Thursday, July 27, 2017

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR- 1971 SUB-SET

Next up in my “awards sub-set” thread is a 1971 card celebrating the previous season’s Rookies of the Year, in this case pitcher Carl Morton of the Montreal Expos and catcher Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees:


In the National League, after a brief cup-of-coffee in 1969 on the inaugural Expos team, Morton came back in 1970 and put together an excellent rookie year, posting a record of 18-11 with a 3.60 earned run average and four shutouts over 43 appearances, 37 of which were starts, with a whopping 284.2 innings pitched.
He would go on to put in eight years in the big leagues, never really matching the numbers he put up that first year, but a solid starter nevertheless, finishing up with a career 87-92 record with a 3.73 E.R.A., 13 shutouts and 650 strikeouts over 1648.2 innings of work.
Over in the American League, a young stud out of Kent Sate in Ohio named Thurman Munson was almost a unanimous R.O.Y. winner, being named on all but one ballot, the one other vote going to Cleveland Indians rookie Roy Foster.
The 23-year-old batted .302 with a very nice .386 on-base-percentage while catching 125 games for the surprising Yankee team that finished in second place with a 93-69 record, this after the “dark days” of ball in the Bronx between 1965-1969.
Of course, we all know that Thurman would go on to become a beloved figure in NYC sports, helping the team come back to top-form with two World Championships in 1977 & 1978, as well as being named Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1976 when he anchored the team to it’s first World Series appearance in 12 years.
Sadly, the Munson story does NOT have a happy ending, as we were all shocked numb on that August 2nd, 1979 day when he was killed while flying his private plane on an off-day in Ohio, absolutely crushing yours truly, having his favorite player gone in an instant.
Nevertheless, Munson left the game with an excellent .292 career batting average, driving in 100+ runs three straight years while topping .300 each time, and being named to seven all-star teams in his brief 11-year career.

3 comments:

  1. Like this sub-set. Yes, it was a shame about Munson. Please don't hold it against me, but I was a Red Sox fan and always liked Carlton Fisk better. However, I had to recognize that Munson was a solid player. I remember some great games between the Yanks and the Sox in the 70's.

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  2. I as well like these subsets. I am a Royal fan who grew up during the 70s Yankee/Royal heydays and George Brett was and still is my favorite. But I always loved Thurman and I cried that tragic day. I think it is a shame that he is not in the HOF. He was the ultimate captain, a worthy successor to Gehrig for that honor. Thank you Gio for all of the work you do.

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