Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, July 8, 2010

1976 Topps #488 - Claude Osteen

  • Claude Osteen had already pitched his last major league game when this card came out. He was cut at the end of spring training in 1976. Osteen was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1957. He pitched in three games as a 17 year old for the Reds in 1957 (2.25 ERA in four innings) and was in the minors for the remainder of the season.
  • Osteen spent all of 1958 and most of 1959 in the minors. Claude pitched in two games for the Reds at the end of the 1959 season (7.04 ERA in 7.2 innings). The Reds used Osteen as a reliever and spot starter in 1960. He pitched in 20 games (3 starts) and was 0-1 with a 5.03 ERA. In 1961 Osteen was in the minors for most of the season and pitched in one game for the Reds before being traded to the Washington Senators on September 16 for cash and Dave Sisler. Osteen started three games for the Senators in 1961 and was 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA.
  • Claude missed three weeks (late April to late May) of the 1962 season. He pitched in 28 games (22 starts) and was 8-13 with a 3.65 ERA. In 1963 Osteen was 9-14 with a 3.35 ERA. Claude had his first big year in 1964, going 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA. After the 1964 season Osteen was traded with John Kennedy and $100,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Frank Howard, Ken McMullen, Phil Ortega, and Dick Nen.
  • Osteen was 15-15 with a 2.79 ERA in 1965. He started two games in the 1965 World Series and was 1-1 with a 0.64 ERA. Claude pitched a 5-hit shutout in game 3 and took the loss in game 6. The Night Osteen Grew Up - June 1965 Baseball Digest
  • In 1966 Osteen was 17-14 with a 2.85 ERA. He lost game 3 of the World Series 1-0. The Dodgers were shut out in three of the four games of that World Series. A Later Look at the Osteen Deal - August 1966 Baseball Digest.
  • Claude became the #2 starter for the Dodgers in 1967 after the retirement of Sandy Koufax and was 17-17 with a 3.32 ERA. Osteen  made his first All Star team in 1967 but didn't get into the game.
  • Osteen led the NL with 18 losses in 1968. He was 12-18 with a 3.08 ERA in '68. Claude had his first 20-win season in 1969, going 20-15 with a 2.66 ERA.
  • Claude was 16-14 with a 3.83 ERA in 1970. He pitched three scoreless innings (10th, 11th, and 12th) and was the winning pitcher in the 1970 All Star Game. Success Hasn't Spoiled Dodgers' Claude Osteen - July 1970 Baseball Digest.
  • Osteen was 14-11 with a 3.51 ERA in 1971 and 20-11 with a 2.64 ERA in 1972. Seven of his last nine starts in 1972 were complete game wins. He made the All Star team for the third and last time in 1973 (he pitched two scoreless innings) and was 16-11 with a 3.31 ERA. By this time the Dodgers had plenty of pitching but needed some offensive help, so after the  1973 season Osteen and a minor leaguer were traded to the Houston Astros for Jimmy Wynn. Wynn helped the Dodgers to the 1974 World Series, so it was a good move for them.
  • Claude spent less than one season with the Astros. Osteen was 9-9 with a 3.71 ERA when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on August 15 for the 1974 stretch drive. Claude pitched in eight games (two starts) for the Cardinals and was 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA.
  • The Cardinals cut Osteen at the end of spring training in 1975. Claude signed with the Chicago White Sox and went 7-16 with a 4.36 ERA in 1975. Osteen was cut at the end of spring training in 1976 and retired.
  • After his playing career Osteen became a pitching coach for various minor league teams and for the Cardinals, Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Texas Rangers.
  • Liked to face: Ted Savage (.000 in 13 AB); John Milner (.056 in 18 AB); Roy McMillan (.063 in 16 AB)
  • Hated to face: Henry Aaron (.262 but with 14 HR in 126 AB); Orlando Cepeda (.471 with 6 HR in 68 AB); Mickey Mantle (.533 in 15 AB)


1 comment:

  1. Looks like the photo was taken in Kansas City... he pitched in KC in Apr, Jul, and Sep '75. Sometimes I sooooooooo wish the back of these cards would tell the photo date.