As we chronologically move through the decade and look for league leader cards that feature only future Hall of Famers, we get the the 1974 Topps Strikeouts Leader card featuring two of the all-time greats: Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver.
Just an awesome card people!
Let's take a look:
|The "Ryan Express" and "Tom Terrific" in their prime.|
Ryan was just coming off his record setting (and still standing) 383 strikeout season in California that also saw him go 21-16 with a 2.87 E.R.A.
He was named to the A.L. all-star team and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting behind Jim Palmer.
It would be the second of his incredible six years of 300+ strikeouts, the last coming at the age of 42 in 1989, as well as his sick total of FIFTEEN years of 200+ K's in the Majors!
Luckily I got to see Ryan pitch a few times at Yankee Stadium, and his grunting after every pitch could be heard no matter where you were seated.
For Tom Seaver, he was coming off of his second Cy Young Award winning season, leading the league for the third time in strikeouts with 251, while going 19-10 with a league leading 2.08 E.R.A.
He'd eventually tack on two more strikeout crowns during the decade, as well as another Cy Young Award in 1975.
Two HUGE monsters of the mound during the wild-70's: "The Ryan Express" and "Tom Terrific".
And to think they were part of the same rotation in the early part of their careers.
Oh "what could have been"!
Just takes me back to my youth every time I see these guys...