07 June 2011

kosco v. downing

head to head, al downing got the better of andy kosco when they faced each other. kosco was 1 for 9 with a walk and a strikeout in 10 plate appearances against downing over the span of his career.

the reason that i find this interesting is that andy kosco is the guy the dodgers traded to bring al downing into the fold. another reason is that i received through the mail successes from each of them on the same day back in late 2009.

kosco signed and returned his 1970 topps
and 1971 topps
cards.  i kinda wish topps had not put kosco in a late series so that he would have had a second dodger card.  downing was still with the brewers in the 1971 set, so the dodgers were down a player according to the topps checklist.  downing did get the team and text variation treatment on his o-pee-chee card, however, which i am very happy about.  i received four cards back from downing, which was nice considering he had declined to sign my 1978 custom in a previous attempt.

he signed a 1973 topps,
1974 topps,
1975 topps mini,
(featuring dodger stadium!) and a 1976 topps
anyway, kosco played two seasons in la, and was the dodgers' primary right fielder in 1969. that was the year that he led the team in home runs with 19, which was a power onslaught compared to the 10 that led the team in 1968 (thanks len gabrielson). kosco's first home run as a dodger was a grand slam at the expense of former dodger hero, johnny podres, who was pitching, appropriately enough, for the padres at the time.

after missing out on the twins' 1965 world series roster (legend has it that he was the last player cut to trim the postseason roster to 25), kosco finally got a taste of the postseason in 1973 with the nl champion reds. although they lost the nlcs to the mets, kosco had the only two hits for the big red machine in their game 2 loss to jon matlack.

downing, meanwhile, was 5-13 splitting time between oakland and milwaukee in 1970. after the trade, he won 20 games for the dodgers in 1971 to lead the staff, and he finished third in the cy young voting. he wound up winning a total of 46 games for the dodgers in six seasons, and pitched part of a winless seventh season in la to end his big league career in 1977.

here's to both of you, kosco and downing! thanks for signing my cards!

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