Why not go after 1963 Fleer? It’s a cool vintage set that is only 66 cards (67 if you include the checklist) and could be considered an “oddball”. I’ve already completed the Mets team set, and I’d featured it a year ago.
But then I look at the cards that command bigger prices… Clemente, Koufax, Mays, Gibson, Yastrzemski, Drysdale, Spahn, the Maury Wills rookie, the short-printed Joe Adcock, and I think “Ehhh… Maybe completing the set isn’t that important to me…”.
That doesn’t mean I can’t “collect” it like I collect 1956 Topps… Buy any cheap cards I can find, and leave it at that.
Here are the 4 non-Mets cards that are in my 1963 Fleer collection:
For a guy who was a 4-time All Star and a 7-time Gold Glove winner, Vic Power often gets overlooked… Possibly because his career looks like a tour of small-market teams. Kansas City, Cleveland, Minnesota are the three cities where he put in the most time.
Ron Hansen is one of those guys where I didn’t realize I had multiple cards of his until I put all the pieces together. “Oh, wait, this is the same guy who’s with the Senators on my 1968 card, and with the White Sox on my 1970 card and with the Yankees on my 1971 card…
He’s also the winner of the 1960 A.L. Rookie Of The Year award.
Tito Francona was an All-Star in 1961, lead the league in doubles in 1960 and is the father of Terry Francona, but I frankly bought the card because I love the photo.
It sounds impressive to say that Tito Francona finished second in 1956 Rookie Of The Year voting… except that Luis Aparicio got 22 of the possible 24 votes, while Tito and Rocky Colavito each got one vote. Hey, it’s still second.
His full name is John Patsy Francona. “Patsy”? Maybe it’s his mother’s maiden name? “Patsy” makes me think of King Arthur’s trusty “steed” (played by Terry Gilliam wielding two halves of a coconut shell) in Monty Python & The Holy Grail. It also reminds me of the episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob has to explain to his son Richie why his middle name is “Rosebud”.
I could talk about Milt Pappas winning 150 games before turning 30, or for being traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson, but I’ll leave you with just one fact:
He was born Milton Stephen Pappastediodis.
It makes one wonder if Jarrod Saltalamacchia were born 50 years earlier, would we know him as “Jed Salt”?