Wednesday, March 12, 2014

no. 271 - bill zepp

Who is the man: Bill Zepp was a Detroit Tiger by the time this card appeared in packs. He was traded by the Twins in March of 1971.

Can ya dig it: Still love the classic hands-over-head pitching pose, although once again I am sure there is no ball in that glove.

Right on: This is Zepp's only solo card. He appears on a three-player "rookie stars" card in the 1970 Topps set.

You see this cat Zepp is a bad mother: Zepp's major league debut came at Yankee Stadium in the eighth inning on Aug. 12, 1969. He retired Roy White and Bobby Murcer on ground balls and struck out Thurman Munson.

Shut your mouth: Zepp's career was cut short in 1971 by an elbow injury. This was almost four years before Tommy John surgery so Zepp just packed up and called it a career.

No one understands him but his woman: When Zepp was called up to the major leagues for the first time in 1969, it occurred shortly after the incident between Twins manager Billy Martin and pitcher Dave Boswell in which Martin knocked out Boswell. When Zepp arrived with his new team, the first person he saw was Martin. Zepp went up to greet his new manager and Martin put out his left hand and shook Zepp's hand feebly. Only later did Zepp learn why Martin did that.

(A word about the back): When Zepp pitched for the University of Michigan, he was drafted three straight years by the Braves in 1965, Tigers in 1966 and Red Sox in 1967 and did not sign each time. Zepp said he didn't sign because he didn't have a good career at Michigan (winning only six games his whole college career) and didn't have the confidence or desire to perform in the majors then.

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