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Friday, February 20, 2009

Baseball Card of the Week: Bruce Sutter

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 1:14 PM

My mother's favorite baseball player of all time is Bruce Sutter. I'm too young to really remember, but apparently she had quite a thing for the man with the best beard in the biz back in the early 80s. 

So I'm sure that she's going to be thrilled when she sees the new "Play Like a Cardinal" commercials this year featuring members of the 2009 Cardinal bullpen in fake Bruce Sutter beards. Thus, in order to both make my mother happy and pay a bit of tribute to the last man to go into the Hall of Fame wearing a Cards cap, I present to you the Bruce Sutter Baseball Card of the Week

This is a Bruce Sutter card by Donruss from 1984, the final year that Sutter was with the Redbirds. He went on to pitch three more years with Atlanta, but Sutter's greatest accomplishments came wearing the Birds on the Bat. He may have saved his best for last, in fact; 1984 was probably the best year of his career. 

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In 1984, Sutter threw 122.2 innings, ending up with a 5-7 record. His ERA that year was a minuscule 1.54, good for an ERA+ of 229. The only other year that could lay claim to being Sutter's best was his sophomore campaign in 1977 while he was pitching for the Chicago Cubs. His numbers that year were probably even better, to be honest, but he wasn't the every day force for the Cubs yet that he became with the Cardinals. 

But what Sutter will most likely be remembered for, more than the number of saves he ran up or the ERA's that he posted, was the night of October 7, 1982, when he closed out the World Series with a strikeout of Gorman Thomas on a high fastball. It's one of the most indelible images in the history of Cardinal baseball, and always worth taking a look.

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