Thursday, March 6, 2014

1972 Mets Fantazy Cards Plus

______________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]

Pull up a chair and get ready for another ridiculously long post.

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 got off to a great start in 1972. They played .500 ball in April and exploded in a good way in May. The acquisition of Willie Mays pumped up, dare I say it, the entire city, as well as the fan-base and team. Willie was acquired in a trade with San Francisco on May 11th. On that date Tom Seaver won his 100th game, the Mets were in 1st place by a half a game, and the team began stringing together some wins.

Mays played his first game on the 14th and, much to Mets fans amazement, smacked a homer off his former team, the Giants. Storybook stuff. The legendary all star was hitting up a storm when he first took the field as a Metropolitan. It looked like even he was pumped up by his return to New York.

The Mets tied a team record in May, reeling off 11 wins in a row starting from the day the New York got Mays on the 11th. By June 1st the Mets were 30-11 and in 1st place by 5 games.

But then the team went into a 12-15 June swoon and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates took over first place. Rusty Staub suffered a broken hand in July and was out. By the end of August injuries further decimated the team as Agee, Cleon, Fregosi and Harrelson all spent time out of the line-up.

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.


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?

O-Pee-Chee cards were an unknown commodity to me in the 1970's, as I have said before. I saw this card many years later.

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.
_____________This is the earliest O-Pee-Chee traded notated card I could find. They wrote a whole freakin' sentence.

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.
Rusty Staub comes to New York and becomes a fan favorite instantly.

Sometimes I forget Staub, signed in 1961, was an original Houston Colt .45.

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.
Right before the 1969 season the (now) Houston Astros made a move to trade Rusty to the brand new expansion Montreal Expos. The trade was not without incident, as one player involved refused to report to the Astros. The player was Donn Clendenon.
In 1968 the Pittsburgh Pirates left Clendenon unprotected for the Major League Baseball expansion draft, and he was selected by the Expos.

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.

The two teams worked out a new deal and Clendenon joined the Expos on April 19, 1969. On June 15, 1969 the Expos dealt him to the New York Mets , in exchange for Steve Renko, Kevin Collins and two minor leaguers. The rest, as they say, is what this blog is all about.

____________^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.

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.


What more can I say about my 1970-1972 baseball outfield idol Tommie Agee? Back in 1970, seeing him with my own eyes was one of my very first experiences where I knew a face so well, from photos, Mets on TV, and highlight films,... and then to be just a ball toss away looking at the guy from the box seat rails. I've met quite a few celebrities during my life but there's nothing like seeing your own personal baseball star idol a few feet away from you on a ball field with your own eyes. It's like a storybook coming true. A baseball card coming to life.
___________As you can see I reverse engineered Agee's 1973 Astros card into his '72 IN ACTION fantazy card. Topps graffiti-eed up three Mets on one card. How dare they!
Funny, how you think at a young age.

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.

Then, shortly after Mays arrived, he puttered out. He played left field more than I was used to and also sat more than I would have liked. He ended the season with a .227 average, 13 home runs and 47 RBI. Tommie was 30 years old now. I didn't realize that then.

The arrival of Willie Mays made this a most interesting season for me in that I could see my Met idol Tommie and my overall baseball legendary idol Willie Mays on the same field, albeit usually not at the same time. Both of them had fantastic months of May as Mays batted an amazin' .375. He also puttered out but still pulled a semi respectable .267

Who didn't get giddy when this issue of Sports Illustrated came out and you saw the cover?

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.

I talked about the way I felt when I first saw Tommie Agee live: when I first saw Willie as a Met, standing there in a NY Met uniform, I was in awe. I had seen him live at Shea when he was on the Giants but still, now there was METS across his chest.

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.
I would have loved to have this on my wall back in the day.

______________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.

But I couldn't wait.
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.
On September 30th Jon gave up Roberto Clemente's last hit, number 3000. I wasn't the kind of fan where this would bother me. I was glad to witness such history, even against the Mets.

Matlack reminded me of Fred Gwynn who played Herman Monster on T.V.
<1972 Topps Buzz Capra Rookie Card

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'.

Just as they were directly in front of us I did one of those fake sneeze things when you make like you're sneezing but say something snide. I sneezed:" Capra sucks!" and my buddy said " Bless you!". And I was gonna laugh but Buzz whipped around looked straight at me and said 'What'd you say?"
I was l'il bit taken back but still managed to smile and say " Oh nothin Buzz. Just feeling a little under the weather." And he smiled and came up to the rails. Matlack joined him and we talked to those guys for a few minutes.

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.
Kooz on the loss of Gil:
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."

John Milner got my attention in '72. The rookie first baseman led the team in home runs with 17. His power impressed me but in 117 games he only totaled 38 RBI. He still managed to finish third in the Rookie Of The Year voting. I saw Milner smoking a cigarette in the dugout once and thought, oh, he thinks he's cool.

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.
Boswell had such mighty bat speed that he could visibly displace fresh air.

Tug Mcgraw set a team record by saving 27 games over the course of the '72 season. That record would stand until 1984 when another great Met reliever, Jesse Orosco, compiled 31. Tug also won 8 games and pitched to the tune of a 1.70 ERA. This, following an 11win/ 8 save/ 1.70 ERA season in 1971. He was simply the best fireman a New York team could have. Yogi used Tugger more than Hodges did. The new Met manager didn't stick to a strict righty/lefty strategy (Danny Frisella was the teams righty) out of the pen and would call on McGraw any time.

Both Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman had saved All Star Games but no Metropolitan pitcher had ever won one. Tug became the first when he picked up the win up in relief in the 1972 contest. He pitched two innings and struck out four. In the 9th, he struck out the side side: Reggie Jackson, Norm Cash, and Bobby Grich. The N.L. would win it for him in the 10th.

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 used my golden ticket to get these Ray Sadecki cards.

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!

But none of this fantazy stuff really matters.

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.
Hall of Famer and New York fan favorite Yogi Berra took over as manager after we lost Gil. If we know anything about Yogi we know he did not want to return to managing under these circumstances. He loved Hodges like a brother. But here he was. And he was the perfect choice. The only choice for kid Met fans like me that didn't know nor care who or what other managers were available out there.

We loved Yogi. Cripes, show me one person who does not at least like him. The entire baseball world knew of Yogi Berra's storied career as a Yankee. He was more than just a character of the game. He is one of those living legends, like Willie Mays. Gil was too but he wasn't a Yankee. If Gil did what he did over his N.L. career as a New York Yankee, he'd be in the hall of fame by now, easy. Okay, I don't want to re-open that can of worms so lets move on.


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.
Now that's a proper O-Pee-Chee card
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_____________________

All these early 70's cards were special to me. I loosely collected the cards this season, not too concerned about completing the set. I just kinda figured I might complete the set anyway as I bought packs and plucked the Met cards out (& my favorite players). But I didn't. Don't think I even came close. But I did buy a lot of these cards, at least a lot of the early series.

Once again Topps came up with a design that was totally different from anything that came before it. The pop-art look was a total shift in baseball card design. I believe this is the only time Topps ever put out a baseball card without having the players position on the front.
Definitely a reflection of the times, I really appreciated the coolness of these borders. Not everybody did. They were kinda radical. I thought they had a beautiful hand drawn look that gave each teams name a special touch. The choice of bright loud colors screamed LOOK AT ME- I'M AWESOME! The fancy top was like card architecture.

I don't know which came first. These cards or writing in bubble-letters but I bet it was close.

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.

Even the box and the wax were a new approach. Not sportly or bold, I thought it artsy and trippy.

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.
The '72 design would have been "right on" in 1968 or '69.

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.

I'll never forget the first IN ACTION card I saw because it was the great Willie Mays and that memory is burned in. Sitting on the side of the red rink, opening my first packs of the season, stuffing the gum into my mouth. Was hoping for action pictures like the '71 set, but a separate card just for action shots?
At my current age I'd think: this is a marketing ploy, but at that age I was: AWESOME!

I loved this concept of IN ACTION cards. Would I rather they just made some players regular cards action shots like in '71?
Nope. This IN ACTION thing was cool. I dug it big time. It meant more cards for some of my favorite players, both a posed and an action picture. Packs still cost 12 cents each with tax. Sounded like a deal to me.
They also came up with the TRADED cards which were a precursor to traded sets, I suppose. I liked these specifically because there was a Met, Jim Fregosi.
There could have been a few more. But there was still quite an impressive selection. Frank Robinson, and both Rick Wise and Steve Carlton, whose trade for each other was a hot topic then, especially after Carlton's first season in Philly.

_____________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.
This one I was disappointed with. L'il bit. The great Roberto Clemente, simply leading off a base and barely visible.

Manny Sanguillen made 2 of the cards. The first, one of the better from the set. Manny's the focal point and that's a kool slide. It would have been nice to have more of Ellie Hendricks visible, but still a great action photo.

Now on the second one, again, Sanguillen the focal point. But that's a safe F. Robby barreling home and a big run. Frank gets cropped.

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.

I seem to remember Willie Stargell as a big fat guy, but maybe that's because I compared all players to Buddy Harrelson. Look at Stargell, in fine shape, scaling that fence like it was an escalator to the great catch in the sky section. Unfortunately the escalator stopped short and that was a home run hit by Frank Robinson if my information is correct.
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.
This is photoshopped, not an actual photo from the series. IIRC that was a Padres catcher. I just thought it showed Clemente's coiled up take back and made for a good card.
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.
Blass tried to create a classic celebratory hug. He did, especially in some still photos of him leaping, but nothing, no "champ hug" ever, will beat the '69 Mets Kooz/Grote hug. Don't question it. Or question it in the comments, if you dare. Ha :)

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.
Seaver batting
Willie Mays Catch
Sheriff Robinson

Thank you for viewing.


  1. Don't even know where to start. Every time I visit your blog, I am blown away by your creativity. The '72 set has always been one of my favorites. The idea of making the cards in team colors is so obvious it's genius. (And looks incredible). Another is the airbrush reversals, so much better than the Topps originals. But you need to tell me what you used to make the animated gif cards. I had looked into making these a few times but kept striking out. Can you share your secret?

    1. A follow-up on this. John, I figured out how to make my own .gifs and when you do that it's very easy to make gif type cards. I use a desk-top video capture device to record the action I want on the card. The key here is to make it approximately the size of the border you will use (use the manual size adjuster) and make it as short as possible a clip, because the border must be added to each individual frame (at least the way I do it). With PsP 7 and animation shop you can take the vid frame (from ani-shop) and export it to PsP, where you add the border and then return it back to the video footage. When the border is included on every frame you save it as a .gif (you can also save it as a video if you want), and waLA, a .gif card.

  2. Thanks for the kind words John. I think all us card makers can fuel each other and that's excellent. It's your creative perspectives that made me open my mind to other possibilities. Before I saw your cards I was going around with blinders on.

    On .gif cards:

    The secret is it's a pain in the ass to make them with the program I used. There must be newer programs out there that can do it easier.

    I used PsP7 Animation Shop (was bundled with PsP7). I have very limited experience with the animation side of PsP7. So there might even be a better way to do it in that program, and maybe some day I'll find it.

    What I did for the world series card was open the .gif in animation shop, frame by frame view (66 frames IIRC). The size of the .gif is important. Not the length in frames, the actual ?x? size. It has to be able to fit nicely in a regular or horizontal border. You can add the border frame by frame (inside the frame- or you can also choose to have the border added outside the frame-but that was not working out well).

    The time consuming part was a trial and error deal where I had to find the correct dimensions for the border, to have it fit and also show as much of the .gif as possible. I always prefer re-sizing the border as opposed to re-sizing the image. But with .gifs the problems that occur from enlarging an image might not apply. I did not test that.

    I'd resize the border in PsP7, import it and test it in animation shop. When I got the right size I copied the border from PsP7 and pasted it into each of the 66 frames. I believe right near the end (><) I discovered that if you selected all the frames at once and then pasted the border to the .gif, it would add the border to every frame in one click.

    The problem is, as of now (because there might be a better way to do it in PsP7AS), you have to work with the .gif "as is" and there is nothing you can do to that except put the border on top of. And there is little to no leeway. With this process you are stuck in that the size of the .gif is going to be the size of the card. You don't get to use any tricks, photoshopping or otherwise, that we can do while making a card for a regular image. The border size has to be worked out exactly and the size the border allows for an image has to be able to show the main action depicted in the .gif.

    That one came together quick in retrospect, although it took way more time than I wished (over an hour to figure it out). Right after I finished that one I started another of a side view of Clemente's swing thinking this one will go faster because I had a process.

    I could not get the border to match the .gif in a way that showed all the action. I even started to redesign the border to allow for more visual space but when I looked up and another hour had past, I said,okay, that's all the time I have for that.

    So even with this slight experience in Animation Shop and working out a process, I couldn't repeat it w/o difficulty. The first one working out was one of those "perfect storm" things.

    And it just took me like a billion words to explain that I don't know what I'm doing. Ha.
    I do hope this info is of some help to you.