Sunday, October 17, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1963 Topps #277 Dick Farrell

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, October 17, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1963 Topps #277.
  • Player Name, position, team: Dick Farrell, pitcher, Houston Colt .45's.
  • Major League Debut: September 21, 1956.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1962 stats (Colt .45's): 43 G, 242 IP, 10-20, .333 PCT, 203 SO, 55 Walks, 3.01 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent before the 1953 season. Selected by the Colt .45's in the Expansion Draft #4th, 10/10/1961. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Farrell's sixth regular Topps card (total includes regular cards only). With those easy to chip color edges at the bottom of most of the player's cards in the 1963 set, finding any with sharp corners is a challenge indeed. But the picture that the Card Museum used for Farrell's card shows that it can be done. Many baseball fans argue nowadays that a pitcher's win-loss record really is insignificant to how good he is a pitcher that year. And to wit, Seattle's Felix Hernandez had a really great year, leading (2.27 ERA led the AL in 2010), or being around the leaderboard (232 K's, good for 2nd), in many pitching categories. However, thanks in large part to his team's horrible record in 2010, King Felix' record wasn't as good as you would have expected. He barely was above the .500 mark in his decision (13-12). Prior to his majesty, another King, HOF Nolan Ryan had a disastrous record with the Houston Astros in 1987. Although he led the NL in strikeouts with 270, and had an ERA of 2.76 (also led the league here), he had an 8-16 record. Speaking of Houston pitchers, Dick Farrell is also an interesting case. He was selected in the expansion draft before the 1962 season (was with the Dodgers and Phillies the season prior). He struck out 203 batters in 242 innings of work. He had a WHIP of 1.097, and was named as the Colt .45's first All-Stars. But alas, as one of the first expansion teams in baseball, the team finished eighth in the NL (this was before divisional play), and "Turk" Farrell finished the year with 10 wins and 20 losses. Ouch!!! Even the bio on the back of his card, as positive as it sounds, doesn't tell the whole story. It says "Dick led the Houston Colts' pitching staff in 1962 in strikeouts with a microscopic E.R.A." Then you find out his ERA in 1962 was 3.01. Microscopic? No. But good enough to lead his staff? Yes. He was the staff ace on a team of inexperienced rookies and castoffs from other teams. Things could only get better, right? The following year, his WHIP was a microscopic 0.969, and he even had a record of 14-13. He made two more All-Star teams, this time as a member of the Houston Astros, and returned to the Phillies in 1967.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $2.00-$5.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 0 cards.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM. (You have to stop by and visit them now. They just announced that they are allowing more people to enter the museum at one time.)

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1993 Topps #90. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.


JayBee Anama

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