Monday, October 1, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #174 Nelson Briles

It's about time I focus on the blog again.  Here is the first of hopefully the return of the Random Topps Card of the Day posts until further notice.

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, October 1, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #174.
  • Player Name, position, team: Nelson Briles, pitcher, Texas Rangers.
  • Major League Debut: April 19, 1965.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1976 stats (Rangers):  32 G, 210 IP, 11-9, 87 R, 76 ER, 98 SO, 47 BB, 3.26 ERA.
  • Any special information about player:  Signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as an Free Agent prior to the 1964 season. Traded by the Royals to the Rangers 11/11/1975.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his thirteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: None. The caption on the cartoon on the left side of the statistics box reads "Twins shortstop Roy Smalley is nephew of MGR Gene Mauch."  
  • Commentary: Can you imagine the backlash Topps would have had if the Internet had been made available to the public back in at the end of the 1976 baseball season?  If Topps had made the announcement that this would be the design of their eponymous 1977 Topps product on-line, how many people do you think would be screaming to the heavens that this design was an epic fail?  Topps last two designs prior to this were among the most colorful and easily remembered of the time (and then don't forget 1972).  This one left a lot to be desired.  Fast forward almost 35 years later, and it has been deemed a classic.  So much so, in fact, that the design was used in 2012 Topps Archives for the Cloth Stickers insert set.  Personally, I like the large portrait utilized by this design.  It is easy to sort by team, thanks in part to the large and colorful team name above the player's name.  Briles had a very good career in his fourteen years in Major League Baseball.  He was even an MVP candidate during the 1967 and 1968 campaigns, compiling a 33-16 record and a 2.66 ERA in 399 innings of work for the Redbirds. During the 1967 World Series, Briles started and earned the decision in Game 3, beating the heavily favored Red Sox 5-2 in a complete game.  He moved on to Pittsburgh prior to the 1971 season and helped the Pirates become WS champs that year by pitching a complete game shutout in Game 5 of the series.  Briles spent two seasons with the Rangers, going 17-13 with a 3.59 ERA in Texas before heading to Baltimore before the 1977 season was out. His last appearance on a baseball card can be found in their 2002 Topps Super Teams set, along with his fellow Cardinals from the 1967 champs.  Nelson Briles passed away on February 13, 2005, at the age of 61.
  • Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1995 Topps #155. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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