I’ve been meaning to create a “missing” 1972 In-Action card for former fireball pitcher Sam McDowell for quite some time now, and since I have not been able to locate a usable action shot of him as a San Francisco Giant, I just went and created one of him while still with the Cleveland Indians:
While Topps managed to have him (and the guy he was traded for: Gaylord
Perry) on the correct team, he didn’t yet suit up for the Giants when
the 1972 set came out, so I get a cut a little slack here right?
McDowell was just about to enter the decline of his once amazing career,
posting a 13-17 record for the Tribe with 192 strikeouts and a 3.40
earned run average in 1971.
That would be the final productive season of his 15-year career.
In that career he’d post 2 300+ strikeout seasons, while leading the American League in that category five times.
He’d also post a 20-win season, win and ERA crown and get named to six all-star teams while with the Indians.
But sadly for him by the time he turned 30 it was all downhill, and he
was out of baseball by the time he was a painfully young 32 years old
after stops in the Bronx and Pittsburgh.
Nevertheless he did go 141-134 with a nice 3.17 ERA and 2453 K’s during
his career, but the “what could have been’s” have always been part of
the conversation when it came around to “Sudden Sam”.