Tuesday, February 4, 2014

#155 Dennis Eckersley

About the Front: I can't think of many pitchers whose deliveries are more suited to a horizontal card than Dennis Eckersley. He's all arms and legs, pointing in every direction, long hair whipping out from beneath his cap, white cleats and dark mustache contrasting. I don't think it was much fun to step to the plate against Eck.

About the Back: A 20-win season AND a 50-save season in the same career? John Smoltz is the only other pitcher in that rarified air.

Triple Play:

1. Dennis no-hit the Angels on May 30, 1977. He struck out 12 batters and allowed only two California player to reach base; Tony Solaita walked in the first inning, and Bobby Bonds reached base on a strikeout/wild pitch in the eighth but was wiped out on a double play.

2. His trademark high leg kick was a nod to Juan Marichal, as Eckersley had grown up rooting for the Giants.

3. Eck is currently a TV analyst for national games on TBS and Red Sox games on NESN.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Everything about Eckersley seemed larger-than-life. He had the hardware, the nickname, the distinctive delivery and look, and the demonstrative fist-pump after nailing down saves. Of course, his best days were behind him when I pulled this card.

Bill James Said: "It is my opinion that he will come back from his 'off season', that he will save 35-50 games again this year." Even without the strike shaving 50-some games off of Oakland's schedule, Eck would have had a hard time reaching 35 saves in 1994. He had just 19 (with a 4.26 ERA) when the season came to a premature close.

On This Date in 1993: February 4. Members of the right-wing Austrian FPO (Freedom Party) leave the group to form the Liberal Forum. The Forum founders are opposed to the FPO's growing nationalistic tendencies.


  1. I think that picture on the back is from the same series as the picture on the front.

  2. Max - I wouldn't doubt it. I like that the picture on the back appears to occur chronologically after the one on the front.