Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1976 Topps #494 - Craig Swan

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  • Craig Swan pitched in the majors from 1973-1985, mostly for the New York Mets. Craig was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 17th round in 1968 but he elected to attend Arizona State University. Swan set the all-time collegiate win record with 48 victories. Craig allowed only one run in 18 innings in the 1972 College World Series (the Sun Devils lost in the championship game to USC). Swan was drafted by the Mets in 1972 and spent parts of the 1972-1975 seasons in the minors. Craig first came up to the Mets at the end of the 1973 season and was 0-1 with a 8.64 ERA in three games.
  • Swan suffered a broken elbow in 1974 and was unable to pitch very much. He spent some time with AAA Tidewater and was 1-3 with a 4.45 ERA in seven games (5 starts) for the Mets. In 1975 Craig split the season between Tidewater and New York. He was 1-3 with a 6.39 ERA in six late season starts for the Mets in '75.
  • Craig was with the Mets to stay in 1976 and was 6-9 with a 3.54 ERA in 22 starts. Swan went 9-10 with a 4.23 ERA in 24 starts in 1977. 
  • Swan had his best season in 1978. The Mets were a last place club but he was 9-6 and led the NL with a 2.43 ERA. Craig went 14-13 with a 3.29 ERA in 35 starts in 1979.
  • Craig was having another good year in 1980 when he tore his rotator cuff in July. He made two appearances in August but that was it for his season. He ended up 5-9 with a 3.58 ERA. Swan wasn't able to pitch much in 1981 due to the rotator cuff injury and a broken rib suffered when he got in the way of a throw by Mets catcher Ron Hodges as he was trying to throw out a runner stealing second base. Swan went 0-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 1981.
  • Craig went through a treatment that included rolfing, which is a method of manipulating tissue in order for muscles to function together. He finished second behind Joe  Morgan for NL Comeback Player of the Year in 1982. Swan was 11-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 37 games (21 starts) in 1982.
  • Swan was injured again during spring training in 1983 when he felt something pop in his arm during a game. He tried to pitch through the injury but it affected his endurance. Craig was 2-8 with a 5.51 ERA in 1983. Swan started the 1984 season with the Mets but was released on May 9 after going 1-0 with an 8.20 ERA in ten games. Craig signed with the California Angels on May 23 but was released after going 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two games.
  • After his playing career Swan became a certified rolfer and opened up a successful practice in Connecticut. Here is a "where are they now" article from 2009.
  • Liked to face: Tony Pena (.000 in 10 AB); Richie Hebner (.048 in 21 AB); Jim Dwyer (.071 in 14 AB)
  • Hated to face: Dave Winfield (.457 in 35 AB); Keith Hernandez (.436 in 39 AB); George Hendrick (.429 in 42 AB)

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