Tuesday, September 14, 2010
#312 - Strikeout Leaders
Card fact: This is Nolan Ryan's third card in the set, and we haven't even gotten to his base card yet. Meanwhile, this is Steve Carlton's second and final card in the set.
Both of these pitchers also appeared together on the 1973 Strikeout Leaders card, as each led their respective leagues in strikeouts in 1972.
What I'm about to say is very OCD-ish, but I like the '75 card better than the '73 card because the American League leader is on the left side of the card where it should be.
What I thought about this card then: The '75 Strikeout Leaders card was one of the three leaders cards that I had. I don't remember thinking much of it, which probably explains why I don't have that original copy anymore.
What I think about this card now: Carlton looks very strange with a mustache. He looks like a hillbilly yokel.
Other stuff: This was the second of Carlton's five strikeout titles in his career. For Ryan, it was his third in a row and the third of 11 for his career.
Back facts: Ryan had an "off-year," striking out "only" 367 batters the year after setting the major league record for fanning 383 in a season.
Ryan's 300-plus total for 1974 marked the fifth and final year in a streak of five straight seasons that the American League leader in strikeouts had fanned over 300. Sam McDowell struck out 304 in 1970, Mickey Lolich 308 in 1971 and then Ryan 329, 383 and 367 between 1972-74.
Only one other time in major league history has there been a streak of at least five seasons of the league leader striking out more than 300 batters. That was from 1997-2002 in the National League when Curt Schilling (twice) and Randy Johnson (four times) led the league with over 300 strikeouts over six straight years.
As for surprising players on the top 10, I'll go with John D'Acquisto with the Giants.
Other blog stuff: On this date in 1975, Robin Yount played in the 242nd game of his career, breaking Mel Ott's record for the most major league games played as a teenager.