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.