Tuesday, December 22, 2009

#65 - Don Gullett

Card fact: As many collectors know, Topps once reserved the cards with numbers ending in "00" for the superstars, numbers ending in "0" for the stars, and numbers ending in "5" for the really good players.

That held true for the 1975 set. In most cases. So far, not counting the Highlights cards at the start of the set, we have Jose Cardenal (#15), Lee May (#25), Ron Santo (#35), Joe Rudi (#45), Bobby Bonds (#55) and Don Gullett (#65). All excellent players, although maybe not the biggest and brightest of the day.

There are some players with cards ending in "5" that really don't deserve the honor. One is coming up at #85. That's the same card that breaks up the team pattern. Who is that dastardly player? You'll have to wait.

What I thought about this card then: Didn't see it. But I was a closet Don Gullett fan when I was a kid. He was a lefty pitcher, who could throw hard, which was a good thing. But he pitched for the Big Red Machine and the late '70s Yankees, which was a bad thing.

What I think about this card now: Gullett almost always looked on the verge of tears on his cards. This is not as pronounced as some other photos, but a good example.

Also, the color combo matches well with Gullett's jacket. The red part anyway.

Other stuff: Gullett had an abbreviated career, thanks to arm trouble. But he enjoyed a second career as a pitching coach and ended up being inducted into the Reds' Hall of Fame.

Back facts: There are people who dispute the belief that a pitcher can get stronger as the game progresses. They used to say that about Fernando Valenzuela all the time. It does seem physically impossible. I think saying, "Gullett doesn't get as tired as other pitchers during the course of a game," might be more accurate.

Gullett was right in the middle of the peak of his career at this point. He'd have another great season in 1975.

Other blog stuff: Happy birthday to Steve Garvey, card #140 in the 1975 set. He is 61 years old today!


Anonymous said...

This has to be THE WORST portrait I've ever seen on a baseball card. You should hold a contest for people to give it a caption. That could be pretty funny.


"Oh no, I'm not getting airbrushed am I?"

"Please don't trade me to Cleveland Sparky, I'll do anything!"

Play at the Plate said...

Knowing Steve Garvey is 61 makes me feel old. I wonder if Gullett had that same look in family photos. The color combo is better than most as far as matching the players uniform.