Tag Archives: Tug McGraw

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1960s & 1970s’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1960s & 1970s’

Shout out to my man ‘Hackenbush‘ for the fantastic idea!!!

Being that we both have a fondness for players from that era, he challenged me with this idea.  And while it took me a few weeks longer than what I wanted, it was not due to lack of interest.  It was that I had to revamp and revise the list time after time after time.

And while I am still not 100% sold on the final rankings, I am ready to publish my list tonight.

As for criteria, I tried to pick players that starred during the 1960s and 1970s for the majority of their prime.  And while I do think that there are several HOFers that seem to be forgotten from that period (Fergie Jenkins and Lou Brock to name a few), if you are in the HOF you are not on my list.

So, with all of that being said – Let’s Do This!!!

Honorable Mention – Ted Simmons, Paul Blair, Ken Griffey, George Foster, Tony Oliva, Tug McGraw, and Lou Piniella.

10B – Tommy John – 288 career wins with 162 complete games is nothing to sneeze at.  John was an All-Star four times and made it to the playoffs five times.

10A – Dwight Evans – A supreme defender with a cannon for an arm, Evans also delivered a punch at the plate as he connected for 385 home runs, and driving in 1,384 runners.

9 – Willie Randolph – A slick defender with unreal quickness, Randolph stole 271 bases and scored 1,239 times en route to six All-Star selections.

8 – Fred Lynn – The 1975 ROY and MVP was a supreme star from the moment he took the field.  Earning nine straight All-Star selections to start his career, Lynn was on par with the best outfielders in the AL for a decade.  And his 1979 batting title aint to shabby either…

7  -Dave Parker – A slugger in every sense of the word, Parker clubbed home runs for a living while helping make the Pirates franchise relevant.  339 career home runs with two batting titles and 7 All-Star selections solidifies the resume of the 1974 NL MVP.

6 – Luis Tiant – Ask anyone that faced him during his prime and they will tell you.  Luis Tiant was a monster!!!  With 229 career wins and 187 complete games, Tiant was a worker.  He threw more than 200 innings in 8 of his 19 seasons.

5 – Keith Hernandez – Before he was appearing in Seinfeld episodes or selling hair color for men, Hernandez was dominating baseball games as a defensive specialist.  He collected 11 Gold Glove awards in 17 seasons and his batting title in 1979 coupled with his Gold Glove status made him an MVP.

4 – Bill Madlock – Winning four batting titles is remarkable.  And winning them over a stretch of a 11-season span shows your dedication to the craft.  Madlock retired with a .305 batting average and rang up 11 seasons in which he hit .300 or better.

3 – Dave Kingman – He was Rob Deer before Rob Deer.  He was Adam Dunn before Adam Dunn.  In total, Kingman crushed 442 home runs, including eclipsing the 30-HR mark seven times.  Kingman was a 3-time All-Star.

2 – Maury Wills – A threat on the base paths from the moment he stepped onto the field, Maury Wills raised the bar when it came to base running and specifically base stealing.  The league champion for six consecutive seasons, Wills was the single season record owner, and swiped 586 bags during his 14-year career.

1 – Vida Blue – With uncanny talent, and a string team behind him, Blue was the AL MVP and Cy Young winner in 1971.  He would have five more Top 7 finishes for the Cy Young Award and also 6 All-Star game appearances.  Most important, Blue competed in and won three consecutive World Series titles from 1972-74.

And there you have it.  If you asked me to do this again, I would probably rank them differently, but all of these guys had fantastic big league careers and they all deserve more credit and recognition by the sport and our hobby!!!

Thanks for reading.

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #47

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #47

1965 Topps – Card #533 – AKA – ‘The Tug McGraw Rookie Card’

Danny Napoleon – Napoleon’s career spanned just 2 seasons and 80 games.  An outfielder, Napoleon found it hard to break into the Mets’ lineup on a regular basis.  Primarily used as a back-up or replacement in late innings, he only made 142 plate appearances during his playing days.  Napoleon has a career batting average of .162 along with 21 hits, 7 runs scored, and 7 RBI.

Ron Swaboda – A true ‘fan-favorite’, Swaboda’s career lasted 9 years – and all of them were spent in New York.   Splitting time between the Mets and Yankees, Swaboda saw decent success with both teams.  His greatest accomplishment was being part of the 1969 World Champion ‘Amazin Mets’ team.  In that series, Swaboda hit .400 as he collected 6 hits in 15 plate appearances.  He also scored a run, drove in a run, and drew a walk. 

Jim Bethke – Undefeated, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!!!  Bethke made 25 appearances for the New York Mets during the 1968 season – and he is undefeated with a career record of 2-0!!  Bethke was used as a middle and long reliever, and eve though most of his statistics have inflated numbers, he can always claim to be one of major league baseball’s undefeated  pitchers!!

Tug McGraw – McGraw pitched in the big leagues for 19 seasons.  Splitting time between New York and Philadelphia, McGraw earned a 96-92 record.  Primarily used in relief, McGraw did find himself as a starter from time to time – and he as 5 complete games and 1 shutout to his credit.  McGraw is a 2-time All-star and was on the 1980 World Series winning Phillies.

1983 Topps Super Veteran – Tug McGraw

1983 Topps Super Veteran – Tug McGraw

Although he may ultimately be best known as country music superstar Tim McGraw’s dad, Tug McGraw enjoyed a successful 19-year baseball career.

In 19 seasons, McGraw appeared in 824 games primarily as a relief pitcher.  As a member of the New York Mets for the first 9 years of his career and then spending the next 10 seasons with the Phillies, McGraw established himself as a dependable role player.  With a career record of 96-92 along with 180 saves, McGraw did not figure into too many decisions, but he did help his teams wins games and reach the playoffs quite often. 

McGraw’s team made it to the playoffs 7 times which included 2 trips to the World Series.  In 1973 his Mets team lost their opportunity to win the championship, but 7 seasons later while with the Phillies, McGraw won his lone World Series title.  In that series, Tug appeared in 4 games and collected 2 saves while working 7 2/3 innings.  His sold efforts helped solidify the Phillies bullpen which ultimately landed the team with the World Series title.

Tug McGraw was a 2-time All-star.  And although he was never considered to be an elite pitcher, he did finish in 5th place for the Cy Young award during the 1980 season.  In that season Tug went 5-4 with 20 saves.  He had a 1.46 ERA and struck out 75 batters while walking just 9.

Tug McGraw quietly put together an impressive career.  And the term ‘Super Veteran’ is a fitting one!!!

mcgraw

1983 Topps Super Veteran Set Update

30 down and just 5 to go. 

This set has been a blast to collect and I have learned quite a bit about these guys as I have shown them off to you.  I am eager to obtain the last 5 cards of this set so I can mark off another piece to my collection as being complete.  And I am sure that I will learn more about Tug McGraw, Nolan Ryan, Tony Perez, Kent Tekulve, and Sparky Lyle in the process.

Stay tuned – the final 5 cards should be all mine in the coming weeks!!!

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