Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The 1966 Fantazy Mets: Bud Harrelson/Cleon Jones/Tug McGraw/Ron Swoboda/Wes Westrum/65 High-Light

The 1966 Topps set was okay. The most generic design possible, it doesn't get any simpler. I was surprised they didn't have any special cards, the ones like Buc Bombers and Mets Maulers. And no sideways cards for regular players. A kind of blah set with some great HoF players. I have made it so the player images layer over the border in places to give it a little pizazz. Lil bit.

Here they come, the new wave of rookies that would become fan favorites. Yea, they all get Topps All Star Rookie trophies. Don't question it. Actually Cleon and Ron did get ASR Trophies on their real Topps cards. Only Buddy didn't. Harrelson didn't get a trophy in '66. Or a baseball card. He appeared in 19 games in 1965, 33 in '66. Yet he didn't get a card until he forced Topps hand by playing in 151 games in 1967. I will not allow the human race to make that mistake twice. In fantazyland he gets a 65 Rookie and a 66 card w/a rookie trophy!

Gordi Richardson was the last player to wear the number 41 ^ before Tom Seaver immortalized it starting in 1967.

Met pitchers Rob Gardner and Dick Selma strike dueling poses at Shea Stadium. Gardner pitched two years for the Mets, starting 21 games and going 4-10. He pitched 3 complete games in 1966. Dick Selma signed with the Mets in 1963. Coming up in 1965, he was primarily used in relief until 1968 when the Mets had him in the rotation for 23 starts. He went 9-10 with a 2.75 ERA. I remember Selma from his years with the Phillies in the early 70s.
_____________________1965 Mets Team Leaders_____________________
One thing the Mets had never done since their inception was beat the great Sandy Koufax. Sandy had already whipped New York four times this season when he came to Shea on Aug 26,1965. Tug McGraw was starting in those days, before he became a relief specialist.
View the scorecard for the game at The Ultimate Mets Database!
Wes Westrum managed the Mets in 1966. He has the distinction of being the second manager in Met history. Casey Stengel had broken a hip in a fall in '65 and Wes, who took over as pitching coach when Warren Spahn left town, was named new manager. He didn't do any better as the Mets continued their losing ways. In 1966, however, Westrum became the first manager to bring the club up out of the basement. This was the first time the Mets had not finished in last place since they came on the scene in 1962.
Even though Wes got to see a lot of the new Mets coming up, and he managed Tom Seaver for most of 67, he could not stick with a team that wasn't even in rebuilding mode. It was building for the first time. He resigned with eleven games left in 1967. Salty Parker managed those last games, became the third ever Met manager, and made way for the fourth Met manager who would be at the helm at the start of the 1968 season. Gil Hodges.
1966 Fantazy Wes Westrum card^
I had to make a traded card for the guy who didn't want to be traded. This trade was before my time but I wonder how it was received. Ron Hunt was a fan favorite, a solid player who played hard. Tommy Davis had won a batting crown a few years earlier and was a great hitter. I would have been ticked off about losing Hunt but I think Tommy's nice 67 numbers would have helped me get over it. And it's possible if we never get Davis we never get Agee. The thought of that makes me tremble.
1966 Fantazy Hunt/Davis TRADED card
Lets throw in some current Mets on bonus cards. I really like how Topps has done these retro sets recently. I don't know If I'd be doing this if they didn't do that. It made me realize how much I loved those old cards.
What's this? The mysterious Sadecki Spot. More to come as the area develops.
Coming Next: The First Play At Shea
A special thanks to David Rothenberg, a True New York Met Fan, for sharing his awesome Met photos with all us fans on facebook.
Thanks to The Ultimate Met Database for the information concerning the Tug/Sandy game. Wikipedia for their Wes Westrum page.

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