Saturday, January 15, 2011
1973 Topps Photography knows something I don't, I'm going with this card being his first. In any case, his 1973 season was his rookie year. His ML debut was in April of that year, so I think he was with the club through spring training '73 and this photo was taken there [see update below]. The pitcher's followthrough pose is one of my favorite poses in baseball card tradition. His powder blue uni was the Phils' road outfit back then. I must say I never liked the "swoopie P" Philly threads, and I hated the powder blues. I much prefer today's modern/retro get-ups with the little blue stars as "i" dots.
Ruthven pitched for the Phillies twice in his career, and saw post-season action with most of those powerful teams of the late 70's and early 80's. He received a ring in '80, after getting a no-decision in game 3 vs. the Royals. Dick pitched nine innings and left with a tie game. The Royals won in the 10th for one of their two victories. He also pitched for the 1984 Cubs team, but apparently didn't make an appearance in the playoffs against the Padres.
Cartoon: Dick lists electronics among his hobbies, but the cartoonist is showing electricity. Tharn't much 'lectronics that go into a regular light bulb. A soldering iron fixing a transistor radio with the Phillies game on (Harry Kalas I'm guessing was the announcer in 1974) might be a better cartoon. I'm launching my career on this blog of cartoon critic. Gary Larson beware.
Ballpark background: This doesn't appear to be like any major league park I remember seeing, so I'm guessing that the Phils are playing at another team's spring training site. [Update: A reader named Shawn sent me a photo of a early/mid-70's era Shea Stadium showing this section of fence as being in front of the left field bullpen. Shawn pointed out part of the "3" in the 358 sign right behind Ruthven's right behind. His body is blocking the rest of the number. Thanks Shawn!]