16 April 2011

happy birthday dr. lonborg!

jim lonborg turns 68 years old today.  or is it 69?  the back of his 1972 o-pee-chee card (which is partially featured on my header for the oh my o-pee-chee blog)
lists his birth year as 1943, while baseball reference says 1942.  no matter - i still want to wish the 1967 cy young award winner a happy bday.

although his career was winding down when i first became aware of baseball (and baseball cards), i was immediately a fan of jim lonborg's.  that's because he was from the same town as me and was a friend of a friend of my dad's.  that was cool to me back then.  now he's a dentist living near boston, and i am also displaced, but there's still a common bond.  not that any of this matters to him - i've never met the man. 
i have had a pc of lonborg since i started collecting and decided to send a few cards his way over the last couple of years.  he had already signed a 1978 topps card for me
(awesome) and a couple others, but here are a few more.
the aforementioned 1972 o-pee-chee
lonborg spent one seasons in milwaukee.  he was traded by the red sox along with ken brett and some others before the 1972 season.  a year later, the brew crew traded him, again sending ken brett with him, to the phillies, with whom he finished his career while appearing on a few more cards.  such as, his 1976 topps
and 1979 topps cards
sweet mustache.  lonborg was released during the 1979 season, so didn't get a proper final tribute card in 1980.  hmm.

he has been featured in a few 'legends' type sets, like 1994 upper deck all time heroes
2001 fleer red sox 100th anniversary
and my favorite legends set - 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams.
i was pretty pleased to see that he added the 'cy young' inscription.   lonborg led the al in wins, starts and strikeouts in 1967, and then went on to win 2 games in the world series, including a game 2 one-hit shutout and a complete game victory in game 5.  unfortunately, the cardinals got to him in game 7, winning the series.  i believe it was that offseason that lonborg hurt his knee skiing, and was never quite the same pitcher as a result.  i'm sure he's a fine dentist, though.

thank you dr. lonborg, and a very happy birthday to you from one native central coaster to another!

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