Monday, March 12, 2012

1968 TOPPS TOM SEAVER

GREAT CARD FROM A SO-SO SET.
ALTHOUGH, I DO LIKE THE BACKS.

THE FRONT PAGE

  • This is the third of my '60s best pitchers subset I've featured over the past week and a half.
  • Tom Seaver, The Franchise, never looked better on his first solo card.
  • The gold All-Star Rookie trophy adds to its glory.

THE BACK PAGE

  • Great write-up, but there was certainly a lot to work with.
  • You could say Seaver hit the ground running as a pro. 
  • Nothing else to say that the write-up doesn't cover about his rookie season.

PHOTO PLAY

  • One of the best boring mug shot cards you'll see.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • While Seaver was the ace of a franchise that broke my heart in '69, he was too classy and too good of a pitcher for me to harbor petty hatred through the years. Besides, the Birds got to him in Game 1, winning 4-1 as Mike Cuellar out-pitched him.
  • His stats are overwhelming. Here goes: He won 311 games, struck out 3,640 batters, had 61 shutouts, a 2.86 ERA, was the '67 Rookie of the Year, won three Cys (and an incredible seven top-10 finishes) and is the Mets' all-time leader in victories.
  • In '68, he would again win 16 games and add five shutouts. Interestingly, he would save his first and only game of his 20-year career.
  • Strange to watch him in that ugly White Sox softball uni win his 300th game at Yankee Stadium in '85.
  • Really loved watching this guy pitch. He had a textbook motion, with incredible leg drive and finished in the perfect fielding position. When you hear him talk about pitching, you can tell he is a serious student of the craft.
  • As a brief member of the '86 Red Sox, Seaver suffered a knee injury that kept him on the bench for the World Series against the Mets. Imagine if he would've got the call to pitch in Shea during that wacky seven-game classic? Something unforgettable likely would've happened, right? Maybe he would've saved a game; maybe he would've given up a game-winning homer.
  • I "kind of'' met Seaver when I was a teen in Tampa. I went to a Reds spring training game at Al Lopez Field one March in the late '70s with my dad and brother, and we walked around the Redsland complex before the game. We saw a player taking batting practice in a cage and went over. It was Seaver by himself hitting off an old "Iron Mike.'' We said hello, leaning against the back of the cage as he proceeded to give us play-by-play on every swing. "That's a double ... triple ... base hit ... pop-up ... homer ...'' He was very friendly, seemed to like having an audience and made very few outs.
  • It was little moments like this that gave me an appreciation for the game and its players.

HOOT'S MY ACE ...

... WITH KOUFAX NO. 2 AND SEAVER 3.

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