Thursday, February 3, 2011
1978 Topps Jim Rooker
Who is this? former Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jim Rooker
What is this? An autographed card from the 1978 Topps set
Where'd I get it? Nick from Baseball Happenings got it signed for me last year.
Why is this so special? Rooker had a solid 13-year major league career with the Tigers, Royals and Pirates, but I never saw him play since he retired after the 1980 season. His lifetime record was 103-109 and he won a World Series ring with the 1979 Pirates.
I remember Jim Rooker because of a comment he made during a broadcast of a Pittsburgh Pirates game in 1989. The Pirates put up 10 runs in the first inning of a game against the Phillies, and Rooker said on air, "If we lose this game, I’ll walk home." Sure enough, the Phillies staged a comeback and won 15-11.
After the season, Rooker followed through on his promise and walked over 300 miles while raising money for charity.
I'm glad I don't have to decipher Rooker's signature.