Monday, September 1, 2014

NICKNAMES OF THE '70'S #4: "GOOSE" GOSSAGE

Here's a nickname I grew up with being a Yankee fan in the late-70's/early 80's, "Goose" for  Yankee reliever Rich Gossage, one of my favorite players as a kid.
Check out my card:


I designed his nickname-card in the style of a 1979 Topps card since he really started making a name for himself in '78/'79, especially as the wild reliever who "took over" for recent Cy Young winner Sparky Lyle, leading to one of baseball's best quips of the time: "You went from Cy Young to sayonara", voiced by third baseman Graig Nettles.
Gossage was a true character of the game. He was all legs and arms whipping near-100 mile-per-hour fastballs while sporting that trademark 'stache, closing out games for those "Bronx Zoo" teams I loved so much.
He spent six years in the Bronx, and never had an E.R.A. over 2.62, even sporting a microscopic 0.77 in 1981!
He also led the league in saves twice while wearing pinstripes, as well as getting named to three all-star teams.
In 1978, 1980 and 1981 he'd also finish in the top-5 in Cy Young voting, in addition to getting some M.V.P. attention.
Around the school-yard I literally spent most of my childhood in, the nickname "Goose" was taken by so many kids it was ridiculous. We all loved that "crazy dude" who looked as mean as any biker.
By the time he was done, Gossage put in a 22 year career that landed him in the Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2008.
He was also given a plaque out in Yankee Stadium this year (to which I am a bit puzzled by), cementing his Yankee legend for all to look back on.
The "Goose", a real wild-man of a closer…

2 comments:

  1. Excellent. Looks like a real '79 card and man, what an awesome photo.

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  2. I said hi to him once when he was with the Padres. They were in town and were at a local bar near the stadium after the game. He was with Graig Nettles and Steve Garvey. He was pretty friendly but still intimidating as hell. Garvey loved the attention like a politician at a rally. Those late 70's Yankees teams were really good. They had Billy Martin's toughness and Reggie's flair. Throw in Lou Piniella and the Goose and that was a fiery team.

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