Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Friday, May 14, 2010

1976 Topps #439 - Rick Rhoden

  • Rick Rhoden pitched in the majors from 1974-1989. Rick overcame the childhood bone disease osteomyelitis and wore a brace until he was 12 years old. Rhoden was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1971. He spent four seasons (1971-1974) in the minors and had a 4-game stint (1-0, 2.00 ERA in 9 innings) with the Dodgers in July of '74.

  • Rhoden appeared in 26 games (11 starts) in 1975. He was 3-3 with a 3.09 ERA. Rick was an NL All Star in 1976 (he pitched a scoreless 8th inning in the NL win) and was 12-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 26 starts.

  • Rick helped the Dodgers to the 1977 NL pennant with a 16-10 record in 31 starts. Rhoden pitched 4.1 innings in game 3 of the NLCS after starter Burt Hooton got knocked out early. Rhoden held the Phillies scoreless and the Dodgers eventually won the game in the 9th inning. Rick took the loss in the bottom of the 12th in game 1 of the World Series after Willie Randolph doubled, Thurman Munson was intentionally walked, and Paul Blair singled to score Randolph.

  • Rhoden was 10-8 with a 3.66 ERA in 30 games (23 starts) in 1978. He allowed one run in four innings in game 4 of the NLCS. Rick wasn't used in the World Series. On April 7, 1979 Rhoden was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jerry Reuss.

  • Rick was injured in 1979 (bone spur in his right shoulder) and missed virtually the whole season. He made one start on May 8, allowed four runs in five innings, and took the loss. He didn't pitch for the remainder of the season. Rhoden made ten starts in the minors before coming back to the Pirates in mid-June of 1980. Rick went 10-9 with a 3.84 ERA in 19 starts for the Pirates in 1980.

  • Rhoden made 21 starts in the strike-shortened 1981 season and went 9-4 with a 3.89 ERA. In 1982 Rick was 11-14 with a 4.14 ERA in 35 starts.

  • Rick pitched for the Pirates for four more seasons. He had seasons of 13-13 (1983), 14-9 (1984), and 10-15 (1985). Rhoden won the NL Silver Slugger Award in 1984 and 1985. These Pitchers Know How to Swing the Bat, Too! - July 1985 Baseball Digest

  • In 1986 Rick had his best season. He went 14-9 with a 2.72 ERA, made the NL All Star team (he wasn't used), and won the NL Silver Slugger Award for the third straight year. After the 1986 season Rhoden was traded with Pat Clements and Cecilio Guante to the New York Yankees for Doug Drabek, Logan Easley and Brian Fisher.

  • Rhoden was 16-10 with a 3.86 ERA for the Yankees in 1987. In 1988 Rick  was 12-12 with a 4.29 ERA in 30 starts. Yankee manager Billy Martin used Rick as a designated hitter on June 11. Rhoden was 0 for 1 with a sacrifice fly before giving way to a pinch hitter (Jose Cruz). After the 1983 season Rick was traded to the Houston Astros for two minor leaguers and John Fishel.

  • Rick missed almost three months of the 1989 season with an injury (early May - late July). He made five starts in Class A ball and then returned to the Astros. Rhoden ended up 2-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 17 starts for the Astros and retired after the season.

  • After his playing career Rhoden made a name for himself as a golfer. He often played and won celebrity golf tournaments and played on the Senior PGA Tour from 2004-2008. Rick regularly plays in the American Century Celebrity Golf Classic and has won the event eight times between 1991 and 2008. He now lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

  • Liked to face: Phil Bradley/Cory Snyder (.000 in 10 AB); Doug Flynn (.077 in 39 AB); Mike LaValliere (.095 in 21 AB)

  • Hated to face: Dave Cash (.619 in 21 AB); Eric Davis (.471 with 5 HR in 17 AB); Bob Boone (.429 in 28 AB)

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