Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2018 Topps Now - #437 - Kershaw is Historically Legendary

From time to time Topps tells us something we didn't know. For instance, Clayton Kershaw's performance last night against the Padres provided both statistical and historical proof of Kershaw's greatness -- not that we ever needed to be convinced.

Todays 2018 Topps Now card honoring Clayton Kershaw notes that he is just the fourth person in the history of the game to have pitched at least 2,000 innings and have an ERA lower than 2.38. Remarkably, the other three hurlers were Major Leaguers 100 years ago -- during the deadball era of the game. Go here to check out the card and order. Below is what's written on the reverse.
Since earned runs became an official stat in 1912 in the NL and 1913 in the AL, only three pitchers with at least 2,000 innings pitched had a career ERA lower than 2.38. The list includes Eddie Cicotte, Hippo Vaughn and Walter Johnson. That list now also includes Clayton Kershaw, who dominated the Padres by allowing only two hits over six scoreless innings in an 8-2 Dodgers win. Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher to pass the 2,000 inning pitched mark since Orel Hershiser in 1993 and the 13th overall. 
Walter "Big Train" Johnson is not only a Hall of Famer, but should be on everyone's list as one of the ten best pitchers ever. If not for the Black Sox scandal Eddie Cicotte would be a Hall of Famer, as well. Hippo Vaughan, on the other hand, is one whose statistics suggest was on the cusp of greatness -- if only he played more than 13 seasons. BTW, Hippo's has a fascinating history and if you want to now more about him I'd first suggest checking out his SABR Biography, here.

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