Thursday, July 28, 2011
1979 Topps, Woodie Fryman
#269 Woodie Fryman
Here is the next card that I unlocked or traded for on the Topps Million Card Giveaway site. I sent this card to Woodie on January 15 and I had it back in hand on the 27th. Then a week later, Woodie passed away.. That just goes to show how fragile life can be. Here one day and gone the next. I can't find a cause of death, but it appears that Woodie was signing up until his death.
Woodie has an interesting story. He didn't sign with a Major League team until he was 25-years old. The reason he held out so long was because he was making more money as a tobacco farmer than he would have been playing ball. But, he finally relented and he made his Major League Debut with the Pirates on his 26th birthday. It was the start to a long Major League career, one that had him pitching in three different decades.
Woodie spent time with the Pirates, Phillies, Tigers, Expos, Reds, and Cubs during his eighteen year career. But, it seems like his most talked about "season" was the final two months of the 1972 campaign. Woodie was 4-10 with a 4.36 ERA with the Phillies and they put him on waivers. The Tigers, in the midst of a pennant chase with Boston, picked him up and he went on a terror. He went 10-2 with the Tigers and he got his tenth win on the next to last day of the season by beating Boston and clinching the AL East title. He didn't do quite as well in the ALCS, but if it weren't for his run, the Tigers probably never even made it that far.
For his career, Woodie was 141-155 with 58 saves and a 3.77 ERA. He was a two-time All Star.