Wednesday, September 15, 2010
#313 - Leading Firemen
Card fact: This is the final league leader card in the set. I think the term "leading firemen" is just as dated as the color scheme in this set.
What I thought about this card then: I didn't see it.
What I think about this card now: I still need it for my Dodger collection. Those are some far-out sideburns by Doc Marshall.
Other stuff: Calling relievers "firemen" was pretty common when I was collecting cards as a kid. Topps would use the term to sum up the league-leading relievers just about every year through the '70s and into the early '80s. In 1982, Topps stopped calling them "firemen" and merely listed Bruce Sutter and Rollie Fingers as 1981's "Leading Relievers." But then in 1983 and 1984, it was back to "Leading Firemen"!
Back facts: This was the formula that was used to determine the "leading firemen" at the time. They would add a pitcher's saves and his relief wins and come up with a total. I think now it's rather common knowledge that a relievers' wins doesn't say a lot about his success. Any card that shows league leaders for relief pitchers sticks to the pitchers with the most saves.
When I was young, I thought the people who came up with the "fireman formula" were the folks at Rolaids. They advertised the "Rolaids Relief Award" for the top relievers of the year and that formula was displayed in their advertisements. I thought that if it wasn't for Rolaids no one would even care about relievers. Rolaids had lifted the relief pitcher from an afterthought into someone worth recognizing!
Little did I know that it was just a gimmicky sponsorship thing.
Other stuff: Today is Gaylord Perry's 72nd birthday. You thought he was older, didn't you? Me, too.