Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"KIND OF" MISSING IN ACTION- 1979 BYRON McLAUGHLIN

Here’s a unique situation, a “missing” 1979 card for a guy who was actually in the set, but on one of those awful multi-player black-and-white rookie cards, Seattle Mariners pitcher (and future on-the-run criminal) Byron McLaughlin:


More on the criminal side of him later, but first let’s go over his 1978 season shall we?
You think a pitcher who appeared in 20 games with 107 innings pitched would actually get his own card, but instead Topps decided that wasn’t enough action to do so, so he ends up on a rookie card with two other guys.
How does that work?
He would go 4-8 with a 4.37 earned run average in that big league action, with 17 of those appearances being starts!
Call me crazy but that deserves a dedicated card, not a spot on a multi-player card.
He would pitch another two seasons with Seattle through 1980 before making a comeback of sorts in 1983 with the California Angels when he appeared in 16 games before calling it a career.
All told he finished with a 16-25 record over 129 games, 35 of which were starts along with a 5.11 ERA in 378.1 innings of work.
Afterwards, seems like Mr. McLaughlin ended up in Mexico producing bootleg athletic footwear like Adidas and Nike for some Korean business associates, finally getting nailed by the Feds, only to skip out on bail and evade capture to thgis very day.
Some think he’s in South America somewhere, while others say Europe.
Either way he’s been one step ahead of authorities for about 30 years now, so who knows if he’s even alive at this point.
Crazy.

2 comments:

  1. Amazing story and yes, how did he not get a full length card with that much action? He no longer had rookie status with 107 innings but they put him in a rookie card. Weird. I always got him and Bo McLaughlin mixed up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow- I had never heard about his criminal activity. I remember him as a player, though.

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