Sunday, March 9, 2014


Today we'll take a look at the next Topps league leader card f the 1970's that solely featured future Hall of Famers: #312 Strikeout Leaders with Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton.
This would be the third strikeout leader card in a row that would feature Hall of Famers.
Granted, each of those featured Nolan Ryan, while two of the three had Steve Carlton, with Tom Seaver making an appearance on the 1974 card.
This was smack in the middle of the Nolan Ryan "Express", as he lead the Majors in strikeouts yet again with 367 in 1974 after fanning a still-record 383 batters in 1973.
It was the third strikeout crown for Ryan, on his way to 11 titles in his storied 27 year career.
Ryan finished in third place in the Cy Young race, posting a 22-16 record along with a 2.89 E.R.A., three shutouts and an incredible 202 walks!
Over in the National League, we have Steve Carlton who lead the league with 240 K's in 1974 for his second strikeout crown.
Carlton would lead the league in K's another three times before retiring, missing by one strikeout in 1981 of four straight crowns between 1980 and 1983 (Fernando Valenzuela would total 180 during the strike-shortened 1981 season).
Carlton's 1974 was somewhat mediocre for him, as he posted a record of 16-13 with a 3.22 E.R.A., one shutout and a league leading 136 walks.
Nevertheless we have a great card here, with two of the top power pitchers of the era in the prime of their careers in one of the best card sets of the decade.
Next up we'll look at the 1976 American League E.R.A. leader card, featuring guys by the name of Palmer, Hunter and Eckersley.
Not too shabby…

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