Tuesday, September 26, 2017

From My Collection: Gary Carter until 1980

On the advice of a friend, I am reading the book The Bad Guys Won!, about the 1986 Mets.
Book cover of The Bad Guys Won!
It's about how terrible the players were as human beings, apparently.  I'll find out as I read it.  You can see Gary Carter, excited about the World Series win, on the cover of the book.  While I might post more as I read the book, this made me want to post some of my older Gary Carter cards.
Gary Carter's rookie card.
At some point I acquired a Gary Carter rookie card, which is a 1975 Rookie Catchers-Outfielders card that he shares with three others, Marc Hill, catcher for the Giants, Danny Meyer, outfielder for the Tigers, and Leon Roberts, outfielder for the Tigers.  This awkward Catchers-Outfielders construction perhaps shows the problem of putting 4 rookies per card, something Topps stopped doing a few years later, I think.  You can see in the photo that the card is badly damaged -- there is a thick crease at the top, and another thick crease (maybe harder to see) in the corresponding position at the bottom of the card.  The card was cheap -- getting it in this condition was the only way I was going to afford Gary Carter's rookie card at the time.
1977 Topps Gary Carter.
Early in my collecting days, I bought a 1977 Topps Gary Carter and a 1980 Topps Gary Carter at Stale Gum, the local baseball card shop in Newark, DE.  I remember showing them to a friend in my backyard.  They went missing from my collection after that, and my friend then sold the cards to another friend, a Mets fan, right in front of me a couple of days later.  We moved away from that neighborhood soon after, and I didn't have to see those "friends" again.  I replaced the cards a few years later.
1979 Topps Gary Carter.
I kind of hated Gary Carter in the 80s, not because of anything he did, but because he was on the Mets, and the Mets were rivals to the Pirates.  Also because when my Dad and I went to Phillies games against the Mets, awful Mets fans would come down from New York and New Jersey and ruin the game for us -- the Mets fans were loud, obnoxious, and looking to start fights.  I guess the book will tell me more specifically why I was right to dislike those Mets.
1980 Topps Gary Carter.
This post hasn't really been about Gary Carter, so let me at least say something about him as a player.  Carter won the first of his three Gold Gloves in 1980.  He was an 11-time All-Star, first in 1975, and then every year from 1979-1988, winning the All-Star MVP award twice.  Of his time with the Expos, some of his best offensive years were 1977, when he hit 31 HR with 84 RBI, 1980, when he hit 29 HR with 101 RBI, and 1984, when he hit 27 HR and led the NL with 106 RBI.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his sixth ballot in 2003.

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