Tag Archives: pitcher

1975 Topps Set Card 76/660 – #627 – Tom Walker, Expos

1975 Topps Set Card 76/660 – #627 – Tom Walker, Expos

Progress: 76/660

Player Name:  Tom Walker

Card Number:  627

Team:  Montreal Expos

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Pitching

Years In The Major Leagues:  6 seasons, 1972-77

Notes From His 1975 Season:  While pictured as a member of the Montreal Expos on his 1975 Topps baseball card, Tom Walker was a member of the Detroit Tigers during the 1975 season.  For the Tigers, Walker pitched in 36 games.  He went 3-8 and compiled a 4.45 ERA for the club in 115 innings of work.

Notes From Career:  Walker pitched for four different teams during his 6-year major league career.  He pitched in a total of 191 games, with 17 starts.  Walker compiled a win-loss record of 18-23 with 2 complete games.  In 414 innings of work, Walker amassed an ERA of 3.87 with 262 strikeouts and 142 walks allowed.

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Did You Know…

In the history of the Detroit Tigers, three pitchers have won both the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards.  They are:  Denny McClain, Guilermo Hernandez, and Justin Verlander.

Tigers logo

1965 HEADLINE: Orioles’ Jim Palmer Makes Major League Debut

1965 HEADLINE: Orioles’ Jim Palmer Makes Major League Debut

On this day in 1965, Jim Palmer made his major league debut.

The appearance came in a relief effort as starting pitcher Robin Roberts got battered by the Red Sox in the first two innings of the game.  Palmer entered the game in the third inning and pitched the 3rd and 4th for the O’s.  In the two innings of work, Palmer allowed just 1 hit while striking out 1 batter and walking 2.

The Orioles lost the game 9-12.  Palmer did not factor in the decision.

jim palmer

Happy Birthday Steve Avery!!!

Happy Birthday Steve Avery!!!

Steve Avery turns 44 years old today.

Steve Avery may have been thrown into the fire a little too early, but his talent level even at a young age had expectations high as he joined the Atlanta Braves’ talented starting pitching core nicknamed – ‘The Young Guns’.  To be considered on par with Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine must have been wonderful, and yet stressful, for Avery.

Avery made his debut with the Braves in 1990 and didn’t fare well as he finished the season with a 3-11 record alongside his 4.02 ERA.  But as the youngest player in the game in 1990, Avery managed to impress the Braves’ management enough to remain in the pitching rotation and his hard work began to pay off.  In 1991, Avery went 18-8  while finishing in 6th place for the Cy Young Award.  The next year he declined a bit as he went 11-11 but then thrived in 1993 by going 18-6 and earning his lone trip to the All-star game.

Unfortunately Avery suffered an injury to his pitching arm in late 1993 and he would never be able to recover the success he had for the Braves.  Prior to the injury Avery had a regular season record of 48-36, but after coming back from his injury he managed to go just 44-50.  Many blame the heavy workload and pressure to perform as the Braves’ 4th starter for his breakdown.  While the Braves’ were winning division titles one after  the other, the accolades went to their talented trio of pitchers and Avery became lost in the shuffle.

In 1997 Steve Avery joined the Boston Red Sox and pitched well for them for 2 seasons.  He was no longer the dominant guy that he was in the early 90′s but he performed well as their #2 starter.  The Red Sox kept his innings down and he managed to go 16-14 for them.  In 1999 he joined the Cincinnati Reds and posted a losing record of 6-7 with an enormous ERA of  5.16.  Steve Avery left the game after the 1999 season.

Avery attempted a comeback in 2003 as he wanted to give professional baseball one more attempt.  4 years after leaving the game, Avery joined his hometown team, the Detroit Tigers, as a relief pitcher.  He went 2-0 and played in 19 contests for the Tigers before finally hanging up his cleats for good.

Happy Birthday Mr. Avery!!!

1940 HEADLINE: Indians’ Bob Feller Tosses No-Hitter On Opening Day!!

1940 HEADLINE: Indians’ Bob Feller Tosses No-Hitter On Opening Day!!

You read that right, 1940.  Today marks the 70th anniversary of Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter.  He is the only pitcher in major league history to toss a ‘N0-No’ in the season opener.

Battling the Chicago White Sox on the road, and in front of 14,000 fans, Feller and his Indians teammates reigned victorious as they beat the Sox 1-0.  The obvious star of the game was Feller, who dominated the Sox through all 9 innings!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Feller!

Million Dollar Question – What Is With The Amazing Number Of Tommy John Surgeries This Season?

Million Dollar Question – What Is With The Amazing Number Of Tommy John Surgeries This Season?

Is it just me or is the term ‘Tommy John Surgery’ becoming more and more commonplace and less and less ‘unusual’ than it was 5-10 seasons ago.

It seems like every 3-4 days my MLB app on my phone tells me that another pitcher is opting for Tommy John Surgery and is out for a year.

This year specifically, the number seems to be soaring.  I believe that the last count I had was 13 pitchers since Spring Training have had the surgery – and we are just in the middle of the month or April.  Not August, APRIL!!

Sheesh.

And it seems to be effecting both young and older players, and not just starting pitchers either…  Names like Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Jarrod Parker, Matt Moore, and phenom Jameson Taillon have all gone under the knife recently.

Some other notable pitchers that have been sidelined for the same surgery include Brian Wilson, Steven Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, and John Smoltz.

So, what is the reason for all of these major operations?  Poor technique?  Poor conditioning?  Not warming up the arm properly?  Not enough rest between activity?

I am very eager to hear what you think.  Personally, I think it has more to do with technique than anything else.  Very few pitchers use their legs the way that they should, so more emphasis and strain is put on the arm to bring force to the hitters.  If there was more attention paid to technique at an earlier age  where using the mound and your legs and core was part of the training, I think we would see less and less of these problems.

Tommy John scar

What do you think?

 

2014 Topps NL ERA League Leaders Card w/Fernandez, Kershaw, and Harvey – GOLD Border Version

2014 Topps NL ERA League Leaders Card w/Fernandez, Kershaw, and Harvey – GOLD Border Version

Yes, it is another parallel of the 2013 NL ERA League Leaders for my Jose Fernandez collection.

This time around it is the Gold version of the card.  The Gold versions are serial numbered to just 2,104 copies and mine is 1525/2014.

Have a look:

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I don’t know about you, but something tells me that Jose Fernandez will be sporting some Gold very soon.

It’s nice to see him set next to Clayton Kershaw on this card as Kershaw will more than likely be his competition for the ERA and Strikeout titles in 2014 and beyond.

Roy Halladay 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

Roy Halladay 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

When I got back into the hobby of baseball card collecting in the summer of 2008, my goal was to pay homage to the players that helped build my love for the game and the hobby.

The first subset I put together that helped me with that cause was the ‘Super Veterans’ subset from the 1983 Topps baseball card set.  This set is a beauty and it highlights the true legends of the game as their careers were winding down.

Halladay threw a no hitter for the Phillies against the Florida Marlins in 2010.

For the last few years, I have actively been begging Topps to bring this subset back and pay honor to today’s ‘Super Veterans’.  And while I cannot confirm that they obliged my request, I was very excited to see that a 15-card ‘Super Veterans’ subset was part of the 2014 Topps Series 1 release.

I am building the set now.  Here is the card of Roy Halladay:

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After 16 seasons of play, Roy Halladay retired at the conclusion of the 2013 baseball season.

He left the sport with a 65.9% winning percentage and a 203-105 record.  He started 390 games during his 16-year career and threw 67 complete games with 20 shutouts.  He had a career ERA of 3.38 with 2,117 strikeouts and a K:9 innings ratio of 6.9 per 9 innings thrown.

Halladay was a 9-time All-star and a winner of 2 Cy Young Awards.  He also had 5 other ‘Top 6′ finishes for the award.  Halladay made it to the postseason three times.  His top performance was a no-hitter for the Phillies, just the second no-hitter in postseason history.

1975 Topps Set Card 71/660 – #311 – 1974 Earned Run Average Leaders

1975 Topps Set Card 71/660 – #311 – 1974 Earned Run Average Leaders

Progress: 71/660

Player Name:  Jim Hunter, Buzz Capra

Card Number:  311

Team:  Oakland A’s, Atlanta Braves

Image Style: Posed Portrait

How they got there:

Buzz Capra led all of major league baseball with a 2.281 ERA at the end of the 1974 baseball season.  He was followed in the NL by pitchers Phil Niekro, Jon Matlack, and Mike Marshall.  Jim ‘Catfish’ Hunter paced the American League with a 2.488 ERA.

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Did You Know…

John Burkett is the only Texas Rangers pitcher that won a playoff game during the 1990′s.  The win came in the American League Division Series against the Yankees on October 1, 1996.

John BUrkett