Monday, January 16, 2017

Updated mfc 1980 SHEA SCOREBOARD CARD


Updated mfc Mets Scoreboard Card
(1984 border changed to 1980)
I want to thank John Leon, Andrew Padaetz, Steven Green, Charlene Juliano Worker, Dennis Raicacos, and Greg Prince (from Faith And Fear in Flushing) for commenting on facebook and making me aware that this mfc scoreboard card had the wrong years border attached to it. 

All my researched pointed to 1983 (84 border), but I must stand corrected because it turns out to be from 1980. Mr. Prince, the author of AMAZIN' AGAIN, suggested I use the 1980 Topps design, and I thank him. If anything I want these cards to be accurate.

This will be substituted for the error card on the mfc SCOREBOARD page.

Greg, if you're tuning in (and anyone else who might know) does that mean that this info on the Shea Stadium poster is incorrect?
Exactly what year did the BIG beer ad go up? I thought it was in 1983. I think those dates will have to be changed. The poster must be accurate.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017mfc 4-MH-0- The 1962 Mets Team Card






I know I am releasing these Mets history cards out of order but I'm a little backed up with the colorizations. Colorizing this team pic was a pain in the buttinsky. It was only 6 different colors used but all those tiny heads and minuscule orange NY's were tantalizing. I am happy with how this came out though.

Next up will either be another spring training card or a card 
commemorating the Mets first win. Both will be colorized for use on their cards. Stay tuned.



Monday, January 9, 2017

2017mfc•25-MH-2•FIRST STOLEN BASE•RICHIE ASHBURN


The Old Perfessor Casey Stengel's thoughts on the stolen base:

"There's nobody on my ball club that doesn't go from first to third on a base hit, or from second to home. Every time you steal a base, you're taking a gamble on getting thrown out, and taking the bat out of the hitter's hand."
 So Stengel was not a big fan of the stolen base. I didn't know that. Maybe that's why it took 12 games before the team stole one. And Casey did try.  

On April 17th, just five days into the '62 season, the Mets were playing the Houston Colt 45's in the first meeting ever of the two National League expansion teams. 

Mets 3rd bagman Don Zimmer made an attempt steal home! I wonder if that was Casey's doing. I would assume so. He had Gil Hodges up. It was the eight inning, New York was down 2-1.  Lets take a closer look at that inning, the bottom of the eight. Right hander Jim Golden was on in relief for the Colts with a 2-0 lead. 
After Richie Ashburn failed to pinch a hit to open the frame Felix Mantilla drew a base on balls. The Mets manager had Ed Bouchee bat for "Hot" Rod Kanehl, and Bouchee stroked a single sending Mantilla to third. Stengel then put in Elio Chacon to run for Bouchee with Don Zimmer up.

Zimm tapped one back to the pitcher, who threw home, but Colt 45's catcher Hal Smith couldn't handle the throw. The run scored and he was awarded an error. Chacon went to third, Zimmer to second on the throw.

Frank Thomas then bounced a grounder to third. Chacon took off and was gunned down at the plate by future Met Bob Aspromonte, Zimmer quietly pulling into third during the play. Then, with Gil Hodges up, Zimmer tries to steal home! And the Houston battery of Jim Golden and Hal Smith erased him from the basepaths!
I know old Casey knew his baseball but still, Don Zimmer? Hodges up? Crazy stuff.

The Mets manager tried to snag a bag again after another four games had passed. On April 22nd the Mets had a 2-0 lead in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. It was the teams 9th game of the season and they had yet to win one. This time it was Bobby Gene Smith who got caught on a straight steal of 2nd base in the sixth. New York would go on to lose this game as the Bucs got to Mets starter Roger Craig for three and the lead in the very next inning.



This Bob Miller started.
Stengel didn't wait too long before giving it another shot. New York had finally won a game on April 23rd (mfc MH card coming up soon) and stood at 11-1, 9½ out on the 25th. They would play the Reds at Crosley Field. Bob Purkey had the mound for Cincinnati and one of the Bob Millers would get the start for New York. Aging speedster Richie Ashburn had already singled leading off the game for the Mets. Elio Chacon drove Ashburn to third but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double. Richie then scored on a ground out to short to give New York a 1-0 lead.

The Reds came back to tie the game in the 2nd and Asburn would single again with two outs in the 3rd. With Elio Chacon batting Richie wasted no time and took off for second early in the count. He beat the throw for the first ever Metropolitan stolen base. He was stranded there however, as Chacon struck out, and the Mets would go on to lose this game 7-1, the lone run scored by "Whitey" Asburn, the first Mets player ever to steal a base.

>Box & Play by play at Baseball Reference<
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Chris Cannizzaro, an original 1962 Met, has passed away, the San Diego Padres announced last Friday. He was 78.

Cannizzaro played 59 games for the Amazin’s who lost 120 games that season and stayed with the club through the 1965 season. He hit .236 with zero home runs, 30 RBI over his four seasons spanning the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium. He led the league in caught stealing percentage in 1962 (56%) and 1965 (53%).


The Mets drafted Cannizzaro from the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1961 expansion draft. They traded him to the Atlanta Braves prior to the 1966 season.

Cannizzaro, an Oakland, Calif., area product, player for six different teams over 13 seasons, including an All-Star appearance as a member of the expansion Padres in 1969.

Cannizzaro had been suffering from emphysema in recent years, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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All new cards created will be added to their corresponding blog page (62mfc,64mfc,etc.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

RIP Mr. Bob Lemke, the grandpa of custom card makers. :(

I really can't type anything now. I'm in shock. I just found out.

I couldn't put it any better than Night Owl anyway, so please follow the link below and read his beautiful tribute to the late Bob Lemke, grandpa of the custom card making community and master of the baseball card back.

A kindred spirit unmet-Night Owls Cards


I also would have loved to have met the man, shared a brew, talked baseball cards. Rest in peace Mr. Lemke. So much hobby knowledge in one man. You will be missed. We still have your fantastic blog though, and thank you for all you've shared over the years.




                                 A late addition from Jason Carter of  
                                                        The Writers Journey.

Goodbye, Bob Lemke



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Some of Mr. Lemke's work:







Saturday, December 31, 2016

mfc2017 Metropolitan History Cards: #1a & #1b

 In the 2017 Mets Season Set there will be a number of "Metropolitan History" cards. These will be a lot of fun to make because we have such storied team tales. There was so much to the game in which the Mets first grand slam was hit I felt I had to get it all on the back of the card. It took two backs, hence two cards for this one. Another notable occurrence in the game, Gil Hodges last career home run, and Gil will get a nod on the first card front.

mfc Metropolitan History Card 10-MH1a


Gil Hodges will have a few more Mets history cards since he hit the teams first HR and also the first inside the park four bagger. All Mets firsts will be covered.


If anyone one knows of a Mets first, "Metropolitan Magical Moments" (see bottom of post), or anything pertaining to "Metropolitan History" that they feel deserves a card, please just leave word in the comments. When you think about it, a set of cards like these could end up running at least a few dozen. WOOHOO, more fun. I have to say making card backs are a bitch though. Hopefully over time I'll pick up the pace on those.
The color work. That's Gil and the actual 370th home run ball. 
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mfc Metropolitan History Card 10-MH1b

For these I decided to go with a 1977 Topps card design because it afforded so much needed space for the text. Baseball cards have their own little fashion of laying things out on their cardboard backs. Short spurts of info, directly to the point, keeping it compact yet still successfully painting a picture of the action. There is an art to card back text. A style. I can't say I have it completely down. 

Truth is I feel there could be more info included. Like, exactly why did Casey pinch hit for Frank Thomas in that situation? Frank had struck out twice in the game but he also had a single. He led the team in long balls with 15 on the day of that game. Was Stengel's move just one of those "gut" things? A better match-up pitching wise? Maybe someone out there knows. I'd like to add those details but as you can see things are already a bit cramped.

Real 1977 Topps card back.
All us students of baseball cards know that there is a certain "card back lingo", and deciphering that as you go along, translating the action into these small baseball cliches really is an enjoyable exercise in baseball card nostalgia.

So do they make the cut?
Did I misspell anything? I took some liberties because, for instance, I didn't know where the HR landed. So a little imaginative dramatic license has it zipping down the left field line into the short porch. Is that accurate? I dunno but it sounds good. But maybe someone out there does.

The beauty of this project is that I can run this by viewing Mets fans and baseball card aficionados and you can give me input and these things can evolve as they go along. A living, breathing, Mets baseball card set brought to life by baseball card fans. And that's what I'd like my Mets Fantasy Cards to be all about. :) 

If you read the card backs you'll see it was such a typical example of a 1962 Mets game, one where we finally stepped on a front running team (for a change as opposed to being stepped on) and displayed some exciting albeit wacky baseball (Casey, what's with all those bunts?!). If you read the game memories for this contest at the UMDB you will see that this game actually converted some Yankees fans to Mets fans, and that momentum and fan growth inexplicably continued as the team reeled off 120 loses in their freshman year. 

That tells you all you need to know about the New York Metropolitans. People in The Big Apple were so happy to have National League baseball back that it didn't really matter what the team did, as long as they played, and as long as we could root for them against those N.L. teams N.Y. fans were so familiar with from the days the Giants and Dodgers once played here. And the early Mets were so bad it was funny. Yet fans still filled the Polo Grounds and rooted for the team to turn the formidable tide they seemed to have against them. The Mets were the ultimate baseball underdogs from 1962 to around 1967/68, when Tom Seaver came aboard and Gil Hodges returned to manage the team. 

For Mets fans who took the compete ride from 1962 to 1969, I envy you (my first Mets game was in 1967 or 68). That must have been some kind of build up and payoff to experience.

I know there are some fans out there still with us who experienced this rise. Feel free to write of it in the comments section and don't be surprised if I make a card from your shared memories.


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^Courtesy of  Ultimate Mets Database

^Courtesy of  Ultimate Mets Database
These images of the box score and scorecard are from The Ultimate Mets Database, my ultimate stop when I want to look up Mets info. When I was a kid I had to go to the library and buy all those Mets Yearbooks/ Baseball Digests (not to mention baseball cards, my #1 source) to consume Mets player stats. But now thanks to the wonders of the internet we have the Ultimate Mets (library &) Database, the best team website known to man and the universe. That's fitting because our team logo also owns the same distinction.
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          HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYBODY! 

This is going to be a most interesting year, and I expect the Mets to contend and I pray that they stay healthy. That's always the big question mark, when you have a team that you believe has all the pieces needed to make the post season. Just stay healthy. And some breaks from the Baseball Gods wouldn't be a bad thing either.
The '17 Met are ready and New York means to bring the world championship back to Queens!

That's the best rally call I could come up with. Kinda weak but it don't suck. Too many syllables.

^Mets Happy New Years Gif, suitable for giffing webwide.



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We Mets fans have seen many magical moments over the teams fifty-five year existence. So expect some Mets Magical Moments cards like in 2015 & 2016.

As I said earlier, if you feel so inclined, please note your personal magical moment, not just of 2016, but of Metropolitan history. Cripes, we're are gonna have another two dozen special series subset cards! But these are more fun to make than the regular player cards, so I'm looking forward to this part of the project.



This years design will look exactly like this:


More post season cards in '17? Who knows, it's baseball, but I feel pretty confident. I also wanted to re-post this card cause I think it's the koolest Thor card I've come up with more recently. Who's the best of our young guns? Thor, deGrom, Wheeler, Harvey, Matz? This is the year we find out, and good fortune to all of 'em.






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A brief biography of Rod Kanehl
From Wikipedia :
Roderick Edwin Kanehl (April 1, 1934 – December 14, 2004) was an American second baseman and outfielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the New York Mets (1962–1964). Beloved by Mets fans, his attitude was exemplary for a team that lost a modern-era record 120 games in its inaugural season. Kanehl hit the first grand slam in Mets history on July 6, 1962 at the Polo Grounds.
Before making the major leagues, Kanehl played for eight seasons in the New York Yankees' and Cincinnati Reds' minor league systems. In 1962, at age 28, he was given an opportunity to try out for the Mets' opening season. Through spring training, he worked tirelessly for a spot on the roster. He leaped over an outfield wall in pursuit of a ball and he scored from second on a wild pitch. His attitude and all-out play earned him the nickname ′′Hot Rod′′.



Despite the objections and criticisms of the Mets' general manager George Weiss, manager Casey Stengel stuck with Kanehl. Stengel liked Kanehl's hustle and determination to play the game.
In a three-year career spanning 340 games, Kanehl batted .241 and accrued six home runs, 47 RBI, 103 runs, 23 doubles and 17 stolen bases. A highly versatile utilityman, he played every position except pitcher and catcher.
Kanehl played his final major-league season when Shea Stadium opened its doors in 1964. After the 1964 season, the Mets did not invite Kanehl to spring training, but also prevented him from taking a minor league coaching job he had been offered by the Yankee organization. He worked in construction, sold insurance, and later owned a restaurant. When Stengel died in 1975, Kanehl was the only former Mets player who was present at the funeral.(<question from me: is that a fact?)

After suffering a heart attack, Kanehl died at a hospital in Palm Springs, California at age 70.
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

☺Merry Christmas from Mets Fantasy Cards☻











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Coming up for New Years: Metropolitan History cards! 
Have a very merry Christmas everybody!



Sorry for the delay between posts. Colorizing the Kanehl photo took a bit of doing and I'm moving very slow on the card backs. The first two Metropolitan History cards (along with their card backs) should be up before 2016 comes to a close. Both will cover the story behind the first grand slam in Metropolitan history because it was, well, 
"just one of those games".


Friday, December 16, 2016

2017mfc Curtis Granderson 12-3

Curtis Granderson's 2017 mfc card has the sweetest spot possible for a baseball card autograph.



Curtis's card back is based on the 1971 Topps design. As with Donruss in the 1980's, at the time they were released the lack of annual career statistics was disappointing. But '71s jet black border and the debut of action shots pictured instead of traditional poses still makes this a favorite among card collectors. That's Tommie Agee's real '71 Topps card pictured. I love that card.


I thought it odd when I first saw the 1971 Topps card backs and noticed that instead of using the word "CAREER" for a players accumulated stats they went with the word "LIFE". On other mfc '71 card backs (for the 1971 opening day lineup) I changed this to read "career"(& yrs w/Mets), but here we'll go with "MET LIFE". Yes, the cards will only reflect the players time with the Metropolitans.