Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1997 Topps #226 Todd Worrell

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, May 7, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2007 Topps #567.
  • Player Name, position, team: Todd Worrell, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: August 28, 1985.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1996 stats (Dodgers): 72 G, 65.1 IP, 4-6, 29 R, 22 ER, 66 SO, 15 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 44 SV, 3.03 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cardinals #1st, June 1982. Signed with the Dodgers as a Free Agent 12/09/1992. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his tenth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "So complete has been Todd's comeback from four years of arm woes that his saves totals the last two seasons are the two hightest in Dodger franchise history."
  • Commentary: If and when the 2046 Topps Heritage product finally comes out (this is the one that should be honoring the 1997 design), I wonder if Topps will put the Astros players in red backgrounds and the Brewers green backgrounds to signify their present league allegiances. Will they honor their original legacies by leaving them as they were in 1997, or will they do a mix of both, creating SP variations?  I'll be seventy by then, probably long out of the Hobby. I hope someone would tell me about it though when the time comes. Most young players who are called up to the majors and are told that their role will be to replace one of the best closers in the game would either prevail or panic. When future Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter left for Atlanta for the 1985 season, the Cardinals relied on a "closer by committee" bullpen with Jeff Lahti and Ken Dayley doing most of the wok, and they did very well (19 and 11 saves, 1.84 and 2.76 ERA's respectively). But when Todd Worrell was called up to the majors, Whitey Herzog believed that he had somebody special. Earning five saves down the stretch and striking out 17 of the 88 batters he faced, Herzog tabbed Worrell to be the closer during the Cardinals' run in the postseason. In seven postseason appearances, Todd went 1-1, finished three games, saved one in 11 innings of total work. The following year, he was named the teams regular closer. Still a rookie under the rules, Worrell went 9-10 with an ERA of 2.08 and a saved an NL leading 36 games. He was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 1986 (also won the Rolaids Relief Man Award), and by 1988, became the first pitcher ever to save more than 30 games in his first three full years of MLB service. All went well for Todd until September 4, 1989, when he felt a ligament snap during the game. He underwent elbow surgery which took him out for the 1990 season, and then was diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear which ended his 1991 season. By then, the Cards had signed Lee Smith as their closer. So when Worrell came back in 1992, he moved over to be the teams' top set-up pitcher. Wanting to return to the closer role, he signed with the Dodgers before the 1993 season. He struggled initially in his first two years with LA, but in 1995, pitched well enough to be the Dodgers' closer. After two solid years in the role, in which he saved a combined 76 games and earned two All-Star berths, Todd's final season in the majors was not necessarily the best, but still effective. Worrell went 2-6 with an ERA of 5.28, but saved 35 games and still struck out 61 batters. Since his playing days ended, Worrell has been active with both the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the ProHunt Charities . His brother Tim was a pitcher for 14 seasons, doing most of his best work with the Giants from 2001-03. All three of his sons were baseball players for Indiana Wesleyan University. Todd also owns the Firesteel Creek Hunting Lodge in Plankinton, SD, the site can be accessed by clicking the link here.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 18.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps #324. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 2000 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

No comments: