Thursday, April 7, 2016

1971 Topps NL Leading Firemen: Wayne Granger, Dave Giusti, Jim Brewer

For the second year in a row Wayne Granger was the Sporting News Fireman of the Year.  He had a career best 35 saves and received MVP and Cy Young votes. His efforts helped the Reds to a National League pennant in 1970.  But his success didn't carry over to the World Series. He gave up a grand slam to Orioles pitcher Dave McNally in a 9-3 loss in game 3. He didn't fare much better in the 5th and final game. He surrendered 4 runs, 2 of them earned while recording only 2 outs in another 9-3 loss. 

After going 3-7 as a starter for the Cardinals in 1969 Dave Giusti was sent to the bullpen mid season. When the season ended, he was dealt to the Pirates as part of a 4 player deal. On the Pirates he found his place as a closer, earning 9 wins and 26 saves.  He came in 4th in Cy Young  voting and 9th in the 1970 NL  MVP race.

When the Dodgers dealt Ron Perranoski to the Twins after the 1967 season, Jim Brewer inherited the role of closer. In 1970 he had a career high 24 saves. 

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