17 May 2010

little ditty about jack and jim

two american kids doin' the best they can.  jack billingham and jim fairey shared this 1968 topps card, and both were kind enough to sign it for me recently through the mail. 
billingham won 3 games for the dodgers in 1968, and his card-mate fairey figured in each of them.  billingham earned his first major league win on may 12, 1968, pitching 2 innings of relief, and allowing just one hit against the braves in extra innings.  in the top of the 12th inning, fairey pinch hit for billingham, but grounded out.  the next batter (willie davis) tripled and then scored on a zoilo versalles single.  jim brewer and mudcat grant closed it out, and billingham's victory was secure.

in june, fairey hit his first big league home run pinch-hitting for billingham in a game against the pirates at forbes field.  fairey's home run came in the top of the tenth inning and proved to be the game winner, giving billingham, who had successfully relieved mike kekich with two on and no outs in the bottom of the ninth, the second victory of his career. 

then, in september, the dynamic duo was at it again.  this time, billingham allowed an inherited runner to score along with another run (unearned) as the dodgers fell behind to the reds 5-2 going into the 8th inning.  that's when jim fairey once again pinch hit for billingham.  with 2 on and no outs, fairey beat out an infield hit to load the bases.  five batters later, the dodgers had a 7-5 lead.  after the reds scored in the bottom of the 8th, fairey drove in an insurance run in the 9th and billingham had his third and final victory as a dodger.

after the season, both billingham and fairey were selected by the expos in the expansion draft.  however, only fairey played for montreal as billingham was sent to the astros in the rusty staub deal, replacing donn clendenon who had refused to report to houston due to a conflict with their manager, harry walker.

from there, fairey returned to the dodgers for his final season in 1973, while billingham went to the reds, appearing in 3 world series, before finishing his career with tours in detroit and boston.

head to head, fairey was 4 for 15 against billingham with an rbi and 2 walks.

both guys signed a couple of their other cards for me - jim fairey signed his 1969 topps
with him still in the dodger uniform, and his 1971 topps
in the official montreal baby blues, while billingham signed his 1976 topps
and 1978 topps
thanks jack and jim!

1 comment:

Captain Canuck said...


interesting to see how the sig hasn't changed at all on the '71 card....