What Is It: 1963 Topps #245, Gil Hodges
What Makes it Interesting: I've always liked the '63s. They have a very classic 1960s look to them. The team set featured a whole slew of different color combinations on the name plate and the inset. It also features the first-ever Mets Team Leaders card (Card #473). It's Hodges' last appearance on a baseball card as a player, although he'd have several more as a manager.He retired after the '63 season, and returned to the Mets in '68 as Manager. The rest, as they say, is history, culminating with his uniform #14 resting on the outfield wall at Shea Stadium.
Hodges' contribution to the Mets is immeasurable. I cite one particular instance as an example of how revered he was by his players: Tom Seaver, before throwing the final pitch at the Shea Stadium closing ceremony, made a gesture with his hands, a 1 and a 4. He then pointed to the retired numbers and saluted Hodges' 14. He did it again at the Citi Field Opening. That should tell you all you need to know.