If August Busch III is reading, you are welcome to correct that assumption in the comments.
Just to state for the 40th time since I started writing this thread of 1990s posts, the Cardinals went cheap after August II, Gussie, died and his son took over the team. Rick Sutcliffe had won 10 games with the Baltimore Orioles in 1993, but his ERA was 5.75. Maybe that's not horrible pitching in Camden Yards during the steroid era, but he was clearly not the guy who led the National League in wins during the 1987, the Rookie of the Year in 1979, and the Cy Young in 1984.
Most important reason for Rick Sutcliffe making an appearance on the 1994 Cardinals? His salary was $250,000. That was not the Major League minimum in 1994, but the players near him in terms of salary on the Cardinals included Vincente Palacios, John Habyan, Rheal Cormier, and Mike Perez. Not the pricy part of the payroll.
The 1994 season was Sutcliffe's last as a Major Leaguer. He had two long stints on the disabled list, which limited him to just 16 starts in what amounted to half a season's games. He actually ended up with a winning record, 6-4, in spite of the fact that his ERA ended at 6.52. Sutcliffe had several games which did a lot to jump his ERA up, probably a little inflated.
On to baseball cards. I will do four cards for Sutcliffe, two from 1994 and two from 1995. A few bonus cards at the end.
Sutcliffe was always a mullet type of guy and this card shows off that hair. He actually had some shorter hair at some point with the Cardinals. I also like the sunglasses. I know those were probably really cool in 1994. I am not a glasses type of person, never worn them, and I don't do sunglasses either. This pair actually remind me of Kenny Powers. I guess you throw in the mullet......
makes me want to check to see if Rick Sutcliffe has ever taught P.E. class in North Carolina. I like the Stadium Club cards, always nice photography. I like the picture on the card, but I always thought the label maker bottom is little bit odd. Wasn't there a Simpsons episode out around this time where Bart gets a label maker from his aunts for this birthday?
and there you have it. This was during Season 3, which aired in 1992. Someone at Topps watched this episode and then designed this Stadium Club set.
This is the short haired version of Rick Sutcliffe. Not clearly as cool as the mullet. This is much more along the lines of Rick Sutcliffe the guy who works on Sunday Night Baseball. Throw a shirt, tie, and sport coat on him....
This card is from the 1994 Score Traded/Rookie set. Everyone remembers these cards for the ARod rookie. Always kind of liked the red borders with the Cardinals cards, but it stinks that the team did not have many cards in the set. I think the best Cardinals card is either this Sutcliffe or John Mabry. Slightly depressing.
That was really it for his 1994 cards with the Cardinals. He also had a few with the Orioles, but overall Sutcliffe just did not have many cards that year. You can only imagine, given the season he had in 1994, that the selection of 1995 was even more sparse. Sutcliffe had two different cards the year after he retired.
A Collector's Choice card. Upper Deck always had nice photography on their cards. Nice shot of Sutcliffe signing autographs. Not sure what else is going on here.
Another Score card. Nice enough picture and a decent card to go out with.
One thing that is slightly disappointing about Sutcliffe's 1995 card selection is the fact that he does not have a Topps card. I know that in 1994 Topps gave him a card with the Orioles......
which is understandable since he played the 1993 season with them. Given the longevity of Sutcliffe's career, the fact that he won several major awards, it would have been nice if Topps had given him some sort of send off for the end of his career. For what it is worth, they did end up giving Sutcliffe a few cards in the mid 2000s, which are pretty nice.
and they thankfully avoid his time with the Cardinals. The retirement years Sutcliffe cards only had a two year run, since there has not been a single card made of the former pitcher.