Friday, September 16, 2011
#651 - John Morlan
Card fact: This is John Morlan's only Topps card.
What I thought about this card then: I never saw it. No clue who John Morlan was until completing the set in 2004.
What I think about this card now: I give my 9-year-old self a lot of flack for thinking players on cards were a lot older than they actually were. But when I saw this card for the first time, I was a full-grown adult in my 30s, and I thought the 27-year-old Morlan on this card appeared to be in his 50s.
Other stuff: Morlan was signed by the Pirates as an outfielder. But he converted to pitching in the minors. He reported late to the minor leagues each of his first four seasons because he was an elementary school teacher and had to wait until school let out for the summer before he played baseball.
His only two years in the major leagues were 1973 and 1974. He pitched in just 10 games in '73 but was utilized quite a bit by the N.L. East champions in '74 with 39 relief appearances.
Morlan underwent elbow surgery after the 1974 season and didn't play in the majors after that. He pitched for Pirates minor league teams until 1977.
Back facts: If Morlan's first year of pro ball was in '73, then what was he doing in 1971 and '72 for Monroe, Niagara Falls and Salem? Those weren't American Legion teams.
Other blog stuff: A happy 56th birthday to Robin Yount. Yup, the only teenager featured in this set (batboys excluded) is 56 today.