7.13.2009

Don Sutton, 1988 Topps

Name: Don Sutton
Team: California Angels
Position: Ace
Value of card: One vat of Bengay
Key 1987 stat: Considered retiring 317 times
Flash forward: The year was 1989 and Don Sutton was in the twilight of his career. Sutton, a lock for the Hall of Fame with more than 300 wins to his credit, signed on with the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe was under new ownership and had brought in a number of washed-up veterans, rookies with questionable backgrounds and a manager who had most recently run a tire store. Sutton, whose arm was all but used up, had resorted to putting Crisco on his chest and K-Y along his waistband to help get more movement on his curveball. It was a rough start to the year, as Sutton feuded with a slugger who practiced Voodoo and struggled to make it past five innings in most starts. But a late-season surge pushed the Tribe into a first-place tie with the Yankees in the AL East. Thanks to his experience, Sutton was given the nod to start the one-game playoff over a rookie whose wild haircut and even wilder pitching had endeared him to the Tribe's fan base. Improbably, the 65-year-old Sutton pitched 8 2/3 innings of two-run ball before leaving the game with the bases loaded. He ended up with a no decision as the Indians won in dramatic fashion on an RBI bunt single with two out in the bottom of the ninth. That same night, Charlie Sheen set a world record for number of lines blown in a baseball dugout.
Fun fact: Baseball Card Bust favorite Pete Vuckovich played Yankees slugger Clu Haywood in "Major League."
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2 comments:

  1. I can't figure out what the hell the shortstop is doing. It looks like he is breaking in his glove or faking a pick-off move at second, but it's clear as day that Don Sutton has released the ball toward home. Maybe this is a between innings pitch and the shortstop is taking infield grounders from Wally Joyner.

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  2. He was making too much noise between pitches, so right before this pic was taken, Sutton went over and punched him in the junk. He's just recovering in this pic.

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