Mets’ fans of the ‘60s must have thought that Topps league-leader cards were designed to be cruel.
These cards just rubbed it in the face of the orange and blue. “Where are your Koufaxes and Mantles and Gibsons?” they shouted mockingly from multi-paned windows.
And out in the street, a single fat tear rolled down the ample cheek of Mr. Met…
Imagine the relief when the 1970 set rolled around. Look, there’s Tom Seaver on the NL Pitching Leaders card.
But for me the single greatest moment of validation comes with this NL Batting Leaders card.
There’s our man Cleon Jones rubbing shoulders with Clemente and Rose in the offensive high-rent district!
Some say that Woodstock marked the end of the ‘60s. Other, less sanguine folks point to Altamont.
I locate the end of the decade as the exact moment in the spring of 1970 when the first kid in Queens pulled card #61 from a pack and yelled “Got it!” in exultation.