Thursday, June 25, 2015

#426 - Vern Ruhle

What a card: Vern Ruhle struggled through his 1984 season with the Astros. After years as a starter, he was primarily a reliever for the second straight season. By the time this card arrived in packs, he had already signed as a free agent with the Indians.

My observation on the front: I wonder how many baseball card photo poses have been taken in that exact spot at Shea Stadium?

More opinion from me: Ruhle's best season came in 1980, which was the year Houston outlasted the Dodgers to make the NLCS. I remember being annoyed that this pitcher emerged out of nowhere to help eliminate the Dodgers.

Something you might know: Ruhle started Game 4 of the 1980 NLCS with the Astros needing one win to advance to the World Series for the first time. He held the Phillies scoreless for six innings and entered the seventh with a 2-0 lead. But the Phillies went ahead in the seventh off of Ruhle and relievers Dave Smith and Joe Sambito. After the Astros tied the game in the 9th, the Phillies won in the 10th and won Game 5, too, to reach the Series.

Something you might not know: Ruhle surrendered a run-scoring single to Hank Aaron in 1975 that allowed Aaron to surpass Babe Ruth for the career RBI record. It was Aaron's 2,210th run batted in.

My observation on the back: Ruhle was presented with his degree from Olivet between games of a Tigers doubleheader. Don Winger, a longtime sports editor for the Midland (Mich.) Daily News (Ruhle grew up in Midland) also graduated from Olivet and presented him the award.

The blog wants to speak now: The Ballgames category is updated.

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