Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1977 andy messersmith

andy messersmith's facsimile autograph (primarily his last name) is in a different spot, and the photo is cropped in a slightly different way on this, his 1977 o-pee-chee card:
here's the topps front:
look at the left sleeve and compare how much grass is visible in the corner between the two cards to see the photo variation.

now the o-pee-chee back:
and the topps back:
up until this point, you didn't see 'signed free agent' in the 'how acquired' line.  messersmith, of course, had successfully challenged the reserve clause after playing the 1975 season without a contract.  he was declared to be a free agent, and signed a deal with atlanta prior to the 1976 season.  in 1977, messersmith pitched in only 16 games.  he was 5-4 with a 4.40 era, and missed the rest of the season following a july 3rd start in which he was injured pitching to the astros' leadoff batter.

the yankees purchased the final year of messersmith's historic contract after the season ended, but you already knew about that.

voici à vous, 1977 andy messersmith!

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