1982 Renata Galasso “20 Years Of Mets Baseball” Set

Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, if you collected baseball cards you knew the name Renata Galasso.  If you didn’t know the name from the sets produced by Renata Galasso, Inc., then you knew the ads that were in national sports publications… Like this ad from a Street & Smith’s Baseball Yearbook in my collection:
Renata Galasso ad from 1978 Street & Smiths Baseball
…and in case you’re wondering why the ad says “1978 Topps Baseball” but clearly shows 1975 cards, it’s because the same basic ad was used every year, and they just updated the details.

Every year I looked longingly at the Renata Galasso ad, but I’d never actually ordered anything.  Later in life, though, I did pick up a set produced by Renata Galasso, Inc. in 1982 to commemorate “20 Years Of Mets Baseball”.  Despite the name, the set didn’t pay tribute to the entire 20 years, just the memorable first team that set a record for futility by going 40-120.
RGI 1962 Mets Casey Stengel

As you can see, the cards are pretty basic. The photos were black & white, and look  like the official team portraits used for newspapers, magazines and the like.
RGI 1962 Mets Richie Ashburn

The backs are simple, but appealing.  FYI, 1962 would be Richie Ashburn’s last season in the Majors.
RGI 1962 Mets Richie Ashburn back

There were supposedly only 2,500 sets created, but there’s someone on eBay who’s regularly selling lots of 5 team sets, so it would seem that they’re not hard to come by. I got mine at a show up on Long Island years ago – late 80’s, early 90’s if I had to guess.
RGI 1962 Mets Gil Hodges

I scanned these cards a few months ago, and I remember having a reason for scanning Vinegar Bend Mizell instead of Roger Craig, Marv Throneberry, Choo-Choo Coleman or any of the other ’62 Mets… But damned if I can remember that reason now.
RGI 1962 Mets Vinegar Bend Mizell
Was it to emphasize that the set includes even players who were only on the 1962 Mets for a couple of months? …Or to mention that Mizell served as a Congressman from North Carolina for 6 years?

I’m sure it’ll come to me sometime tomorrow, after we’ve moved on.

Pork Chopsh… And Appleshaush… That’s Shwell.

…or in the case of this post, the line should go “Ed Kranepool… and Gil Hodges… That’s Shwell”.

Cards like Swell Baseball Greats and Pacific Baseball Legends are kind of cheesy and pretty much worthless, but I like them anyway.

1989 Swell Baseball Greats Ed Kranepool

Looking at these cards, I was thinking about adding both “Greats” and “Legends” to my list of complete sets to buy if/when I ran across them extremely cheap at a show, when it occurred to me…

1989 Swell Baseball Greats Gil Hodges

Does part of the appeal of these cards lie in stumbling upon them? Would dime boxes be slightly less fun if I already had all the Swell cards? Would repacks lose a little bit of appeal if all of the Legends and Greats cards got tossed into the recycling bin without a second glance?

…So I scuttled the complete set plan. Part of the fun of oddball cards lies in discovering them in the first place.

By the way, for anyone who doesn’t get the reference in the subject line, I refer you to this clip from an early episode of The Brady Bunch:

Mets Monday: 1963 Topps Friendly Foes, and the 2012 Heritage counterpart

With the popularity of 2012 Heritage, it seems a good time to haul out this little beauty from 1963 Topps.  Duke Snider and Gil Hodges were “Friendly” because they were teammates from 1947-1961.  The odd thing is that the Mets acquired Duke Snider on April 1, 1963, and traded Gil Hodges to the Senators on May 23rd; the Senators got Hodges to be their manager, and he retired from playing to concentrate on managing.  The end result is that these “Foes” were on the same team for a month-and-a-half, then they were in different leagues.  By the time many people saw these Friendly Foes, they were both on different teams than they are pictured with on the card.

Here’s the 2012 Heritage “Friendly Foes” card. Somehow Vogelsong/Ethier doesn’t have the same cachet as Snider/Hodges.  No offense, guys.  This photo also has a photoshopped look about it, but I can’t swear that it is.  To be  honest, I get that feeling about most of the multi-player cards in Heritage.