Monday, December 4, 2023


Up on the blog today, a card I actually printed up for an early WTHBALLS set years ago, my 1978 do-over for Rich "Goose" Gossage:

While Topps originally had him airbrushed into a New York Yankee uniform for their original card, I went ahead and created a Pittsburgh Pirates version, showing him with the team he suited up for the previous year.
After spending his first five Major League seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Gossge found himself with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 1977 season, performing very well as he would go 11-9 over 72 appearances, with 26 saves and a sparkling 1.62 earned run average over 133 innings, striking out 151 batters.
He parlayed that season in the new Free Agent world, signing with the New York Yankees, where he would star for the next six years, gaining tons of fans, me included.
Gossage was a true character of the game. He was all legs and arms whipping near-100 mile-per-hour fastballs while sporting that trademark 'stache, closing out games for those "Bronx Zoo" teams I loved so much.
He spent six years in the Bronx, and never had an E.R.A. over 2.62, even sporting a microscopic 0.77 in 1981!
He also led the league in saves twice while wearing pinstripes, as well as getting named to three all-star teams.
In 1978, 1980 and 1981 he'd also finish in the top-5 in Cy Young voting, in addition to getting some M.V.P. attention.
Around the school-yard I literally spent most of my childhood in, the nickname "Goose" was taken by so many kids it was ridiculous. We all loved that "crazy dude" who looked as mean as any biker.
By the time he was done, Gossage put in a 22 year career that landed him in the Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2008.
He was also given a plaque out in Yankee Stadium this year (to which I am a bit puzzled by), cementing his Yankee legend for all to look back on.
The "Goose", a real wild-man of a closer…


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