i have recently been re-reading george will's 'men at work' and had forgotten that the section on pitching (which centers on orel hershiser) also includes a fair amount of discussion surrounding jim gott. gott's appearance in the book figures into the emergence of the closer and how that impacts the game. at any rate, i was prompted to scan and post the many ttm successes i have had from jim gott in the past year or so. he's a good signer with a great signature, plus he has a ton of dodger cards, so he was a no-brainer for multiple requests. we'll start, however, with a non-dodger card, his 1984 fleer card:
gott as a blue jay, looking kind of like donald sutherland in 'invasion of the body snatchers'. gott recorded the first two saves of his career in 1984, the same year he pitched his third and final career shutout. the transition from starter to reliever was just beginning, however, as he spent 1985 with the giants exclusively as a starter.
here's his 1990 upper deck card:
1990 was his first year with the dodgers. he bounced back from injury to go 3 and 5 with a 2.90 era and 3 saves. jay howell was still the primary closer for the dodgers, but gott was in the mix, along with tim crews and don aase.
and 1991 upper deck:
a great dodger stadium shot on the upper deck card. in 1991, gott had another good year. he went 4 and 3 with 2 saves and a 2.96 era. jay howell was still the 9th inning guy, with gott, crews and roger mcdowell also filling in.
if you recall, gott's 1985 o-pee-chee and topps cards mention his fondness for hapikido karate. 1992 pinnacle took things a bit further. very bad ass. with the dodgers in 1992, gott lowered his era to 2.45, won half of his 6 decisions, and registered 6 saves, all for a very bad dodger team. mcdowell took over the primary closing duties, but howell was still around, along with john candelaria, to pick up a few saves as well.
1993 upper deck:
1993 was the year gott took over as closer. he saved 25 games for the dodgers as they climbed back to .500. he also lowered his era (again) to 2.32, and won 4 games. mcdowell and newcomer todd worrell also saved a few games that year. worrell, in fact, assumed the closer duties late in september, leaving little doubt who would be the primary closer in 1994.
1994 upper deck:
gott signed with the pirates for the 1995 season, but he did not enjoy a return to the form he displayed in the 34 save 1988 season he had his first time around in pittsburgh. instead, he posted a 6.03 era with 3 saves and 2 wins against 4 losses behind their closer dan miceli in his final big league season.
here's to you, jim gott! and thanks for signing all of these cards!