Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Three Old Mets

Step away from the 2012 Topps.  Step awayyyy from the 2012 Topps...

Ok, I did.  Briefly.

Here are three old Mets.  Since I have recently returned to collecting, and have little idea how to approach building my collection (the absurd number of different inserts and relics in recent card sets - and even the sheer number of different sets is overwhelming!), I decided to take my favorite team and hunt down some of the old cards that remind me of my first days watching baseball.

I'll start with a guy who I actually DON'T remember at all - Jerry Grote.  But as a Mets fan, since we only have two titles, it's important to know the guys who won the first one - and Grote was one of them.  In fact, he started behing the plate in all 5 games of the '69 Series.  Not much of a hitter, he did slug a career-high 6 homers in '69 - and hit a respectable .252 for his career.

Next is Joel Youngblood, who I have a faint memory of as a player.  I remember a game played in San Francisco and the fog was rolling in late in the game.  Youngblood hit a fly ball to right, and the ball simply disappeared in the soupy mist.  Youngblood managed a triple, and if I remember correctly, the umpires called the game immediately after.  Does anyone else remember this game?  I may be mis-remembering, but that's what my elementary school consciousnes recalls.

Youngblood actually hit .350 in 1981, but that's a bit misleading.  He only had 143 AB's that season - but WAS named to the N.L. All-star team.

Lee Mazzilli, our final subject, was the first star name I remember with the Mets.  In '79, at just 24, Maz was named to the all-star game, but (and I hadn't realized this until I looked it up) never made it back.  He left the Mets after the '81 season, but did return to the squad in '86, just in time to appear as a pinch-hitter in the team's World Series victory.

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