Tuesday, March 25, 2008

1981 Topps - Jim Kern

Today's card reminds us that Johnny Damon was not a trend-setter with his mountain man look a few years ago. From the looks of Kern on card number 197 of the 1981 Topps set the look has been around for awhile.

Kern was a reliever for Texas for three seasons from 1979 to 1981. 1979 was probably the best year of his career as he posted a stunning 1.57 ERA in 143 innings pitched over 71 games. This got him named joint fireman of the year along with Mike Marshall.

Kern was perhaps more well-known for his wacky antics off the mound. He and fellow reliever Sparky Lyle were called "Craziness, Inc." for two seasons in Texas in recognition of their lunacy. The back of this card does nothing to dispel the reputation by pointing out that Jim often wore a black, wide-brimmed Amish hat.

In August of 1980 he was watching a foul ball. Apparently his catcher was not watching him and threw to him. He got hit in the mouth and fell backwards off the mound. A concussion resulted. A freak accident that somehow fit with Jim Kern's personality.

1 comment:

Joey said...

Ah those wacky relievers. Always good for laughs, or crying.