Thursday, April 7, 2011


A quick translation: In Metspeak, “John DeMerit” means “In the beginning…”

Why? Well, because this 1962 card is—sequentially—the first Topps Mets card ever.

(Note that some pedants would argue that the proper Metspeak translation for “In the beginning…” is “Hobie Landrith.” These folks are heretics, and not to be trusted.)

I know that some people have an aversion to this set on aesthetic grounds. Me, I give it points for trying.

Sure, the wood-grain borders would bedevil condition-sensitive collectors for years to come. But speaking as a condition-sensitive collector, I say: screw the condition-sensitive collectors.

Topps was seeking to give the kids something different in ‘62, and these borders were a nice effort. Of course, it would have been a plus if the printer(s) could’ve held on to a consistent shade of brown throughout the run, but whatever…

The picture-peeling-at-the-corner motif was a nice touch as well, lending the cards a cool illusion of dimensionality.

The card backs, I’ll grant you, are somewhat fusty.

Yes, fusty.

I like the toothy smirk on John’s face here, and the red ball-cap band on his forehead.

I like the way that the piping on his Milwaukee Braves jersey makes it look like he’s wearing a stethoscope.

John took the last 16 ABs of his big-league career with the ’62 Mets. On May 16, he hit the last of his 3 career HRs, a solo shot leading off the bottom of the 5th against Dick Ellsworth of the Cubs.

The Mets went on to win that game, improving to 9-18, while the Cubs fell to 9-23. At this point in the season, the Cubs were actually 2½ games behind the Mets in the standings.

And it was good.

1 comment:

  1. You got me twice with this card. I'm pretty sure I've never seen it before and I don't ever recall this guy on the Mets.

    I'm one of the '62 detractors and the set is the anti-1975 in that it desperately needs color. And the varying shades of the wood paneling doesn't count.