1965 mfc Al Jackson card
Al Jackson. I didn't know much about Al Jackson. I just figured he was a bad pitcher. I've learned he was a very decent pitcher on some horrible Met clubs. He had four shutouts in 1962 out of only 8 wins. Ten of his 43 Met career wins were shutouts. He also won 13 games in '63 and the Mets only won 51 games that year. The thirteen wins were a team record until some guy named Seaver came along.
1965 mfc Warren Spahn
Warren Spahn had a great career and won 363 games! He also liked to pitch from the fungo circle at Shea any chance he could. I would too. It was a lot closer to the plate.
By the time he got to the Mets he was just a few pitches away from retirement. I always wondered why, if he was made a coach, didn't he stay on and be a pitching coach? Maybe because the Mets didn't afford him a full season in 65, his last. He did go on to manage a minor league team for four years and coached for the Mexico City Tigers (pitching a handful of games there), the Cleveland Indians, California Angels, and for six years, with Japan's Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
Alternate 1965 Warren Spahn Fantazy card shows him leaving town
Following the 1964 season, after 25 years with the Braves, left handed future hall of famer Warren Spahn was sold to the New York Mets. Spahn took on the dual role of pitcher and pitching coach. He won four and lost 12 The Mets put Spahn on waivers on July 15, 1965 and released him on July 22, 1965. He immediately signed with the San Francisco Giants, with whom he finished the season. With the Mets and Giants combined, he won seven games in '65 —his last in the major leagues. His number would be retired by the Braves later that year.
Read all about his whole career > here
Fun Facts: While Spahn wore the number 21 Cleon Jones was wearing number 12. Learn about Mets By The Numbers!
He was so well known and loved by everyone, and there are so many stories and, of course, Yogisms, that I won't even get into them here. Read all about him.
And how I wish I was at Shea for Willie Mays first appearance there. That is Al Jackson going after the Sey Hey Kid above^. I had never seen the area right behind home plate as it looked when Shea opened.
And damn, look at that TV camera!>
I'm gonna say Willie popped out there.>
Much thanks to Neil Leifer whos amazin' baseball photos, like the Mays here, have thrilled me to no end and I am using without permission. I hope you don't mind Mr Leifer. Read about Neil here.
Thanx to Batmagadanleadoff for the pic of Warren Spahn leaving town and all the great Met photos he shares at the CPF. Also to psacardfacts.com for their priceless hi rez baseball card images.