Tuesday, December 20, 2022


Up on the blog today, a fun card that I included in my Series 11 packs released last month, a re-done "missing" 1975 card for former flame-throwing pitcher Sam McDowell:

Way back when I originally created a "missing" 1975 card that showed him as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom he would pitch in 1975, his last season in the Majors.
But I did realize that I would normally show him as a member of his previous years team, so I recreated it with this nice image and printed it up for one of my custom sets.
Sam McDowell is definitely one of those guys I always wondered about the "what if's"?
Because of personal and on-the-field problems, McDowell, who was one of THE fire-balling pitchers in the majors during the 1960's, had his career quickly decline and sadly was out of baseball by the age of 32.
You have to wonder what his career numbers would have been, especially his strikeout totals, if he was able to pitch into his late-30's.
As it was he ended up with 2453 K's in 2492.1 innings to go along with a 141-134 record over 15 years, 10 of which were full seasons. To put that K total in perspective, if McDowell was able to pitch some full seasons consistently AND add an extra few seasons under his belt, let's say pitch until he was 36 or so, his strikeout totals could have been well into the upper 3000's. At the time of his retirement in 1975 that would have made him the all-time strikeout king since the standing record was Walter Johnson's 3509.
Anyway, by the time 1975 rolled around, McDowell signed with the Pirates in April after a season and a half in the Bronx, which made me wonder why Topps decided to not have him in their 1975 set as a Yankee.


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