Charlie Williams, a Flushing native who was traded for Willie Mays after pitching in 31 games for the 1971 Mets, died on Jan. 27. Bill Monbouquette, the Mets pitching coach in 1982 and 1983, died on Jan. 25.
(If today’s social media forums were around in 1972, I wonder what the reaction would have been to trading a talented home-grown pitcher who was born in Flushing for an aging superstar.)
Williams continued to receive autograph requests in the mail right up until the end of his life, his brother-in-law told New York Times reporter Patrick McGeehan. “It was a regular thing for a long time,” he said. “People would want to complete their collections.”
(Interesting enough, SportsCollectors.Net shows collectors who wrote to Williams and recorded their results had an 0-for-16 success rate over the years.)
Thanks to its unique and colorful design, the 1972 Topps baseball card set is my favorite from that decade. I’m slowly making progress towards completing the New York Mets team set – here are some semi-recent acquisitions: