In 1977, RC Cola had a series of cans with pictures of MLB players on it. Since this came in the prime of my card collecting years – have two complete sets that year, one a factory set and the other a hand collated one – these were part of my collection, too. Now, this was an MLBPA production only, so the players had caps with the logos blurred. Cans are far from the ideal way to present collectibles. And if you’re a poor boy like me, you have to decide if you can buy a soda and not drink it in order to keep the can mint.
Of course, I couldn’t do that. So, my ’77 cans all have the tops popped. Still, it was a neat item, something completely different from the cards, yearbooks, booklets and posters that made up the vast majority of my collection. Even though they’re bulky and not easy to store – and kind of ugly – they still have a special place in my mind.
Awhile back, a buddy of mine said he had an RC Cola can commemorating the 1986 Mets and wanted to see if it was anything that would pique my interest. Told him yes and he delivered it the other day. This can is much more visibly pleasing than the 1977 ones. Also, it has the added benefit of an intact top, although there’s a pin hole in the bottom that let the liquid out.
There are no players pictured in this series. Mine commemorates the regular season and ebay has one for the World Series, too. Perhaps there are others. One of the World Series ones for sale had a little bio on it, saying it was a regional issue. Which certainly makes sense, as it never made it down to my neck of the woods.
The only complaint is with the can itself. The 1977 cans that were already part of my collection were sturdy – they could be used as a weapon if someone broke into your house. This one is the thinnest aluminum you can imagine. But if you think of an American-made car in 1977, they were made of much heavier material than cars today, too.
Anyway, it’s always fun when you get to add to the collection for free. Let’s Go Mets, even more so now that it looks like there will be a season starting in late July.