Thursday, December 19, 2019

1981 Topps Rick Sutcliffe

The front: The photographer catches Sutcliffe rearing back to deliver a pitch – great shot. I believe this is Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, which would make this from the game of July 19, 1980. Sutcliffe allowed seven runs, all earning, in 3.2 innings in a 7-3 Dodgers loss. The big blows were a two-run double by Mike Easler in the first and a two-run home run by John Milner in the third.

The back: It appears that Sutcliffe’s 17 wins are still the team record. The two very prominent Dodgers rookies since 1980 pitched in strike-shortened seasons (Valenzuela 1981; Nomo 1995).

The player: Rick Sutcliffe pitched for five teams and had a winning record for each one. He was the 1979 NL Rookie of the Year with the Dodgers, and the 1982 AL ERA leader for the Indians. In June of 1984 the Indians traded him to the Cubs; Sutcliffe responded by going 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA, winning the Cy Young and helping the Cubs to their first 1st-place finish in almost 40 years. In 1987 he was the NL wins leader for the Cubs. Overall, in 457 games, he went 171-139 with a 4.08 ERA.

The man: He has been a baseball announcer for ESPN for over twenty years.

My collection: I have 102 of his cards, from 1980 to 1995. I would be interested in trading for 1994 Fleer Update #183.

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