Six-time American League All-Star pitcher Sam McDowell came on the show this week to talk about his career in the major leagues, his recovery from alcoholism and his new book The Sage of Sudden Sam the Rise, Fall and Redemption of Sam McDowell.
McDowell spent 15 seasons in Major League Baseball pitching for the Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1961-1975. Known as the “biggest drunk” in baseball, Sam chronicles his rise, fall and recovery in his new book.
During our interview he regales us with stories of his time as a batting practice pitcher for his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates while in high school, his many appearances in All-Star games and his time in the big leagues.
We talk about dealing with autograph requests from fans, the memorabilia he collected during his playing days and some of his darker days when he attempted to commit suicide. We also talk about how and why Sam Malone from the TV show Cheers was modeled after him.
This week’s TTMCast give away
This week we are giving away an autographed copy of McDowell’s book Sudden Sam the Rise, Fall and Redemption of Sam McDowell.
TTM This Week
I have been receiving one or two returns each day as the fruits of my labor have begun to pay off. I sent out 45 requests this week from a large batch of 1980 Topps football cards I picked up for a good price a couple of weeks ago in Wilmington, MA at the Rich Altman Card Show.
Please note: Most athlete’s mailing addresses are available on several TTM related web sites including Sports Card Forum and Sports Collectors.net.
Here’s a few of my recent TTM successes.
Jerry Sichting – After staring at Purdue, Sichting went on to play ten seasons in the NBA including stints in Indiana, Boston, Portland, Charlotte, and Milwaukee. He was a member of the 1986 World Champion Boston Celtics team. He is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and scored over 4,000 points during his career. After his playing days he went into broadcasting and served as assistant coach for numerous NBA teams. He signed his 1986 and 1987 Fleer basketball cards for me and returned them in less than two weeks.
Doug Rau – Rau spent eight seasons as a pitcher for the Los Angles Dodgers from 1972-79 and finished his career in the Angles in 1981. He averaged 14 wins from 1974-78 with the Dodgers and pitched in three World Series (1974, 1977 and 1978). He finished 2nd in the NL in ERA for a 2.57 during the 1976 season. Rau signed and returned his 1980 Topps card for me in less than two weeks.
Roy Face – Elroy “Roy” Face played 15 seasons with the Pirates from 1953-1968 and finished his career playing with the Tigers in 1968 and Expos in 1969. He was a six-time NL All-Star and lead the NL in saves three times. After his 1957 season, he was used exclusively as a relief pitcher. He was a remarkable 18-1 in 1959. He was a member of the World Champion Pirates in 1960 and the expansion Montreal Expos in 1969. He saved three games against the Yankees in the 1960 World Series.
I love digging for TTM fodder in the quarter boxes at card stores and shows and was lucky enough to rescue this 1969 Topps Roy Face card from a box. I send this off to Face for his signature who promptly signed and returned it to me in about ten days.
Rich Karlis – Being a bare-footed kick is crazy enough but being a bare-footed kicker in Denver boarders on insanity. Karlis kicked without a shoe for the Denver Broncos from 1982-1988 and finished his career with the Vikings and Lions the next two seasons. He scored 799 points during his career. He now runs a woodworking business apply named Barefoot Bronco Woodworking. He signed his 1989 Topps card for me and returned it in about a week.
Dave Twardzik – Dave Twardzik played for Old Dominion in college and went on to play for the Virginia Squires in the ABA (1972-76) and Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA (1976-80). He played in the 1975 ABA All-Star Game scoring 14 points and was a member of the 1977 World Champion Portland Trail Blazers. His number 13 is retired by the Trail Blazers.
He signed his 1974-75 Topps card and returned it to me in less than two weeks.
Mike Krukow – Sometimes when you get a TTM return you get a surprise. Sometimes the surprise is a good one, sometimes not so much. That was the case with this return from former San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs pitcher Mike Krukow. I had sent the current Giants broadcaster a 1978 Topps cards to sign for the set I’m collecting but received this Upper Deck card instead. Maybe he mistakenly sent my card to another collector who wrote him. At least he did reply, although it took about six months. If you have a 1978 Topps card signed by Krukow let me know I’d love to talk trade with you.
Here’s a few more people who are currently signing for free. I have had success with all of them in the past:
- Bill Campbell – All-Star closer with the Twins and Red Sox
- Roger Craig (Football) – RB with the 49ers and Vikings
- Kevin Butler – Kicker with the Chicago Bears
- John Jefferson – WR with the SD Chargers
- Tom House – Reliever who caught Hank Aaron’s 715 HR in Braves bullpen in 1974
Have a TTM success story you would like to share with me? Please, send it me at [email protected]. If I use it in my column, I’ll send you a prize.
TTM tip of the week:
The price of stamps is going up.
The price of forever stamps is going up from .58 to .60 on July 10th. Stock up now, two cents may not seem a lot but anytime you can save a few bucks you should take advantage of it.