Friday, July 23, 2010

#263 - Jim Perry

Card fact: This is the final card of Jim Perry during his playing career.

What I thought about this card then: Me no see.

What I think about this card now: You may have been able to fool 9-year-old kids in 1975, but I can tell now, Mr. Topps, that Jim Perry is wearing a Tiger uniform with a Tiger cap that has been airbrushed into an Indian cap. It's not your finest work, but it's certainly better than what you did to Perry here. Good gosh.

Perry was traded from the Tigers to the Indians in a three-team deal with the Yankees in mid March of 1974, a full year before the 1975 set came out, but Topps still couldn't get a photo of Perry as an Indian.

Other stuff: Perry is one of those players who finished his career just as I became aware of major leaguers. Therefore I feel like I am still trying to catch up on his career. I knew multiple anecdotes about Perry's younger brother, Gaylord Perry (doesn't it seem odd to refer to Gaylord as "younger"?), long before I was aware of Jim Perry's pitching career.

That's a shame because Jim Perry had a very nice career himself. But if it wasn't for a two-year period with the Minnesota Twins, he may have been even more overshadowed by brother Gaylord. In 1969, Perry went 20-6 for the Twins, who won the first American League West Division title. The following year, Perry was 24-12 for Minnesota and captured the Cy Young Award.

With the exception of an 18-10 season for the Indians in 1960, that two-year stint was his best performance and sparked a series of solid years for Perry to close out his career. Out of his 215 career victories, more than half (113) came in the final 7 of his 17 years in the majors.

After finishing second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1959, Perry spent a good portion of the first half of his career as a reliever. Yet, he and Gaylord are second only to the Niekros in all-time victories by brothers.

By the way, I never heard whether Jim Perry threw a spitball. There's so much I don't know about the guy.

Back facts: Abner Powell was already the answer to an earlier trivia question in this set. That seems a bit odd.

Also, note that Jim Perry was a switch-hitter. That seems a bit odd, too.

Other blog stuff: I was just looking up the TV shows in 1975. A number of them had a direct impact on my life growing up. Among them: Happy Days, Welcome Back Kotter, Good Times, Little House on the Prairie (sad to say), Barney Miller, Monday Night Football, Rockford Files, the Jeffersons, Emergency! and the Six Million Dollar Man.


Play at the Plate said...

Jim had some really nice seasons that I was totally unaware of until now. That hair sticking out from the right side of his head is really distracting. With the exception of the Rockford Files, I was in on all those shows. How about Adam-12...that was another favorite. It was at the end of it's run in '75 though.

Kevin said...

Wow, I just looked up the Cy Young voting results for 1970, and winning that award should be a major feather in his cap. He beat out three great Baltimore starters (fellow 24-game-winners McNally and Cuellar and 20-game winner Jim Palmer), to say nothing of 20-game-winner Sam McDowell and his 304 strikeouts. You know you've got a loaded field when Clyde Wright goes 22-12, 2.83 ERA and finishes SIXTH!

Also, this is one of the cards from this set that I own (I've got about 1/3 completed). I never even noticed that it was airbrushed. Really, it's one of Topps' better efforts. Now that you point it out, the single-stripe piping on the jersey is the only thing that really gives it away. From this set, it's head and shoulders above classics like Rudy May, not to mention Jim Northrup and Bob Oliver (the cartoon bird didn't lend itself to airbrushing)!

cincykid said...

I was disturbed as a kid to see a man of this age with hippy type long hair sticking out of his cap. It was really unstable to me.

I was always jealous of the kid with the Fonzie "HEYYYYYYY" t-shirt, and the kid that had the t-shirt that said "up your nose with a rubber hose". GREAT era.