This is the first in a series of posts about a postcard set featuring the 1969 “Miracle Mets” and painted by Ron Lewis. This is such a nice set of postcards that I thought it would hold up through a series of posts featuring each and every card from the set.
A little background… This 32-postcard set was sold in boxes, numbered to 25,000, and I think… don’t quote me on this… that each set came with one of the cards autographed. Or maybe it was a random thing, I can’t remember now. Mine came with an autograph, you’ll see it when it comes around.
To say I’ve been meaning to share these for years is not an overstatement; I scanned these cards in May, 2014.
So here’s the box:
The first card in a set is a sort of header card featuring the “25th Anniversary” logo from the front of the box, so I’ll go straight to card #2…
Gil Hodges had been an 8-time All-Star with the Brooklyn Dodgers, so he was already beloved in New York before deftly managing the underdog Mets to a World Championship.
These postcards actually have the subject’s name on the bottom, but my scanner chopped that part off and I didn’t bother rescanning. You’ll see a full postcard with the next example.
Here’s the back of Hodges’ postcard. They’re all largely the same.
Ken Boswell played 102 games at 2nd for the ’69 Mets. He primarily played against right-handers, but his hot play down the stretched helped carry the Mets to the postseason. He had 2 homers, 4 runs and 5 RBI during the Mets 3-game sweep of the Braves in the NLCS, but only played one game in the World Series.
He later became a pinch-hitting specialist with the Mets and Astros.
Wayne Garrett was a rookie in 1969, and got into 124 games at third, second and short despite carrying a .218 average. He batted .355 in the NLCS against the Braves, but got only 2 walks in 4 plate appearances in the World Series.
Garrett was later with the Expos and Cardinals.
Bobby Pfeil was another rookie infielder who would play 69 games in the regular season, but didn’t appear in the NLCS or World Series. I love the Shea scoreboard background in this painting.
Pfeil didn’t make it back to the majors until 1971 with the Phillies, and after that his career was over. Although he appears with the Red Sox in the 1972 Topps set as a poorly-airbrushed high number, he never actually played for the Sox.
Cal Koonce was a reliever for the ’69 Mets, getting into 40 games and earning a 6-3 record with 7 saves.
Koonce was a 28-year-old grizzled veteran, having pitched in the Majors since 1961, mainly with the Cubs. Like Pfeil, Koonce didn’t play in a postseason game.
So that’s the first batch of postcards. Like I said, I’ll be sharing these over a number of posts, but I’ll stretch it out a little so I don’t overwhelm you with them. The semi-arbitrary way I selected cards managed to leave a lot of big names out of this post, but you’ll see them eventually… I promise that the next post will include a HOFer (but it’s not Seaver).