Swings and misses

1979 Topps

Koosman won 222 games over a 19-year career that stretched from 1967-1985. He was an all star in 1968 and 1969 and won 17 games for the “Miracle Mets” in 1969, then went on to beat Baltimore twice in that year’s World Series. Koosman won another game in the 1973 World Series which the Mets lost to the Oakland A’s. He was 21-10 in 1976 and finished second in the Cy Young vote. He went 20-13 in 1979 and was sixth in the Cy Young.

1979 Topps

A reserve catcher for most of his career, John Ellis played for 13 seasons in the majors with the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers. He was Cleveland’s starting catcher from 1973-1974 and fared well, hitting .270 with 14 home runs the first year and .285 with 10 home runs the second. For his career, Ellis hit .262 with 69 home runs.

1979 Topps

Don Hood went 34-35 while pitching for five teams over a 10-year span from 1973-1983. He won six games for Cleveland in 1975, which was his career high. He won another five games in 1978 for the Tribe while throwing a career-best 154.2 innings.

1982 Donruss

The Cy Young Award winner in 1971 for the Oakland A’s, Vida Blue pitched for 17 years in the big leagues, finishing his career with 209 wins and 2175 strikeouts. A six-time all star, Blue went 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA in 1971. He led the American League in both ERA and shutouts (8) as he won the Cy Young and the MVP award. Blue would go on to factor into the Cy Young vote four more times, including a third place finish in 1978 for the San Francisco Giants. He won the World Series three times, all with the A’s from 1972-1974.


Published by Chris

Writer, historian, father, intrepid traveller, journalist, aging punk ... I am actually in a Hall of Fame.

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