Tuesday, July 10, 2012

50 Years in Cards: 1981

Part 20 of our 50-year Rallye Relay...
What is it: 1981 Topps #414, John Pacella

What makes it interesting: Another bland design from Topps in '81. The different colored borders for each team is sort of reminiscent of the '75s, but not really. This is also the first year that Topps officially started making a "Traded" series, a (usually) boxed set of 132 cards that came out after the season and featured cards of players that were traded during the season and Rookies that debuted that year, etc, etc...

I admittedly know very little about John Pacella. Probably because, outside of the fact that his horrible mechanics led to his cap flying off his head every pitch, there doesn't appear to be much to remember. His '81 Topps Card is the only card that featured him with the Mets (he also can boast 3 cards from 1983, when he was on the Minnesota Twins). His fun fact on the back of the card rather succinctly states that he "has unique habit of losing his cap each pitch), and the photo on the front reveals as much. In 3 seasons with the Mets, spanning 39 games and 18 starts, Pacella did nothing to distinguish himself. He left the Mets with a 3-6 record and a lousy 4.83 ERA. After debuting in 1977, Pacella also appeared in parts of the 1979 and 1980 seasons, but he was gone by '81. He would manage to stick around until 1986, surfacing with the Yankees, Twins, Orioles and Tigers, but he fared no better wherever he ended up. His career spanning only 74 games, Pacella finished with a career mark of 4-10, and an ERA of 5.73. The essence of a true never-will-be. But, even the never-will-be's somehow manage to make their mark, and for Pacella, it was that darn cap always flying off his head.

Card back:

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