Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1985 Topps #183 Larry McWilliams

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, March 13, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1985 Topps #183.
  • Player Name, position, team: Larry McWilliams, pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: July 17, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1984 stats (Pirates): 34 G, 227.1 IP, 12-11, 86 R, 74 ER, 149 SO, 78 BB, 32 GS, 7 CG, 2 SHO, 1 SV, 2.93 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Braves #1st, June 1974. Traded by the Braves to the Pirates 06/30/1982. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his seventh Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: You want to know how the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to break out of their 21-season streak of losing seasons (jeez, you thought the Cubs were bad)? I'll tell you how. Bring back uniforms like the one that Larry McWilliams is wearing here, not just on "throwback day" or "flashback day," but as their regular uniforms!!! Larry Dean McWilliams' claim to fame was that he helped to stop Pete Rose's 44-game hitting streak in 1978 (unlike Topps, I can mention the man's name). But McWilliams meant a lot to the Pirates, so much so that they traded for him in a midseason deal in 1982. He certainly did not disappoint. From 1982 to 1984, McWilliams joined the starting rotation and went 33-22 in 85 starts, 442 strikeouts, 17 complete games, 8 shutouts and an ERA of 3.10. But that doesn't count the fact that he also saved two games out of the bullpen. He was even a Cy Young candidate on the strength of a fantastic 1983 season (15-8, 199 K's, and 3.25 ERA). In 1985, his numbers started to slip and after an August 3 game where he was taken out because he had given up 5 runs in 2.1 innings of work, he was demoted to the bullpen. He finished the year with a disappointing 7-9 record, a 4.70 ERA, and just 52 strikeouts. He wasn't any better the following year (3-11, 5.15 ERA) and by April of 1987, the Pirates released McWilliams. He re-signed with the Atlanta Braves, the team that had dealt him to the Steel City, but was released after nine games two months later. He then signed on with the Rangers, but was released by the organization in February, 1988. He joined the Cardinals for the 1988 season, and after a decent season out of the bullpen, signed on with the Phillies. But after a disastrous 2-11 record, Larry was traded to the Royals in September. In 1990, the Royals released McWilliams, thus ending his major league career. He has quietly lived in Texas since. He and his wife have six children, and the couple also have nine grandchildren. He was inducted into the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. As with many 1985 Topps card, there is a trivia question box below his statistics (which actually had space for a line or two for a quick blurb). The question is: What team is known as the "Bronx Bombers?" New York Yankees, New York Mets, or Atlanta Braves.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1980 Topps #187. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

17 complete games - this is when men were men.