Sunday, July 25, 2010

#265 - Ron Bryant

Card fact: This is the final card of Ron Bryant's all-too-quick career.

What I thought about this card then: Never saw it. Didn't know who Bryant was until decades later.

What I think about this card now: Well, I just noticed that he signed his name "Ron Bear Bryant." That's terrific.

Other stuff: Just like Jim Perry two cards ago, Bryant is one of those guys whose career ended just as I began to follow baseball and I never knew who he was until years later, when I acquired his card.

Bryant is known for putting together a terrific 1973 season for the Giants. He won 24 games and finished third in the Cy Young Award voting. But the following year, he was 3-15 with a 5.61 earned-run average. He was out of baseball by the end of 1975.

In between that very high high and the very low low, was a "swimming pool accident" during spring training of 1974. There are numerous references to the "swimming pool accident" in accounts of Bryant's career, but no other details -- just that it messed up his career.

It turns out that Bryant suffered a major gash in his side, and it was said to have happened on a swimming pool slide. Apparently, Bryant was known to like his drinks and his parties, and maybe the two combined to create a career-ending incident.

But Bryant was an easy-going sort, and even though his career ended after 8 seasons, he ended up taking a job as a casino card dealer in Reno, Nev.

Back facts: Tony Solaita was a 1970s player for the Angels and Royals. We'll see him later in the set.

Also, notice that Topps wants no part of Bryant's 1974 season in the write-up.

And, just like Jim Perry, Ron Bryant was a switch-hitting pitcher.

Other blog stuff: In honor of today's Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, on this date in 1999, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, George Brett and Orlando Cepeda were inducted into the Hall.

1 comment:

Play at the Plate said...

That was a pretty decent class in '99. As in super. 38-19 in two seasons and then 3-15? I wouldn't have been surprised to see Topps leave that season off.