Today we come to the final position on my "1960's All-Decade Team" sub-set for the 1970 Topps set: right-handed pitchers.
While the National League pick was an easy one, Juan Marichal, the American League choice was tough, but I eventually went with Dean Chance.
Take a look at my card design:
As much as Marichal is celebrated as an all-time pitching legend, you still have to feel for the guy when you consider the timing of all his banner years in the big leagues.
In 1963 he has his breakout year, going 25-8 with a 2.41 E.R.A., but takes a back seat to another guy who has a breakout year, Sandy Koufax.
In 1966 he wins 25 games again, but again takes a backseat to a now dominating Koufax, who wins 27 along with a bunch of other eye-popping numbers.
In 1968 he sets a career high of 26 wins to go along with a 2.43 earned run average, but wait, a guy named Bob Gibson has a year for the ages, winning both the Cy Young Award and the M.V.P.
But when you look at the decade as a whole, there wasn't a better pitcher in the game from 1960-1969, as Marichal went on to win 191 games, winning 25 or more wins three times, post seven sub-3.00 E.R.A. seasons, top 200+ strikeouts six times , and get selected as an all-star every year between 1962-1969.
A lefty-righty combo of Koufax and Marichal would make any baseball fan drool to no end.
Now over in the American League it got a bit trickier, as there wasn't any one dominating hurler from the right side who made a clear cut pick here.
I went with Dean Chance based on his two 20-win seasons, his sick 1964 Cy Young winning year, 11 shutouts in 1964, and five sub-3.00 E.R.A. campaigns by the time the '60's were in everyone's rear-view mirrors.
In 1962, his first full-year in the Majors, he finished third for Rookie of the Year, going 14-10 with a 2.96 E.R.A.
Throughout the rest of the decade it was more of the same, as he posted solid numbers year in and year out.
But it was his 1964 season that was far and away his best year in the Majors, as he finished with a 20-9 record with a sparkling 1.65 earned run average, 11 shutouts and 207 strikeouts, leading to a Cy Young win and a fifth-place finish in M.V.P. voting for the Los Angeles Angels.
He'd post another 20-win season in 1967, now as a member of the Minnesota Twins, going 20-14 with a 2.73 E.R.A., five shutouts and 220 strikeouts, and followed up in 1968 with a career high of 234 K's along with a 2.53 E.R.A., six shutouts and a mediocre 16-16 record.
Sadly for Chance this would be his last full season in the Majors, even though he was still only 27 years old.
1969 would see Chance make only 15 starts, going 5-4 with a 2.95 E.R.A. and 50 K's in only 88.1 innings before scraping together two more years playing for the Indians, Mets and Tigers.
He would be out of baseball for good by 1972, only 30 years old, but his solid seven years between 1962-1968 still makes him my pick as the righty pitcher on my A.L. All-Decade team for my 1970 sub-set.
Hope you enjoyed this thread while it lasted.
It was fun designing the cards and getting a chance to have some players that would not have been on my blog to begin with since they didn't play into the '70's.