Thursday, September 19, 2013

IN MEMORIAM- PART VII: PAUL EDMONDSON

Card #414 of Topps' 1970 baseball set shows a young pitcher just starting out his baseball career pitching for the Chicago White Sox.
What many kids looking at that card didn't know was that tragically the pitcher, Paul Edmondson, died earlier in the year, just two weeks prior to the beginning of Spring Training.
In another instance where Topps didn't have enough time to pull a card from production, the card made it out there in what was to be a sort of "memorial" for the deceased player instead of celebrating an active career, something the 1970's seemed to sadly have an inordinate amount of compared to other decades.
Edmondson was drafted in the 21st round of the very first amateur draft in 1965 by the Chicago White Sox (419th overall) and made it up to the Majors four years later in 1969.
Although his season shows a record of 1-6 with a 3.70 E.R.A., it is worth noting that because of terrible run-support, the real story of his pitching performance is not adequately shown.
In five of his thirteen starts that year, he pitched into the seventh inning and gave up 1 earned run or less, yet walked away with a 0-1 record to show for it. On top of that, there were two other starts where he gave up three runs in six or more innings and and had nothing more than a 0-1 record as well.
That's seven quality starts with only 10 earned runs combined, yet walking away with a 0-2 record.
As a matter of fact, in his five losses as a starter, the White Sox scored a total of just six runs.
Nevertheless, the White Sox were impressed enough that they were looking at Edmondson as a possible fourth starter the following season, and had high hopes for the young arm. 
Tragically however, Edmondson would never get the chance to prove his stuff in 1970.
While driving with a companion down a rain-soaked California highway on February 13th, 1970, his car skid into oncoming traffic, killing both he and his passenger just a day after his 27th birthday.
When you look back on this particular thread, it's incredible to see just how many baseball players lost their lives in automobile accidents during the 1970's. Absolutely tragic.
As usual for this thread, I added the "In Memoriam" stripe across the bottom of his card and present it here in memory of the bright career cut short 43 years ago.
 
February 12, 1943 - February 13, 1970.
 

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