Monday, February 17, 2020

1981 Topps Ken Landreaux

The front: Very nice batting cage shot at Yankee Stadium. Fans are already starting to file into their seats. (I don’t know if it was the case in 1980, but in my experience fans are allowed in after the Yankees take batting practice, so you can just watch the other team).

The back: Landreaux actually split his 1977 pretty evenly between AA El Paso and AAA Salt Lake City, putting up eye-popping numbers in both stops.

El Paso
Salt Lake City
The player: Though he never lived up to his superstar minor league numbers, Landreaux had a very respectable 11-year career in the major leagues. In 1,264 games for the Angels, Twins and Dodgers he hit .268 with 91 HR and 479 RBI.

The man: Landreaux works as a coach and mentor to urban youths, particularly in his role as manager of the MLB Urban Youth Academy’s summer collegiate team.

My collection: I have 27 of his cards, from 1979 to 1988. I would be interested in trading for 1984 Fleer Star Stickers #2.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

1981 Topps Paul Splittorff

The front: Great action photo at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. His only game there in 1980 was at night so this can safely be considered a night card. On July 14, 1980 Splittorff allowed four runs, all earned, in 7.1 innings as the Royals cruised past the Orioles, 8-4. Splittorff struck out four batters and only walked one.

The back: Baseball-reference lists the Yankees’ Don Gullett as the 1977 AL Winning Percentage leader. Gullett went 14-4 (.778), Splitorff went 16-6 (.727). I’m not sure what the official number of decisions is for a league leader.

The player: Paul Splittorff was a mainstay of the Royals pitching rotation for over a decade. He pitched for them from 1970, a year after the franchise’s debut, and retired in 1984, a year before they won the World Series. He is the team’s all-time leader in wins (166), innings (2544.2), and games started (392). His best season was 1978, when he went 19-13 with a 3.40 ERA. In seven playoff games he went 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA.

The man: After 15 years pitching for the Royals, Splittoff was a TV announcer for the team for another 24 years. He died of cancer in 2011.

My collection: I have 25 of his cards, from 1971 to 1984. I would be interested in trading for 1978 SSPC #230.