Saturday, July 3, 2010

#245 - Mickey Lolich

Card fact: I know what you're thinking: with the number of players we have seen so far wearing their warm-up jackets underneath their uniform, is this the first player in the set to be featured actually wearing their jacket outside their uniform?

The answer is "no." Don Gullett was the first guy wearing a jacket the way we know a jacket to be worn. Bert Campaneris also is wearing a jacket over his uniform. So Lolich is No. 3 in that department.

What I thought about this card then: I had the mini card, and I thought it looked like Lolich was standing on his tip-toes. I don't know why I thought that, his feet are cut off at the bottom. But that's the perception I had.

What I think about this card now: I always thought Lolich was a big guy and that Topps somehow made him look small on this card. But he was only 6-foot-1, 170 pounds.

Other stuff: Mickey Lolich stamped his name in history when he won three games in the 1968 World Series, leading the Tigers over the Cardinals. In 1971, Lolich won 25 games, struck out 308 batters, pitched 376 innings, threw 29 complete games and finished SECOND behind Vida Blue in the A.L. Cy Young voting. But Blue was pretty awesome himself.

Lolich was a lefty, but according to bio information, he was born a righty. At the age of 2, he rode his tricycle into a parked motorcycle. The motorcycle fell on him, breaking his left collar bone. The repeated rehabilitation of his arm at that age, caused his brain to think he was left-handed and he became a lefty, which worked quite well for him in the major leagues.

Lolich also retired twice. He left the game after a disappointing season with the Mets in 1976 (the Tigers got the best of the deal -- acquiring Rusty Staub) and opened a doughnut shop. But a year later, he became a free agent, signed with San Diego and pitched two years before retiring again.

Back facts: No player ever hit a fair ball out of old Yankee Stadium. Josh Gibson supposedly did so during a Negro League game in 1934, but no one was able to verify that.

Other blog stuff: I'm rather tired tonight. So here is the regular-sized card next to my beat-up mini card of Lolich. Nighty-night.

1 comment:

Play at the Plate said...

I'm back from vacation, so I'm playing catch-up. I didn't know about the righty-lefty story or the doughnut shop. I think the reason he looks like he is on tiptoes is the pant leg of his left leg is messed up. It makes his right leg look thinner, thus the impression that he is on tiptoes. Or maybe it's late and that's what my brain is telling me.