Keavin Keating Of QAM – Collecting The 1962 New York Mets

This week we have some really great items for sale and even more new acquisitions listed on our website at www.qualityautographs.com. Be sure to contact us at 800-241-4809 or qualityautographs@msn.com to reserve your finds early.  Don’t miss out on some great new items!  Kevin Keating has been a prominent hobby figure for a long, long time. Known for his deep knowledge of sports autographs, Keating has developed a loyal following of those who share his passion for famous signatures.

This week we will look at collecting the individual member signatures on flat items of the franchise first, 1962 Mets:  beloved not for their success, but for their futile efforts and the incompetent play that resulted in setting the all-time record for team losses in a single year.
 
“The Mets were so bad, they invented ways to lose games!”  Warren Spahn    
Manager:  HOF–Casey Stengel (d.75)                 Pitchers:
                                                                         Roger Craig
Starting eight:                                                  Jay Hook
Marv Throneberry 1B (d.94)                                  Al Jackson
Charlie Neal 2B (d.96)                                         Robert Lane (“Righty”) Miller (d.93)
Felix Mantilla 3B                                                 Craig Anderson
Elio Chacon SS (d.92)                                         Bob Moorhead (d.86)
Frank Thomas                                                    Ray Daviault
Jim Hickman                                                      Ken MacKenzie
Joe Christopher                                                  Willard Hunter
                                                                         Vinegar Bend Mizell (d.99)
Substitutes:                                                       Galen Cisco
HOF-Richie Ashburn (d.97)                                  Sherman Jones (d.07)
Rod Kanehl (d.04)                                               Herb Moford (d.05)
Gene Woodling (d.01)                                          Larry Foss
Sammy Taylor                                                     Dave Hillman
Choo Choo Coleman                                            Robert Gerald (“Lefty”) Miller
Gil Hodges (d.72)                                                 Clem Labine (d.08)
Cliff Cook
Gus Bell (d.95)                                                 Coaches:
Ed Bouchee                                                      Solly Hemus
Sammy Drake                                                   HOF Rogers Hornsby (d.63)
Joe Pignatano                                                   Ralph “Red” Kress (d.62)
Rick Herrscher                                                  Cookie Lavagetto (d.90)
Don Zimmer                                                      HOF Red Ruffing (d.86)
Hobie Landrith
Harry Chiti (d.02)                                               Other:
Jim Marshall                                                      HOF–GM George Weiss (d.72)
Bobby Gene Smith                                             Owner Joan Payson (d.75)–*See Note 1
John Demerit                                                     Trainer Gus Mauch (d.83)
Ed Kranepool
Joe Ginsberg
 
Since most team collectors attempt to assemble their items on flat items in order to display the completed team together, we will apply the scarcity index key (SIK) below only to our estimate of the total number of signed flat items we have seen for each person listed above:
 
SIK-I:  Extinct (we have never seen one)-none in this category
 
SIK-II:  Extremely Rare (we have seen 1-10)-Joan Payson
 
SIK-III:  Very Rare (we have seen 11-25)-none in this category
 
SIK-IV:  Rare (we have seen 26-100)-Gus Mauch and Bob Moorhead
 
SIK-V:  Uncommon (we have seen 101-500)-Elio Chacon, Gil Hodges, and Red Kress
 
SIK-VI:  Readily available (deceased with little or no autograph-show or private signing participation but examples are routinely offered in the market largely or primarily due to volume mail responses; check or other document releases; and/or overall widespread collecting of that person during their lifetime)-Rogers Hornsby, Cookie Lavagetto, Robert Lane (“Righty”) Miller, Casey Stengel, and George Weiss
 
SIK-VII:  Plentiful (deceased but seemingly endless quantities exist from participation in modern shows, private signings, and/or fan-mail responses or a combination
thereof)-Richie Ashburn, Gus Bell, Harry Chiti, Sherman Jones, Rod Kanehl, Clem Labine, Vinegar Bend Mizell, Herb Moford, Charlie Neal, Red Ruffing, Marv Throneberry, and Gene Woodling
 
SIK-VIII:  living but inaccessible and/or whereabouts unknown-none in this category
 
SIK-IX:  living with limited and/or sporadic accessibility-none in this category
 
SIK-X:  living and accessible-all else 
 
Note 1:  Payson lived a long life and we remain perplexed that more of her autographs have not appeared in the marketplace.  As both an executive and a dignitary-she was the first woman to be a majority owner of a team in a major North American sports league-we would expect there to be far more available samples than what we have seen.
 
Summary:   The 1962 Mets has no rival as the most esteemed team in history for its legendary sub-standard play.  And one of the reasons this team is so widely collected is that it is readily possible to obtain nearly all of its members.  In fact the majority are still alive and accessible at the time of this writing.  Moreover, most of the deceased players can be found for a reasonable cost and all of its key members can be obtained if one has the patience and means to acquire them.  For the completionist, however, Bob Moorhead can be a challenge to find from those players who appeared in at least one game for this storied team.  Elio Chacon retired to his native Venezuela after he left baseball where he died at the age of just 55, well beyond the reach of U.S. autograph collectors, and his signature can also be a real challenge.  Were it not for at least one private signing Chacon did for long-time hobbyist Bill Corcoran, Chacon would arguably move ahead of Moorhead as the toughest of all team members to procure.