Thursday, February 2, 2023

#174 Grant Jackson - Philadelphia Phillies

Grant Dwight Jackson
Philadelphia Phillies

Bats:  Both  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'0"  Weight:  180
Born:  September 28, 1942, Fostoria, OH
Signed:  Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent, November 24, 1961
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 1965-1970; Baltimore Orioles 1971-1976; New York Yankees 1976; Pittsburgh Pirates 1977-1981; Montreal Expos 1981; Kansas City Royals 1982; Pittsburgh Pirates 1982
World Series Appearances:  Baltimore Orioles 1971; New York Yankees 1976; Pittsburgh Pirates 1979
Died:  February 2, 2021, Canonsburg, PA (age 78)

Grant Jackson began his big league career as a starting pitcher for the Phillies, but he'd make his mark as a successful reliever for the Orioles and Pirates.  Jackson won a career-high 14 games in 1969 and was the Phillies' sole representative at the All-Star Game.  Dealt to the Orioles following the 1970 season, he'd make his first of three World Series appearances with Baltimore in 1971.  His best season statistically came in 1973 when he was 8-0 for the Orioles with a 1.90 ERA in 45 appearances and 80 1/3 inning pitched.  He also pitched well for the Yankees in 1976 down the stretch drive, going 6-0 for Billy Martin's (#547) club on the way to an American League pennant.

Dealt to Pittsburgh in December 1976 after the Mariners had selected him in the expansion draft, Jackson would go on to play the most games of his career with the Pirates.  In 1977, he joined one of the strongest bullpens in baseball along with Rich Gossage, Terry Forster and Kent Tekulve.  Jackson, Tekulve and Enrique Romo were part of the bullpen that helped the Pirates win a World Championship in 1979.  In 72 games that season, Jackson was 8-5 with a 2.96 ERA in 82 innings pitched and his 14 saves were second on the club behind Tekulve.  He was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series against his former team, the Orioles.  Jackson retired as a player following the 1982 season, with a lifetime record of 86-75 in 692 appearances.  He had a 3.46 ERA, 889 career strikeouts and 79 career saves.  He'd later coach for the Pirates (1983-1985) and Reds (1994-1995).

Building the Set / 
Card #20
September 4, 2022 from Deptford Mall Baseball Card Show
On the Sunday afternoon of Labor Day Weekend, Doug and I drove to the Deptford Mall for a mini baseball card show and Bobby Abreu signing.  We were among the first in line to secure our Abreu signatures, and then we spent about a half hour browsing the six or so tables set up in the mall.  I found one dealer (Cash for Cards, from Delaware) with stacks of vintage commons for sale, adding cards to my then not-yet-officially-collecting 1955 Bowman, 1959 Topps and 1969 Topps sets.  This Jackson card was one of seven cards added to my small stack of 1969 Topps cards, and was less than a dollar.

The Card / Phillies Team Set Accuracy Index +5
As is becoming the norm with the cards I've added to our set so far, the photo used here seems to be taken from a photo session from spring training in 1967 as a photo from the same session appears on Jackson's 1968 Topps card.  The back of the card highlights Jackson's pitching arsenal, which included a "crackling fastbal," "a fine sinker ball and a sharp curve."  We also learn Jackson likes to work on cars in his spare time.

Accuracy Index:  Jackson scores a solid five for picturing him in a Phillies jersey in a photo that hadn't appeared in a Topps set before.

1969 Season
The Phillies moved Jackson into the starting pitching rotation full-time for the 1969 season, and he'd go 14-18 overall with a 3.34 ERA.  Jackson began the season as the team's fifth starter, behind Chris Short (#395), Rick Wise (#188), Woodie Fryman (#51) and Jerry Johnson (#253), but he soon emerged as the ace of the staff.  He threw a career-high 253 innings, striking out 180, also a career high.  As mentioned above, he'd go to the All-Star Game, but wouldn't appear in the game.

Phillies Career
Jackson was a September call-up in 1965, appearing in six games.  He'd have just two big league outings in 1966 before earning a full-time roster spot in the majors in 1967.  Jackson would pitch primarily as a reliever in 1967 and 1968, performing relatively well for a few bad Phillies teams.  

As mentioned above, his career year came in 1969, but he suffered a season-long slump in 1970 that saw his record drop to 5-15 and his ERA inflate to 5.29 over 149 2/3 innings pitched.  Requesting a trade, Jackson was dealt to the Orioles on December 16, 1970 with Jim Hutto and Sam Parilla for top prospect Roger Freed.  In parts of six seasons with the Phillies, and over 154 appearances, Jackson was 23-43 with a 3.99 ERA in 563 1/3 innings pitched.

1966 Topps #591
1970 Topps #6
1972 Topps #212
1978 Topps #661
1982 Topps Traded #46T

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1966 Topps #591
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (17):  1966-1982
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1993 Fleer ProCards #2376
Total Non-Parallel Baseball Cards:  83 in the Beckett online database as of 1/1/23.

Baseball Reference / SABR / Wikipedia
Beckett Database / The Trading Card Database
The Phillies Room

#173 White Sox Rookie Stars / #175 Jim Bunning - Pittsburgh Pirates

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