Thursday, July 17, 2014
no. 310 - tommie agee
Who is the man: An appropriate question. In this photo, "the man" is second from the left, sliding into second base. There's a lot going on in this photo.
Can ya dig it: One of the classics of the 1971 set, I've owned this card for a long time and it's always been a favorite.
Right on: With a minimal amount of research, I settled on May 30, 1970 as when this play likely occurred. In that game at Shea Stadium, Tommie Agee stole second base twice, once in the first and once in the sixth. It could be either play. The fielders match up because in that game, the Houston second baseman was Joe Morgan, shown at right, and the shortstop was Denis Menke, who is No. 11, second from right. The clincher for me is that Nolan Ryan was the Mets pitcher that day, and he is featured on another action card in the '71 set that I believe is from the same game. I know I'm making a few assumptions to arrive at this game, but it's not like there's any grant money riding on this. The only thing in the photo that gives me pause is that the umpire (who would be Ken Burkhart if this is the right game) looks like he's making an out call, or preparing to make one. However, it also looks like it's a wild throw, which would indicate Agee was safe.
You see this cat Agee is a bad mother: Agee went down in history as a star for the 1969 Miracle Mets with his performance in Game 3 of the World Series that year. He hit a home run in the first inning. Then he made two standout catches in center field with runners on base to preserve the Mets' win. He made a running backhand, sno-cone catch off Ellie Hendricks with runners on first and third, and later made a diving catch on the warning track on a drive by Paul Blair with the bases loaded.
Shut your mouth: Mets outfielders disliked Shea Stadium because of the swirling winds and poor visibility. "I hated it," said former Met Cleon Jones. "Every guy before me hated it. But Tommie never complained."
No one understands him but his woman: Agee was dealt to the Dodgers after the 1973 season and is featured with the Dodgers in the 1974 Topps Traded set. But he never played a regular season game for Los Angeles, getting released before the season began. He finished his career one hit short of 1,000.
(A word about the back): This is the first Mets floating head. Out of 25 floating heads so far, 18 have been either Reds or Phillies.