10 September 2010


no offense to mr. labine, but the 1959 'hitter's foes' (johnny podres, clem labine, and don drysdale)
were upgraded to the 'dodgers' big three' in 1963
when sandy koufax replaced him.

labine was finished by 1963, pitching in just 3 games for the lovable '62 mets and posting an era over 11.  with the dodgers, he did have 14 'saves' in 1958, but his era was over 4 and he really didn't strike out batters at a great rate (he had 43 k's in 104 innings).  this is not to besmirch clem labine, and i suppose any pitcher is a 'hitter's foe.'  besides, i can't really blame topps for not putting sandy koufax on the 1959 card, as he posted a 4.48 era in 1958, with a .500 record and 17 wild pitches to go along with his 131 strikeouts in 158+ innings.

they sure got it right in 1963, though, as koufax had led the league in era and whip in 1962, and was on his way to his first pitching triple crown.

as for the other two guys, podres had a sub-.500 year in '58 (13-15), as did drysdale (12-13), so maybe i shouldn't read too much into that 1959 card.  podres actually had a slightly worse era in '62 when he reversed his 1958 win-loss record, while drysdale had his best season, winning 25 and the cy young award.

what would have been really cool is a 1967 card with drysdale, koufax, and sutton since all three hall of famers were teammates in '66, although i am guessing that claude osteen would have been included before the rookie sutton.

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