Friday, February 19, 2010

1976 Topps #359 - Rick Reuschel

  • Rick Reuschel was a starting pitcher for many years. He had two career peaks - the 1970s with the Chicago Cubs and another smaller peak in the mid-late 1980s with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. Reuschel was drafted by the Cubs in 1970. He pitched in the minors from 1970 to 1972 and was judged to be ready for the majors after starting the 1972 season 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA in 12 starts for AAA Wichita. Rick pitched well for the Cubs in his rookie year. He was 10-8 with a 2.93 ERA in 21 games (18 starts) in '72.

  • Reuschel was a workhorse for the Cubs in the 1970s. In 1973 he started 36 games and was 14-15 with a 3.00 ERA. Rick had a record of 13-12 with a 4.30 ERA in 38 starts in 1974. The 1975 season was a tough one for Reuschel. He was 11-17 with a 3.73 ERA. The 17 losses led the National League. Rick had a better year in 1976 (14-12, 3.46 ERA in 37 starts). During this time he and his brother Paul were teammates on the Cubs.

  • Rick's best season was probably 1977. He won 20 games for the only time in his career, was an NL All Star (he pitched a scoreless 8th inning), and was 3rd in NL Cy Young Award balloting. Reuschel was 20-10 with a 2.79 ERA in 1977. Rick Reuschel of the Cubs Throws A 'Slurve' - November 1977 Baseball Digest.

  • Reuschel was 14-15 with a 3.41 ERA in 1978. His last really big year for the Cubs was 1979. Reuschel was 18-12 with a 3.62 ERA in 36 starts. In 1980 Rick led the NL in starts with 38 and was  11-13 with a 3.40 ERA.

  • Rick started the 1981 season with the Cubs. He was 4-7 with a 3.47 ERA in 13 starts for the Cubs. On June 12 Reuschel was traded to the New York Yankees for Doug Bird, Mike Griffin, and $400,000. He didn't pitch for the Yankees until the end of the strike in August. Rick was 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA in 11 starts for the Yankees in 1981. He started game 4 of the ALDS and lost 2-1 to Milwaukee's Pete Vuckovich. Rick wasn't used in the ALCS, but he got into two games in the World Series. Rick started game 4 but lasted only 3.2 innings. He didn't get a decision in that game. Rick also appeared in game 6 and allowed an unearned run.

  • Reuschel had a torn rotator cuff in 1982 and missed the entire season. He started four games for the Yankees' AAA Columbus club in 1983 but was ineffective and the Yankees released him on June 9. A few weeks later Rick signed with the Cubs and pitched for their A-level Quad Cities team. Rick pitched well for Quad Cities and was brought back to the Cubs at the end of the 1983 season. Reuschel was 1-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 4 starts for the Cubs in '83.

  • In 1984 Reuschel struggled with his effectiveness. The Cubs used him as a spot starter and occasional reliever. Rick was 5-5 with a 5.17 ERA in 19 games (14 starts). The Cubs didn't use Rick in the postseason (they left him off of the roster) and released him at the end of the season.

  • Rick went to spring training as a non-roster invitee with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1985. He started the 1985 season with AAA Hawaii and was brought up to the Pirates after posting a 6-2 record with the Islanders. Reuschel had a nice season for the Pirates, going 14-8 with a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts. Rick also won a Gold Glove award. How Perseverance Paid Off for Rick Reuschel - May 1986 Baseball Digest. Pittsburgh's Golden Oldie - July 15, 1985 Sports Illustrated.

  • In 1986 Rick was 9-16 with a 3.96 ERA in 34 starts for the Pirates. Reuschel started the 1987 season with the Pirates (8-6, 2.75 ERA in 25 starts) and made the NL All Star Team (he pitched the 7th and part of the 8th innings). Rick was traded to the Giants for Scott Medvin and Jeff Robinson on August 21. Rick was 5-3 with a 4.32 ERA in 8 starts for the Giants as they won the NL West title. Reuschel started and lost game 1 of the NLCS. He also started game 5 but wasn't involved in the decision. To top it all off, Rick won another Gold Glove award and was 3rd in NL Cy Young Award voting.

  • Rick led the NL with 36 starts in 1988 and was 19-11 with a 3.12 ERA. Rick Reuschel: He Lets Batter Get Himself Out - December 1988 Baseball Digest. He started the 1989 All Star game and gave up home runs to the first two AL hitters (Bo Jackson and Wade Boggs). Dave Stewart let Rick off the hook by allowing two runs in the bottom of the first, so Rick wasn't involved in the decision. Reuschel went 17-8 with a 2.94 ERA for the NL Champion Giants. He lost game 2 of the NLCS and won game 5. In the World Series Rick started and lost game 2 as the Giants were swept by the Oakland A's.

  • Reuschel was injured for much of the 1991 season. He didn't pitch from May 27-September 17. Rick was 3-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 13 starts. Reuschel was 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA in 4 games (1 start) in 1991 when he was released by the Giants on June 19.

  • Liked to face: Bill Doran (.130 in 46 AB); Ron Cey (.139 in 79 AB); Eric Davis (.048 in 21 AB)
  • Hated to face: Mike Schmidt (.403 with 7 HR in 129 AB); Tim Raines (.441 in 68 AB); Richie Hebner (.422 in 83 AB)

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