Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Venerable Old Card Part 43

I have really been digging the Wax Ecstatic Podcast lately.  My daughter takes good naps when I bundle her up and push her around for a couple of miles in her stroller.  I enjoy the exercise and the fresh air, but I also download an episode or two of the podcast to keep me entertained along the way...





So far the podcast has covered most of the major baseball card releases from the 1980s and the early parts of the 1990s.  The most recent podcast covered the 1992 Upper Deck set and focused on the Frank Thomas base card.  All the talk about sets from my childhood has sent me back into the older sections of my collection to dig through all my favorite junk wax era cards.  

This weekend I spent a little bit of time working on sorting out my 1990 Upper Deck set.  I know it's not as good as the 1989 set, but it was the first Upper Deck set that I actually tried to put together.  The 1989 set was more of a dalliance, a few packs in hopes of Ken Griffey Jr. 

I knew that I wanted to pick out a 1990 Upper Deck card for my weekly Monday Venerable Old post, but it took me awhile to narrow the field down.  In fact, I ended up searching through my scorecards too just to see what players I saw around that time.  Since I lived in St. Louis, and the early 1990s Cardinals teams were pretty bad, I was really looking for some cool player on another team.  

Here is who I came up with.......


Mark Langston.

If you know of Mark Langston on the Expos it's probably because of the Randy Johnson trade.  I knew of Randy Johnson in 1989, but they traded him for Mark Langston.  He spent the first years of his careers on the Mariners, who were terrible, and all he did was strike out a ton of batters every year.  My house had a subscription to the Post Dispatch and I liked that League Leader section underneath the standings.  I was really there to check out Vince Coleman's stolen base totals most days, make sure Raines and Juan Samuel weren't going to catch him, but I also perused the other players and stats on there....

Langston struck out 204 in 1984, 245 in 1986, 262 in 1987, and 235 in 1988.  He did not pitch a full season in 1985, but he basically had 1,000 strikeouts in a little more than 4 seasons with the Mariners.  He was a huge get for the Expos at the time and I went to one of his first games as an Expo.

Langston did not disappoint....


pitching a shutout against the Cardinals and Jose DeLeon.  

The 1989 Expos ended up finishing 4th in the National League East behind the Cubs, Mets, and Cardinals, but it had nothing to do with Langston who was excellent in his brief time north of the border.  Stats were nice....



with an ERA just above 2, almost a strikeout per inning, and a WAR of almost 5 in just 24 starts.  Also good for an ERA+ of 148.  After the season Langston left for the Angels, where he pitched for 8 years before short stints with the Padres and Angels.  

I actually ran into Langston 8 years later on my 21st birthday when I drove to St. Louis from college to see a Cardinals/Padres game.  It's the third home run on the video, just 20 seconds in....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this podcast! I downloaded a few of their episodes and look forward to listening to them on my drive to work. As for Langston... those were some amazing numbers he put up his first few years. I remember him being good... but he was really good.

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