Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Sunday, April 18, 2010

1976 Topps #405 - Rollie Fingers

  • Rollie Fingers has a cool name and a cool mustache. Fingers was signed by the Kansas City A's in 1964. He was a starting pitcher in the minors and in four seasons never posted an ERA above 3.00. Rollie had a brief look at the end of the 1968 season and gave up 4 earned runs in 1.1 innings.

  • In the first few years of his career Rollie was a swingman. Fingers pitched in 60 games (8 starts) in 1969 and was 6-7 with 12 saves and a 3.71 ERA. In 1970 Rollie was 7-9 with 2 saves and a 3.65 ERA in 45 games (19 starts). Fingers went 4-6 with 17 saves and had a 2.99 ERA in 48 games (8 starts) in 1971. He pitched in two games in the 1971 ALCS and had a 7.71 ERA in 2.1 innings.

  • The A's used Rollie exclusively as a reliever in 1972. He pitched in 65 games and went 11-9 with 21 saves and a 2.51 ERA. Fingers was 1-0 in three games in the 1972 ALCS and was 1-1 with 2 saves in the 1972 World Series. Rollie Fingers: The Man Who Shut the Door - December 1972 Baseball Digest.

  • Fingers made the All Star team for the first time in 1973 (he pitched a perfect 9th inning). Rollie started two games which were the last two games he would ever start. He pitched in a total of 62 games and was 7-8 with 22 saves and a 1.92 ERA. Rollie was 0-1 with 1 save in the 1973 ALCS and was 0-1 with 2 saves in the 1973 World Series. Rollie Fingers: Mr. Cool - August 1973 Baseball Digest.

  • In 1974 Fingers led the AL with 76 appearances and was 9-5 with 18 saves and a 2.65 ERA. He pitched the 8th inning of the All Star game and allowed two runs. Fingers appeared in 2 games in the 1974 ALCS and had one save. He was the 1974 World Series MVP as he was 1-0 with two saves.

  • Rollie was named to the 1975 AL All Star team but didn't pitch in the game. He finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting and 4th in MVP voting. Fingers appeared in a league-leading 75 games and was 10-6 with 24 saves and a 2.98 ERA. Rollie pitched four innings in game 2 of the 1975 ALCS and took the loss.

  • Rollie's last season in Oakland was 1976. He went 13-11 with 20 saves and a 2.47 ERA in 70 appearances. The A's sold Rollie to the Boston Red Sox on June 15 but the sale was voided by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Rollie returned to the A's. He was named to the 1976 AL All Star team but didn't pitch in the game. After the 1976 season Fingers became a free agent and signed with the San Diego Padres.

  • Fingers led the NL with 78 appearances and 35 saves in 1977. He went 8-9 with a 2.99 ERA in '77. He led the NL in saves again with 37 in 1978. He went 6-13 with a 2.52 ERA in 67 appearances. Rollie pitched the 6th and 7th innings of the 1978 All Star Game and allowed no runs on 1 hit. Rollie Fingers: The Fireman Who Didn't Burn Out - December 1978 Baseball Digest.

  • Rollie had a rough year in 1979. He went 9-9 with 13 saves and a 4.52 ERA. It was the first time he had an ERA above 3 since 1970. Fingers had a better year in 1980 as he was 11-9 with 23 saves and a 2.80 ERA. He was the NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year in 1980 -- the third time in four years that he won the award. After the 1980 season Rollie was traded twice. First he went to the St. Louis Cardinals in a large multi-player trade. The Cards turned around and dealt Fingers to the Milwaukee Brewers along with Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich.

  • Fingers had a great season in 1981. He was the AL Cy Young Award winner and the MVP. Rollie was 6-3 with a league-leading 28 saves and a 1.04 ERA. He was 1-0 with 1 save in the Brewers' ALDS loss to the New York Yankees. Rollie Fingers: Greatest Relief Pitcher of All Time - January 1982 Baseball Digest.

  • Rollie was 5-6 with 29 saves and a 2.60 ERA in 50 games in 1982.  He was injured and pitched his last game on September 2. Rollie missed the 1982 playoffs and the entire 1983 season. Fingers came back in 1984 and went 1-2 with 23 saves and a 1.96 ERA. He was hurt again and didn't pitch after July 23.

  • In 1985 Fingers went 1-6 with 17 saves and a 5.04 ERA. Rollie was released after the 1985 season.

  • At the end of his career, after being released by the Milwaukee Brewers the previous season, he was offered a contract by Pete Rose to play for the Cincinnati Reds for 1986, but owner Marge Schott had a "clean cut" policy for her players (all players must be clean shaven). Fingers reply to Reds general manager Bill Bergesch: "Well you tell Marge Schott to shave her Saint Bernard, and I'll shave my moustache". (from his Wikipedia entry)

  • Liked to face: Greg Luzinski (.000 in 17 AB); Ellie Rodriguez (.000 in 18 AB); Al Bumbry (.063 in 16 AB)
  • Hated to face: Bob Horner (.643 in 14 AB); Ken Griffey (.588 in 17 AB); Ed Herrmann (.500 in 26 AB)

1 comment:

  1. Always loved the stache he had.