Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mmmmmmmm...Cards #5

1984 Nestle #20 John Denny

What if Mike Krukow, Mike Boddicker, or Bill Wegman had enjoyed an unbelievable streak of luck, pitched only on days when they had their best stuff, and put together a 19-6 season? The answer is that they would have joined John Denny as "The Forgotten Cy Young Award Winners."
I'm really glad I decided to seek out more information on this guy in order to pay him the respect he's due. I've got a couple more of these Nestle cards that I'll eventually get to, and this one jumped out right away as not really belonging in the set. Everyone else I've got is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. This card was actually part of the first collection that was passed down to me by my parents, an odd assortment of 1980 through about 1984 cards. I'm always astonished that somehow, somewhere in all of those trips to the store that my mom thought to pick up a pack or two of 1981 Donruss. Must've been that slick marketing campaign.

The stats on the back really show nothing special until his magical season of 1983. A little more digging further solidified the idea of "no-name" Cy Youngs. Check out this list of men whom time will most likely forget (outside of their geographical region, of course):
1967 Jim Lonborg (AL)
1970 Jim Perry (AL)
1976 Randy Jones (NL)
1980 Steve Stone (AL)
1983 LaMarr Hoyt (AL)
1989 Mark Davis (NL)
1996 Pat Hentgen (AL)

And who makes your list of "Most Likely to be Forgotten" since 2000? Chris Carpenter might be the John Denny of tomorrow. I'd be interested to hear what other think about this. Which Cy Young winners will stand the test of time, and which will be remembered only as well as Mike Cuellar (1969)?


William said...

Interesting topic. When it comes to recent Cy Young winners who will be forgotten, let's be honest with ourselves and recognize that Eric Gagne's career will never be that good from here on out. In twenty years, my kid [if God forbid I have one] might one day be looking up Cy Young winners and ask me who he was. When it comes to ones who will probably be in the Hall of Fame someday, undoubtedly Johan Santana [and probably Bartolo Colon] fit that bill.

William said...

Actually, forget about Bartolo [he's getting pretty old] and let's go with Carsten Charles Sabathia. He has 100 wins under his belt and is only 27. As Adam Sandler would say: "Not too shabby."

Dan said...

As far as winners in the last 20 years goes, I think that Steve Bedrosian and Doug Drabek will probably both fit that list as well.