Chasing Rookies: Sutter, Wilcox and “Mr. October”

In the third episode of MISportsNow’s “Chasing Rookies,” we dig into our second box from monthly trading card subscription company Collectible Card Club and open packs of 1983 and 1984 Fleer, 1985 Topps, 1986 Sportflics and Upper Deck’s inaugural 1989 series.

Below are some of the highlights from our five packs as we take a look back at the history of the game and the trading card industry.

1983 Fleer
#24 Bruce Sutter

A 2006 Hall of Fame inductee, Sutter was one of the first pitchers to effectively use the split-finger fastball and led the National League in saves on five occasions. A six-time All-Star and 1982 World Series champion, Sutter began his career with the Chicago Cubs (1976-80) before moving on to the St. Louis Cardinals (1981-84) and Atlanta Braves (1985-86, 1988). One of less than 30 pitchers to eclipse the 300 career save mark, Sutter ended his career in 1988 with a 68-71 career record, 300 saves, a 2.83 ERA and 861 strikeouts.

1984 Fleer
#93 Milt Wilcox

A member of the 1984 Detroit Tigers World Series champion team, Wilcox made his debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 1970. Wilcox spent nine of his 16 seasons with the Tigers, going 17-8 with a 4.00 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 1984. Drafted by the Reds in the second round of the 1968 amateur draft, Wilcox concluded his career with the Seattle Mariners in 1986. Wilcox posted a career record of 119-113 with a 4.07 ERA and 1,137 strikeouts.

1985 Topps
#200 Reggie Jackson

“Mr. October,” Jackson was named an All-Star 14 times, won five World Series titles, was twice award World Series MVP honors and led the American League in home runs on four occasions. A right fielder, Jackson had his jersey number retired by both the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees. A 1993 Cooperstown inductee, Jackson played for the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics (1967-75, 1987), Baltimore Orioles (1976), New York Yankees (1977-81) and California Angels (1982-86). Jackson posted a .262 average with 2,584 hits, 563 home runs and 1,702 RBIs over 21 seasons.

1986 Sportflics
#196 Ted Simmons

A native of downstate Highland Park and a Southfield High School graduate, Simmons was drafted in the first round of the 1967 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. The catcher and first baseman debuted with the Cardinals in 1968 and was an eight-time All-Star and 1980 Silver Slugger Award winner. Simmons ended his career in 1988 with the Atlanta Braves, finishing with .285 career average, 2,472 hits, 248 home runs and 1,389 RBIs. He is a member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame.

1989 Upper Deck
#150 Matt Noakes

Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1981, Noakes spent six seasons with the Detroit Tigers from 1986-90. The former catcher and designated hitter was named an All-Star in 1987 and won a Silver Slugger Award that same season. Noakes spent 11 seasons in the majors, wrapping up his career in 1995 by splitting time between the Baltimore Orioles and Colorado Rockies. He ended his career with a .254 average with 136 home runs and 422 RBIs.

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