Saturday, December 31, 2016

mfc2017 Metropolitan History Cards: #1a & #1b

 In the 2017 Mets Season Set there will be a number of "Metropolitan History" cards. These will be a lot of fun to make because we have such storied team tales. There was so much to the game in which the Mets first grand slam was hit I felt I had to get it all on the back of the card. It took two backs, hence two cards for this one. Another notable occurrence in the game, Gil Hodges last career home run, and Gil will get a nod on the first card front.

mfc Metropolitan History Card 10-MH1a


Gil Hodges will have a few more Mets history cards since he hit the teams first HR and also the first inside the park four bagger. All Mets firsts will be covered.


If anyone one knows of a Mets first, "Metropolitan Magical Moments" (see bottom of post), or anything pertaining to "Metropolitan History" that they feel deserves a card, please just leave word in the comments. When you think about it, a set of cards like these could end up running at least a few dozen. WOOHOO, more fun. I have to say making card backs are a bitch though. Hopefully over time I'll pick up the pace on those.
The color work. That's Gil and the actual 370th home run ball. 
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mfc Metropolitan History Card 10-MH1b

For these I decided to go with a 1977 Topps card design because it afforded so much needed space for the text. Baseball cards have their own little fashion of laying things out on their cardboard backs. Short spurts of info, directly to the point, keeping it compact yet still successfully painting a picture of the action. There is an art to card back text. A style. I can't say I have it completely down. 

Truth is I feel there could be more info included. Like, exactly why did Casey pinch hit for Frank Thomas in that situation? Frank had struck out twice in the game but he also had a single. He led the team in long balls with 15 on the day of that game. Was Stengel's move just one of those "gut" things? A better match-up pitching wise? Maybe someone out there knows. I'd like to add those details but as you can see things are already a bit cramped.

Real 1977 Topps card back.
All us students of baseball cards know that there is a certain "card back lingo", and deciphering that as you go along, translating the action into these small baseball cliches really is an enjoyable exercise in baseball card nostalgia.

So do they make the cut?
Did I misspell anything? I took some liberties because, for instance, I didn't know where the HR landed. So a little imaginative dramatic license has it zipping down the left field line into the short porch. Is that accurate? I dunno but it sounds good. But maybe someone out there does.

The beauty of this project is that I can run this by viewing Mets fans and baseball card aficionados and you can give me input and these things can evolve as they go along. A living, breathing, Mets baseball card set brought to life by baseball card fans. And that's what I'd like my Mets Fantasy Cards to be all about. :) 

If you read the card backs you'll see it was such a typical example of a 1962 Mets game, one where we finally stepped on a front running team (for a change as opposed to being stepped on) and displayed some exciting albeit wacky baseball (Casey, what's with all those bunts?!). If you read the game memories for this contest at the UMDB you will see that this game actually converted some Yankees fans to Mets fans, and that momentum and fan growth inexplicably continued as the team reeled off 120 loses in their freshman year. 

That tells you all you need to know about the New York Metropolitans. People in The Big Apple were so happy to have National League baseball back that it didn't really matter what the team did, as long as they played, and as long as we could root for them against those N.L. teams N.Y. fans were so familiar with from the days the Giants and Dodgers once played here. And the early Mets were so bad it was funny. Yet fans still filled the Polo Grounds and rooted for the team to turn the formidable tide they seemed to have against them. The Mets were the ultimate baseball underdogs from 1962 to around 1967/68, when Tom Seaver came aboard and Gil Hodges returned to manage the team. 

For Mets fans who took the compete ride from 1962 to 1969, I envy you (my first Mets game was in 1967 or 68). That must have been some kind of build up and payoff to experience.

I know there are some fans out there still with us who experienced this rise. Feel free to write of it in the comments section and don't be surprised if I make a card from your shared memories.


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^Courtesy of  Ultimate Mets Database

^Courtesy of  Ultimate Mets Database
These images of the box score and scorecard are from The Ultimate Mets Database, my ultimate stop when I want to look up Mets info. When I was a kid I had to go to the library and buy all those Mets Yearbooks/ Baseball Digests (not to mention baseball cards, my #1 source) to consume Mets player stats. But now thanks to the wonders of the internet we have the Ultimate Mets (library &) Database, the best team website known to man and the universe. That's fitting because our team logo also owns the same distinction.
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          HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYBODY! 

This is going to be a most interesting year, and I expect the Mets to contend and I pray that they stay healthy. That's always the big question mark, when you have a team that you believe has all the pieces needed to make the post season. Just stay healthy. And some breaks from the Baseball Gods wouldn't be a bad thing either.
The '17 Met are ready and New York means to bring the world championship back to Queens!

That's the best rally call I could come up with. Kinda weak but it don't suck. Too many syllables.

^Mets Happy New Years Gif, suitable for giffing webwide.



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We Mets fans have seen many magical moments over the teams fifty-five year existence. So expect some Mets Magical Moments cards like in 2015 & 2016.

As I said earlier, if you feel so inclined, please note your personal magical moment, not just of 2016, but of Metropolitan history. Cripes, we're are gonna have another two dozen special series subset cards! But these are more fun to make than the regular player cards, so I'm looking forward to this part of the project.



This years design will look exactly like this:


More post season cards in '17? Who knows, it's baseball, but I feel pretty confident. I also wanted to re-post this card cause I think it's the koolest Thor card I've come up with more recently. Who's the best of our young guns? Thor, deGrom, Wheeler, Harvey, Matz? This is the year we find out, and good fortune to all of 'em.






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A brief biography of Rod Kanehl
From Wikipedia :
Roderick Edwin Kanehl (April 1, 1934 – December 14, 2004) was an American second baseman and outfielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the New York Mets (1962–1964). Beloved by Mets fans, his attitude was exemplary for a team that lost a modern-era record 120 games in its inaugural season. Kanehl hit the first grand slam in Mets history on July 6, 1962 at the Polo Grounds.
Before making the major leagues, Kanehl played for eight seasons in the New York Yankees' and Cincinnati Reds' minor league systems. In 1962, at age 28, he was given an opportunity to try out for the Mets' opening season. Through spring training, he worked tirelessly for a spot on the roster. He leaped over an outfield wall in pursuit of a ball and he scored from second on a wild pitch. His attitude and all-out play earned him the nickname ′′Hot Rod′′.



Despite the objections and criticisms of the Mets' general manager George Weiss, manager Casey Stengel stuck with Kanehl. Stengel liked Kanehl's hustle and determination to play the game.
In a three-year career spanning 340 games, Kanehl batted .241 and accrued six home runs, 47 RBI, 103 runs, 23 doubles and 17 stolen bases. A highly versatile utilityman, he played every position except pitcher and catcher.
Kanehl played his final major-league season when Shea Stadium opened its doors in 1964. After the 1964 season, the Mets did not invite Kanehl to spring training, but also prevented him from taking a minor league coaching job he had been offered by the Yankee organization. He worked in construction, sold insurance, and later owned a restaurant. When Stengel died in 1975, Kanehl was the only former Mets player who was present at the funeral.(<question from me: is that a fact?)

After suffering a heart attack, Kanehl died at a hospital in Palm Springs, California at age 70.
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

☺Merry Christmas from Mets Fantasy Cards☻











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Coming up for New Years: Metropolitan History cards! 
Have a very merry Christmas everybody!



Sorry for the delay between posts. Colorizing the Kanehl photo took a bit of doing and I'm moving very slow on the card backs. The first two Metropolitan History cards (along with their card backs) should be up before 2016 comes to a close. Both will cover the story behind the first grand slam in Metropolitan history because it was, well, 
"just one of those games".


Friday, December 16, 2016

2017mfc Curtis Granderson 12-3

Curtis Granderson's 2017 mfc card has the sweetest spot possible for a baseball card autograph.



Curtis's card back is based on the 1971 Topps design. As with Donruss in the 1980's, at the time they were released the lack of annual career statistics was disappointing. But '71s jet black border and the debut of action shots pictured instead of traditional poses still makes this a favorite among card collectors. That's Tommie Agee's real '71 Topps card pictured. I love that card.


I thought it odd when I first saw the 1971 Topps card backs and noticed that instead of using the word "CAREER" for a players accumulated stats they went with the word "LIFE". On other mfc '71 card backs (for the 1971 opening day lineup) I changed this to read "career"(& yrs w/Mets), but here we'll go with "MET LIFE". Yes, the cards will only reflect the players time with the Metropolitans.


Friday, December 9, 2016

2017mfc Horz Design • THOR #2-34

The horizontal design of the 2017 mfc cards will look like this.

#2-34 • Noah Syndergaard

I went with a 1983 Donruss card back design for Thor's card. It's funny, because I really hated the fact that Donruss showed only limited stats. I was not a fan of Donruss card backs, but now I find them fondly nostalgic. Since Noah's career is only a few years in, I was able to display his complete MLB stats. I'd like to thank Sharon Chapman, Batmagadanleadoff, & dKong76 of the CPF for their contributions to the career highlights section.



I'm very pleased with the response in regards to selling copies of these mfc cards. I'd like to thank those who Emailed me for information. Also I'd like to thank those who offered to help with the project.

Right up front let me say that I want these to be of excellent quality, and if I can't reach that goal I will pull the plug on this project. But I am determined to reach that goal and hopefully you Mets fans and card collectors will benefit. Here, in a nutshell, is what I hope to do.

My plan so far:

1) Sell individual "blank backed" player cards, limited, numbered and signed (unfortunately, only by me). They will be as cheap as I can possibly make them. I'm hoping a couple of bucks.

2) Sell individual player cards with both a front and a stat back. These will be limited and cost more. Probably twice as much as the blank backed due to the additional work and printing. 

3) Sell packs of five random 2017mfc cards (w/fronts & backs) which will include one "old style" insert card from 1962-1990 (cards that you can see here on the blog). This will be the most expensive way to get the cards, but will be cheaper than purchasing 5 mfc cards separately. This will be the only way to get your hands on the older style cards at this point in time.

4) The cards should be available around spring training, late February or early March.


LETS GO METS IN 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Monday, December 5, 2016

2017mfc•Cespedes-card back!

This is the back of Cespedes 2017 mfc card.
 I'm not sure if all the card backs will be based on the 84t design. I chose that here because it's one of my favorites. I might stick with it, might switch it up a bit. If I do go with more than one design from the past I imagine they'll all be pre-1990. They seem more baseball cardish to me.


So I guess there will be a card number followed by the players uniform number. I just make it up as I go along. Only Mets stats, to keep it as simple as possible (Wright & Reyes are gonna be a bitch though, lol). Also, only player cards will have facsimile backs, not season highlight cards. 

I'd like to make a limited amount of the 2017 Mets player cards (the set will consist of 55 cards) available for purchase to Mets fans and card collectors through this blog if there is enough interest.
You can contact me here, at zvon58@hotmail.com, or on facebook.

LGM in 2017!!!





Wednesday, November 30, 2016

mfc 2017 BORDER DESIGN #1 & the Updated '17mfc CESPEDES card!

Using the 2017 Topps border as inspiration I have come up with this design for the 2017 mfc Mets Season Set cards. I can't say this is the final version. There's is plenty of time between now and the '17 season and I'm always messing with stuff. I'm not totally satisfied with it. But I've also been working on it off and on all day and I'm sick of looking at it. ;) Maybe if I step off a few days I'll view it differently. Any suggestions or criticism is welcome.

Photo by Steve Moore
 I do like this though. It contains elements of the Topps design, includes a border based on that design, and I unscrunched the best logo known to man and the universe, which was a priority. With this more horizontal/verticle layout (as opposed to the Topps slant) I can complete the font work much quicker. It also provides plenty of space for the player picture, always a concern for me.

Hearing Cespedes during the press conference this afternoon really pumped me up for 2017.





Cespedes: "..Godwilling, I will finish up my career with this team."
Alderson: " Godwilling and a no trade clause, by the way."

  LGM!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

CESPEDES, A NEW YORK METROPOLITAN FOR FOUR YEARS!!

The waiting was, of course, the hardest part. But we didn't have to wait all that long. I figured this wouldn't be resolved until after the New Year, but here we are, not even December yet and we have the gift that hopefully keeps on giving, Yoenis Cespedes.

So now we can all relax and enjoy the upcoming holidays with talk of "will we get Yo back?" off the table. I didn't think we could get him to take four years (@$110 million). I figured five minimum. This is a great deal and fantastic news! Thank you for pulling this off Mr. Alderson! And thank you for deciding to stay, Mr. Cespedes! You have made all Mets fans very happy campers. 
Already the 2017 season is going well and it's not even 2017 yet. I like.


I didn't see the Topps 2017 baseball card design until I heard the news about Yo earlier today and decided I had to make a card to celebrate. Overall it's a great design. 
But I have my little idiosyncrasies. Once again, as in 2016, Topps messed with the best logo known to man and the universe. This time they scrunched it! AHHHH! 
Also, no defined border.

So more than likely the final MFC design for 2017 will add a border of some kind and I'll most certainly be unscrunching the logo to make it as Gotto intended, circular. 

There's an outside chance I might design a 2017 Season Set border from scratch. The angled font and logo were particularly painful to reproduce. Topps is getting difficult ;) .

The card above is just a quick mock up job to add to the celebration.  
When re-worked this card will be numero uno of the mfc2017 Mets Season Set!
WooHoo!
LETS GO METS!!
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Topps gets a free commercial. 
Coming in February :)


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Photo of Yoenis Cespedes by Steve Moore

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The mfc Bartolo Colon Collection. 2014,2015,2016.

The mfc Bartolo Colon Collection.


I was sad we had to part ways with Bartolo Colon.
I wasn't going to post anything but the more I thought about it how could I not?

If all I had to keep me warm this off season was the memory of his historic home run it would have sustained me. I've endured seasons with lesser highlights, as have we all at one time or another. His time with New York was something special.

These are all the cards (31) and graphics shared by mfc involving Colon, who recently slipped over to the Braves where he and R.A. Dicky can sit in rocking chairs and pitch every fifth day.

If you want to see exactly what Colon did stats wise as a Metropolitan
please visit Colon's page at The Mets Database.
There is also a nice custom card collection included there.

____________________________


This was the very first thing posted that included Colon^. Off season. It was during this time, late 2013, early 2014, when this blog went in the direction of current Mets history as opposed to miraculous moments of the past. This was due in no small part to the arrival of Harvey and Wheeler, soon followed by deGrom and Syndergaard. And fortunately we have caught the team in what I'm sure Metropolitan history will describe as "an upswing". We made it to the World Series in '15, for crying out loud. Wildcard in '16 and we are not finished.

But look how things stand now. Matt Harvey is a question mark and Noah Syndergaard an exclamation point. deGrom could end up better than both of them and Matz is no slouch. Wheeler will return and we will see what we have there.
And through it all there was Bartolo Colon.

I was surprised to see that I made more mfc Colon cards than I recall. Most of this is due to the mfc 2014 Mets Season Set which had one card for each game. These cards were not posted here but on a separate blog. It was a fun exercise but I'd never do that again. Some nights it was like, UGH crap, I have to make the card.

You can see I wasn't playing favorites with the card captions. But the ride with Bart contained many bumps, especially at the start, as you will see. 

2014
Falters in a big game out of the gate. Against the nemesis Nats. GAH!

You can sense that I'm still a little bit angry at Colon due to his previous outing against Washington. lil' bit. I'm thinking: okay, I gotta be polite. He pitched an excellent game. I still wasn't sure what to make of Colon at this point though. And if I was leaning it wasn't in his favor.

 I think I did too good a job on this card above^ because looking at it brings it all back in a flood of horror. I had deleted this game from my memory. And that's really what that game felt like. The Bugs Bunny cartoon with the baseball players dancing around the diamond scoring run after run.

King Bart was literally on again/off again at the start of his tenure with the Mets. More on than Chris Young though, pound for pound. In the game captured above I got the impression that Bart was truly an artist on the mound, and it's reflected in the card.

lol. Man, I can be such a dick sometimes.^ 
But Big Sexy was a big steaming pile of something smelly the night he gave up 7 runs in 4.2 innings.
I calls 'em as I sees 'em. 


See^, I can be fair and considerate when the need be.

Eventually Colon got his groove back after a few months and from that moment on watching him pitch was like watching a guy throw a Trac-ball™.


<I'm not responsible if you watch this entire clip. That's time you won't get back. But look at the first 3 or 4 pitches. 
That's trac-ball. 
I loved trac-ball but it was one of those back yard things that lasted a summer, maybe two at the most. Whiffle ball always dominated the back yard when I was a kid, and many a shingle was knocked off the house as a result.


Bart went 8 full innings in the game above. He gave up 1 run and it was to Matt Carpenter who went yard leading off the game. After that Colon scattered 3 hits while completely shutting the Cardinals down. He also stroked a double and scored in the 6th. 

Everyone in the starting line-up did hit. 
Colon had a single in the 4th, which back then was big news especially since he gapped a double in his previous outing.

Bart at the plate was something not to be taken seriously and obviously not something to be taken lightly. His at bats became comic relief. Something almost apart from the game.
The thought of a Bartolo Colon home run?
Come on! Impossible.

The thing is this: it just wasn't even a thought.

Almost perfect wasn't being over dramatic. Colon retired the first 20 Mariners he faced in this contest before allowing a single with 2 out in the 7th. He couldn't get through the 8th, surrendering two runs on two hits. In those days Juerys Familia was holding down the 8th inning and he came on for the last two outs. Then ©loser Jenrry Mejia almost blew it in the 9th, allowing two to reach, but was able to reel in the save.

These were the days Colon became so much fun to watch. From here on out. You usually could tell right away if Bart had it or not on any given day. That was always a distinct possibility, that he would have zip and suddenly you're watching a T-ball game. Fortunately as time went by these blow-ups were less and less frequent. And when he sucked you accepted it just like he did. Shrugged it off. Because next time out he always got back in his groove.

In 2014 the Mets won 17 and lost 14 in games started by Bartolo Colon. The plump pitcher won 15 and lost 13 with a 4.09 ERA. Most impressively he did what he does best, eating up 202 innings.

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2015
Bart opened the Mets 2015 season against the Washington Nationals. In 6 innings he allowed only 3 hits, one of them a bomb by Bryce "The Brat" Harper. It was Colon's first decision of the year when Lucas "The Lumberjack" Duda secured him a "W" with a single that drove in two during the Mets half of the 6th. New York would go on to win 3-1.


How did this work?
Did Bart take full advantage of the 11 game winning streak in early 2015,
or did the streak take full advantage of Bart? 



Bart was awarded many a brew while consuming innings in New York.
Over time he became very popular with Metropolitan fans.
Just by being Bart.




He always looked happy, relaxed. He really was as cool as a cucumber.
The play above will live in infamy, as it should.


His run was a big contribution to a team that needed them all in 2015.


Big Sexy was an integral cog in the wheels that rolled New York into the Big Show in 2015.






_________________
from 2015:
I felt bad for Bartolo Colon. He deserved a better fate in his first ever World Series appearance.
At 42 years and 157 days, he became the oldest pitcher to lose a World Series game. The previous oldest was Grover Alexander (41.222) in 1928.


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In 2015 the Mets won 15 games that Bartolo Colon started and lost 16. 
His record was 14-13 to the tune of a 4.16 ERA. 
He made 31 starts & put 194.2 innings in his belly.



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2016
Big Sexy had a big sexy 2016 campaign, winning 15 while only losing 8. He dropped his ERA to 3.43 and had his best season in blue and orange. Colon made all 32 of his starts although he put in less innings at 191.2, still an impressive number.  



He still had his off nights and this was an especially crucial one^.

A Willie Mays type catch gets the Willie Mays type treatment.


Truly a divine moment.
This will stay with me for a long time, that feeling that, OMG, yes, the impossible can happen. No other team has consistently shown their fans that this is true. It should be our Metropolitan motto:
The Impossible Can Happen!


I laugh every time I view this. Gary's best HR call ever.


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Colon was here long enough to get a THROWBACK TIME card.





An mfcNOW card 
commemorating a 
ToppsNOW card! 

Isn't that special? 



Basically, back in late 2013 during the off-season, the Mets picked up Bartolo Colon to eat up innings while our new arms were brought along. He did that and so much more. We were very fortunate to have had Bart these last three years. I'll remember him as the big sexy blubber armed artistic pitcher who could and did, more than not.

I wish Mr. Colon well. It was a pleasure to watch him ply his craft. I hope he continues on to become the winningest pitcher from the Dominican Republic in the history of the game.  And it should go without typing that I hope he sucks when he pitches against the Mets. 


I understand Thor (aka/Little Sexy) is also bummed about Big Sexy's departure. Hey Noah, you guys should have run! I think you had a better chance than we thought.
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Walker accepts the qualifying offer. Hmm. Not totally surprised though. And this shouldn't effect the Cespedes situation.
NEXT!