Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

1976 Topps #444 - Gary Nolan

  • Gary Nolan pitched in the majors, mostly for the Cincinnati Reds, from 1967-1977. Arm injuries derailed his career. Nolan was a first round draft choice of the Reds in 1966. He pitched in the minors in 1966 and then made the Reds' starting rotation at the age of 18 in 1967. Gary went 14-8 with a 2.78 ERA in 32 starts and was third (behind Tom Seaver and Dick Hughes) in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Teenager in a Hurry - September 1967 Baseball Digest
  • Nolan had injury problems in 1968. He made two starts in the minors and then joined the Reds in late May. Gary was 9-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 22 starts in '68. In 1969 Nolan was 8-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 16 games (15 starts). He missed three months from early May to early August. It's interesting that Gary earned a decision in every appearance in 1969. Gary Nolan: The Confidence Kid - Baseball Digest May 1969
  • Nolan came back in 1970 to have a nice year. He was 18-7 with a 3.27 ERA in 37 starts and was 6th in NL Cy Young Award balloting. Gary pitched nine shutout innings and earned the win in game 1 of the NLCS. Nolan took the loss in game 1 of the World Series. He started game 4 but didn't get the decision.
  • In 1971 Gary had a good ERA (3.16) but was only 12-15. Nolan led the NL with a .750 winning percentage in 1972. He was 15-5 with a 1.99 ERA in 25 starts. Gary was selected to the NL All Star team but was unable to pitch due to neck and shoulder pain. He spent some time on the disabled list but was ready to pitch when the postseason came. Nolan started game 3 of the NLCS and left the game with a lead after six innings, but the bullpen didn't hold the lead. He started and lost game 1 of the World Series. Gary started game 4 of the World Series but was pulled in the 5th inning and didn't get the decision.
  • Nolan made only two starts in 1973 (0-1, 3.48 ERA) and didn't pitch at all (except for a couple of minor league games) in 1974.
  • Gary had a good comeback year in 1975. He went 15-9 with a 3.16 ERA in 32 starts. Nolan started one game in the NLCS and two games in the World Series but didn't get the decision in any of the games. Nolan won the Hutch Award in 1975.
  • Nolan had an identical 15-9 record (this time with a 3.46 ERA) in 1976. He started one game of the NLCS but didn't get the decision. Gary started and won game 4 of the 1976  World Series. The Ordeal of Gary Nolan - February 1976 Baseball Digest
  • In 1977 Nolan had more injury problems. He started eight games with the Reds (4-1, 4.81 ERA) before being traded to the California Angels on June 15 for a minor leaguer. Gary was 0-3 with an 8.84 ERA in five starts for the Angels to finish the 1977 season. Nolan was released by the Angels after the 1977 season. He signed with the Milwaukee Brewers but was released during spring training in 1978. Nolan then retired at the age of 29. He tried to come back with the San Diego Padres in 1980 but couldn't make it out of spring training camp. Gary Nolan Sheds No Tears for Lost Glory - January 1981 Baseball Digest
  • After his retirement Gary worked the floor at MGM Casino in Las Vegas.
  • Liked to face: Clete Boyer (.037 in 27 AB); Tony Taylor (.087 in 23 AB); Ron Santo (.140 in 43 AB)
  • Hated to face: Bill Madlock (.529 in 17 AB); Cleon Jones (.447 in 38 AB); Joe Torre (.439 with 4 HR in 41 AB)

1 comment:

  1. My brother, Craig Hendrickson, was the minor league player traded in 1977. Craig really never liked the Reds organization, was hurt in 1978 and released. He never looked back to baseball. His one claim to fame was that he was traded straight up for Gary Nolan.