Saturday, November 8, 2008

Staggeringly Sweet Mets

Matt over at Really Smart Yet Gut-Wrenching Cards sent me a some of new and vintage Mets in a trade for a short stack of 1971 Topps. These are my favorites:

1968 Topps Phil LinzThis story comes from Yankee pitcher, Jim Bouton's, book, Ball Four.
On the team bus, after a Yankee loss to the Chicago White Sox, Linz was in the back playing a plaintive version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on his harmonica. Yankee manager Yogi Berra thought sad cowboy style mixed with a children's nursery rhyme was mocking the team. He told Linz to pipe down. Linz didn't hear and kept playing. Berra became infuriated and called back from the front of the bus, "If you don't knock that off, I'm going to come back there and kick your ass." Linz couldn't hear the words over the music, so he asked Mickey Mantle, "What he say?" Mantle responded, "He said to play it louder." This led the famous confrontation when Berra stormed to the back of the bus, slapped the harmonica out of Linz' hands, and the instrument hit Joe Pepitone's knee.
Phil played for a year and a half for the Mets before retiring. His Baseball Reference page is sponsored by the insurance company he now works for. He was traded from the Yankees to the Phillies for Ruben Amaro, father of the new Phillies GM, Amaro Jr.

1968 Topps Bob HendleyIn 1965, Hendley threw a 1-hitter against the LA Dodgers. Too bad Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game that day. He faced Koufax 5 days later, threw another gem and got the win. Like Linz, he ended his career with the Mets.

1964 Topps Amado Samuel

Nothing too exciting about Samuel except that his card back mentions he jumped from Class D to Triple A. From what I can tell, Class D was similar to Rookie ball. Organized baseball used to be everywhere. The war finally did in these lowest professional leagues. Samuel wasn't ready for the big time as his major league career only lasted a few seasons. (That is a few more seasons and 1 baseball card more than I got.)

1963 Topps Marv Throneberry
Throneberry was never as "Marvelous" as his name would lead you to believe. He was was celebrated, not for his greatness, but as a "symbol of Met futility". I wonder who today's Marvelous Marv would be? Minaya was hoping it was Randolph, but that wasn't the case.

My favorite quote about Marv:
How could he be expected to remember where the bases were? He gets on so infrequently.
- Jack Lang, after Marvelous Marv Throneberry was called out for missing first

My Mets want list is shrinking, just in time to add some 2008 names to the list. Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans highlight the list of brand new Metropolitans.

Next Up: I stop putting off writing that paper for graduate school.

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