On Saturday, I popped into Island Thrift in Medford to see if anything caught my eye. This used to a hobby of mine. Some people find it icky, but whatever. Toss anything you buy into the washer on hot with some high test soap and it's good to go. When you think about it, renting bowling shoes is much grosser. Those just get a quick spritz of Lysol, if you're lucky.
I was looking for an old western style long sleeve shirt. Ya know, the ones with the pearl snaps, usually plaid, and so worn in you can almost see through it. I snagged a few in the late 90's that are still in my rotation. If you ever hang with me, you've probably noticed some reoccurring favorites.
Of course, I also had to take a gander for some Mets stuff, and this place had the best gem I've ever found in my decades of thrifting.
Let's take a look at some of the best/worst Mets stuff on their racks.
ORIGINAL PRICE: $34.99?
THRIFT PRICE: $6.99
Nice 80% discount. If you wanted one of these and didn't get the chance back in 2015, they had a couple on the rack, and all were in great condition. I passed.
ORIGINAL PRICE: $64.99?
THRIFT PRICE: $5.99
If I was grading on price alone. This would get an A. 90% off is a steal. But the hoodie had some visible stains, and the drawstrings were pretty grimy. The original owner definitely got their money worth with this one. Really nice patch work, and the hoodie itself was heavyweight. Pass.
ORIGINAL PRICE: $59.99? Tough guess. Replica jerseys were a bit cheaper in 1999.
THRIFT PRICE: $28.99
Rare find, but even at around 50% off, not a super deal. I thought about it for a second, but passed.
ORIGINAL PRICE: $25-ish probably from China
THRIFT PRICE: $34.99
They're actually charging more than the original buyer paid. To the thrift stores credit, they probably have no idea. Knockoff jerseys are horrible, and I'll admit, I was guilty of owning a couple before I knew what to look for. After learning about the corrupt process behind counterfeits, not to mention the extremely subpar quality, I'm ashamed I did. Save up your $ and grab a real blank replica if you can.
ORIGINAL PRICE: Technically free, or whatever the game ticket cost that day. Pretty sure this was a giveaway at Shea.
THRIFT PRICE: $1.99
Pretty cool cap, just not my style. Black trim across the brim kinda killed it for me. Can't remember what sponsor was on the back. Stretch fit, and in decent shape. Pass.
ORIGINAL PRICE: I have absolutely no idea what a pair of licensed boxer shorts would have cost in 1987.
THRIFT PRICE: $1.99
As I glanced a couple rows over, I saw an elderly man browsing the undies collection. This is typically where I'd draw the thrifting line, but I saw the New York script peering between some tighty whities. I didn't care what the price was. These would be mine. In all my years of thrifting, this is my rarest find. I asked a few people who collect, and they've never seen these either.
The elastic is perfect, the colors are vibrant, and the size tag on the inside is in mint condition. I'm not just trying to talk myself in to it, but I believe these have never been worn. Automatic purchase.
You never know what you'll find while thrifting, as the inventory is constantly changing. Try to grab some intel from the employees as to what days they get new stuff in. Some buyers purchase from thrift stores and re-sell at "vintage" shops at a premium price, so if you're looking for some gems you gotta have the jump.
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.