Part 3 of our 50-year voyage through the Cosmos...
What Makes it Interesting: Like the Hodges' issue from 1963, it's Snider's last card, having returned to New York after bolting to Los Angeles with the Dodgers. The longtime, legendary Brooklyn Center Fielder had finally returned home, to close out his storied career. Snider's contributions to the Mets were minimal in on-field impact, but important in the formative years of the Mets. The presence of players like Snider and Hodges were a way to draw back the National League fans of New York that got the shaft when the Dodgers and Giants left in '57.
It's my selection from a rather large 1964 Mets team set that boasts a whopping 33 cards, most of them guys who were rather unremarkable (Duke Carmel, Amado Samuel, Al Moran, to name a few). A tough call to make, since this team set also features the first card of Ed Kranepool, among other Met Luminaries (among them Choo Choo Coleman, Rod Kanehl and Ron Hunt), but Snider wins this one based on his overall stature among this particular group. Snider was, in fact, gone from the Mets in '64, having gone on to play one final season with, of all teams, the Giants. With Snider in '63, the Mets mustered a 51-111 record. Without him in '64, as they moved into a beautiful new ballpark in Flushing, called Shea Stadium, they did improve, albeit by 2 games to 53-109.