Card fact: This is the official halfway point of the 1975 Topps set. I have reviewed 330 cards and there are 330 more to go. You didn't think I'd get this far did you?
What I thought about this card then: I did not see it. Mike Marshall's 1976 Topps card was the first one of his that I knew. It was also an action shot and it was a favorite. I read a long time ago that at some point in Marshall's career, he refused to pose for photos for Topps, so Topps was forced to take photos of him during games. That worked out pretty well for the collectors, who got some cool photos of Marshall. But later Marshall disappeared from card sets altogether, so I think he put the kiebash on having his photo in card sets completely.
What I think about this card now: Marshall has that look about him that is standard for relievers today, but wasn't too common then. I think Marshall, Rollie Fingers and Sparky Lyle blazed the trail for the wild-looking closers to come.
Other stuff: Mike Marshall is known for his record-shattering relief performances during the 1974 season, as well as for his passionate opinions on pitching methods. In 1974, Marshall appeared in 106 games and 208 1/3 innings pitched. All of them came in relief. He also appeared in 13 straight games for the Dodgers. That record, along with the 106 games pitched, remain major league records. Marshall won the National League Cy Young Award in '74 and finished third in the MVP voting. He was an All-Star in both '74 and '75.
Marshall also played for the Tigers, Pilots, Astros, Expos, Braves, Rangers, Twins and Mets. His emergence in relief pitching actually started with the Expos during the 1972 season, when he finished fourth in the Cy Young voting. The following year he pitched in 92 games for the Expos, which helped Montreal land Willie Davis in a trade with the Dodgers for Marshall.
Marshall was later traded to the Braves for Lee Lacy and Elias Sosa in mid-1976. He never did pitch quite as often as with the Dodgers, although he enjoyed a resurgence with the Twins in the late '70s, appearing in 90 games in 1979.
Marshall has several degrees and a Ph.D. in kinesiology, a word that confused the heck out of me as a kid. He has taught college courses on pitching and human movement and believes his methods would irradicate pitching injuries. But his beliefs have been at odds with conventional pitching methods.
Back facts: Take a look at those fascinating numbers in 1973 and 1974. He appeared in 106 games in relief and had just 21 saves. He could have set a save mark that would have lasted forever!
Other blog stuff: The orange-brown combo is creeping back toward the top again. After all those pink-and-yellow league leaders cards, orange-brown is now just one card away from pink-yellow.