Always one of my favorite subjects for card creations, here's a "dedicated rookie" 1972 card for former Houston Astros fireballer J.R. Richard.
Richard appeared in his first four games during the 1971 season, and blew the MLB world wide-open when he struck out 15 batters in his first start.
It would take a few years, but he'd become the power-arm all-star by the 1975 season, and would go on to post two 300+ strikeout campaigns, four straight 200+ K years, four straight seasons of 18+ wins (1976-1979), and an E.R.A. crown in 1979 before tragically having his career cut short in 1980 by a stroke.
His final numbers are indicative of what we could have expected well into the 1980's had he not been cut down at the age of 30: a 107-71 record with 1493 strikeouts and a 3.15 ERA in 238 games and 1606 innings.
It really would have been something to see Richard and Nolan Ryan team up to rack-up incredible numbers together.
One of the ultimate "what could have been" stories in baseball during my childhood for sure…