22 April 2015

sandy koufax then means a bevy of cards now

the dominance of sandy koufax in 1966 - he won his third cy young award and third pitching triple crown that year - means that he shows up a lot in this year's topps heritage 'then and now' 10-card insert set.  never mind that topps is comparing 1966 (the base set's design year) to 2014 (the previous season).    i guess it's as close as we can get to 'now', because we missed it - just now.

here's a bunch of sandy goodness.

2015 topps heritage then and now #6
this card celebrates the era leaders - koufax posted a 1.73 era in 1966, while kershaw's 1.77 was the best in baseball last year

2015 topps heritage then and now #7
these are your strikeout leaders - koufax had 317 in 1966, and david price k'd 271 batters in 2014. kudos to topps for noting that price split his time between tampa bay and detroit last year.

2015 topps heritage then and now #8
is all about the wins leaders - koufax had the most in 1966 with 27, and kershaw's 21 victories were the most in baseball last year.  three cards into the set, and topps is already recycling a koufax photo. nice.

2015 topps heritage then and now #9
these are a couple of workhorses.  the innings pitched leaders - koufax threw 323 innings in '66, and david price completed 248.1 frames in 2014.  so far it's been all leftys….

2015 topps heritage then and now #10
finally a righty.  these are the shutout leaders - koufax (and 8 others) had 5 shutouts in 1966, while wainwright (and 2 others) spun 3 last year.  and, while i appreciate the photo of koufax standing in dodger stadium, i didn't necessarily need to see it on two consecutive cards.

there could have been more koufax cards in this set had topps made one for complete games, starts, k/9, or batters faced, or a bevy of modern stats like fip and era+.  still, the dodgers dominated the insert set with adrian gonzalez gracing card #2, and dee gordon appearing on card #4
one guess as to which statistical category that card represents.

there's another insert set featuring koufax - a legend retires - but i don't have any of those cards.  i do have this 2015 topps heritage baseball flashbacks card
that notes how koufax clinched the national league pennant for the dodgers on the last day of the season in his last career regular season start
no mention of the final start of his career - a game 2 loss in the 1966 world series.  it's worth noting that koufax's teammate phil regan had a 1.62 era in 1966, although he pitched only 116.2 innings that year, all in relief.  besides, most people would rather have cards of koufax than the vulture.


CaptKirk42 said...

Guess they should have renamed the "Then and Now" subset to "Koufax And Now". Didn't realize how many he was on this year.

Matthew Scott said...

Nothing wrong with having lots of Koufax inserts. He is the man!