03 June 2012

release the rakow

i recently picked up a 1960 topps ed rakow card - number 551 in the set.  not sure if that makes it high, or semi-high, but it did make it not readily available in the vintage bargain bins at the local card show.
i didn't know too much about rakow other than the fact that he pitched for the dodgers in only one season (1960), but he has two topps cards featuring him in dodger blue; the one above is his rookie card, and his 1961 topps card re-uses the primary photo and features the '1961 rookie' star.  sadly, rakow was not a star in any season, rookie or otherwise.

he made his big league debut as a reliever on april 22, 1960 against the cardinals, and was greeted by future dodger darryl spencer who hit a home run on the fourth pitch of rakow's career.  rakow's next appearance was as a starter in a game in which he took the loss, his only decision as a dodger.  after that, rakow made 6 more relief appearances and then was asked to start the final game of the season against the cubs.  despite allowing the second home run of billy williams' career, rakow pitched well - allowing just 2 earned runs over 7 innings.  he left the game with the dodgers behind 3-2, so he did not get the win when the dodgers came back to win the game. still, rakow was pinch hit for by duke snider and relieved by don drysdale.  that's not too shabby.

just before the start of the 1961 season, rakow was dealt to the kansas city a's in exchange for howie reed. a year later, he led the league with 17 losses.  things might have been different for rakow if every team had been the washington senators - he was 6-2 with 2 shutouts and a 3.72 era against them in his career.

i'm happy to have rakow in my binder.  i need just a few more cards from the 1960 set to complete my dodger team set, but they're all hall of famers or high numbers.  still, i've got high hopes to complete all of my 1960s topps dodger team sets by the end of the summer.

1 comment:

Matthew R said...

It's a high number. I've been working on this set ever since my dad got me a card lot of 200 different 1960s for my 8th grade graduation in 1980. I'm still about 50 cards shy of finishing the set (mostly high numbers and a guy named Musial)