1970 TOPPS THE CLEON JONES STORY (BOOKLET No. 19)
If you liked the little cartoon they’d have on the back of cards, you’ll love this insert. This 24-booklet set had some of the top stars and some guys they had enough information on to fill up six inside pages of details. Jay Johnstone, Walt Williams and Al Ferrara must have wondered what they were doing alongside Willie Mays, Ernie Banks and Pete Rose.
When we open up the booklet, we find out these factoids about Cleon Jones, told in comic book style with color drawings:
He excelled in both baseball and football
His high school teammate was Tommie Agee
Their football team was beaten only once in three years
Jones set a school record by scoring 26 touchdowns in a 9-game season
He had a football scholarship to Alabama A&M
He played there two years and attracted pro football attention
But he chose baseball instead
He made his pro debut in 1963, played for two teams and batted .360 and .305
He became a regular for the Mets in 1966
In 1968 he came into his own, batting .297
That’s the year Agee came to the Mets
The last panel is my favorite. The header says, “In 1969 he led the World Champs with a .340 average.” Then there’s the graphic which shows a batter wearing a gold crown with a majestic cartoon follow through. There’s a catcher pictured, and he says, “That breaks the club record. Congratulations Cleon!”
Such earnestness and such joy. It makes you wonder if anyone could mass produce and sell anything like this today.