Saturday, July 28, 2012

50 Years in Cards: 1985

Part 24 of our 50-year Curly Shuffle...
What is it: 1985 Topps #467, Ed Lynch

What makes it interesting: Lots. The '85s continue to be a favorite of mine, one of the staple issues of the Golden '80s for Topps. Though overshadowed by some more classic-looking sets to come, the '85s are one of the cleanest designs Topps released.

Ed Lynch is one of the more forgotten Mets of the early 80s, which is easy when you remember that he played on lousy teams early in his career, and then was overshadowed by flashier players later on, when the Mets began to improve. But in spite of not having overpowering stuff, Lynch persevered for many seasons on smarts, guts and heart.

Lynch spent parts of 7 seasons with the Mets from 1980 to 1986, serving the role of swing man for several seasons before becoming a regular starter in 1983. Often, he'd be the savior, eating innings and keeping the Mets in games when it was needed most. Lynch was also one of the notable characters on Mets in his time, always providing levity and humorous quotes, which endeared him to teammates and fans alike.

Lynch would ultimately peak with the Mets in 1985. Though he received little recognition pitching behind the likes of Gooden, Darling and Fernandez, Lynch put forth the best year of his career, winning 10 games, posting an ERA of 3.44 and netting his first career shutout on May 8th. He developed a particularly close rapport with Keith Hernandez, and even spent several weeks on Hernandez' couch that season before finding his own apartment for the season. But Hernandez, in particular, always fought hard for Lynch, noting Lynch's heart from the moment he joined the team. Hernandez wrote of Lynch, "How could I mope around at first base when Eddie was pitching his guts out, often in hopeless causes? He ended the year 10-10 (in 1983); mostly guts."

Unfortunately, just as the Mets would reach their peak in '86, Lynch was gone, dealt to the Cubs following a contract dispute and lengthy injury. A heartbroken Lynch described it as " living with a family all year and then getting thrown out on Christmas." When the Mets clinched the NL East that season, Lynch was in the opposing dugout, and couldn't watch. But his time with the Mets was not overlooked. In a display of gratitude for all the years he spent grinding it out for the Mets, the team voted to give him a World Series Championship ring.

Card back:

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