Sunday, February 14, 2016

611th Place - Mike Bielecki

Card #436

Yes, that's a smudge on the left side there.  My grubby 13 year old hands must have left a goober on it, pressed into the cardboard for the rest of eternity.

I've gone back and forth in my mind about whether I like the red nameplate Topps used for the Pirates in 1988.  It should work, since you can find it on the Jolly Roger being blocked out on Bielecki's shirt, but sometimes it just looks weird to me.  What do you think?

Bielecki pitched fourteen years in the majors, which is nothing to sneeze at.  His best season would come in 1989 with the Chicago Cubs.  He would go 18-7 with a 3.14 ERA and a career best 147 strikeouts and was a big contributor on their playoff team.  His last two years in the bigs were in the Atlanta bullpen, where he pitched in his only World Series in 1996.

Bielecki was with the Cleveland Indians during the horrible spring training boating accident that claimed the lives of Steve Olin and Tim Crews.  He credits his ex-wife with preventing him from being on the boat too.  The tragedy forced him to come back earlier than expected from an arm injury.

He's on Twitter, though it's been a few years since he's re-tweeted any of his conservative heroes...

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