Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Phun Cards: 1974 Topps #173 Randy Jones

This card might be from the first pack of baseball cards I ever opened - I have no way of knowing now.  I know that it was a pack of 1974 Topps.  And I bought it at a 7-Eleven.  I think the packs had 10 cards for 9 cents.  My first experience with inflation was when packs jumped to a dime for 9 cards the following year.  The idea of cards costing more than a penny a piece was preposterous - although I probably didn't have the world PREPOSTEROUS in my vocab back then. 

1974 Topps #173 Randy Jones (RC) 
Randy Jones is one of the non-Phils stars that I remember from my youth.  He was a pitcher who I briefly grouped with Seaver and Carlton. Turns out Randy Jones had more of meteor ride then a career.  He had an All-Star season in 1975 and won the Cy Young Award in 76, unfortunately he was injured in his final start of the season, afterward he was never really the same.  Nobody has thrown 25 or more complete games in an NL seasons since Randy Jones reached that number during that 1976 season - Rick Langford had 28 for Oakland in 1980.
Jones persevered for the remainder of the 70s but was done in 1982 at the age of 32. According to his wikipedia page Randy Jones is the only Cy Young Award winner with a career losing record.  Indeed he finished 23 games under .500 at 100-123.
Post Career
Jones #35 uniform has been retired by the San Diego Padres. Once again, I would think Randy Jones likely has one of the worst Win-Loss records among starting pitchers with retired numbers. Regardless his peak seasons of 1975-76 make Randy Jones jersey retiring worthy.  In addition to his on field accomplishments Jones has had a good post career in San Diego serving the team in an ambassador capacity.  He also runs a sports bar in San Diego that appears to have a solid craft beer selection. 
For The Collector
The above card is from my legacy collection of my childhood - thus it's rather rough condition.  I am sure if you didn't care about the wrinkles and the corners you could find this card in a dime box. 
It was unknown where the Padres would play in 1974 and many of their cards can be found with NAT'L LEA as the team name rather than Padres.  For under $3.00 you can pick either the Padres or the NL variation of a RC of a Cy Young Award winner.   

Flip Side

1974 Topps #173 Randy Jones (RC b-side) 

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions