METS BASEBALL CARDS

The New York Mets have a long and storied history that has been chronicled on baseball cards since the franchise’s inception in 1962. From the team’s early stars like Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman to modern greats like Jacob deGrom and Pete Alonso, Mets players have graced the fronts and backs of countless cards over the decades. Let’s take a deeper look at the history of Mets cards and some of the most notable issues from the sport’s largest card manufacturers.

One of the earliest and most iconic Mets cards comes from the 1962 Topps set, the team’s inaugural season. Cards 601-610 feature the Mets’ initial roster, including players like Richie Ashburn, Charlie Neal, and Casey Stengel, the club’s first manager. These early cards are highly popular with collectors due to capturing the franchise’s birth. Other notable 1960s issues include the 1963 and 1964 Topps sets that showcase the development of stars like Seaver and Ed Kranepool.

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The late 1960s and early 1970s brought great success to the Mets organization, culminating with World Series championships in 1969 and 1973. These glory years translated to some of the franchise’s most coveted cards. The 1969 Topps set captured the “Miracle Mets” title run and includes a popular action photo of Tommie Agee making a diving catch in the Series. High-number cards of Nolan Ryan and Jon Matlack from the 1973 Topps set also draw keen interest. Seaver’s iconic cards from this period, portraying his dominating pitching style, are especially valuable additions to any collection.

Trading cards remained hugely popular through the 1970s and 1980s, with multiple manufacturers now in the hobby. Topps maintained its monopoly until 1982 when Donruss began producing baseball cards as well. The Mets had strong fan interest in this period thanks to talents like Lee Mazzilli, Mookie Wilson, and Dwight Gooden. The 1984 Donruss Gooden rookie is a true gem, showcasing “Doc” in all his overpowering form from his record-setting rookie campaign. Other notable 1980s issues come from 1987 Topps, 1988 Fleer, and 1989 Upper Deck, chronicling stars and World SeriesSub appearances.

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The 1990s saw expansion of the card industry and debut of ultra-premium hobby products. Iconic stars like David Cone, John Franco, and Bobby Bonilla received glossy treatment in 1991 Leaf, 1992score Ted Williams, and 1993 Flair Showcase cards. Rookies of future stars like John Olerud (1991 Score) and Bobby Jones (1992 Pinnacle) also emerged. It was rookie cards of future Mets icons that stood out, namely the stratospherically valuable 1992 Bowman’s Best Refractor of Mike Piazza and the ultra-scarce 1992 Stadium Club Gold Jeff Kent.

Entering the 2000s, manufacturers experimented with innovative new technologies in cards. Standouts for Mets collectors included the glittery 2003 Topps Chrome Refractors highlighting talents like Al Leiter and Piazza in their later years. The iconic 2006 Topps Freddy García card showed off the Mets’ short-term star. Rookies of future cornerstones Jacob deGrom (2014 Bowman Chrome) and Pete Alonso (2019 Topps Series 1 & 2) predictably became must-owns for fans as well. Recent hits have arrived courtesy of 2021 Topps Fire Francesco Peña and 2022 Topps Update Starling Marte pink refractor parallels.

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In summary, Mets baseball cards have grown tremendously in their depth and variety over the past 60 years to mirror the franchise’s development and success. From the cherished 1960s starters to modern star rookies, these affordable collectibles deliver handsome photos and bio info preserving the team’s rich history for fans. Whether completing vintage or modern sets, acquiring a favorite player’s RC or parallels, there is a wide world of Mets cardboard treasures to discover. The story will continue to unfold with future greats on the diamond and in collector’s binders for years to come.

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