Wednesday, September 5, 2012
#90 - Rich Gossage
What a card: This was Rich Gossage's Topps base-set debut in a Padres uniform. He signed as a free agent with San Diego after the 1983 season and appeared in the 1984 Topps Traded and Fleer Update sets as a Padre.
My observation on the front: This is the first time in the set that the "RAK" initials -- in memory of McDonald's chairman and Padres owner Ray Kroc -- appear on the Padres' famed chocolate uniform tops. (Graig Nettles was wearing a white jersey on an earlier card).
More opinion from me: Those Padres caps look more and more comical as the years pass.
Something you might know: A pioneer in the legacy of the closer, Gossage led the league in saves three times and had 20 or more saves 10 times. He reached the Hall of Fame in 2008.
Something you might not know: Gossage's famous locker room scuffle with Yankees teammate Cliff Johnson in April 1979 resulted in a broken thumb for Gossage, which caused him to miss significant time that season. The fight came on the same day that former Yankee Sparky Lyle arrived in New York as his Texas Rangers were facing the Yankees. Lyle's book "The Bronx Zoo" was officially released on that day. When told about the fight and Gossage's injury, Lyle said, "When you throw the ball 95 mph, you don't need a thumb."
My observation on the back: I suppose the write-up on the back meant a little more when Gossage was still with the Yankees. I wonder if it was already in the can when he left as a free agent.
The blog wants to speak now: The Ballgames, Music and News categories have been updated. Billy Martin returns to the Yankees ... Part IV!!