Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1969 PLAYOFFS- Game Three- Mets N.L. East CHAMPS!

I'll forever miss Bob Murphy, to me the all-time voice of the New York Mets.
This next card is a favorite of mine because the photo Topps used and the one here were taken only a second apart. Topps used this picture on a card titled GAME 2, but since that game was played in Atlanta that could not be correct. Boswell is wearing his home uniform.

I also loved the title. When I first saw the card I remember going " yeaaa, Mets show muscle!". Topps used this phrase again in the '71 World Series cards when Frank Robinson showed muscle.

Ken Boswell hit 3 home runs all season long. His two long balls in the N.L.C.S., both important blasts, was another example of how together the '69 Mets were better than the sum of their parts. Kenny Boswell, Art Shamsky and Wayne Garrett were not considered threats at the plate. Yet they all contributed mightily in capturing the N.L. flag.

They didn't give an MVP award for the N.L.C.S. in 1969. But if they did it would have been an interesting call as to who would have received it. Art Shamsky led in hits(7) and avg(.538) but he did little else, driving in 1 and scoring 3 times. Ken Boswell, who only had 3 round trippers all season hit the two most important home runs in his life and had 5 RBI. Tommie Agee (2SB, 4R, 1DB, 2HR, 4RBI,.357) and Cleon Jones (2SB, 4R, 2DB, 1HR, 4RBI,.429) both had similar numbers and a great series. 

Mound wise the Mets much ballyhooed pitching didn't show up, the ERA for the entire staff for the three games was .500. Nolan Ryans game three 7 inning 3 hit relief performance is most noteworthy, but would it have given him the nod in a 3 game sweep?

Hank Aaron batted .357. He had 5 hits. Two were doubles, 3 were home runs, one in each game. He drove in seven runs in the three games. It pains me to give this award to a non-Met but I'm afraid Hank wins it. This might have been crazy controversial if it really happened in the very first N.L.C.S.
If any one out there wants to argue that a Met should have gotten the award I'm willing to listen, and if convinced make a new MVP card. As of now the 1969 National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award goes to Henry Aaron, still the MLB home run king in my book.

I have used excerpts from William J. Ryczek's excellent book The Amazin' Mets, 1962-1969 for info on cardbacks and text. This book is a great read for any Met fan.

The stat card with the Met totals is an actual Topps card.

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