Monday, January 9, 2017

Countdown to 2017 Topps #23: Complete Game Fulgham

I came across an interesting article while researching today's subject, John Fulgham- former pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals. In the piece, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revisits (rather briefly) an unbelievable pitching performance by Fulgham. As it turns out, the box score page on Baseball Reference recorded Fulgham as having thrown a 39-pitch complete game shutout against the Giants on August 17, 1979. You've heard of 'The Maddux' (a 76-pitch complete game), well I think that should be replaced with 'The Fulgham'. With an asterisk, of course.

While Baseball Reference might be off just a *bit* on their box score pitch count, John does hold the distinction of having pitched a complete game in every one of his career victories. Granted, Fulgham, whose career was cut short due to an injured rotator-cuff, only recorded 14 wins over 2 seasons (35 starts); but, still, that's quite an accomplishment.

John's final game in the majors came against the Houston Astros on August 27, 1980, in a start that lasted only one inning. By the time his 1981 Topps card landed in collector's hands, Fulgham's career was as good as over- no pitcher had undergone the surgery performed on John and made a successful return to the mound. The Cards were told it would be 18 to 24-months before he would pitch again and manager Whitey Herzog spoke in the past tense when speaking about the pitcher. "He could've been a No. 1 pitcher," the Hall of Fame manager said about the promise that would never be realized.

No comments:

Post a Comment