Mets Card of the Week: 1970 World Champions


1970 Mets

This here is a totem.

I was five-years old back in 1970, and flush with a new enthusiasm for baseball in general, and the Mets in particular.

Every Sunday after church my family would drive to the local stationery store, and assuming that I hadn’t tested anyone’s patience too greatly during the week, I was allowed to grab two items from the candy rack.

One spring morning, I scooped up a couple of wax packs of Topps baseball cards. The tightly wrapped red, white, and yellow slabs promised both 10 cards and a stick of gum, so selecting them felt kind of like gaming the system.

In retrospect, the gray-bordered cards seem to be a dull compromise between the dominant white-bordered template of the preceding decades and the dramatic black borders of the 1971 set. But to a young boy thumbing through his first packs and seeing the name of his favorite team in white or red or black or yellow block letters at the top of the bounding box, these gray gems were the alpha and omega.

And sitting right at the top of the set, number 1 on the checklist, was this Mets team card. Unlike the other team cards in the set, it didn’t carry the name of the franchise, but instead displayed a bold, electric description of the gang pictured below: World Champions.

I’ve pulled this card out numerous times over the past couple of weeks, and run a gentle ritual finger over the light stanchion, the partly cloudy skies, the flat-green outfield fencing, the faces frozen in that brief photo-day moment.

The incantation then starts lightly, but grows ever stronger: Let’s. Go. Mets. Let’s go Mets. Let’s go Mets!

6 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: 1970 World Champions

  1. Jim OMalley
    October 21, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I would look at these cards and proudly know I could name every player in the picture.

  2. lanzarishi
    October 21, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Gene Mauch the trainer is always recognizable from his wavy hair and horn rimmed glasses. As is many of the players we’ve grown to love over the past 45 years since the photo was taken. Even with a card like this blurred from a 3rd generation print and photograph! I can name at least 85% of the faces.

  3. October 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Two items!

    If only 5 year old you knew enough to keep one unopened each week, you could retire to the country and become a philosopher.

    • Doug
      October 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      You know Brian, I tried to do that around 1973 or so, but the packs never survived the winter unopened…

      • October 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm

        Is there any way to determine what series an unopened pack is? Around 20 years ago I bought an unopened pack from ’73 that was supposed to be from the last series…

        • Doug
          October 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm

          Depends on the year. Sometimes you can tell by wrapper design and/or what type of insert is (or is not) included. The less-scientific approach is to look through the wrapper and check the bottom card. (The hazard with 1973s is that there were “all series” packs as well as series 5/6/7 packs.)

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