Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Three Old Mets
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.