Saturday, November 17, 2012

1967 Topps, Sammy Ellis

#176 Sammy Ellis

This is the third of four '67 Topps cards that I unlocked over a year ago in the Topps Diamond Giveaway. I sent this card to Sam last November and I got it back eight days later.

Sammy had an up and down career. He made his Major League debut with the Reds as a twenty-one year old in 1962. He pitched 28 innings that season and he walked 29 batters while posting a 6.75 ERA. He played in the minors all of 1963 before making it back to the Bigs in '64. That season, he got his command under control and walked only 28 batters in 122.1 innings. His ERA fell to 2.57 while he picked up a career-high 14 saves.

The following season was Sammy's big year. He finished the season with a 22-10 record while recording 2 more saves. He struck out 183 batters while posting a 3.79 ERA. Sammy also made his lone All Star team that season.

Unfortunately, Sammy's career went downhill after that season. His record slipped to 12-19 the next year while his ERA ballooned to 5.29. In '67, he posted a record of 8-11 while lowering his ERA to 3.84. After that season, the Reds dealt Sammy to the Angels and he went 9-10 in his lone season with LA. He was dealt to the White Sox before the next season and he was 0-3 with a 5.83 ERA before being shipped to the Indians in June. He never played in the Majors for Cleveland and, though he pitched in the minors for two more seasons, his Major League career was over at the age of twenty-eight.

But, thanks to Sammy's 1965 season, he still finished his career with a winning record of 63-58 and 18 saves.

Here is a fun fact about Sammy. He made his Major League debut against the Giants and the Giants starting pitcher that day was future Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry, who was also making his Major League debut. Neither pitcher made it out of the third inning.

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