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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Original Bliss

I live for learning something I never knew about the Mets, especially the early Mets. Today I learned, thanks to a conversation at Crane Pool Forum, that Fleer made Mets cards in 1963. It wasn’t so much that I previously thought they didn’t; it’s that it never occurred to me one way or another whether they did.

Fleer made only three Mets cards in a set of 67 overall, the only three Mets cards they printed in their first incarnation as a baseball card producer. This was before Topps came to monopolize the industry in toto through the ’60s and ’70s. Each 1963 Fleer Met is pictured above, courtesy of The Virtual Card Collection by Dan Austin. They may not be the clearest reproductions, but I do find these Original Mets glorious in these particular cardboard incarnations. I love the poses, I love the uniforms, I especially love the backdrops. There are Roger Craig and Al Jackson being Mets at the Polo Grounds. And Hot Rod Kanehl, quite obviously, is posing inside Citi Field, in front of that brick wall you practically run into when you come up the Rotunda escalator.

Which doesn’t explain why he’s wearing a road uniform.

If you’re loving any and all baseball cards, Dave Murray has completed his countdown of Topps’ 60 Greatest, which by Mets Guy In Michigan’s reckoning are all Mets cards. Go figure! Better yet, go check them out. His Nos. 4, 2 and 1 happen to constitute my own Big Three. Nos. 5 and 6 offer incredible style. Cripes, even No. 8 is pretty great if you don’t think about it too hard.

10 comments to Original Bliss

  • Will in Central NJ

    That trio of Fleer cards looks like the bottom of some elusive Twinkies or Ho-Hos box that was never shipped to supermarkets anywhere near my hometown….

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, TDC and sportscardcollector, baseballfan. baseballfan said: Original Bliss « Faith and Fear in Flushing: Fleer made only three Mets cards in a set of 67 overall, the only t… http://bit.ly/fXagJh […]

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    As kids we didn’t realize how much we bought into status. In the early sixties buying Fleers instead of Topps was like wearing Keds as opposed to P.F. Flyers – one would be razzled by the others unmercifully.

    It was the same for me being one of the few Met fans in my Bronx neighborhood – most all the other kids were Yankee fans who wouldn’t stop telling me how both me and my team “stunk”! No doubt they’re the same ones still saying the same thing to me today.

  • Thanks for the kind words, my friend!

  • hsimms

    I lived in downtown Flushing at the time. Watched them build Shea. About 2/3 were former Giant and Dodger fans, the others were the others.

    We knew no fear and loathed the others.

  • Tom

    Greg,
    I too am illogically fascinated by the early Mets teams. I will mention 4 oddball card sets that might be of interest to you.
    1)Reneta Galasso (sometimes referrd to as RGI set. Produced in the early 1980s,it’s about 25 cards depicting the 1962 Mets. Black and white photos with a blue border. Has the only Mets card I know of Willard Hunter, George Weiss, Rogers Hornsby, Vinegar Bend Mizell,Red Ruffing, and Solly Hemus. Relatively inexpensive.
    2)SSPC 1963 set. Again, a 1980s issue, with approx. 19 cards. Noteable cards include Ted Schreiber,Pumpsie Green,Dick Smith,Ernie WHite, Ed Bauta, and Steve Dillon. Most shots were taken at night, which is kind of unusual for a baseball card.
    3)miscellanous TCMA issues. They did 2 sets called starts of the 60s. I know some oddball names include John DeMerit.
    4)Larry Fritsch cards produced 3 sets called “One Year winners,” depicting players who just had the proverbial cup of coffee in the majors. I think Ray Daviault and a few others make their only card appearance there.

    In any case, thanks for letting an old man ramble on about a subject near and dear to him. One thing (maybe the only thing)that helps me to get through winter, is pull out an album filled with cards of the players from my youth.

    Love your writing.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Tom

    • Thanks so much for sharing this, Tom. It’s good to know that somewhere in the world at any given moment, a Mets fan is likely to be staring longingly at a cardboard image of John DeMerit.

  • […] a bit of trivia from the wonderful Mets nostalgia blog Faith and Fear in Flushing: only three Mets were given the honor of having cards in the Fleer set for 1963. They were Roger […]