Monday, February 27, 2017

72/82mfc IN ACTION! cards


The mfc Mets 2017 Season Set will include IN ACTION cards, a tribute to both the 1972 and 1982 Topps designs. And lets showcase the player having the hottest spring training, Michael Conforto, on one of each.

Conforto has 5 hits in 7 at-bats, 2 kaBOOMS, 3 RBI. He's batting .714 and slugging 1.571 with an OPS of 2.286! It's been just three games but still, nice to see Michael off to such a hot start. And he made this great catch too!




Saturday, February 25, 2017

2017mfc Charley/Charlie Smith

2017 mfc Charley Smith•#65

1964 Topps
I never knew Charley Smith, the Mets third baseman in the mid 1960's, never saw him play, but I have a feeling I would have been a fan.

His twenty home runs that led the team in 1964 would have won me over pretty thoroughly, although his strike out rate would have drove me bonkers. Like with many Mets players over the years, I've learned to live with the bad and appreciate the good. So I would have been more excited about Smith's H.R.s than all his strikeouts. He'd fit right in with today's game where his strikeout numbers would be pretty average for his power.
1967 Topps

Charles William Smith, born on September 15, 1937 in Charleston, South Carolina, went by the nick-name Charley. Topps used two different spellings (Charley and Charlie) on his baseball cards over the years. The only indication I could find as to which is correct are his autographed cards, which he signed as Charley.

'64 mfc
Many of the old cards here feature the name Charlie because when I made them a while back I was going by the only baseball card of his I had ever seen. His 1964 Topps card, which was somewhat of a traded card when you think about it. No airbrushing, just the ChiSox pic and Mets border (above left). I thought this was so kool when I first saw the card (which wasn't until the late 1980's).
<Of course I had to mess with him for his mfc card. This might have been my very first attempt at simulating the Topps airbrushing done back in the day.
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You could say that during  Smith's career he was well traveled, and he was, but you could also say he was well traded. I was impressed when I saw the players Charley was swapped for. Here's a breakdown of Smith's journey through MLB:

>>Smith signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957 at age 19 as a shortstop and rose rapidly through their farm system, culminating in his selection as the Pacific Coast League's all-star infielder in 1960, with the Dodgers having moved to Los Angeles by this time.

>>Just a month into the 1961 season L.A. dealt Charley and Don Demeter to the Philadelphia Phillies for Turk Farrell and Joe Koppe. The Phillies made him their regular third baseman. Overall, he hit .248 with 11 homers and 50 RBI, earning a spot on the Topps All-Star Rookie team.

>>After the 1961 season concluded Smith was moved again, traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with John Buzhardt to the Chicago White Sox for former all star 1B/OF Roy Sievers.


>>After appearing in only 71 games in parts of three seasons with the White Sox, he was dealt to the New York Mets in April 1964 for Chico Fernandez and minor leaguer Bobby Catton. Smith had a dreadful start to his Met career going 0 for 25 before getting a hit.

>>On August 17, 1964, Charley had the first two-homer game in his career. He took Bob Veale and 
John Gelnar deep to account for four runs in the Mets 5-0 win over Pittsburgh.

>>He ended up batting .239 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI, leading the Mets in round trippers for the 1964 season. However, he struck out 101 times and walked just 19 times in 443 at-bats. 

Between Frank Thomas's 34 H.R.s in 1962 and Tommie Agee's 26 in 1969, Charley was the only New York Mets player to hit as many as 20 homers in a single season.



>>Playing regularly for another anemic Metropolitan team in 1965 Smith hit .244 with 16 homers and a team-high 62 RBI. He also established a Mets record for most strikeouts by a batter in a single season with 123.


>>After Smith's show of power in 1964 & '65 the Mets flipped him and pitcher Al Jackson to the St. Louis Cardinals for all star third baseman Ken Boyer

Ken wasn't quite over the hill yet, but close. He launched 14 long balls while leading the team with 61 RBI and also leading in doubles with 28, which was a new single season record for Metropolitan two baggers at the time.

>>Charley started 100 games at third base for St. Louis in 1966 and had a personal-best batting average of .266 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI.

>>Before the 1967 season Smith was traded to the Yankees straight-up for a declining Roger Maris. Smith carried a paltry .224/.278/.336 batting line in New York that season, only producing 27 extra-base hits (9 home runs) in 425 at-bats. 


>>On August 24, 1967 Charley had the second two-homer game of his career, this time with the Yankees. He again drove in four runs in a 5-0 victory. The opposing pitchers were Tommy John and Hoyt Wilhelm of the White Sox.

>>After playing sparingly for the Yanks Smith was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Nate Oliver after the season ended in 1968. He never played for the Giants however. Before the 1969 season began he was sold to the Chicago Cubs. Smith appeared in only two games for the Cubs, bringing his career to a close on April 22, 1969.

>>In parts of 10 seasons, Smith hit .239 with 69 home runs and 281 RBI.

>>I'm sure you recognized many of the names involved in the Charley Smith trades. Combined, all the players Smith was traded for were named to 19 All-Star teams, and Roger Maris (1960 and 1961) and Ken Boyer (1964) were Most Valuable Player award winners.

2017 mfc Charley Smith card back•stats

>> On November 29th 1994, Charley died suddenly in what I can only describe, for lack of information, as unusual circumstances. All my research can dig up is that Smith died at the Washoe (Nev.) Medical Center after knee surgery at the relatively young age of 57. 
Denise Yoxsimer, a hospital spokeswoman, had no immediate response when asked about the cause of death. An official cause has not been filed with the county vital statistics bureau.
I could not find any info beyond this obituary.

R.I.P. Charley Smith.
May you live forever on your baseball cards.

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Much of the information for this post was compiled by Kevin of the blog "THE SCOREBOARD". 
Thank you for that great page on Charley Smith!
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Charlie Smith's photo was colorized for use on his 2017 mfc card.
Photographer unknown.


That background was a beeeeeeatch!
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Mets Baseball Cards Like They Ought To Be, AKA 
Mets Fantasy Cards 
just topped 
300,000
 page views this past week. 
I would sincerely like to thank all who visit the blog and 
thank you for your continued support. 

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Monday, February 20, 2017

2017-'65 mfc Wes Westrum



Wes Westrum joined the Mets as a coach in 1964, and became pitching coach in July 1965 after the release of Warren Spahn. 

Wes was named the Mets' manager when Casey Stengel was injured on August 30, 1965, and stepped down as skipper of the perennial last-place club. It's been said that Stengel picked Westrum to be manager over coach Yogi Berra because he planned on returning to manage the Mets, and he didn't want to have to ask Berra to step down. "The ol' perfesser" never did return though, and Westrum was the Mets manager on opening day in 1966.





The Mets fared no better under Westrum in 1965, losing 48 of the 67 games under his leadership, but his 1966 club escaped the basement for the first time in the Mets' five-year history. The '66 Mets finished ninth in the ten-team National League, posting a record of 66 wins and 95 losses, a 16-game improvement over the previous season. The Mets were slowly developing an array of young pitchers in the minor leagues; however, apart from Tom Seaver, none arrived in time to help Westrum in 1967, when New York again finished tenth and last. Westrum resigned with 11 games to go in the season and coach Salty Parker managed the team for the remaining eleven games of the 1967 season, and Gil Hodges was named manager for 1968.






 Westrum died at the age of 79 in Clearbrook, Minnesota on May 28, 2002.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

2017mfc- Some Current Players.


Lets get some cards for the current Mets squad out there.I love making the oldies but we have a season coming up and we have a team that any Mets fan has to be excited about. If we can stay healthy, always the big IF, we should be in the running. It would be nice to run away with it but one should never expect that. Anythings possible though. It's baseball!



So here's a few players on the 2017 Mets, and lets start getting excited, because before you know it baseball will be starting up again! Lets go Mets!

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Will Steven Matz have a bounce back year? He only pitched in 22 games in 2016 and gave us around 132 innings. He did have some high points. He actually got one Rookie Of The Year vote, which I found surprising.

After compiling a 4-0 win-loss record, a 1.83 ERA, and 31 strikeouts in May, he was named the National League Rookie of the Month. But after that he fell off, not winning a game in all of June and July. And then came the news of the bone spur in his elbow. He put off surgery and did pitch well in August, however, picking up his 9th win (he went 9-8, ,340 ERA). But the Mets shelved him on August 22nd (DL) and on September 27, it was announced that Matz would undergo surgery for the bone spur, therefore ending his season.

We need the full Matz. I'd like 30 starts, 180 innings from this youngster in 2017. From all our starters, really. I won't get any more specific that because you don't reach  those numbers without doing well. Just get your work in and we should be fine. Mets pitching will have to step it up with Bartolo Colon and his massive inning eating stomach currently in Atlanta feeding itself. 
Now it's all up to our our talented young arms..
This is exciting.

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Some players should always be pictured doing what they do best. Lagares tracking down a fly ball. Centerfield should be interesting in 2017. Especially since they have thrown Jose Reyes into the mix.



I have high hopes for Gsellman. This righty went 4-2 in 8 starts and compiled a nice 2.42 ERA.
He pitched in some pressure spots too, so I think this guy can handle pitching in New York.



 I'm going to over compensate for the Lucas Duda/ Eric Campbell Topps error. What a way to start the baseball card season. Ha!
Duda will get one mfc joke card and two regular issue in an effort to balance the scales due to Topps impropriety. The up side is we should see another Duda in this years Topps set (if it is corrected, and it should be this early in), hopefully with his actual photo on it.


Eric Campbell went the free agent route and in December 2016 he signed with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League. He played in 40 games for New York last season, so eventually he will get a '17mfc card.




Lucas is going to have a breakout year (I say this every year, lol). Well, that's if he plays. I hear talk of David Wright moving to first base. Where will that leave Duda? I don't ever want to see him playing the outfield again, that's for sure. I hope Wright is healthy enough to handle third base all season and the Dude gets every opportunity to excel at first base. I really don't expect to see Dom Smith up early unless something has gone wrong. I hope to see a little bit of Smith in September.

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I've already displayed the 2017mfc Cespedes and his card back, but I don't think I showed them together, so here they are.






Tuesday, February 14, 2017

mfc Metropolitan History Cards

2017 mfc Season Set versions of the most recent throwback cards.



No card back for Kiners Korner yet. Anyone want to submit the card back description/info on this one?  The photo doesn't  actual match the year & event of the first Kiners Korner, but, shhhh, lets not tell anyone. It's a great photo of Ralph in his rookie year as the voice of the Mets. I had to use that photo somehow. Too classic. Can anyone can give me some details about the very first Kiner's Korner on April 30th, 1963?

Card backs will remain in throwback fashion though I will whip up some original mfc cardback design for my more favorite players. And your's too, if you tell me who you want done up. I have no idea what they will look like yet (if I do them. I could also just go with the throwback card backs already completed).




These two were reworked with the new Metropolitan History logo. 
Some small changes have been made to the card backs. I tried to put a little more focus on Gils 370th  in the card front captions on this one, which is part one of  1 of the Mets First Grand Slam cards.
Rod Kanehl's Grand Slam pt.2 follows.











Honestly, did I cram too much text into this last one? Because its so small it doesn't give me that real "Topps feel". I was determined to get all those details in there because it was such an interesting game and I condensed the events as much as possible. But it's almost too small to read. Please let me know if it's eligible.

The actual printed card will be smaller in scale, so take that into consideration.
I could easily split these card back into two and there will be much more room for bigger font and what I feel would look more like a Topps cardback. I don't recall them ever really cramming stuff on the back like that. I could easily make card one of only Roger Craig pitching at the Polo Grounds (background on the on Kanehl card), one for Gil's last long ball, and one for the Kanehl. That would spread out those card backs.

What's that I see coming over the horizon????
PICTHERS AND CATCHERS BABY!
WooHoo!


Monday, February 13, 2017

63mfc Charlie Neal Throwback & 2017 mfc Card. Plus Jack Fisher '17mfc.


A 63mfcThrowback card and its 2017mfc counterpart (below).


Charles Lenard Neal (January 30, 1931 – November 18, 1996) was an second baseman for Major League Baseball. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1950, and won the 1959 World Series after the team moved to Los Angeles. He hit two home runs in Game 2 of the Series, at Chicago's Comiskey Park.

In 1959 Neal had 177 hits with 19 home runs and 17 stolen bases, led the league in sacrifice hits and triples, won a Gold Glove at second base, played in the All-Star Game and earned a championship ring, hitting .370 in the six-game World Series victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The attendance on Oct. 6, 1959 for Game 5 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was 92,706, which continues to be the largest crowd in World Series history.

After the 1961 season, the Dodgers traded him to the New York Mets for outfielder Lee Walls and cash. Neal ended up playing for the Mets' '62 expansion team that lost 120 games, most by a team in a single season since the 19th Century. He was in the inaugural Met starting lineup on April 11, 1962 at St. Louis, batting third, going 3-for-4 and getting the first RBI in the team's history.

Neal remained a Met until a trade July 1, 1963 to the Cincinnati Reds.[1] After he hit just .156 for the rest of that season, Neal was released by the Reds in spring training of 1964, his career over at age 33.

He played in two World Series, also batting four times for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 Series. Neal started at second base in Game 3, a 5-3 loss to pitcher Whitey Ford and the New York Yankees, before a Yankee Stadium crowd of 73,977, largest of that series and still one of the 10 biggest crowds in World Series history.

Born in Longview, Texas, he died in Dallas of heart failure at age 65.


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You may have seen Jack Fisher's '67 throwback a few posts back, and here is the mfc set version.


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Friday, February 10, 2017

66,67,2017mfc Bob Shaw


Robert John Shaw (June 29, 1933 – September 23, 2010) was an Major League Baseball  player from Garden City, New York. A right-handed pitcher, he played on seven teams for eleven seasons, 1957 through 1967. In 1962, he was a National League (NL) All-Star player. In 1966, he led the National League with a perfect 1.000 fielding average as pitcher.

He pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs. In 1959, he won 18 games for the American League pennant-winning White Sox. The White Sox lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games, but not before Shaw defeated Sandy Koufax with a 1–0 shutout in Game 5.


The White Sox dealt Shaw to the Kansas City Athletics in 1961 in a deal for Don Larsen, who in 1956 became the only pitcher to ever throw a perfect game in the World Series.

On December 15, 1961 Shaw was traded by the Kansas City Athletics with Lou Klimchock to the Milwaukee Braves for Joe Azcue, Ed Charles and Manny Jimenez.

While playing for the Milwaukee Braves, Mr. Shaw made his only All-Star appearance in 1962, pitching two scoreless innings to record a save in the National League's 3-1 victory in Washington, D.C. He won 22 games in two seasons with the Braves before being traded to the San Francisco Giants in a deal that sent All-Star outfielder Felipe Alou to the Braves.

Shaw holds the major-league record for the most balks by a pitcher in one game. He balked 5 times pitching for the Braves on May 4, 1963 against the Chicago Cubs. The balks netted the pitcher a $250 fine from the Braves and a trip to the bullpen.  On June 18, Bragan called on the right-hander to close out a 7-5, 10-inning win over Pittsburgh, and Shaw’s effectiveness marked the unofficial start of his new career as a reliever.

With the Giants in 1965, Shaw went 16-9 with a 2.64 ERA, receiving votes for NL MVP. The tall right hander came to the Mets in 1966, Wes Westrum's first year as manager in New York. He brought some veteran leadership to that staff before Tom Seaver arrived. He also brought a spit ball and threw it often. One game late in the 66 season Shaw and Jerry Grote got into a fist fight on the field after Bob threw a pitch Grote did not call. He pitched two more seasons with the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs before retiring in 1967.

Bob Shaw’s lifetime record in the majors was 108-98, with 32 saves, 14 shut outs, 55 complete games, 880 strikeouts, and a 3.52 ERA over 11 seasons. His brilliant 1959 campaign earned him a key role in White Sox lore.



After his professional playing days were over, Shaw managed the Florida State League's Daytona Beach Dodgers and was a pitching coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. Shaw, 77, died of liver cancer on September 23, 2010 in Tequesta, Florida.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

62mfc Special- The First KINER'S KORNER!

We have a winner!


Even though Ralph Kiner came aboard as a Mets broadcaster in the teams inaugural year of 1962, his post-game show known as "Kiner's Korner" didn't debut under that name until April 30th, 1963. The show's moniker came from the closed-in left field seats in Forbes Field where Kiner deposited many home runs during his Hall of Fame career as a Pirate slugger. So technically speaking this should not be in a 62t border. But I'm gonna let it slide.

Ralph did do pre-game and post-game interviews right from the start in 1962, and all indications say that this photo was taken in '62 at the Polo Grounds. Looks like Kiner pulled Roger Craig and Elio Chacon aside to a little corner of the field to interview them. So I'm sticking with it. That's the first Kiner's Korner!


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

67mfc Jack Fisher, John Sullivan, &, finally, infielder Bob Johnson!




You see the action in this pic and the first thing you think is, uh-oh, my boys are in trouble again. For a pitcher to be on his fanny at home plate while playing the field cannot bode well. Jack Fishers down! It was not the usual wild pitch, however, it was a passed ball that got by Mets catcher Johnny Sullivan. Can't say Fisher didn't hustle. Ratty little Red stocking Dick Smith streaks around the plate in an odd fashion as he heads back to the field after scoring. Newly minted Reds rook Tony Perez looks on.

A FANTASTIC BASEBALL PHOTO!

I'll have to find out who took that one.

So back to the action: You would think seeing such an unfortunate happenstance would mean this was not a game you were destined to win. But New York did win this game. In an extra inning's no less (the play above tied the game at 2-2 in the 8th). On May 9th, 1967, Jack Fisher went the full 11 innings, snatching the win from Cincy when Mets centerfielder Tommy Davis hit a solo walkoff in the the bottom of the 11th.



The Mets won the game the game 3-2 and it was a sign of things to come. Instead of finding new ways to lose the Mets were starting to find new ways to win.
I would have loved to have witnessed any part of the 1967 season with all those players that popped up and down. But players also began to blossom into what would become the '69 Champs.

Clean Jones (playing CF in '67), Bud Harrelson, and newly acquired catcher Jerry Grote gave New York some solid talent up the middle, and the seeds for '69 have been sown.

And Jack Fisher would soon become part of the trade that brought Tommie Agee to town in 1968. I've added the supporting players to the 67mfc TRADED! card because sometimes I forget Fisher was part of that deal. Jack Fisher served the Mets well.


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Fellow Mets fan Pete Jones requested a Bob Johnson and provided an excellent black & white photo to use. I did the colorization work so this will be a unique version for an mfc card. Thank you Pete. :)

Largely a utility infielder and pinch hitter, Bob Johnson appeared in 11 Major League Baseball seasons, from 1960 until 1970. Johnson was a member of the 1966 World Series champion Baltimore Orioles.

In 1967, Johnson collected 13 pinch hits in 34 at-bats in a season split between the Orioles and the  New York Mets. Although Johnson's career batting average was only .272, he twice hit over .340 as a part-time player, for the 1967 Mets (.348) and the 1969 Athletics (.343).

I did not know Johnson had the nickname "Rocky" until I went looking for his autograph to use on the card. I wonder how that went over with Ron Swoboda. 


As you can see Bob Johnson was immortalized in "Mrs Payson's New York Metropolitan 1967 Baseball Club" mfc Sgt. Pepper spoof pocket poster.  There are supposed to be a record setting 57 players as New York brought up the farm in '67. I think I got them all in but I never counted. Hodges, Agee, and Bob Murphy are not counted as Mets players. Casey is just a statue tribute. The original Mr. Met was the first team mascot ever to photobomb a team picture.