Monday, July 9, 2012

50 Years in Cards: 1980

Part 19 of our 50-year Home Run Apple...
 What is it: 1980 Topps #641, Ed Kranepool

What makes it interesting: Well, Topps tried a little harder with the '80 set, adding some swishes and swooshes along the edges. But it's still not one of their better efforts. The Mets team set is full of players like Dock Ellis, Richie Hebner and Gil Flores, who were only around during the miserable '79 season. But come 1980, the de Roulets, the last vestiges of the Joan Payson era, were gone, replaced by new owners Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon, who purchased the team for a then-record $21 million. With them came a new General Manager, Frank Cashen, who stripped the team of most of its useless dreck and began to arm them for a new era in a new decade.

Ed Kranepool was one such Met who left with the new ownership. He retired following the 1979 season after playing 18 seasons in the Major Leagues, all of them with the Mets. Kranepool is, of course, always remembered fondly for his time with the club, which had begun way back in the club's original season of 1962, when he was only 17 years old. Kranepool made one All Star team, in 1965. He also contributed to the Mets World Series runs in 1969 and 1973.

Always beloved by the fans, Kranepool retired as the Mets all-time leader in many categories, and currently remains the club leader in Games played, At Bats and Hits (many of his club records have been surpassed by David Wright). He also retired as the all-time leader in Hits at Shea Stadium, a record he will carry forever. A true Met Lifer, Kranepool was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1990.

Card back:

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