Thursday, May 3, 2012

50 Years in Cards: 1966

Part 5 of our 50-year look at the History Books...
What is it: 1966 Topps #561, Choo Choo Coleman

What makes it interesting: The '66s have a nice, clean design that I've always liked. The '66 Mets team set is another sprawling effort, 31 cards in all, and among them, some notables like Ron Swoboda's and Tug McGraw's first solo cards, and Jerry Grote's first Mets card (Not his rookie, however), Choo Choo Coleman gets the call here based on a couple of reasons.

First, it's hard to ignore Coleman's impact on the Mets, not so much as a player, but as a character. Choo Choo Coleman the player was a fringe Major Leaguer at best, the fact that he hadn't played in the Major Leagues since 1963 and boasted a career batting average of .197 should tell you all you need to know. It's Coleman's noted personality that made him a unique part of Mets lore. His interactions with both media and teammates have proven to be the stuff of legend.

Second, the card itself. I'd mentioned in a prior post how Topps would release their cards in six separate series throughout the Baseball Season. The final series, generally known as the High Numbers, were often produced in lesser quantities, as they usually came out towards the end of Baseball season and the beginning of Football season. This has, over time, created a higher demand for many of these high-numbered cards. Additionally, due to the number of cards that Topps had on their print sheets, some cards were printed in even lesser quantities than others. Choo Choo Coleman's 1966 card appears to have been one such card, as it outvalues every other card in the Mets team set from '66, and by a fairly wide margin.

Card Back:

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