Yes, I Still Collect Vintage Mets Cards
December 28th, 2010 by slangon
Between Football, Christmas, the Always Sunny custom set, writing about my thoughts on the Mets heading into 2011 (which are pretty exhausting posts to write, believe me.) and other assorted distractions, I feel like it’s been a crows age since I posted about any vintage Mets acquisitions. It’s not that I haven’t gotten any recently. I’ve picked up a handful here and there. I just haven’t written about them. Well, that’s all about to change.
These are 2 cards that I picked up sometime over the last month or so via eBay.
1965 Topps #551 Mets TC
First up is a card that I’ve wanted for a real long time. It was a little hard to track down since not only is it a high number card, it’s also short printed. I’ve talked in the past ad nauseum about how I love team cards, and obviously I love them more when they’re of my favorite team.This particular Mets team card just looks extra cool to me. I don’t know if it’s the orange background or just that the ’65 design is extra cool. I suspect it’s a combination of the 2. I also particularly like that the ’65 design displays the teams ranking in the standings from the year before. If you did well, placing 1st or 2nd, it’s a badge of honor. Or, if your the Mets and came in last, it’s a badge of shame. Of course, with those early Mets teams, that was part of the charm. These days, it’s not so funny.
Another thing I like about these older team cards is that they really encapsulate the team’s season. Aside from letting you know how they did in the standings the year before on the front, they let you know how each individual pitcher did against each team in the league. For some reason or another, they didn’t include Tom “Smoke” Sturdivant or Steve Dillon who both also pitched for the Mets in 1964. Maybe they didn’t include Dillon since he pitched a grand total of 3 innings for the Mets that year, but I don’t know why they didn’t include Studivant. He threw almost 30 innings for them and actually picked up a save, which is more than a lot of the guys who did end up being listed on this card. Who knows. I also noticed an error on this card. I was scanning the totals at the bottom, just because I was curious to see how the Mets did against the other teams. Not surprisingly, they had a losing record against most with 2 exceptions. They were .500 against the Colt .45′s, which makes sense since they were also an expansion team and not very good at the time. Also apparently according to this card, they were 4-1 against the Braves. That’s a little surprising. They Braves were actually a pretty good team. Wait a minute. If you add up all the individual pitchers win-loss records against Milwaukee, the Mets were 4-14 against the Braves. Apparently Topps couldn’t fit in the extra “4″ on the line. I’m sure a lot of other people have noticed that error before me, but I had never heard tell of it, so it’s always a little exciting to discover card errors on your own.
1963 Topps #473 Mets TC
This second card is also a Mets team card, also a high number and but apparently not technically a short print. What I find strange though is that the high book value of the 1963 card is $100, whereas the high book value of the 1965 card is $30. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not some kind of book value whore. I believe that a card is worth whatever a person is willing to give up for it. I may be willing to shell out $10 for a certain card, but if you’re not a fan of that player or team or particular set, it would be worthless to you. On the flip side, maybe a 1981 Fleer card of Ray Burris is just another junk card to me, but if that were your dad or your uncle or something, it might be priceless to you. That being said, I do sometimes try to understand the logic of why there might be such a big discrepancy between the book value of 2 different cards. Both of these are vintage cards, and they’re both high numbers, so you would expect them to be valued a little high. What I don’t get is that there’s only 2 years difference in age between them. Why is there a $70 price difference? And the cheaper on is a short print to boot. I don’t get it. Regardless, as cool looking as the ’65 team card is, this ’63 is really beautiful. I know some folks don’t like the whole photograph cut out and stuck on a solid colored background thing, but I think it looks awesome. I like the yellow/red combo. I think it pops pretty well. I like that the team is lined up at a slight angle pulling your eye into the card. I like the guys who look like they work at a lunatic asylum.
Once again, the back has the break down of how the Mets pitching staff from 1962 faced against the other teams in the league. Not surprisingly, they were pretty bad against everyone, except for the Cubs, oddly enough. They actually managed to play .500 ball against them, mostly thanks to Roger Craig and Jay Hook. Craig, as you can see, led the team in wins, with a whopping 10, as well as loses, with a disturbing 24. I guess things like that happen when your team goes 40-120.