Wednesday, August 18, 2010

# 2 New York Met Jack Hamilton :The hapless '67 Mets

And the Mets were so very hapless back in '67. A 61 win 101 loss record will do that to you. Wes Westrum was their manager. The fan favorites were the sluggers Eddie Kranepool (who finished 4th on the team with 10 home runs), and Ron Swoboda (who finished 3rd on the team with only 13). The big name veterans on the team were recently acquired from the Dodgers Tommy Davis (he led the team with 16 homers) and Ken Boyer who at age 36, was winding down his memorable career.

The team was of course loaded with young talent which was no where near ready to mature. Cleon Jones, Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Tug McGraw and Tom Seaver all made appearances on the hapless '67 Mets team but they would make more than just appearances in the coming years.

Jack Hamilton did not make much of an impact with the Mets although he was the only player on the team with a perfect winning percentage in 1967 (he went 2-0 in his 17 relief appearances). He was used as a starter for 13 of his 56 appearances on the '66 Mets. He compiled a 6 and 13 record and an ERA just under 4.00. I will hold off on restating the stats you can read. Stats not listed on his '67 card were his 3 complete games and 1 shutout he threw for the '66 Mets. In his career, Hamilton had only 7 CGs and 2 SHOs so it would be safe to say that the season was a memorable one for this pitcher.

Before the '67 season was over, Hamilton ended up with the California Angels where he was used primarily as a starter. Between the Angels and Mets, Jack Hamilton finished the season with a solid 11 and 6 record and a 3.35 ERA. He ultimately finished his career in '69 with the Chicago White Sox.

The '67 Topps Mets cards were always striking to me. The purple block lettering  strikingly stood out on the card. This was the first single player card in the set so we can see for the first time the player's signature while being noticable was not overpowering the image on the front and the player's name, and position helped to balance out the top border with the bottom.

You will see the open and airy Shea Stadium making its first appearance on the '67 Topps set. Looking at that yellowish field and scoreboard in the background, you can almost hear the deafening jets flying overhead!

As a kid, I loved the way these Mets cards looked. I never liked the Mets but my 9 year old eyes liked their Yankee pinstripes , Brooklyn Dodger blue and New York Giant orange all meshing into the then new New York Met uniform. I used to love the way these cards looked.

I wish the present day Mets would just pick a uniform and stay with it! How will they ever find their identity? Perhaps that was always their problem and always will be. Citi Field, made to honor both Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds is a home run hitters nightmare for the Mets. They will never keep a big named slugger with dollar signs in his eyes after the way Jason Bay debuted in Citi Field.

1 comment:

  1. Hamilton was the Angels' pitcher who beaned Tony Conigliaro in 1967. The next season, a Red Sox pitcher beaned Angels' 3rd baseman Paul Schaal. Payback?