Wednesday, May 24, 2017
no. 662 - mike hedlund
What a card: Mike Hedlund was in the midst of by far his best major league season when this card was issued. Hedlund started 30 games in 1971, nearly twice as many in any other year of his career, and went 15-8 with a 2.71 ERA.
Can ya dig it: It's not quite as visible as it is on some of his other cards, but Hedlund really had some red hair.
Right on: I sure do miss seeing ballplayers milling about in the background of baseball card photos.
You see that cat Hedlund is a bad mother: Hedlund's first major league appearance came as an 18-year-old for the Indians in 1965. During a May 8 game against the Red Sox he relieved Floyd Weaver after Weaver gave up a three-run home run to Tony Conigliaro, Hedlund retired Carl Yastrzemski on a ground out and Eddie Bressoud on a fly ball to finish the inning.
Shut your mouth: To illustrate how different it was for pitchers back then, Hedlund said in an interview that when he was with the Indians, his pitching coach was Early Wynn, and Wynn told him, "when I hand you the ball, I want you to pitch 300 innings."
No one understands him but his woman: Hedlund was one of several major leaguers who went over to Vietnam in the offseason on a goodwill tour, visiting soldiers during the Vietnam War. Hedlund visited in 1971, along with players like Bob Gibson, Graig Nettles, Dock Ellis and Bobby Bonds.
(A word about the back): That's some nice research in the bio.