______________The 1972 Mets Fantazy Cards______________
A very rare box of 1972 Mets Fantazy Cards
(photo courtesy of the MBCLTOTBM)
[Mets Baseball Cards Like They Ought To Be Museum]
I'll be taking some liberties here. Rusty cards, Say Hey cards, a structure IN ACTION card. You can point out that is not historically correct. This isn't a history lesson here.
Duh, actually it is.
But New York Metropolitan history, not baseball card history.
New York ended the season 10 games over .500 with a 83-73 record, 13.5 games out and in third place.
As a Mets fan this was disappointing but, as silly as it sounds, Willie being a Met made everything all right. And we were over .500.
It's not like we expected to make the post season every year. We are a patient lot. We could wait another bunch of years if we had to.
We were Mets fans.
__________________________________________________________________Lets rip open a pack. Or as my brothers and I say:"PACK PARTY!!"___
When I was a kid I'd pluck out the Mets cards and put em in a separate pile (shit, still do). With these, it's like heaven.
THEY ARE ALL METS CARDS!*dribble
Old timey Met fans like me tend to make anything online in regards to Gil Hodges into a shrine, and you know what?
It's one of the few cases where it really is deserved. What he brought to the team, how well he worked with the players, press and fans was, and still is, immeasurable.
I didn't know about his first heart attack back then, so I was really shocked. He was a big guy, bigger than he looked on TV with hands that I imagined could just crush basketballs. He was slow and deliberate in his manner and movement. And if you saw him in the dugout he was always in the game, watching intently and processing pure baseball thoughts.
That shriney enough for you?
Usually I enjoy an O-Pee-Chee variation on a Topps card, especially when they use a different team border and included a notation on the card of a players trade.
This may be the only O-Pee-Chee card that I was not too thrilled with. I didn't like that there was a notation that said that Hodges was now deceased. And I first saw this card in the late 1980's so it wasn't because it was "too soon" (if I saw it in '72 I might have thought that). I just felt that it was inappropriate for a card front. On a card back I have no problem. A card front? No. All players should get to live forever on the front of their baseball cards.
I don't know if O-Pee-Chee ever did that again in the case of a player or managers death, but I have not seen another card like it.
I'm still looking.
Heres a kool blog all about O-Pee-Chee cards and their history, Oh My O-Pee-Chee!( Oh Mon O-Pee-Chee!). The blog is no longer active yet a great reference on the subject.
Tom Seaver led the club with 21 wins and 249 strikeouts. Now officially considered "The Franchise" Tom certainly lived up to that name. In his first six seasons 1967-72, Seaver led all National League pitchers with 116 wins and 1,404 strikeouts. Only Bob Gibson’s 2.42 ERA was better than Seaver’s 2.44.
Seaver paid an eloquent tribute to his late manager Gil Hodges, affirming that “Gil is here inside each man, and he will be here all season. The man made a terrific impact on this ballclub.”
I think some of the Mets players, Tom amongst them, would say that Gil is inside each of them still to this day.
I figure one person for sure will get a kick out of the Tom Seaver IN ACTION card.
Tom himself, who was no slouch at the plate. Here he launches fungos into the stands during a pre-game rain delay. I know there's a crowd of kids up there in the stands racing after those baseballs.________________________________________________________
In 1963, at 19 years old, he became only the second major league rookie since 1900 to play 150 games as a teenager (Bob Kennedy was the 1st in 1940). He didn't get off to the best start but steadily improved until in 1967 he had an attention grabbing season with 182 hits, an N.L. leading 44 doubles, 74 ribbies and a .333 batting average. He was selected as a reserve in the '67 All-Star Game and singled to center in his one at bat. He was an All-Star again in '68.
On January 22, 1969, the Expos traded Clendenon and Jesús Alou to the Houston Astros for Staub. Clendenon, who had clashed with Astro manager Harry "The Hat" Walker when he was skipper of the Pirates, refused to report to his new team and attempted to retire.
____________^A Fantazy Fix
How many players can say they appeared on both a 1963 and 1983 Topps baseball card. Pete Rose, Willie Stargell...but unfortunately not Rusty because Topps did not have a '63 card for him. He did play in 63. L'il bit. But no card til 1964. As a matter of fact, he did not have a 1972 or '73 Topps baseball card either. I don't remember noticing this back then.
[From Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Tommie Agee
by Bruce Markusen]:
He did not have a regular issue card with Topps that year ('73), or in 1972 for that matter. The reason? At the time, Topps negotiated contracts individually with each of the players projected to be part of its new set. Staub chose not to sign a contract with the card company for two full years. He would not reappear on a regular issue Topps card until the 1974 season.
That's wacky stuff. I wonder why he held out.
Rusty had a bad break in 1972 in the form of a fractured hand. He was hit by a pitch from Atlanta's George Stone, who would serve the Mets so well in '73. He didn't do the Mets any favors in '72 and Rusty was out from July 21st to September 1st.
Researching for this post I came across the blog: When Topps Had (Base) Balls and I noticed we both used the same Rusty pic for our '72 cards. Sorry bout that. I already had the Opening Day card up but I switched it up for this page using a different photo. This guy makes excellent cards.
From WHEN TOPPS HAD (BASE) BALLS
Check out this link> he made a couple of fantastic '72 Rusty cards. If you look around his blog you'll see that he has made some really cool custom baseball cards. Great blog>click>added.
I thought because of his world series catches and 1970 & '71 numbers this guy was gonna be our center fielder for life. And Tommie had the hottest start he'd ever had as a Met in '72.
After a dismal April where he hit an anemic .239, Agee went on a tear through May, hitting over .330 and entered June batting .306. I had never seen the Met center fielder so hot at the plate.
I enjoyed seeing Willie play anywhere on the field but I would have preferred that he had been used more at first. Willie was used sparingly, which was good, but he could have played more at first as opposed to the outfield. I'm sure injuries to Jones as well as Agee himself screwed everything up in that department.
You really felt, there in the stands, like you wanted to do the bowing "I'm not worthy!" schtick from Waynes World over the box rails, which we did way before Mike Myers made that a comedy bit (actually, I created it. Yea, that's the ticket).
This was Willie Howard Mays. He was the best ball player I have ever seen play. He was a legend and constant sporting news story my entire life up to now, just like Micky Mantle. But I thought Willie was better. Mays had over 600 homers and was the frontrunner to pass the great Babe Ruth for many years. And here he was, amazingly still playing baseball at almost the same age as my dad. Amazin'.
3-D Willie on the left.
Here, put these on:
I had to colorize the Mays catch and it was such a small pic. It's a shame. Enlarging it makes it look like crap. Anyone out there have a better copy of that pic?
L'il side story: Back in 1973, in Queens NYC at an Alexanders Department Store, I was able to buy a cardboard backed B&W photo, unframed but suitable version of that catch . They had some special going on in the Photo Department and they would blow up any photo you wanted to poster size, and I think they mounted that too on cardboard. I had the Mays pic blown up to wallposter size for, and I must be remembering the price wrong, 4 bucks? Had to be 14$. No recollection as to what became of it. Damn, I loved that poster.
______________Award Winning Performance___________________
I know that in the real and normal world, as opposed to my little fantazy world, a baseball card paying tribute to Jon Matlacks Rookie Of The Year Award could not appear until the season after it happened.
I love the '72 design and love to mess with it. Jon will get a '73 ROY tribute card too.
Jonathan Trumpbour Matlack
Jon Matlack had a fantastic start in '72, going 6–0 with a 1.95 ERA in April and May. He was a big reason we were in first place going into June. Matlack had a breakout year going 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA. This was kinda thrilling for a fan. This was what it must have been like when Jerry Koosman came on the scene in 1968. A lefty power pitcher.
Matlack reminded me of Fred Gwynn who played Herman Monster on T.V.
One time, late in the season, when my buddies and I were down by the box rails before a game, Matlack and Buzz Capra came walking by from the bullpen to the dugout.
I didn't know much about Buzz but I knew he blew a game a week earlier.
I knew exactly who Jon Trumpbour( how do you even say that) Matlack was and what he was doing on the mound in '72. They were not paying any attention to us (tho we were yelling their names and waving our arms), just walkin' & talkin'.
Both guys were very down to earth and friendly. I don't recall what was said but I remember it was a very normal conversation. They laughed and we laughed. This was Jon Matlack and Buzz Capra! Made my freakin day. No, my month.
I didn't really think you sucked Buzz. It's just you blew that game last week.
From the SABR:
Met southpaw Jerry Koosman had a rough start to the ’72 season. "I literally forgot how to wind up," he remembered. "I used to use a cadence count when I pitched: it was ‘one-two-three-four, then pitch,’ but I had picked up a lot of bad habits." He had lost his rhythm. After three straight April defeats, Berra sent him to the bullpen, both to work out his problems and to utilize the veteran's ability to get warm quickly. Being in the bullpen " was very beneficial," said Koosman. He made 10 relief appearances and picked up his first regular-season save. After returning to the rotation, he won four straight and ended the year at 11-12.
Koosman was the only Met player who had stayed behind at training camp while the rest of the team flew north on April 2. About mid-day he heard sirens and when he rushed to the lobby, New York sportswriter Red Foley told him Hodges had been taken away in an ambulance. The two hurried to the hospital where they learned that Hodges had died from a massive heart attack after playing golf with his coaches.
"It was like a stone fell and hit your heart," said Koosman. "I don't even remember what happened after that. I don't remember too much about the funeral. We were all still in shock." Along with much of his team, Koosman worried that no one would be able to replace their beloved manager. "Oh, man, it was a huge void. Everybody went through the motions, trying to do what we thought Gil wanted us to do." Kooz on the search for the next Met manager: “Those shoes would have been impossible to fill."
Cleon led the club in RBIs in '72 but it wasn't such a good thing because he only had 52. Buddy hit a home run this season, his 3rd MLB KaBOOM.
Steady Eddie led the entire team with 122 games played in 1972, and that's never a good sign, no offense Mr. Kranepool. Wayne Garrett played in 111 games, 82 of em at third base. He was not helping his case of becoming the teams regular 3rd baseman with only 2 kaBOOMs and a .232 batting average. Maybe next year Wayne.
A viewer wrote in requesting some O-Pee-Chee cards. I wish I had time to get to them all (& maybe I can retroactively) but I can only get a few in under my self imposed deadline. Doing up Nolan Ryan is quick work. Just reverse-engineer that airbrushed on Angel cap and walla!
(note:walla is a real word and I needed spellcheck)
I could do a whole new blog on the joys of airbrushed caps and whatnot on Topps cards. Actually, the '72 Nolan Ryan, one of the early jobs, was a damn good one.
That was a great idea anonymous, and I thank you. Next time leave your name and I'll try to work it into the card, as I have done in the past.
The first Estrada was already completed when I heard from anonymous. The second Estrada goes out to him. Since Francisco didn't play on another team I wasn't sure exactly what to do with his card. But that'll have to do.
This is a great bit of info I just read over at Faith And Fear In Flushing regarding Estrada. I didn't know this stuff:
Greg Prince: "Francisco Estrada was one of the four players the Mets gave up to get Jim Fregosi from the Angels in 1971. That’s usually as far as he gets in the Met canon, but if you read Long Shot, you’ll find out that Estrada played a role in Mets history that outweighs his throw-in status in the Nolan Ryan deal.
Francisco Estrada taught Mike Piazza how to catch. Not singlehandedly, but enough so that Piazza saw fit to single him out for his instruction more than 20 years after the fact. “He taught me a lot,” Mike wrote of the man known as Paquin. “In the end, going to Mexico was absolutely the best thing I could have done that winter…it was when I started to become a polished hitter.”
Ryan + 3 for Fregosi was a bust of epic proportions for the Mets. But if you consider Piazza, by way of Estrada’s tutelage, a de facto throw-in to the deal coming back this way (albeit 27 years after the fact), I’d say the worst trade ever made eventually evened out just fine."
Evened out? Hmmmm, that's debatable Greg. But that would be a good debate. Before we debate that though I want to debate about why you don't like horizontal baseball cards. Wassupwidat!?
Ha. It looks like I planned it this way but these horizontal cards were already out of the pack.
Following this '72 season, a year before Tug McGraw's '73 Mets would face the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS, Reds manager Sparky Anderson would label the lefty relief specialist: "The Seaver of saves."
In both these images of Tug he appears at the Sadecki Spot. But who's counting?
Oh, speaking of Sadecki and his spots...
______________ WE HAVE A WINNER!_____________________
I have no idea how the photographer got that angle but it beats looking at the sky above the Sadecki Spot.
So BINGBANGBOOM! a few Ray Sadecki cards and now we have some competition. And if I'm going to create images of players at the Sadecki Spot, like I did here, it's not going to be a very fair contest. Somebody stop me!
Okay, one of those above is an actual photo of Ray appearing at his spot. We'll take a look at the real Topps baseball cards as well as real photographs when we get to the topic, and we'll see who really pwns the Sadecki Spot.
_______________________________________________________________________Yikes. I almost forgot about Yogi!
I just made this at the last second and it took about 120 seconds to make. I really like how this one came out. The bottom rectangular boxes for the coaches are from a BOYHOOD PICTURES OF THE STARS card. (DOH!, I didn't make any BPOTS cards!)
I've always loved when Topps included the coaches on manager cards, like they did for next years 1973 set.
A Pet Peeve of mine regarding the 1972 Cards:
Red. Why'd they choose a red background for the Mets? Interesting choice. Guess it beats the yellow or green, and the red looks very kool, but still, why red?
Lets look at how a Met card would have looked with a more Metly color scheme.
Now if I would have looked down after ripping open a pack in 1972 to see my first Met card, and it looked like these, I think my head would have exploded from witnessing such coolness.
So it's probably good they went with the red.
The Tim Foli card is a Chee-Pee-O card because everything about it except his name is bassakwards.______________________________________________________
I made this card last summer and it'll have to do as far as covering the BPOTS cards. I forgot all about them. There's a possibility that I might make a few and add them here in the future. Any requests? I'll even make em of Mets fans if you provide the pics.
Here's my nephew Austin, who's all pumped up baseball starts again for him next week.
________________1972 Topps Baseball Cards_____________________
I'd like to say the card was a trendsetter, but it wasn't. It was a burst of multicolored pop sunshine that set with this set.
If you actually were around during those years you might agree with me in saying that the Topps people were a little behind the times in going with this design from the perspective of, say, The Beatles animated classic Yellow Submarine, or the emergence of artists like Peter Max.
It took a while before such influences made it to cardboard. In that aspect these cards were perfect for 1972.
Think about it.
It's amazin' that they went with this card design at all.
At my current age I'd think: this is a marketing ploy, but at that age I was: AWESOME!
_____________The 1972 Topps World Series Cards_____________
Again beautiful cards. Again in color, to further torment me after the '70 Topps B&W Mets World Series cards. Again, sometimes odd and always incredibly cool pictures chosen for use.
Yet this card, another big and close play at the plate, is my favorite of all the World Series cards in the'72 Topps set. When I first saw it I was WOW!KOOL!
It's an excellent card. Crowd at their feet. It's like the action was taking place so fast the photographer almost couldn't capture it.
Under the new rules of engagement around the plate I wonder how that would have been viewed. Let's go to the video.
The way I understand it Manny would not have been able to be standing there. But the ball arrived the same time as Robinson. It would have been hard to catch from any other position for the catcher. I think now they would want the catcher to be standing more in front of the plate and make a swipe tag, or in that case, a diving swipe tag. That would have been reviewable and debatable. This is going to be an interesting season to watch how this effects the game.
On a side note When I was at the 1996 All Star game at the Vet in Philly, I was walking under the stands in between two concession areas when out of a door in the wall walks Frank Robinson. He was in a hurry and was passing by when I said " Mr. Robinson, can I shake you hand?" He stopped, looked me in the eye and smiled, and shook my hand. I smiled back and said,"Thank you. I'm a big fan." And he was off to wherever he was hurrying to. Good man, Frank Robinson.
I could get into Z'in up all the World Series cards of the 70s.
Maybe last year Brooks.Brooksie, my infield idol, was one of the main reasons I wanted to watch this series, and then I saw Roberto Clemente in action and B. Robby became a footnote.
If you're going to show Roberto, show him so we can see him and show him in actual action.
Lets get the good man in, uncropped, mid-slide.
Now that's an IN ACTION card if I ever saw one. .Gif cards are way kool.
Great little tribute to Roberto Clemente by Smithsonian Magazine. Could not have said it better myself.
Maxwell Kates from SABR wrote some of the Tom Seaver bits.
Irv Goldfarb from SABR wrote the Jerry Koosman information.
The painting used in the Roberto Clemente 3000 card is from this slide show at The Daily News.
Willie Mays Catch
Thank you for viewing.