1.11.2011

Jerry Koosman, 1984 Donruss

Name: Jerry Koosman
Team: Koosman Family Dentistry Sox
Position: Pitcher, underhand
Value of card: $17 softball league registration fee
Key 1984 stat: One pair of shorts, two knee braces worn during Wednesday night games
This type of ball is soft: With company profits sagging and amateur softball leagues rising in popularity, Donruss executives in 1983 came up with a plan out of left field, so to speak. Along with the normal cards of pro players, Donruss included a subset of softball stars from around the nation. Jerry Koosman was one of those softball players. He was the pitcher for the Koosman Family Dentistry Sox of Peoria, Ill., and his dental practice was the team's sponsor. The 58-year-old had mesh home and away uniforms made for the team. The Sox won the Wednesday night Peoria County B-League in 1984, with Koosman going 18-3 with a 22.54 ERA. His team gave him the "Best Molars" award and he bought more pitchers of beer at Spike's Deep Dish after games than anyone else on the team. He hit 64 doubles on the season, all to the same gap between the third and fourth outfielders. He jogged on the bases pretty fast despite two bum knees. All these things made him an obvious choice for the 1984 Donruss Softball Heroes subset.

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