Swings and misses

81Blackwell

1981 Fleer

A reserve catcher for 10 years, Tim Blackwell hit .228 with six home runs in 426 games. His career began in 1974 with the Boston Red Sox and concluded in 1983 with the Montreal Expos. Along the way he played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs. He had one year as the Cubs’ starting catcher, playing in 103 games and hitting .272 with five home runs and 30 RBIs.

77Terpko

1977 Topps

Jeff Terpko pitched in 48 big-league games for the Texas Rangers and Montreal Expos between 1974-1977. His first games came with Texas in 1974. He pitched in three contests that season, allowing one run in seven innings. He returned to the minors in 1975 but was back with the Rangers in 1976. He pitched in 32 games that year, going 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA. The Rangers dealt him to the Expos prior to the 1977 campaign and Terpko struggled. He pitched in 13 games as his ERA ballooned to 5.66 and he soon found himself back in the minors. He pitched for the Baltimore Orioles’ AAA team in 1978, which would be the end of his professional career.

75Downing

1975 Topps

Perhaps best known for giving up Hank Aaron’s 715th career home run, Al Downing enjoyed a long and successful career in the majors. He came up with the New York Yankees in 1961 and would go on to pitch for the next 17 years, compiling a 123-107 record. He led the American League in strikeouts with 217 while pitching for the Yankees in 1964. He was an all star for New York in 1967 as he went 14-10 with a 2.63 ERA. He was 20-9 with a  2.68 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1971 and finished third in the National League Cy Young vote and 10th in the MVP tally while also earning the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year award. After giving up Aaron’s historic home run in 1974, he continued pitching for the Dodgers until 1977 when he retired at the age of 36. Downing pitched in three different World Series, two for the Yankees (1963 and 1964) and one for the Dodgers (1974). All three times, however, his team lost.

Our letter to Lee Richard was returned with a bad address.

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