Mets Card of the Week: 2001 Fleer E-X Brian Cole

2001 FLEER E-X BRIAN COLE ROOKIE AUTO

Last week, I heard someone make an offhand comment on DC talk radio to the effect that the Mets are a “cursed franchise.”

The hosts then moved on to a discussion of why the Wizards can’t win on the road or why the Caps can’t score, or some other topic of little interest to me.

So I stayed tuned to that idea of the cursed Mets.

And when all is said and done, I’m not buying it.

Now granted, the Mets are a colorful franchise, not drab and gray and brown like some of their ‘60s expansion brethren.

And yes, they rarely do things in half measures.

When they are bad, they are bad with flair. They are 40-120. They are filling spray guns with bleach and tossing firecrackers into crowds indiscriminately. They are caught in the Madoff storm.

When they are good, you will damn well remember they were good. They are amazin’, it’s a miracle, and the ball is behind the bag and it gets through Buckner.

Hell, they even found a way to take mediocrity into a seventh game of the World Series. Ya gotta believe!

So again, no half measures.

But cursed?

I can only think of two real tragedies to beset the organization over the course of almost 50 years.

First was the death of Gil Hodges in the spring of ’72. This was abrupt and cruel, and left a leadership void that was not really filled until Davey Johnson came on board a dozen years later.

The other tragedy was the death of Brian Cole.

Cole was a prospect of some promise, ranked #64 by Baseball America in 2001. He signed 2,999 of these 2001 Fleer E-X cards, his blue signature sharp and strong against a glittery silver background.

Cole died in a car accident in March of that same year at the age of 22. It was again abrupt and cruel.

But it was not evidence of a curse…

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