Today's card is one I had to have because it was an "old" card of the first player I pulled out of my very first pack of cards ever. When I pulled my first Steve Carlton, it was a 1981 Fleer card and Steve was probably still celebrating the Phillies 1980 World Series victory. This card pre-dated that one by a few years.
This is a really nice 1972 Topps Steve Carlton card from his days with the St. Louis Cardinals. When I say nice, I mean that it's from 1972, not that it's a great photo. This is the kind of picture that NO competition will get you. I know Steve played for the Cards in 1971, but that cap still looks as if it was airbrushed on his head.
Steve Carlton had a phenomenal career. His numbers are among the best all time. Over the course of 24 seasons, mostly with the Cardinals and Phillies, Carlton made 709 starts (6th all-time), won 329 games (11th all-time), pitched 5,217.1 innings (9th all-time), and had 4,136 strikeouts (4th all-time). He also threw 254 complete games and had 55 shutouts. Carlton won 20+ games six times with a career high of 27 and twice pitched more than 300 innings in a season. One of those times was highlighted on the 1973 Topps Strikeout Leaders card, which made an appearance in "Cards from the Old Man: Part 2".
Steve Carlton won the N.L. Cy Young Award 4 times, in 1972, 1977, 1980 and 1982. He also flashed the leather when necessary and brought home a Gold Glove in 1981. He was a 5X All-Star and pitched in four World Series'. He won a W.S. ring in 1967 and 1980. He was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1994 with 95.42% of the vote.
Rumor has it that Steve may just make another appearance in this series.