Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1987 Fleer #629

For as little as I like the blue borders, I'll admit that Fleer outdid Topps' "Team Leaders" subset with their "SuperStar Specials" cards.

Take a look at #629:

Pictured left to right are Gary Carter, Sid Fernandez, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, and of course, Darryl Strawberry.

THAT is a stacked team.

I wonder if everyone is looking to his left on purpose or if more than one photographer was trying to get a picture at the same time? Is there a baseball card out there with these same five guys looking directly at the camera?

I'll let you read most of the back of the card yourself, but the last paragraph is my favorite "nugget" of info from any card in my entire collection:

"Manager Davey Johnson made extensive use of the computer to chart the offensive and defensive tendencies of the opposition, as well as his own team. He made all the right moves with this information to pull off such a great season for his team."

Bombshell!!! Scandal!!! The Mets were cheaters!!!!!!! Davey Johnson used a computer?!?!

What tendencies, exactly, did he chart? Computers were so primitive in '86 that using one couldn't possibly have been advantageous over good ol' pen and paper. And how did Johnson track tendencies and make "all the right moves" on the road? Actual, reasonably portable computers were 10 years away from existing and almost 20 years away from being commonplace.

Other oddities on the card: Bob Ojeda is mentioned on the back but not pictured on the front, and Darryl Strawberry's cap looks to be poorly cropped. This was long before the days when a cap fit snugly on a player's head, so I'm 99% sure this was a rush job. Notice also that Gooden, Hernandez, and Strawberry line up in numerical order: 16, 17, 18. Coincidence? We'll never know.

"Magic Mets", as Fleer dubbed them, is corny, but who am I to make fun of that team? Their 108 wins in '86 almost seems like an under-achievement.


Big D said...

It all seemed so effortless for them, like so much fun.I guess they were a team which just clicked and the combination of talent and chemistry made them an unstoppable force. Given how they won, you can not help but think that it was pure destiny.

cornerofhope said...

It cannot truly have success, I believe so.