It's incredible to think that when Gaylord Perry struck out Joe Simpson on October 1st of 1978, he became only the THIRD pitcher in baseball history to reach that milestone!
Only Walter Johnson and Bob Gibson struck out more batters at this point in time, and considering that since then we have had no less than 13 pitchers reach the mark, you think Topps would have had a highlight card in their 1979 set to honor such a feat!
First up, I offer you my design for such a card:
I mean, come on Topps! Celebrate some historical moments in the game will you?
They did have a highlight card for Gibson in the 1975 set commemorating HIS 3000th K, but Perry joining this exclusive club fell by the wayside.
Funny enough, Perry would soon be joined in the "3000 club" by six other pitchers who would all go on to the Hall of Fame: Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Fergie Jenkins, Phil Niekro and Don Sutton, who all got in within five years of Perry's 3000th.
It seemed like when I was a kid there was a pitcher winning his 300th game or striking out his 3000th batter every season, and it was a pleasure to witness it all as a baseball fan!
But as of 1979, a milestone like this should have been celebrated somehow.
Ah well, 35 years later is better than nothing, right?
As for Perry, a few years later he'd also become the first pitcher since 1962 (Early Wynn) to reach 300 wins for a career, and I remember the hoopla that revolved around that very clearly to this day.
Again, I hope you're all enjoying this "highlight" series I've been working on, because I have a bunch more coming, and they are just too much fun to stop any time soon…