Jack Morris’ 18 year career began in 1977 and ended in 1994. He played on four different organizations: Detroit Tigers 1977-1990; Minnesota Twins in 1991; Toronto Blue Jays in 1992-1993 and Cleveland Indians in 1994. His weapon of choice was a fastball, a slider and his go to pitch the split-finger fastball. Over the years there has been much debate about Jack’s entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He was on the HOF eligibility list for 15 years. He never received the needed 75% of the vote but did come close in 2013 when he received 67.7% of the vote. The debate was rooted in the numbers. Some point to the facts that during the 1980’s Jack gave up the most hits, most earned runs, the most wild pitches, and the most home runs of any pitcher in that decade. However, when looking at facts you must consider all the facts. In that same era Jack also started the most games, pitched the most innings and had the most wins of any pitcher of that decade.
Other notable facts include Jack pitching a total of 549 career games, of those, 175 were complete games. Even more impressive in 1986 he threw three consecutive complete game shutouts. (emphasis mine because I had to pause and chew on that for a minute – remarkable!) He’s got one no-hitter under his belt too. April 7, 1984 verses the Chicago White Sox. It was the first no-hitter by a Tiger since Jim Bunning, another Hall of Famer, did it in 1958. One of his more impressive years was in 1991 when he signed a one year contract with his hometown ball club the Minnesota Twins he had a great regular season going 18-3 but the real magic happened in the World Series; Jack was the starting pitcher in 3 of 7 games played going 2-0 with 1.17 ERA he was awarded the World Series MVP as the Twins went on to beat the Atlanta Braves.
ROOKIE CARD OF HALL OF FAMER JACK MORRIS
1978 Topps, Card No. 703 (shop eBay)
In 1978 Topps increased the size of its set, from the previous 660 card set to the new and improved 726 cards. In typical fashion Topps offered collectors multiple subsets; Record Breakers subset, AL & NL Statistical Leaders subset, World Series subset and how can we forget the rookie subset. The rookie cards, which appear toward the back-end of the set features four players per card by position rather than by team. Although many collectors are not a fan of multi-player rookie cards we make exceptions when they include rookie cards of Hall of Famers. The 1978 Topps card design is one of the most beloved in the hobby, although the rookies don’t show all its design swag it does give us the basics. Card #703 gives us four rookies. The yellow back drop outlined with a thin red line really gives it nice eye appeal. Follow that red line around and it will lead you to the year ’78 in big bold font. Towards the bottom of the card in a bit smaller font Topps tells you what your looking at, “Rookie Pitchers.” The card backs are a brownish/copper color with navy blue font. And since there’s four players featured on the card we only get a short bio of each player, there’s not much room for anything else.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $2.00-$5.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell between $20.00-$45.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $280.00-$450.00 range.