Monday, March 22, 2010

1976 Topps #390 - Don Gullett

  • Don Gullett pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 1970-1976 and for the New York Yankees in 1977 and 1978. When he was in high school Don once pitched a perfect game and struck out 20 of the 21 batters he faced. Gullett was drafted in the first round by the Reds in 1969. At the age of 18 Gullett was 7-2 in single-A ball in 1969 and earned a shot with the Reds in 1970.

  • Gullett was mostly a reliever for the Reds in 1970. He was 5-2 with six saves and a 2.43 ERA in 44 games (2 starts) in 1970. Don appeared in two games in the 1970 NLCS, didn't allow a run in 3.2 innings, and got a save. In the 1970 World Series Gullett made three appearances and had a 1.35 ERA in 6.2 innings. How Don Gullett Became An Instant Celebrity - January 1971 Baseball Digest.

  • Don joined the Reds' starting rotation in 1971 and led the NL with a .727 winning percentage. This was impressive considering the Reds had a down year in 1971. Don was 16-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 35 games (31 starts). In 1972 Gullett had his only losing season. He was 9-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 31 games (16 starts). Don was 0-1 with a 8.00 ERA in two starts in the 1972 NLCS. He started game 4 of the 1972 World Series and allowed one run in seven innings, but he didn't get the decision.

  • Gullett won a career-high 18 games in 1973. He was 18-8 with two saves and a 3.51 ERA in 45 games (30 starts). Don started and lost game 2 of the 1973 NLCS, but he gave up only one run in six innings. It was Don's luck that Mets pitcher Jon Matlack shut out the Reds on two hits in that game. Gullett also appeared as a reliever in two other games in the NLCS.

  • Don had career highs in starts (35) and innings pitched (243) in 1974. He was 17-11 with a 3.04 ERA. How Forkball Helped Don Gullett - October 1974 Baseball Digest.

  • In 1975 Gullett missed two months from mid-June to mid-August because of a broken thumb suffered when he was hit by a Larvell Blanks line drive. He ended up 15-4 with a 2.42 ERA in 22 starts in 1975 and led the NL in winning percentage (.789). Gullett started game 1 of the 1975 NLCS and pitched a complete-game victory. He started games 1 (losing pitcher), 5 (winning pitcher), and 7(no decision) of the 1975 World Series and got the first of four straight World Series rings.

  • Gullett missed a few starts in 1976 and also pitched in only one game in August. Anatomy of an Arm Problem - December 1976 Baseball Digest. He had an 11-3 record with a 3.00 ERA in 23 games (20 starts) in 1976. Don won game 1 of the 1976 NLCS and game 1 of the 1976 World Series. After the 1976 season Gullett became a free agent and signed with the New York Yankees.

  • Don led the AL with a .778 winning percentage and was 14-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 22 starts in 1977. He was roughed up in the 1977 ALCS (losing pitcher in game 1) and in the 1977 World Series (no decision in game 1 and losing pitcher in game 5).

  • The 1978 season was Don's last one. He didn't pitch until June 4. Don made eight starts (4-2, 3.63 ERA) and then went down with a rotator cuff injury. He wasn't able to come back from the injury and the Yankees finally released him after the 1980 season. Gullett had a heart attack in 1986.  Vanished Big League Season Still Haunt Don Gullett - July 1986 Baseball Digest.

  • Don later became a pitching coach and was the pitching coach for the Reds from 1993-2005.

  • Liked to face: Chris Cannizzaro (.000 in 18 AB); Mike Lum (.042 in 24 AB); Wes Parker (.074 in 27 AB)
  • Hated to face: Hank Aaron (.462 with 7 HR in 26 AB); Ken Singleton (.435 in 23 AB); Darrell Evans (.423 in 26 AB); Steve Garvey (.370 with 5 HR in 46 AB)

1 comment:

  1. He was a great pitcher. Does anyone know what he is doing now?