Friday, October 2, 2015

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #174 JIMMY KEY

SHINED THE BRIGHTEST IN THE POSTSEASON.



PITCHED IN THE POSTSEASON FOR THREE TEAMS.




DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Possessing a pedestrian fastball but superior guile, Jimmy Key was the perfect "crafty lefty.'' Backdoor slider? Check. Impeccable control? Check. Sneaky pickoff move? Check. Key was a valuable No. 3 starter for three teams during his 15-year career, winning 186 games, posting a 3.51 ERA and finishing runner-up twice for the AL Cy Young Award. He added five more wins in the postseason, where he compiled a 3.15 ERA in 68.2 innings.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • In his final ever start for the Blue Jays, Key was his typical efficient self on Oct. 21 in Game 4 of the '92 World Series. He handcuffed the Braves, outdueling #87 Tom Glavine, for 7 2/3 innings. He allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts. The Jays won 2-1 to take a 3-1 Series lead. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Key went 17-8 with a major-league leading 2.76 ERA in '87. His 164 ERA+ also lead baseball. He allowed 210 hits over his career-high 261 innings. 

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Taken in the third round of the '82 draft out of Clemson University.
  2. Pitched in 63 games in '84, all out of the bullpen where he notched 10 saves.
  3. Key was the winning pitcher in relief in the '92 Game 6 Series clincher. He allowed no earned runs in 1 1/3 inning, winning his second game. 
  4. In addition to besting Glavine in the World Series, Key also got the best of #85 Greg Maddux in the '96 World Series in the deciding Game 6. Key allowed a run in 5 1/3 innings in the Yankees' 3-2 victory over the Braves.
  5. Battled staying healthy throughout his career, spending significant time on the disabled list in '88, '89, '90, '95, '96 and '98.

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