28 January 2011

the 1978 topps rick sutcliffe card that should have been

rick sutcliffe debuted in 1976, but didn't get any cardboard love from topps until 1980.  although he didn't appear in the big leagues in 1977, he was a member of the 1978 dodgers, and so he deserves a spot in my 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update set.  here is the 1978 topps rick sutcliffe card that should have been:
the photo comes from the official 1978 dodgers photo album - a document that mrmopar turned me on to after my initial enzo hernandez posting.  i quickly found one on ebay and have been enjoying it ever since.  here's the back of sut's card:
i realize now i forgot to add a line for 1977 with some qualifying 'spent year in minor leagues' text.  oh well.  in his 1976 debut, sutcliffe faced 17 batters in 5 innings, and gave up just 2 infield singles and a walk (one baserunner was erased by a double play).  the dodgers won the game 1-0 on a 7th inning steve garvey single.  in 1978, sutcliffe got called up late in september.  he appeared in 2 games, first in relief of lance rautzhan on september 22 when he allowed a single to dave winfield and hit jerry turner, but got the two outs he needed to finish the inning before being pinch-hit for by pedro guerrero.  his other 1978 appearance was also against the padres and came on october 1.  in that game, sutcliffe again relieved rautzhan and again worked his way around a couple of base runners to emerge unscathed.

it wasn't until his second appearance of the 1979 season (his 5th career appearance) that sutcliffe was touched for a run.  in relief of andy messersmith, sutcliffe allowed a hit and a walk before mike lum of the braves drove in gary matthews to give the eventual national league rookie of the year his first run allowed.

sutcliffe was featured in the 1978 dodgers yearbook, so i pulled that image onto the 1978 topps template as i had for ron washington and rafael landestoy

here's to you, rick sutcliffe and your 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update card that should have been!