The next “missing” 1972 In-Action card I wanted to post up was one for Pittsburgh Pirates all-star pitcher, and enigma, Steve Blass, who had already put together a very nice Major League career before it would be derailed because of inexplicable lack of control:
I realize his 1974 card has a very similar picture, maybe even from the
same game, but it’s such a classic follow-through I had to use it for
the In-Action card.
For Blass, he was coming off of a World Championship winning effort in
the 1971 Series against the Baltimore Orioles, as well as a 15-8 record
with a 2.85 earned run average when this card would have come out.
In 1972 he would have his best season as a big league pitcher, going
19-8 with a 2.49 ERA over 33 appearances, 32 of which were starts.
That would give him a lifetime 100-67 record at this point, but then
without reason the floor went out from under him, as he could not
control his pitches, to the point where his career was over after only
23 starts in 1973 and one single start in 1974.
To put things in perspective, Blass walked 84 batters in 1972 over 249.2
innings pitched., yet in 1973 he walked the exact same amount of
batters, but in only 88.2 innings.
Without reason, Blass’ career was over and he was still only 32 years
old, barely one season from a second place finish in the National League
Cy Young Award.