Monday, March 2, 2020

1981 Topps Pat Zachry

The front: Very unusual to have two players from the same team back-to-back, but here we are with our second straight Mets pitcher. Zachry is shown delivering a pitch at Shea Stadium.

The back: Zachry graduated from Richfield High School in Waco, TX.

The player: Zachry was Rookie of the Year for the Reds in 1976, going 14-7 with a 2.74 ERA. After a middling start to the 1977 season he became the centerpiece in the Reds’ package to acquire Tom Seaver for the Mets. Zachry was probably the best Mets pitcher of the late 1970s, going 16-7 for some bad teams in 1978 and 1979. In 1980 he went 6-10 despite a 3.01 ERA due to poor run support. He struggled in 1981, leading the league in losses and home runs allowed, and was moved to the bullpen in 1982. He had a couple of solid seasons in the Dodgers bullpen in 1983 and 1984 and ended his career with the Phillies in 1985.

The man: After his career he went into teaching; his wife Sharron became a principal in Waco. In 2016 Sharron was killed in a one-car accident where Pat was driving. Based on one interview it appears Zachry was distracted while driving; he apparently is no longer allowed to drive and is living in an assisted living facility.

My collection: I have 20 of his cards, from 1977 to 1985. I would be interested in trading for 1976 Topps #599.

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