Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#185 Jack Morris

About the Front: This is Weekend Casual Jack Morris, complete with no cap, white undershirt sleeves peeking out from the jersey, and a relaxed "nice day for a game" recumbent stance. I think he's sitting on the lip of the field facing the dugout.

About the Back: I guess this card was released prior to the BBWAA's decree that every mention of Jack Morris must be accompanied by a reverent citation of his heroics in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.

Triple Play:

1. Jack no-hit the White Sox on April 7, 1984, striking out eight and walking six.

2. Morris somehow became a celebrated cause for more traditional-thinking, analysis-adverse Hall of Fame voters. His 3.90 ERA (105 ERA+) was enough to take some of the luster off of his 254 career wins, however, and he spent 15 years on the ballot without being chosen for Cooperstown. He peaked with 67.7% of the vote in 2013, his penultimate year of eligibility.

3. Despite back-to-back gruesome seasons to finish his MLB career (6.19 ERA in 1993; 5.60 ERA in 1994), Jack claims that the Yankees were interested in signing him away from the independent St. Paul Saints in 1996. The then-41-year-old was 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 10 starts with the Northern League club, but did not want to pitch in New York.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: This was the LAST. FREAKING. CARD. For 15 years, my 1993 Topps set remained incomplete until I finally got around to obtaining Jack Morris. I feel like he was mocking me with his open-mouthed grin.

Bill James Said:"Until he tore an elbow ligament, I wasn't totally convinced he was washed up."

On This Date in 1993: April 2. Cop and a Half, starring Burt Reynolds and a cloyingly precocious child sidekick, hits theatres nationwide. I just learned that Henry Winkler directed this stinker. Not cool, Fonz.

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