Tuesday, December 6, 2011

1977 Topps #6 ML Strikeout Leaders Ryan/Seaver

It's interesting that these two friends and former Mets teammates are featured together on a 1977 card-which happened to be the year that Seaver forced his way out of New York after a Daily News article by columnist Dick Young claimed, among other things, that Tom and his wife Nancy were jealous of Ryan making more money than Tom Terrific. It was a column which Seaver claimed "was the straw that broke the back." Prior to the publication of the article, Seaver had agreed to a contract extension and had told Mets GM Joe McDonald, who was in discussions with Cincinnati about a trade for the ace, not to continue any further in trade talks. Needless to say, after being informed of the article, Tom was enraged and demanded to be shipped out of town. Traded to Cincinnati for four young players, Seaver would start 20 games for the Reds in '77-going 14-3 with 14 complete games, 4 shutouts, a 2.34 ERA, and 124 Ks in 165.1 IP.

The Ryan Express won his fifth strikeout title in '77, finishing with 341 Ks in 299 IP and completing 22 of his 37 starts. Ryan finish with double digits in strikeouts twenty times during the season, including tying his career-high of 19 on June 8 against the Blue Jays.

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