Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1977 bert blyleven

bert blyleven's facsimile autograph is slightly adjusted on his 1977 o-pee-chee card:
 here's the topps front:
now the o-pee-chee back:
regarding the cartoon, james (deacon) mcguire may have played in 26 seasons from the late 19th century into the early 1900's, but in a couple of those he was a manager who put himself in the lineup once or twice.  blyleven wound up pitching for 22 seasons over 23 years (he missed 1991 due to injury), and as we all know, jamie moyer is pitching in his 25th season this year - and it could have been his 27th if he hadn't spent all of 1992 in the minors and then missed 2011 due to injury.  here's the topps back:
1977 was bert's first full season with the rangers, and his string of consecutive 200-strikeout seasons came to an end.  he went 14-12 in 30 starts and posted an era of 2.72 while leading the league in whip at 1.06.  he had 182 k's, 15 complete games, and 5 shutouts, and presumably led the league in flatulence as well.  by my estimation, there were at least four, and probably more, games that blyleven either lost or received no decision in 1977 alone that should have resulted in a win for the dutchman.  shoulda woulda coulda, but i have no doubt that bert could easily have been a 300-game winner with a bit more luck/offense/bullpen support.

blyleven's final start of the 1977 season resulted in a no-hitter against the angels, in which he faced just one batter above the minimum of 27.  in that game, blyleven gave up a lone walk with 2 outs in the 9th inning, although a rangers' error had allowed a runner earlier in the game (who was wiped out thanks to a double play).

voici à vous, 1977 bert blyleven!

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