Gil Hodges and future Hall of Famer Duke Snider were two of the best players on the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950s, but in 1962 they found themselves in opposite dugouts after Hodges was chosen by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft.
In 1963, when this card came out, the two men were briefly reunited as teammates in New York – until the Mets sent Hodges to the Washington Senators for Jim Piersall about six weeks into the season.
Hodges left the playing field behind to begin a managerial career in Washington. He eventually returned to the Mets and led them to their first World Series title in 1969.
Snider had a solid year for the Mets in 1963, earning the privilege of representing them at the All-Star Game. However, his .243 batting average, 14 home runs and 45 RBI were far below the standards he established during his best years with the Dodgers. He played just one more season, finishing his major league career with the San Francisco Giants.
While you can find presentable copies of this baseball card for $5 or less, it is more expensive in top condition. Graded copies that earned the PSA 8 rating have recently sold between $47.50 and $68.
I have little interest in writing about the current New York Mets team after the last week, and fortunately I missed most of this weekend’s Subway Series disaster anyway. (I do want to share some photos and thoughts from this weekend’s Binghamton Mets vs. Trenton Thunder series, but that will have to wait until tonight.)
Instead, let me show off two of the newest additions to my baseball card collection. On the left is a 1963 Topps card showing former Dodgers teammates Duke Snider and Gil Hodges as “Friendly Foes” (Both were teammates on the Mets in 1963 for a short while before Hodges was traded to the Washington Senators.)
On the right is a 2011 Bowman Sterling card of New York Mets prospect Zack Wheeler. I’ve actually had the card for a little while, but I was able to add an autograph on Sunday. The hope is that Wheeler will be a key part of the Mets starting rotation in 2014 and beyond. Time will tell.