Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pitcher #1 on my top 25 team...Steve Carlton

As promised, here is the first of many posts regarding my all time top 25 baseball wants, as far as players I'd like to have on my team, and cards that would go really well in my collection.  Steve Carlton, appropriately nicknamed "Lefty" was a star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1965-1986, and then had brief appearances with 4 other teams until his retirement in 1988.  Steve holds quite a few distinctions:

  • First pitcher to win 4 Cy Young awards
  • First pitcher to strike out at least 19 batters in a 9 inning game.
  • 1972's performance with Phillies will go on record as maybe the most dominating single season performance by a pitcher...27 wins, 30 complete games(!), 310 K's and an ERA of 1.97.  All this on a team that went 59-97.
  • He was traded for Rick Wise in 1972 because of a contract dispute (Imagine Cards fans if he had been with your club in the 1970's...)
  • In 1973, he stopped talking to the media because he was strongly criticized after losing 20 games.  In 1981, during Fernando Valenzuela's rookie season, a quote was mentioned stating "the 2 best pitchers in the NL don't speak English, Fernando Valenzuela and Steve Carlton".  (And reporters wonder why they take so much abuse...)
I'll take Steve Carlton on my team anytime...329 career wins, 4136 K's, 3.22 career ERA, nasty slider and curveball. 

If anyone has a decent '67 Topps card of him (#146 in the set), this will fit very nicely in my collection.

Thanks for reading...Robert

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