Monday, October 21, 2013

Card of the Week: John Farrell 1988 Topps Big

With the Red Sox in the World Series, I thought I would showcase one of manager John Farrell's cards and briefly talk about his career.
1988 Topps Big

This card is one from his rookie year as a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.  As a rookie for Cleveland in 1987, Farrell had a 5-1 win/loss record.  His crowning achievement that year was that he ended Brewers' Paul Molitor's 39 game hitting streak.  I am surprised this is never mentioned about Farrell.  Molitor's hitting streak is the fifth longest in MLB history since 1900 and was pretty big news back then.
Farrell followed up his rookie season by winning 14 games in 1988.  But by 1990, he developed elbow problems which ended his effectiveness as a major league pitcher.
One note about Farrell and the 1988 Cleveland Indians is that three of his teammates are current major league managers as well.  Terry Francona (Cleveland), Ron Washington(Texas) and Bud Black(San Diego).

After Farrell's playing days, Farrell became a pitching coach.  A good enough one to be named the Blue Jays' manager for the 2011 season.  Prior to the 2013 season, the Red Sox traded for Farrell.
Yes, Boston traded a current player for the manager of a different club. It has happened before.  Trading for manager has proven to be a good move.  Pirates traded for Chuck Tanner from Oakland prior to 1977 season and won the World Series two years later and the New York Mets traded for Gil Hodges from Washington Senators in 1967 and also won a World Series title two years later.  Dealing for a manager isn't always successful though.  Miami acquiring Ozzie Guillen and Tampa getting Lou Pinella were not good moves.
By making the World Series, the Farrell trade has been proven to be a successful one.  We all soon will see if Farrell will join Tanner and Hodges as fellow World Series championship managers.

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