Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1965 TOPPS DAVE McNALLY

LOVE THAT "HARTZELL BIRD'' ON THE PENNANT.
 THIS CARTOON IS NOT A WINNER.

THE FRONT PAGE

  • Dave McNally won 20-plus games four consecutive seasons in the late '60s and early '70s for the pitching-rich Orioles. He also was a pretty fair hitter and was part of the landmark court case that ushered in free agency.

THE BACK PAGE

  • Never a big fan of the typography for the players' names on the '65s; it looks amateurish. 

PHOTO PLAY

  • Nice tight crop of a fake delivery. 
  • You get a good look at the ornithologically correct bird cap, which would give way to the cartoon Oriole in '66.
  • As history has a way of repeating itself, the cartoon Oriole was replaced by the ornithologically correct Oriole in '89. In 2012, it was back to the cartoon Oriole. I say go further retro and feature an Oriole egg on an alternate cap.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • Before McNally had his first 20-win season in '68, he already was a star in Baltimore after outdueling Don Drysdale 1-0 in Game 4 of the '66 World Series to complete the sweep.
  • Unfortunately, what I most painfully remember was his inability to hold that 3-0 lead in Game 5 of the '69 Series, which the Mets won to clinch the championship.
  • A year later, McNally became the first -- and still only -- pitcher to hit a grand slam in the World Series. It came in Game 3 against the Reds' Tony Cloninger
  • That's the same Tony Cloninger who once parked two grand slams in the same game for the Braves in '66 against the Giants. 
  • From '69-'71, McNally finished in the top five in Cy Young Award voting each year. 
  • McNally and Andy Messersmith were instrumental in the players' push for free agency in the mid-'70s. They tested the reserve clause, playing the '75 season without a contract. (McNally did so with the Expos.) After the season, arbitrator Peter Seitz declared both free agents. 
  • Messersmith signed with the Braves, but McNally retired after a 3-6, 5.24 ERA season. 
  • They both can thank Curt Flood and the sacrifice he made five years before.
  • "Dave was an unbelievable competitor,'' former Manager Earl Weaver said. "He did it with cunning and intelligence. He loved to set you up with a change, fool you with that tremendous curve and then throw the fastball by you. Plus, he was 100 percent gentleman. He was the kind of guy you wanted your son to be.''
  • Sounds like Earl liked him almost as much as Palmer.

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