In my entry of Sept. 10, I shared a couple of James D. McCarthy photos depicting familiar faces from my 1950s baseball cards in uniforms other than that in which I was accustomed to seeing them.
I found another such photo . . . Johnny Kucks as a N.Y. Met.
Kucks (I always pronounced it "kuhx," he preferred "cooks") was kind of a childhood card favorite, especially his 1956 and 1957 Topps cards.
You may recall that he pitched for the New York Yankees from 1955-1959 and for Kansas City 1959-60.
He was out of the major leagues before the 1961 season commenced, but not off of Topps cards. He has a 1961 Topps card with the A's, although he spent the entire season pitching for Rochester, the Orioles' AAA International League farm team.
Kucks may have been on loan to the Baltimore organization; according to baseball-reference.com, the A's didn't sell him to the O's until after the 1961 season.
In December, 1961, Kucks was traded to the Cardinals. Despite the fact he has a 1962 Topps card as a Cardinal, Kucks never made the majors with St. Louis. He spent the 1962-63 seasons at Atlanta, in the IL. He had a 14-7 record in 1962 and was 14-9 in 1963.
While with the Crackers, Kucks appeared in the 1962 Kahn's Weiners Atlanta team set.
So why is Kucks in a Mets uniform in the JDM photo? He was given a spring training tryout with New York in 1963, but according to one newspaper account was "hit hard and often" and was returned to the Cardinals organization.