Monday, July 29, 2019

1981 Topps Randy Niemann

The front: Very simple spring training shot.

The back: His first win came on a walk-off. Niemann and Paul Moskau were locked in a 1-1 pitching duel going into the bottom of the ninth. After Craig Reynolds and Cesar Cedeno opened up the inning with singles, Reds manager John McNamara brought in reliever Doug Bair. Bair intentionally walked Jose Cruz to face Denny Walling, who won the game on a base hit to right field.

The player: Niemann was a little-used middle reliever for five teams over eight seasons, including the 1986 Mets. He pitched in 31 regular season games for the Mets that year but did not appear in the playoffs. During the World Series celebration, he aggressively doused General Manager Frank Cashen with champagne, and Cashen famously said “It’s always the players who contribute the least who celebrate the most”. Overall, in 122 games he went 7-8 with 3 saves and a 4.64 ERA.

The man: Despite the incident with Cashman, Niemann stayed in the Mets organization for 23 years after his retirement, including three stints as the team’s bullpen coach. He is now minor league pitching coordinator for the St. Louis Cardinals.

My collection: I have nine of his cards, from 1980 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1987 ProCards #162.

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