Friday, August 23, 2013

HIT THE LIGHTS: NIGHT BASEBALL AND STAN WILLIAMS' 1972 CARD

Stan Williams 1972 Topps card (#9) always stood out because of it's clear-cut night game photograph.
I love this card. The Cardinals uniform just "pops" off the dark background with the stadium lights glaring up at the top. There's something so "modern" about this shot, so beyond the usual photographs taken in the middle of the day.
It makes me wonder how awesome it would have been if there were more night game cards out there during the '70's? Think of all the possibilities it could have opened up for really distinct, interesting cards.
I do recall a couple of other cards depicting night games, but can't remember them at the moment. I'll be looking into this a little further in the future so I can profile them, and maybe I'll even redesign a short series of Hall of Fame player cards with night scenes as a fun little "sub-set". We shall see.
Anyway, Williams had an interesting career between 1958 and 1972. A big imposing pitcher, he started out with the Dodgers and had a few good seasons on the same staff as Drysdale and Koufax between 1960-63. But his career took a downturn as he was traded to the Yankees for Bill "Moose" Skowron in November of 1962.
After two so-so seasons in New York he was off to Cleveland, where he missed the 1966 season and part of 1967 before coming back and posting a good year in '68, finishing with a 13-11 record and 2.50 E.R.A.
In 1970 he found himself in Minnesota and had a remarkable year as a reliever, pitching to a 10-1 record with 15 saves and a sparkling 1.99 E.R.A. in 68 games.
But that was his last hurrah in the Majors, as he appeared in three games for Boston in 1972 and hung them up.
All told, he ended up 109-94 for his career, with a 3.48 E.R.A. and 1305 strikeouts. He also threw in 43 saves as well, mainly on his solid 1969 and  1970 seasons out of the pen.
One last thing: I always remember that 1962 (#60) N.L. Strikeout leaders card with L.A. Dodgers making up the top three slots for 1961: Koufax, Williams and Drysdale. Pretty cool to have the top three strikeout pitchers in your leagues anchoring your staff.

Great night shot, a rarity in baseball cards.

2 comments:

  1. It sure beats an airbrush job though

    ReplyDelete
  2. He had a long career (14 yrs.) as a pitching coach. I used to always wonder about the 1967 Jim Owens #582 card. Total dark background. It almost looks as if the lights were turned down in the Astrodome.

    ReplyDelete

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER...

@wthballs
Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.