Saturday, December 7, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps #344 Todd Ritchie

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, December 7, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps #344.
  • Player Name, position, team: Todd Ritchie, pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: April 3, 1997.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Pirates): 20 G, 172.2 IP, 15-9, 79 R, 67 ER, 107 SO, 54 BB, 26 GS, 3 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.49 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Twins #1st, June 1990. Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 11/08/1998. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 5. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Todd began the 1999 season as a non-roster reliever and concluded it in the rotation as the Pirates' leading winner."
  • Commentary: What I like about the 2000 Topps set was that not only was it the first to return to the vertical reverses (for the first time since 1993), but it was a nice change of pace from the gold borders that were prevalent the last two seasons (albeit different shades). And unlike its grey-bordered predecessor from 1970, the silver borders were not as prone to chipping (or at least not as evident at first glance). The Pirates may not have been winning much from the time Barry Bonds left the team until just last year, but from 1999-2001, Todd Everett Ritchie made every effort to give the team a shot at winning when he pitched. Signing with the Pirates after being released by the Twins, Ritchie had something to prove. And he did so in a big way with his performance in 1999. In 2000, firmly established in the Pirates rotation, Ritchie started 31 games, earned a 9-8 record, had an ERA of 4.81, struck out a career high 124 batters (he would hit that same mark in 2001), and one shutout in 187 innings of work. He would spend three seasons in Pittsburgh, one of the few to compile a winning record during his stay with a 35-32 record, 4.29 ERA, 1.314 WHIP, and 355 strikeouts in 92 games, 90 of which he started. He was traded at the end of the 2001 season to the White Sox, and after one-year stints with the Pale Hose, Brewers (missing most of the year due to injury), and Devil Rays (where he spent most of the season in the minors trying to overcome the injury from the previous year), he re-signed with the Pirates, only to retire during spring training. He did try to come back, with the Rockies organization four years later, but after a promotion to Tulsa, retired after his lone start.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 5 cards.

Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1960 Topps #19. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

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