Swings and misses

1979 Topps

Larry McWilliams pitched for 13 years in the big leagues, going 78-90 with a 3.99 ERA. His best year came in 1983 when he was pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won 15 games and had a 3.25 ERA in 35 starts. He finished fifth in the National League Cy Young vote at the season’s conclusion. McWilliams won 12 games for Pittsburgh the next year but never posted double digit wins at any other time in his career.

1980 Topps

Jim Morrison hit .260 with 112 home runs in a 12-year big league career that saw him play for five teams from 1977-1988. He played in all 162 games (161 of them at second base) for the Chicago White Sox in 1980, hitting .283 with 15 home runs. His best year came for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986 when he hit .274 while setting career highs in home runs (23) and RBIs (88).

1986 Topps

The 1979 Rookie of the Year, Rick Sutcliffe won 171 games over an 18-year stretch in the majors. One of the best pitchers of the 1980’s, Sutcliffe won the Cy Young Award while pitching for the Chicago Cubs in 1984. What made the accomplishment more impressive was the fact he started the season with the Cleveland Indians. After being acquired by the Cubs in June, Sutcliffe went 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA which was good enough to win the National League’s top pitcher award. He won 17 games his rookie year while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers and was an 18-game winner for the Cubs in 1987 as he finished second in the Cy Young vote. Sutcliffe made the All-Star Game three times – in 1983, 1987 and 1989.

Published by Chris

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

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