Monday, February 11, 2013

1961 Topps N.L. Leading Firemen

In 1961 Topps began issuing League Leader cards. Although the save would not become an official stat until 1969, in 1960 The Sporting News began presenting the Fireman of the Year Award to the top relievers.  It was not a direct reflection of most saves but a combination of relief wins and saves.

Lindy McDaniel was the first N.L. recipient of the Fireman of the Year award with 26 saves and 12 wins. He was selected to both All Star games in 1960 but only saw action in the second game. He pitched 1 inning giving up a single in the National League's 6-0 rout of the American League. In addition to his All Star selection, he received votes for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.

Roy Face of the World Series Champion Pirates came in second with 24 saves and 10 wins. Face was also an All Star in 1960. He came into game 1 with 1 out and bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th and got Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio to ground into an inning ending double-play. He followed that up with a perfect 7th inning, getting 2 strike outs and a ground out. Oddly, it was his teammate and 1960 Cy Young award winner, Vern Law, who would have been award the Save had it been an official stat in 1960.

Face was followed by Turk Farrell of the Phillies with 11 saves and 10 wins and Don Elston of the Cubs with 11 saves and 8 wins.

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