Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#214 Danny Darwin

About the Front: Yep, it looks like Danny Darwin's skin was as leathery as I remember it being.

About the Back: Well, this is just plain weird. According to Baseball Reference, Darwin debuted on September 8, 1978. He retired the first three batters he faced, not four, and they were Mario Guerrero, Joe Wallis, and Bruce Robinson. September 24 was his first big league start, and he did retire the first four batters, all by strikeout. Top-notch fact-checking, Topps.

Triple Play:

1. His younger brother Jeff pitched for the Mariners and White Sox in the mid-1990s.

2. Danny's exceptional longevity (21-year MLB career) allowed him to team with a pair of fathers and sons: Sandy (1978 Rangers) and Roberto Alomar (1995 Blue Jays) and Bobby (1978 Rangers) and Barry Bonds (1997-98 Giants).

3. His 171 career wins are the most of any modern pitcher to never make an All-Star team nor pitch in the postseason.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I remember watching Darwin's August 18, 1993 no-hit bid against the White Sox live on ESPN. I was rooting for him because no-hitters are cool and he seemed like a veteran on his last legs. How was I to know that he'd hang around for another five seasons with varying degrees of effectiveness?

Bill James Said: "His control, always good, was exceptional, and he allowed only 9.7 baserunners per nine innings, best of any American League starter."

On This Date in 1993: May 13. George Brett hits a solo homer off of Cleveland's Mark Clark in the sixth inning of the Royals' 7-3 win. It is the 300th home run of his Hall of Fame career.

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