1962 Mets players’ expense sheet

For those who don’t know, my family owns a big/old bookstore in New York City called Argosy. At this store (which was founded by my grandfather in 1925), the 6th floor is devoted entirely to autographs. Most of the items there have nothing to do with sports, but then there are things like this — perhaps the coolest piece of baseball memorabilia that I’ve EVER seen:

In the photo above, I included the pencil to give you an idea of the size. Now, are you ready for a closer look at the top of the white sheet of paper? Check it out:

It’s the actual expense sheet that the New York Mets used during Spring Training in 1962. This item just came into the store a few days ago, and all I can say is wow.

Here’s a shot of the entire sheet:

(Note that you can click all of these photos to expand them.)

Unfortunately Casey Stengel didn’t scribble his name on the sheet, but there are plenty of other big-time signatures. Here’s another photo of the sheet:

Do you see where it says “Hornsby”?

When I first saw that, I thought, “That can’t be the Rogers Hornsby, can it? He probably wasn’t even alive at that point, and even if he was, what the hell did he ever do with the Mets?”

Well, sure enough, according to Wikipedia, THE Rogers Hornsby was a “scout and third base coach for the New York Mets in 1962,” and he died the next year.


After reading up on Hornsby, I checked out the 1962 Mets roster on Baseball Almanac to verify names such as Richie Ashburn (a Hall of Famer), Clem Labine (a former Brooklyn Dodger), Gus Bell (father of Buddy Bell and grandfather of David and Mike Bell), Frank Thomas (who ended up hitting 34 home runs that season), Gil Hodges (overall stud and member of the Mets Hall of Fame), and so on. And by the way, the “Ruffing” on the sheet is Hall of Famer “Red Ruffing,” who served as the team’s pitching coach.

This item isn’t even for sale right now because we don’t know how much to price it, but yeah, just had to share it here on the blog.

Here’s one final photo of it from afar:

In the photo above, it’s leaning against the bookshelf on the lower left. The photo shows part of the autograph department — there’s a LOT of stuff there — and do you see the woman on the right? Her name is Naomi. She runs the autograph department. She’s also my mom. (Here we are in 1977. D’aww!)


  1. Nicholas Badders

    Thats really cool! If my family and/or I are in the area, we will stop by the Argosy for sure.

  2. Leigh B.

    I’ll give you $20 for it. CASH. Hold it for me and I’ll pick it up in June or so.

  3. kslo69

    Dang. 30 inside-the-park homers. Another good reason for respectable park dimensions, more triples and “insiders”. My son had his first outdoor practice yesterday. 14 kids eager to play on sub-50 degree day. Gotta love spring ball in Central Oregon! Whoop Whoop!

  4. Donny in Houston

    I’ve already put Argosy on my list of places to visit this June when the wife and I are in NYC. Since she’s going to be in training classes during the day I’ll have plenty of time to hit the spots on my list, including games at both ballparks.

  5. tedcbaseballkid

    great article and great website

    get the best baseball news @baseball9update on twitter or baseball9.mlblogs.com

  6. EbayWHore

    lol @NJ Baseball. that’s the same exact one. you just happened to find their post on

  7. Zack Hample

    Please do.

    When I first saw that eBay link, my first thought was, “What?! There’s another one just like it?!” For the record, since other people are asking, that is NOT our eBay ad. That item is being listed by an autograph dealer that we have nothing to do with. But anyway, after carefully comparing my photos to the other dealer’s photos, I realized that it’s EXACTLY THE SAME. It’s a real mystery, and we’re looking into it. My theory is as follows: this other dealer acquired two similar expense sheets and had them framed identically. He (or she; let’s not be sexist) then photographed one of the items and sold it. This item ended up in our hands. He’s still offering the other one for sale, but he didn’t take a new photo. It’s really strange, but we definitely have THAT item, and it’s legit.

    CHRIS H-
    Yes, you do.

    LEIGH B.-
    Let me think about that. No.

    Gotta love spring ball anywhere. I wish I were out on a field right now, but then again, I almost always wish that.

    Sounds good. See you in a few months, hopefully.

    Thanks, I think.

    It’s not us. Check out what I wrote to “NJ BASEBALL” up above.

    No. We are officially befuddled.

  8. NJ Baseball

    Oh, good point Zack — whoever got his hands on one of these expense sheets might’ve bought or found several at one time, then mounted and framed them with the same photo, but used the same image in listing them.

  9. Mike

    Hey Zack, big fan of yours. I wanted your take on something that I’ve been thinking about. I know ballhawking is fun, and it’s a community, but I find that certain Hawks take this too seriously. I don’t want to name specific blogs that I’ve read, but it seems like if they don’t get 10 balls a game, or they get 10, but missed a homerun, the game itself is meaningless. They are more fans of the baseball than the game itself.
    One blog in particular complained that his ballparks season ticket holders sell their tickets, and whoever buys them can enter the park with the other season ticket holders. It’s one thing to write your frustrations on a blog, but a letter was sent to the team, and I believe policies were changed. What does this mean for Ballhawk Fest 2012? It seems season ticket holders who hawk will be fine, but everyone else is out of luck.
    In reading the blogs of this particular group (and it’s not all of them), they are whiny, and greedy. Ballhawks seem to be a tight-knit community, and this particular action is anything but that. The guise that one of the Hawks will use is, well I’m doing this for charity, and whenever the park opens late, or other people get in and get baseballs, it takes money out of the specific charities pocket.
    One of this persons arguments I did agree with is ushers should not be allowed to take baseballs from the stands. I worked for a team and would walk outside before the gates opened to watch you all run in, and I’d see this one usher in particular who would literally run down the staircase and pocket any balls that came in. One usher said he gives them to kids, but I can say without hesitation that for every 1 ball given away, that usher has 4 more in their pocket.

  10. Liz Merry

    Holy cow! That is the coolest thing ever! You know, the dealer had a not bad idea. Perhaps you could take a high resolution photo of it and make actual sized posters to sell to we less fortunate. The Mets might want to sell those, in fact.

    You and your Mom are adorable.

  11. briandrum

    Sorry Zack. Even though we don’t know each other, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t checked your blog in WELL over 2 months!!!! I promise now that baseball season is upon us to check your blog each and every day. Again, I’m sorry.


  12. Zack Hample

    Thanks. Glad you agree that this is a likely scenario.

    Yes, we’ve been talking about it, but still haven’t gotten around to it.

    A customer came in and offered it to us; we’ve dealt with him before and trust him.

    You like messing with people (especially me).

    Thanks for the comment, although I have to admit that I’ve done some of the things that you’re complaining about. (I always feel disappointed if I don’t snag at least 10 balls per game, and if I miss a game home run ball . . . it’s probably best to leave me alone for a week.) That said, it’s nice to share, but it’s not mandatory. Some ballhawks do it more than others, but that’s how the world works with anything. I don’t want to take sides because I’ve been on both sides — but I certainly understand why you’d be frustrated.

    You are too kind. I like the poster idea, but it’s just not right for the store. We don’t sell that kind of thing, and we’re not known for sports, so we’d probably get stuck with ’em.

    No need to apologize. I haven’t been blogging often lately, so you haven’t missed much. I do, however, plan to pick up the place next weekend when I leave for Japan.

  13. Nicholas Badders

    Zack- I was listening to the A’s game on the radio today, and I heard the broadcasters saying that the Japan teams have 2 players hitting at once during BP. Two cages, two pitchers, and catchers that sit on stools… I don’t think you are going to the exhibition games vs the NPB teams, but I thought I would share anyways… what do you think ballhawking would be like if MLB teams did this.

  14. antonio padilla

    hey, you forgot some players.. like ..choo choo coleman, elio chacon, feliz mantilla.jay hook,jimmy piersall…duke snyder and the radio staff..murphy, lindsey nelson..ralph kiner & many.others..congratulations to roger craig & anyhony young, i was @ game number 225..most game losers …p.s i think roger lost 13 in a row..

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