Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013 Topps Update Bob Tewksbury Autograph

The World Series has put a series dent into my blogging this week, but I have spent a little bit of time on the eve of tonight's important game 6 showdown between the Red Sox and Cardinals to catch up with my writing.  A bunch of packages, cards, and topics to sort through for my upcoming posts, I sticking with simple for the first of two for the day.  I wrote a post last week about the insanity that Topps has created in their third installment of the Topps Update set with the over use of variations.  Needless to say, I have been a little bit slow in picking up cards from the set.  However, the Topps Update set is one of those annual sets that always seems to end up in my collection.  I am just being really lazy about picking up my pieces for the set.  You should check out the Brent and Becca store on Ebay.  Great case breakers with good deals on complete sets.  Topps Update done in a few clicks of the mouse button.  What about the inserts and whatnot?

Unfortunately Topps did not put any cool die cut cards into the insert set, the manu-cards are some goofy league leader/career leader cards, which leaves few options for the inserts.  I am sure that I will add some in the coming weeks and will post when I finally get around to it, but I am not busting down any doors to add many things beyond the base set.  Which leads me to a card I was actually happy to add to my collection from the Topps Update set....

2013 Topps Update Bob Tewksbury Autograph 

This is Tewksbury's second Topps autograph of the card calendar year, with the other autograph issue coming out from the Topps Archives set.  This Chasing History insert celebrates the rarely recognized walk per nine innings ratio that Tewksbury held in the 1992 season pitching for the Cardinals.

Tewksbury, or Tewks, pitched for the Cardinals during the Joe Torre era during the early 1990s.  He was easily the best pitcher on the team for several years.  While many Cardinals fans are quick to point out that this part of the team's history was a low point for the franchise, some of the pitching performances out of Tewksbury would have been stellar and more recognizable on better teams.  At first glance, his statistics look rather pedestrian.  His first two seasons with the Birds on the Bat were basically .500 with fewer than 100 strikeouts while starting almost 60 games.  That means that Tewksbury missed few bats and did little to help the team win many of his starts.

However, the 1992 season was one of the greatest exhibits in control pitching during the last 20 years.  Tewksbury raked up 16-5 record during that season with a 2.16 ERA, but more impressive was the fact that he only walked 20 batters in more than 230 innings pitched that season.  Tewksbury's BB/9 ratio that inning came in at 0.773 which puts him amongst the lowest ratios of all times.  He also almost match his 1992 ratio during the 1993 season when his final number came in at 0.842.  Both numbers rank amongst the 100 lowest BB/9 in the history of the game and since World War II only three players have posted a lower number (Cliff Lee in 2010, Carlos Silva 2005, and Brett Saberhagen 1994).

Overall, I really enjoy enjoy seeing cards of cool players like Tewksbury who might have flown under the radar, but had a good following during their career.  Topps did a great job to give him a few cards this year and really cool that they recognized his incredible walk ratio despite the fact that the record has been broken a few times since he set it in 1992.


  1. Well, he's no 2005 Carlos Silva, but that's pretty darn respectable.