Monday, February 10, 2014

Jeff Reardon Autographed Card

Jeff Reardon was a star closer when I became familiar with the Montréal Expos in the mid-1980s, a two-time All-Star (1985 and 1986) and Cy Young nominee.

However, as with most things Expos, leading the league in a statistical category (in his case, saved games, with 41 in 1985 and 35 in 1996) usually meant getting a raise, and that usually meant the team couldn't afford it, so he was traded to the Minnesota Twins, with whom he won the 1987 World Series.

In 1988, he became the first pitcher ever to save 40 games in both the National League and the American League, and played in his third of four All-Star games, the fourth being 1991 with the Boston Red Sox, as shown in this card where he is wearing their grey (away) uniform:

It's from Upper Deck's 1991 Series 1 (i.e. Low Numbers, encompassing cards #1-700 - this one is #418 - the High Numbers set had cards 701-800) and signed in black sharpie when he returned to the NL and faced the Expos, in either 1992 as a member of the Atlanta Braves or, more likely, 1993 with the Cincinnati Reds.

He retired after the 1994 season and has faced a lot of personal problems, most of them stemming from his son's death from a drug overdose in 2004 and the medication he was prescribed to help deal with the tragedy, culminating into this (which he was eventually found not guilty of, though he did spend time in a psychiatric ward and was treated with electroshock therapy):

I wish him and his family nothing but the best and thank him for the good times we had watching him, and perhaps this serves as a reminder that we are all just one tragedy away from spiraling out of control, even when our nickname is The Terminator.

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