Wednesday, June 10, 2015

no. 420 - jim merritt

Who is the man: Jim Merritt was coming off a 20-win season for the Cincinnati Reds. He also started the final game of the World Series against the Orioles, but was yanked in the second inning after giving up four runs. Baltimore would go on to beat the Reds, 9-3, and win the Series.

Can ya dig it: I don't know where Merritt is, but he looks like he's practicing in a coliseum.

Right on: Despite Merritt's success with the Reds and the Twins, I always think of him as a Ranger, because his 1975 Topps card -- his final card -- was the first one of his I pulled.

You see that cat Merritt is a bad mother: Merritt won 17 games in 1969 despite leading the league in earned runs and home runs allowed.

Shut your mouth: Merritt was fined for allegedly throwing spitballs during a victory against the Indians in 1973. After the game, Merritt said he threw about 25 "Gaylord fastballs," in reference to noted baseball lubricator Gaylord Perry.

No one understands him but his woman: Merritt struck out seven straight batters in 1966, which at the time tied an American League record. It was surpassed by the Yankees' Ron Davis in 1981, which I just mentioned on my most recent post on the 1985 Topps blog.

(A word about the back): I see that Merritt has something in common with Steve Garvey, also a former bat boy for the Dodgers.


  1. I believe that's Tampa Stadium (aka, the "Big Sombrero"), which was right next door to the Reds training facility back then. It shows up in the background on several Topps cards from the early '70s.

  2. yes that is Tampa Stadium. I think a similar backdrop in the 1975 Merv Rettenmund card.

  3. The Reds trained at Al Lopez field in Tampa for many years. Tampa Stadium was adjacent to the baseball stadium and appears in the background of several late 60's and 1970's era Reds cards including Merritt's card.

    PS. I love your blog. Great perspective on all these cards. One of the first sets that I collected and a top five favorite set.