Friday, February 1, 2008

Dennis O'Toole

This is the only Topps card that Dennis O'Toole has and probably the only one he ever will have. A 1973 Topps card number 604 depicting him and two other rookie pitchers.

The problem with this is that Dennis O'Toole's first game was in 1969. He played every year from 1969 until 1973. Sometimes that meant only 1 game, like in 1971, but he was there pitching each year. For a Chicago native, that could be a dream come true. How many other players do you know that could claim to be on their hometown team for 5 years and only called on 15 times? Not many, I imagine.

By the time this card came out, Dennis would see the most games he would ever see in a season. 6 games. He was traded to the Cardinals for Jim Kremmel at the end of the season. A few months later, he was traded to the Indians. He never played in another major league game after he left the White Sox.

Dennis naever won a game, but he never lost a game either. He never even had a save. If it wasn't for this Topps card, most people wouldn't even remember Dennis. It's a sad fact, but true. 15 games over 5 years doesn't provide a decent peek into the pitching proficiency of Dennis. He has a career ERA of 5.04, but that doesn't tell the story. It doesn't tell of his 1 game season of 1971, where he had an ERA of 0.00 over 2 innings with no hits, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.

Dennis can be proud of that game. He can be proud that he stuck around the majors for 5 years, despite playing only an average of 3 games a year. At least it's a great story he can tell his kids and grandkids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember Denny in Sarasota summer of 67.
Carol Davis Flynn

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