Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN- 1976 MIKE THOMPSON AND HIS 1-15 CAREER RECORD

I've been meaning to write a profile about this card for some time now.
Besides the fact that it features a player that never actually played in the Majors again by the time this card came out, a BIG interest of mine as far as cards go, it's also a player that ended his career with a 1-15 record, with that one win coming in 1971!
Five years before this card was issued, Mike Thompson came up in his rookie year for the Washington Senators and appeared in 16 games with 12 of them being starts.
He finished with a 1-6 record over 66 innings, sporting a 4.86 E.R.A. for a team that went 63-96 for manager and all-time legend Ted Williams.
In 1972 he spent the year in Denver for the franchise's (now the Texas Rangers) Triple-A team, going 6-8 with a 4.10 E.R.A. over 112 innings in 20 games. He never got called up to the Majors, and would find himself traded the following Spring to St. Louis for a player to be named later.
Oddly enough, the fact that Thompson didn't appear in the Majors was good enough for Topps, as they issued a card for him in their 1973 set, which I'll profile later on.
Sadly his time with St. Louis wouldn't offer him much more as far as big league action, as he only got into 2 games in 1973, good for four innings with no decisions.
Over the course of the following two seasons in 1974 and 1975, Thompson would split the time between St. Louis and the Atlanta Braves, who bought him in September of '74.
In those two seasons he got into 36 games, 15 of them starts, but came up on the wrong side of every single decision he had, going 0-9.
So by the time the card you see below was issued in 1976 (#536), he was at a career 1-15 record over five years for three teams, 0-9 of that record the past four years, 0-6 of THAT the previous year, yet Topps went ahead and included him in their awesome 1976 set.
Go figure.

At the time this card was issued, he hadn't tasted a win in five years.
Thompson was out of baseball after a year in the Cincinnati minor league system in 1976, and forever gave us a card that we can gaze upon for years on end asking, "Why did this guy get a card?"
You have the love the facial hair though. True '70's look until the Brooklyn hipsters adopted it in the '00's, much to my (and MANY others') dismay.


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