sunday.
After that section is a neat photo gallery of highlights from the first half.
This is followed, first by a map of where you could have found the All-Star Apples throughout the borough of Manhattan (I’ll assume that they’ve been removed by now), and the local team section (also features a nice dosage of local advertizements as opposed to the more national scope ads in the rest of the book).
First up is a piece on local New York City attractions. This is followed by a Q&A feature on Wright, and then a team history article, as well as a look at the 1964 All-Star Game at Shea.
Sandy Alderson’s attempt at turning the franchise around is next and that includes a thumbnail spotlight on the Brooklyn Cyclones. Followed by a look at the Met involvement in the Welcome Back Veterans initiative, a tour of Citi Field, and a Q&A with Met fan and host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show Jon Stewart.
Then it is a spotlight on the 1969 and 1973 seasons, followed by a Where Are They Now piece on members of the 2000 NL Champions; Benny Agbayani, Turk Wendell, Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura. This is followed by the final piece of the section a look at the Met captains, Hernandez, Gary Carter, John Franco and Wright.
And the program closes with an appendix of the scores and thumbnail blurbs of every All-Star Game and several notable All-Star Game records. With the last page of the book being a piece by ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian on ASG walk-off homers, including the Phillies Johnny Callison’s at Shea in 1964.
In all another fine job by MLB, and Professional Sports Publications, and worthy to be picked up. Well, maybe not all the crazy different variant covers though!