Mets Card of the Week: 1973 Hank Webb

1973 TOPPS HANK WEBB

I was fortunate enough to catch the Mets’ opening weekend, thanks to a free preview of MLB Extra Innings.

Opening Night was a crystallization of much that I expect will be wrong with the Mets this year: a jaw-grindingly enigmatic showing from Pelfrey, a somnolent offensive performance.

Things improved over the next two games, though. Heck, by Sunday the Marlins’ announcers were fairly well disgusted that their boys were losing to a team that “we’re supposed to be better than.”

A Saturday highlight was the 10th inning battering of Ryan Webb, who left the game with the indignity of an infinite ERA (0 IP, 3 ER).

But son of a Met, I didn’t realize he was the offspring of our own Hank Webb, pictured here on his high-number ’73 rookie card.

The final series of the ’73 Topps set contained 16 of these three-player rookie cards, and I was always kind of ashamed that out of those 48 available slots, the Mets could only land the one.

Hank’s neighbor here Charlie Hough was making his second straight appearance on a multi-player rookie card, and was one of a total of 5 Dodgers to be featured in the ’73 subset.

Hank pitched in parts of five seasons for the Mets, mostly in relief, and won a total of 7 games, all in ’75. He tossed 115 innings that year, yet, astoundingly, managed to strike out only 38 batters. In a league without a DH.

I believe it was Walter Scott (or perhaps Mike Scott) who once almost said, “Oh! What a tangled Webb we weave, when first we practice to relieve”…

6 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: 1973 Hank Webb

  1. April 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    THAT is the sexy!

  2. Brian Joura
    April 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

    OK, I’m bending over in pain over the pun you used to close this article!

    Webb was also on a 1975 rookie card. I can’t imagine too many people were on RC a year apart like Webb in 73 and 75. Can you think of any off the top of your head?

    From about 1965-1972, the Mets farm system had been cranking out a ton of talent — Seaver, Koosman, Ryan, Matlack, Gentry, Capra, Bibby, Renko, McGraw, Frisella, Milner, Jorgensen, Boswell, Harrelson, Foli, Swoboda, Jones, Singleton and Otis for guys who played a bunch of years and a host of others who came up for cups of coffee. That’s over two per year, which seems an incredible rate.

    No shame for a down year in 1973. The problem was that it wasn’t a single year — it was about a 10-year period where the Mets were lucky to get a guy like that every 2-3 years instead of 2+ every year

  3. April 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    The most extreme case of rookie-card gap I can recall is Lou Piniella, who had one in the 1964 set and then another in 1968, with no cards in between. (And then for good measure, he had a third in the 1969 set.)

    • Brian Joura
      April 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Wow – I’m going to declare that easily the longest stretch between RC. When Topps put him on the 1964 card, Lou was coming off a year where he hit .310 with 16 HR but it was in the Class A Carolina League.

      He only played 26 games combined between majors and minors in 1965 – guessing he was hurt. Seems kind of crazy that he was the 28th player selected in the Expansion Draft after the 1968 season. Well, not as crazy as the Pilots then turning around and trading him to the Royals for two warm bodies.

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