Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One and Done: Topps 1977 Joe Coleman

I went through my spreadsheet of Topps Cubs and picked out the players who had only one card featuring them as a Cub; they were just one and done. I came up with 215 different players, not include any of those on rookie cards. I went only with regular cards.

From time to time I'll feature one of those cards and tell the story of that player's brief time in Chicago.

Today's featured card is Topps 1977 Joe Coleman. Coleman came to the Cubs in June of 1976, having been purchased from the Tigers. He was a 20 game winner for Detroit in 1971 and 1973, but was slipping badly by 1976 when the Tigers dumped him on the Cubs.

Coleman was given Fergie Jenkins' old number, but Coleman was no Fergie Jenkins! He was put into the rotation when he joined the Cubs and lost three of his first four starts. After that, he spent the rest of the season in the bullpen, mainly in middle relief. He ended up going 2-8 with a 4.10 ERA for the Cubs. During spring training the next season, he was traded to the A's, ending his short time in Chicago.

The spring trade meant that he would have a 1977 card featuring him as a Cub, though not spending any part of the season with the team.

Fast forward to 2010 and the Cubs have a new connection with Joe Coleman.

Son Casey joined the team in August as a pitcher. Unfortunately, dad's 4.10 ERA is half a run better than son Casey's 4.68, though Casey has been pitching better lately. He picked up the win against the Cardinals on Saturday, going seven innings and allowing only two earned runs.

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