Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1980 Topps #546 Rick Langford

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, March 27, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1980 Topps #546.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rick Langford, pitcher, Oakland A's.
  • Major League Debut: June 13, 1976.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1979 stats (A's): 34 G, 219 IP, 12-16, 114 R, 104 ER, 101 SO, 57 BB, 4.27 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 06/17/1973. Traded by the Pirates to the A's 03/15/1977. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his third Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Threw 2 Shutouts at Charleston in Pirates' chain during 1976. Pitched no-hitter for Charleston against Memphis, 5-30-76.".
  • Commentary: You have to love the poses that the photographers would have these players do that would end up becoming cardboard immortality. Only the player and the photographer will know when this picture was taken and the circumstances behind it. Who knows if this was the Langford's idea or the guy snapping the picture? James Rick Langford was moving up the organizational ladder for the Pittsburgh Pirates and finally made it to the big leagues in 1976 for a 10-game cup of coffee in the middle of June through early July. He was looking to make it onto the team the following season out of spring training, but on March 17, 1977, he was traded to the Athletics in a nine-player deal. Determined to make it onto the A's roster, he was inserted into the starting rotation and went on to have a pretty good rookie campaign, going 8-19 with a 4.02 ERA and 141 strikeouts. He would have his breakout season in 1980, with a record of 19-12, 28 games (led the AL; 2 shutouts), 290 innings (also led the AL), an ERA of 3.26, and 102 strikeouts. He would go on to have two more productive seasons, completing 34 of the 55 games he would start and going 23-26 before injuries would take their toll. He would bounce back and forth on the DL for most of the 1983-84 seasons, and even though he mounted a brave comeback in 1985, he was no longer the dominating pitcher that he once was. After a disastrous 1-10 record in 1986, the Athletics released Langford. Rick would go on to become the pitching coach for the Blue Jays for a time, and also worked as the pitching coach for the minor league affiliate in Syracuse. He returned in 2010 as the Jays' bullpen coach. According to one website, he "invented and patented the Press-Grip Exercise System. This device is a weight system that focuses upon strengthening the small muscles in the hand, wrist, and shoulder."
  • Beckett value: $0.10-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 9 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH3. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.


JayBee Anama

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