Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1976 Topps Rookie Pitchers - Mark Fidrych, Bruce Sutter, Joaquin Andujar, Pete Vuckovich

Detroit Tigers CTNW Fan Favorites #1


Mark Fidrych won the Rookie of the Year award in 1976 but didn't have a Topps card until 1977. This card includes 3 other pitchers that were rookies in 1976. They all had regular Topps cards in 1977 and none of them appeared on multi-player rookie cards. Andujar wan a Gold Glove in 1984 and was a 4 time All Star. Sutter went on to the Hall of Fame. Vuckovich was the Cy Young award winner for the Brewers in 1982. I best remember Vuckovich in the movie Major League. He played Clu Heywood and according to Bob Uecker led the league "in most offensive categories, including nose hairs."

Mark Fidrych was a classic case of what if... In 1976 he won 19 game and led the league in ERA and complete games, won the Rookie of the Year and came in second to Jim Palmer in Cy Young voting. The following spring he injured his knee, then tore his rotator cuff. He was selected to the All Star team but was unable to play because of injury. He attempted several come-backs but was never the same. He pitched 250 1/3 innings in 1976 and just 162 innings over the rest of his career.  His oddball personality as well as his antics on the mound endeared him to his fans. He died in a tragic accident while working on his truck in 2009.

2 comments:

  1. That's a terrific card! and right in my baseball wheelhouse. I was 9 in 1976 and the 1976 Topps set is currently the only complete set in my collection (at least complete set worth mentioning - i.e. I have 1989 Bowman too).

    ReplyDelete
  2. That would have been one bad ass card.

    I am not ashamed to admit I cried when I heard how Bird had died. I met him years ago in Boston and he was one of the most genuine "famous" people I have ever met.

    ReplyDelete

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