Tuesday, September 20, 2016
no. 577 - jim lonborg
Who is the man: Jim Lonborg was enjoying a comeback summer for the Red Sox when this card was issued. He struggled with shoulder problems all during the 1970 season and appeared in just nine games.
Can ya dig it: Lonborg has such a goofy expression on some his cards. Here he seems to be saying, "oops, watch out grandma, I almost nailed you with that pitch!"
Right on: I would get Jim Lonborg and Jim Bunning confused for years. And here in the 1971 Topps set, they are three cards apart.
You see that cat Lonborg is a bad mother: Lonborg will be forever known for his Cy Young season in 1967 when he led the Impossible Dream Red Sox to the World Series.
Shut your mouth: Lonborg pitched a one-hitter and a three-hitter in back-to-back appearances in the '67 World Series (Game 2 and Game 5). He paid partial credit to Sandy Koufax for the performance, saying that he had a conversation with Koufax, who was a broadcaster for the Series, before pitching. They talked about visualizing pitching a game in his mind before going on the field, and Lonborg said it helped.
No one understands him but his woman: When Lonborg retired from baseball and was figuring out what to do next, his wife Rosemary said, "Why don't you become a dentist? You like health care. You've always looked good in a uniform." Lonborg did and is practicing to this day. He's said he'll retire in 2017.
(A word about the back): Lonborg's 1967 season is mentioned on the write-up of each of his Topps cards from 1968-71. Then, in the 1972 set, after his trade to Milwaukee, the write-up simply says: "The Opening Day pitcher for Louisville, 4-16-71, Jim hurled 12-3 win vs. Rochester on his 29th birthday."
How the mighty have fallen.