Sunday, April 29, 2012

50 Years in Cards: 1965

Part 4 of our 50-year trip through the annals of time...
What is it: 1965 Topps #285, Ron Hunt.

What makes it interesting: Though the '65 team set features the final cards (as players) of such luminaries as Warren Spahn and Yogi Berra, and combo Rookie cards of Future Met stars like Cleon Jones (featured on a card with Tom Parsons), Ron Swoboda and Tug McGraw (featured on a 4-man card with Dan Napoleon and Jim Bethke), by this point Ron Hunt had established himself as the first real "Star" in Mets history.

Though originally signed as a Milwaukee Brave, his sale to the Mets in the winter of '62 opened the door for him to reach the Majors with the Mets in '63, where his scrappy style of play and his predilection for being hit by pitches endeared him to fans and earned him runner-up for the NL Rookie of the Year. He was even better in '64, hitting over .300 and being named the starting 2Bman for the National League in the All Star game, played in his home park of Shea Stadium. A shoulder injury in '65 undercut his season, but he returned as an All Star in '66 before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. His career took him through LA, San Francisco, Montreal and St. Louis before it ended in '74, and included leading the league in being hit by a pitch 7 times, including a mind-numbing 50 in 1971. Ouch.

Card Back:

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