Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1984 TOPPS STEVE ROGERS

WHO SAID PITCHING IS HELL ON YOUR ELBOW?


THAT EXPOS LOGO IS AN OUTRIGHT CLASSIC.


THE FRONT PAGE

  • Great shot of an underrated pitcher. Steve Rogers is one of the best in Expos' history, known most for winning two games in the '81 NL Division Series, beating Steve Carlton each time.

THE BACK PAGE

  • Never get tired of the verbs "authored'' and ''spun'' on the backs of pitchers' cards. "Twirl'' is another good one.

PHOTO PLAY

  • I like these here-comes-the-ball-at-ya photos.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • While Rogers pitched the '81 Expos into the NLCS against the Dodgers, Manager Jim Fanning's decision to use him in relief backfired. Rogers already had started and won Game 3 with a seven-hitter but was summoned in the deciding Game 5. He allowed Rick Monday's game-winning two-out homer in the ninth during a frozen day at Olympic Stadium. 
  • That would be the last playoff game for the Expos. Of course, the Expos/Nationals franchise will return to the postseason in October. 
  • While he never won 20 games, Rogers averaged 14 from '74-'85, having his best season in '82. He went 19-8 with a league-leading 2.40 ERA. In his 13-year career, all with Montreal, he went 158-152 with a 3.17 ERA. 
  • Former Manager Dick Williams, whom I'm pretty sure despised all of his former players, had some choice words for Rogers, whom he managed from '77-'81, in his book No More Mr. Nice Guy. Williams said Rogers, a five-time All-Star, wilted under pressure and that he was at his best when the team was at its worst because there was no pressure. Williams called Rogers "a fraud'' and suffered from "king of the mountain syndrome.''
  • Williams also said in the book that Albert Einstein "always thought he was the smartest guy in the room'' and that Amelia Earhardt "should've used a broom, not an airplane,'' to cross the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Rogers followed his '82 season with 17 wins before winning only eight in his final two years.
  • Rogers finished in the top five in Cy Young voting three times ('80, '82, '83) and during that period posted a 64-39 record with a 2.96 ERA.
  • Earned the victory in the '82 All-Star Game that was played at the Big O.
  • I always group Rogers and Dave Stieb together, almost as if they were brothers, like the Forches.

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