Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1976 Topps #653 - Mike Norris

  • Mike Norris pitched for the Oakland A's from 1975-1983 and again in 1990. Norris was drafted by the A's in 1973. Mike pitched in the minors in 1973 and 1974. Norris started the 1975 season with the A's and pitched a three-hit shutout in his debut on April 10. Mike missed most of the season after having bone chips removed from his elbow on April 30. Norris pitched in a total of four games for the A's in 1975 without allowing an earned run.
  • Mike split time between AAA Tucson and the A's in 1976. Norris went 4-5 with a 4.78 ERA in 24 games (19 starts) for the A's in 1976.
  • Norris was up and down between AAA and Oakland in 1977 and in 1978. Mike went 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 16 games (12 starts) in 1977 and was 0-5 with a 5.51 ERA in 14 games (5 starts) in 1978.
  • Mike stayed with the A's in 1979 and went 5-8 with a 4.80 ERA in 29 games (18 starts).
  • Norris had his career year in 1980. Mike had a 22-9 record with a 2.53 ERA in 33 starts. Mike finished second to Steve Stone in AL Cy Young Award voting and also won a Gold Glove award. 
  • Before the 1981 season Mike went to salary arbitration with the A's but lost his case. Mike asked for $450,000 but "only" got $325,000. It was still quite a raise from the $40,000 he made in 1980.
  • Norris went 12-9 and had a 3.75 ERA in 1981. Mike was named to the AL All Star team, pitched one inning, and allowed one run. Norris also won his second Gold Glove award.
  • Mike pitched a 4-hit shutout in game 1 of the ALDS. He started game 1 of the ALCS and lost the game 3-1.
  • Norris struggled with arm problems (tendinitis) in 1982. Mike ended up going 7-11 with a 4.76 ERA in 28 starts.
  • In the first two months of the 1983 season Mike appeared to be doing well. At the end of May he was 4-5 but had a 3.29 ERA. Norris started three games in June and had games of 4.2 innings, 2 innings, and 0 innings (faced two batters) before being put on the disabled list. Norris ended up with a record of 4-5 with a 3.76 ERA in 16 starts. On May 27 Dave Winfield charged the mound after Norris brushed him back with a pitch. Winfield was ejected from the game.
  • In 1984 Norris was arrested but cleared of charges of cocaine possession when it couldn't be proved that the cocaine was his. Norris didn't pitch in '84 due to injuries. 
  • Norris was in trouble with the law in 1985 due to a drunk-driving arrest and wasn't allowed to pitch for the A's. Mike pitched in two games for Class A Modesto in 1985. Norris became a free agent after the 1985 season.
  • Mike attempted a comeback in 1986 with the Class A San Jose Bees. He was suspended for a week in April after missing a game. Mike was dismissed from the team but came back later to make 11 starts.
  • Norris was out of baseball in 1987 and 1988. The A's signed Mike in 1989 and he pitched in the minors in 1989. Mike made the Oakland ballclub as a reliever in 1990 and pitched in 14 games. He was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA when he was released on July 15. 
  • Mike pitched for an independent team in 1991 and hung 'em up after the season.
  • Liked to face: Jorge Orta (.000 in 24 AB); Rob Wilfong (.069 in 29 AB); Julio Cruz (.087 in 23 AB)
  • Hated to face: Thurman Munson (.600 in 10 AB); Jim Spencer (.471 in 17 AB); Dan Ford (.423 in 26 AB)


1 comment:

  1. Even though it looks odd, I always liked this card for his pale green cap and jersey, his pale yellow sleeves, and his green glove.