'69 Mets

Finding Nostalgia found a few ’69 Mets and Rusty Staub

Hurricane Agnes, a Lawn Chair, and a Black and White TV

Hurricane Agnes and major flooding came to my hometown in Central Pennsylvania during the summer of 1972 . Our house had water within inches of the second floor. At that time we had wood paneling which had to come down. The flooring had to be taken up as well. This was done so the wood framing and sub flooring of the house could dry. All we had in our living room for a length of time was a typical outdoor lawn chair and a black and white TV.

New York Mets Gear at Fanatics.com
'69 Mets

Example of our living room furniture during the Summer of 1972. Watched many Mets games in something like this.

1972 Mets Yearbook

I spent many hours watching the Mets during those summer evenings from that lawn chair. This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to meet some of the ball players I watched on that black and white TV. Many of the players were carryovers from the ’69 Mets. The summer of 1972 was the summer the Mets really took a hold of me.

The Tappan Zee Bridge

Mrs. V and I began the journey to White Plains, New York early Saturday morning. Home of the East Coast National. A sports collectors convention that is really a worthwhile venture . The show takes place about 20 miles north of New York City. We had to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge to make our destination. If you do not have EZ Pass, this bridge takes the info from your license plate by camera and mails you a bill for the toll. Anything to cut down traffic is a win-win and that inventor should be right up there with the inventor of Gore-Tex.

The show had a tremendous lineup of sports figures. I was there to meet and get autographs from four legendary New York Mets. Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, Jerry Grote, and Rusty Staub. These were some of the fellows I watched on the black-and-white TV while sitting in the lawn chair. Three of them were part of the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets.

Ed, Cleon, Jerry, and Rusty

Below are the autographs I received as well as the photos that Mrs. V took of the retired ball players at the convention. All of the guys were kind and courteous. The highlight may have come from Jerry Grote. A fan ahead of me in line mentioned the “Miracle Mets” to him. Jerry, in a very animated way, stated “it’s not a miracle when you win 100 games”. You could certainly tell that he took great pride in the Mets 1969 world championship and made it clear that is was NO miracle.

'69 Mets

Ed Kranepool. A very young man. (Note the 1964 Worlds Fair patch)

'69 Mets

Ed Kranepool. Lifelong Met. Managed by Casey Stengel and Gil Hodges, among others. The stories he could tell.

'69 Mets

Cleon Jones. A picture is worth a thousand words.

'69 Mets

Cleon Jones was a great player for the Mets.

Jerry Grote--1969 Mets

Jerry Grote–1969 Mets

'69 Mets

Jerry Grote. Catcher to Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman….

 

'69 Mets

Rusty Staub. A great ballplayer.

'69 Mets

Rusty Staub. Pure joy on my face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In January of this year I had the privilege of attending the 2017 Queens Baseball Convention. In attendance was another member of the ’69 Mets, Art Shamsky. When I approached him for an autographed photo, he took the time to talk about the “69 Mets and how much of a team effort the World Series Championship represented. You can read about my meeting with Art Shamsky here.

Follow me on Twitter!

 

 

 

New York Mets Gear at Fanatics.com
Semi-Annual Sale - Our Biggest Sale of the Year at SportsMemorabilia.com
15% Off at SteinerSport.com. Code: SPORTS15
Shop for Team Logo Spinners at Fanatics.com

MLB Little League Classic to be played in Williamsport PA on Aug 20

MLB Little League Classic

Final preparations are underway for an event widely anticipated and heralded since MLB made the announcement this past March. An absolute jewel of minor league baseball, BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, will be showcased during the MLB Little League Classic on August 20. ESPN will televise the game. The match up features the Pittsburgh Pirates taking on the St. Louis Cardinals. The ballgame will take place during the annual Little League World Series in Williamsport PA. Major League Baseball will host all of the visiting Little League players and their families at this very intimate ball park.  BB&T Ballpark at Bowman Field has undergone many changes to bring it up to Major League specifications.

New York Mets Gear at Fanatics.com

Below are links to view additional information on the upcoming MLB Little League Classic as well as the changes that have taken place to the ballpark.

Getting Ready for Major League Baseball in Williamsport

Bob Gibson and Andy Van Slyke pay a visit to Bowman Field

Major League Baseball Little League Classic will bring back Clint Hurdle and others

 

MLB Little League Classic

Video Board under construction.

MLB Little League Classic

Bob Gibson and Andy Van Slyke paid a recent visit to promote the game.

MLB Little League Classic

Temporary Clubhouses in the works.

 

You can follow me on Twitter….right…..here!

New York Mets Gear at Fanatics.com
Semi-Annual Sale - Our Biggest Sale of the Year at SportsMemorabilia.com
15% Off at SteinerSport.com. Code: SPORTS15
Shop for Team Logo Spinners at Fanatics.com
Baseball Cards

Buying Baseball Cards before the Internet

Baseball Cards before the Internet

There was a time, before the Internet, when baseball cards were bought, sold, and traded through mail order catalogs, hobby shops, and sports card conventions. If you were a collector, you remember what it was like to visit your local hobby shop or go to a convention. It was the highlight of the weekend. You never knew what you might find. Many treasures awaited as well as instant gratification. Ordering through the mail, had a different dynamic. There had to be some trust built into the transaction, because you never held the card in hand before the purchase. The upside was the day the mailman arrived with your cardboard acquisition. The wait was worth it.

New York Mets Gear at Fanatics.com

“The Collector Talks”

The very first card catalog I subscribed to was “The Collector Talks”. It was a quarterly, thin, flimsy, construction paper, mailing. I waited eagerly for it to arrive at the change of each season. It was through this catalog, that I began to acquire the taste for older cards. My first “older” card was a 1959 Topps Duke Maas. I bought it for no particular reason, other than the year. I wanted something that would surge past the 60’s and went right back to the 50’s. That card, which was 18 years old at the time, changed my approach to card collecting. (If Mrs. V wants someone to blame, it was Duke.) I started chasing older baseball cards from that point.

Baseball Cards

This was my first “old” card. It seemed ancient to me because it was from the 1950’s. My perspective has changed since then.

Baseball Cards

The first publication I subscribed to. I probably found their ad in the back of the “Sporting News”.

Baseball Cards

This was my oldest card for years. I bought it from “The Collector Talks” for $3. (Love to know what the need for the punch hole was.)

Baseball Cards

I picked up this offer.

Baseball Cards

I wish I had picked these up. BTW, O.J. is up for parole.

Baseball Cards

200 different 1959 Topps Baseball Cards…$17.75.

“The Sports Collectors Bible”

I would spend hours trying to determine what my next purchase would be, always cross referencing “The Sports Collectors Bible“, which would give me an idea of worth. “The Sports Collectors Bible” (Published 1977) was a tremendous resource for every type of sports collector. The information contained within was staggering.

Baseball Cards

A gold mine of information in the 1970’s and still relevant today.

I still reference it frequently. It opened my eyes to a whole world of sports collectibles…and I wanted them all. (Again…if Mrs.V is looking to blame..) This book, purchased 40 years ago, was the driving force in my passion for collecting. I am sure many other collectors have the same feelings.

The Chicago Card Company published “The Collector Talks”. Neither of which seem to be in existence anymore. Those flimsy, thin, construction paper flyers will always have a special place in my collection.

Just an FYI….I am still revelling over this.

You can follow me on Twitter…..right here!

New York Mets Gear at Fanatics.com
Semi-Annual Sale - Our Biggest Sale of the Year at SportsMemorabilia.com
15% Off at SteinerSport.com. Code: SPORTS15
Shop for Team Logo Spinners at Fanatics.com