Thursday, January 6, 2011


This card represents layers of missed opportunities.

If you're a Mets' fan, the top layer is obviously the very fact of the trade. The team relinquished the eventual all-time strikeout king and author of 7 no-hitters for 364 Jim Fregosi at bats. 5 HRs, 43 RBI, and a .233 average later, Fregosi was sold to Texas.

The truly surreal thing about the trade is that Nolan Ryan was part of a package of four players that the Mets shipped to the Angels in the deal. Is it any wonder that Nolan put the no no-no hoodoo on the Mets in return?

Another key missed opportunity here is the Topps layer.

The 1972 Traded subset adds extra flavor to the high-number series. The removal of the team name from the marquee and the blocky “TRADED” stamp are great design elements, and the initial run of players is pretty unbeatable: Carlton, Morgan, McLain, Frank Robinson...

But then Fregosi breaks the spell, and things wind down with Wise and Cardenas.

And believe it or not, this is actually Fregosi's third card in the 1972 Topps set. He appears as an Angel on #115, then as a Metropolitan in a boyhood photo on #346, and finally on this Traded card.

Ryan, on the other hand appears once, as an airbrushed Angel on card #595.

In the 1972 set in my mind, there is a Mets' Ryan card in series 1 or 2, and a Traded card picturing him as an Angel in the last series...


  1. And why wasn't Rusty Staub or Willie Mays in that TRADED series? Staub must have had some kind of feud with Topps, as he wasn't in the 1973 set, either. Do you know any of the details?

  2. But who's that in the background on card #420 in the '73 set? I think we have a Rusty sighting...