Card fact: One of the more unfortunate cards in Topps' history. Don Wilson died in January of 1975, after Topps' cards went to print. If there was an attempt to pull the card from the set, it didn't succeed.
What I thought about this card then: I never saw it.
What I think about this card now: It's just sad. I look at it, and all I can think of is *sadness*
Other stuff: Wilson was probably the Astros' first great pitcher. He had tremendous stuff, but it took him awhile to harness it. He enjoyed some terrific games, striking out 18 in a game once and throwing two no-hitters. Wilson struck out 235 batters in 1969, the same season in which he led the league with 16 wild pitches.
Wilson pitched all nine of his major league seasons for Houston and won in double figures in all but one of them. He was an All-Star in 1971, possibly his best season.
Wilson died at age 29 on Jan. 5, 1975. He was found in the passenger seat of his vehicle in the closed garage of his home with the car's engine running. The garage was attached to the house and Wilson's son also died in the incident. His wife and daughter were hospitalized. The cause of death was listed as accidental.
During the 1975 season, the Astros wore Wilson's number, 40, on a patch on their jersey. Here is an example in the 1976 Topps set:
Wilson's number was also retired in April of 1975.
Back facts: It's a little rare to see a player's complete stats from the start of a career to the end of a career on a baseball card, but that's what we have here.
Other blog stuff: I missed posting on Wilson's birthdate by four days. But the dream isn't over yet.