Saturday, April 10, 2010

1981 Donruss, Bill Virdon

#384 Bill Virdon

I was ready to post the first card from 2002 on here today, but I got this card in the mail yesterday. So, I figured that I would post this one before I got started on the '02s.

Bill seems like he was a hot commodity as a manager in the '70s and early '80s. He managed four clubs from 1972 to 1984 and everytime he got fired (except for the last time), he had a Major League managerial job waiting for him the next season.

He began his managing in '72 with the Pirates. In his first season, he lead the Bucs to the NL East title where they lost the NLCS to the Reds. After 136 games into 1973, he was replaced. He managed the Yankees in '74 and lead them to a second place finish. After 104 games the next year, he was replaced. He then took over the Astros for the last 35 games of the 1975 season.

With the Astros, he had his longest tenure as a manager. He lasted there until 1982, when he got replaced after 111 games. During that time, he lead the team to two playoff appearances in 1980 and 1981. He lost to the Phillies in the '80 NLCS and the Dodgers in the '81 playoffs. 1981 was the strike-shortened season and the Astros were the second half winners.

In 1983, Bill took over for the Expos and guided them to an 82-80 record. But, after going 64-67 in 1984, he was replaced. According to Wikipedia, he got replaced by the manager that he replaced twice- Danny Murtaugh in Pittsburgh and Jim Fanning in Montreal.

It took 18 days to get this card back. He actually placed his return address on the SASE, as well. It's not too often that you get a TTM back and know with 100% accuracy who it is from.

I have one more Bill Virdon card that I will post tomorrow and then I should start the 2002s on Monday.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 58/100

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