Saturday, August 3, 2013

"CAREER CAPPER" # 7: 1970 DON DRYSDALE

We've often heard talk about how Don Drysdale was one of those "marginal" Hall of Fame inductees. And while I've wavered on that topic from time to time, what always struck me was that Drysdale retired from the game at a young 32 years of age, yet posted some solid numbers.
Sporting a 209-166 career record with 2486 strikeouts and 49 shutouts by your 32nd birthday isn't all too shabby, and I always wondered what his career stats could have been had he pitched into his mid 30's.
Hall of Fame worthy? I can't really say either way. But he was a dominating pitcher for a big-time organization, teaming up with Sandy Koufax to form one of the all-time kick-ass one-two punches in baseball history.
Also, along with Bob Gibson, Drysdale's fierceness on the mound is legendary. A great quote on his "Baseball-Reference" page states: "He started the game mad, and would hit two of theirs for one of ours…". 
How can you NOT love that? I don't think many players today would be able to deal with a competitor like "Big D". He was one mean dude who controlled his games. HE was the boss when he was on that mound.
Anyway, on a more selfish (collecting) note, it would have been cool to have Don Drysdale cards well into the 1970's as a kid growing up.
But at least I can design a card for him after his final season that just gets him into the decade: a 1970 Don Drysdale "career capper" card.
I went with a nice photo of him peering in for the sign, looking as intimidating as ever on the mound. Classic Drysdale…
"Big D" looking in...

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