Thursday, February 7, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1981 Topps Traded #738 Bert Blyleven

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, February 07, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1981 Topps Traded #738.
  • Player Name, position, team: Bert Blyleven, pitcher, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: June 05, 1970.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1980 stats (Pirates): 34 G, 217 IP, 8/13, 102 R, 92 ER, 168 SO, 59 BB, 32 GS, 5 CG, 2 SHO, 0 SV, 3.82 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Twins #3rd, June 1969. Traded by the Pirates to the Indians 12/09/1980. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 25. This is his twelfth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: Topps' first traded cards (or at least the concept of traded cards) actually began in 1972 when within their final series, they included seven cards featuring players who were traded off to other teams. Big names too (Steve Carlton, Joe Morgan, Denny McLain, Frank Robinson, Jim Fregosi, Rick Wise, and Jose Cardenal). Each player is wearing the colors of their new teams and there was a big "Traded" stamp right in the middle of the picture. The first traded sets independent of the regular set came out in 1974 and then again in 1976. It wasn't until 1981 that a Topps Traded set became an annual product sold only to hobby shops. Rik Aalbert Blijleven, aka Bert Blyleven, was a 22-year veteran pitcher for five teams. His numbers were overlooked by Hall of Fame voters but thanks to sabermetrics, his numbers were more appreciated and many understood just how good he really was. It all came to a head when he was finally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. But around the time this card came out, he was known as a the player who was signed ot a 22-year contract by the Texas Rangers only to be traded two seasons later to the Pirates (the only NL team he would pitch for in his career). He was traded to the Indians in a six-player trade, with Manny Sanguillen joining him in the transaction. In his first year with the Tribe, Bert went 11-7 with an ERA of 2.88, struck out 107 batters in 159.1 innings of work. His best season in Cleveland happened in 1984, when Blyleven went 19-7 with a 2.97 ERA. He finished third in the Cy Young voting that year. An All-Star with the Indians in 1985 (it would be his second All-Star Nod and the first since 1973), he was traded to the Twins for four players. It would be his second run with the Twins, last pitching for them in 1976. After three more years with the Twins and another four with the California Angels (he was out all of 1991 due to injury), he retired from the game at the age of 41 with a career 287-250 record, 60 shutouts, an ERA of 3.31, and 3,701 strikeouts. He is presently the the color commentator for the Twins on television, a role he has played since 1996.
  • Beckett value: $0.40-$1.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 42 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #396. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.


JayBee Anama


The Dutch Card Guy said...

Additional info: he was born in Holland so he is officially Dutch !

tourist504 said...

"There are only 2 types of people I hate: those who are disrespectful of other people's cultures.....and the Dutch."

Dig that spelling of his name - had no idea!