Pitching Perfection: Pulling A Steve Carlton Sports Card

This was a big moment for Schultzy’s Card Breaks, their first 1 of 1 ever! It almost slipped by them too…..as they ripped open the 2-Card Pack of Decade’s Best Baseball, they saw a Reggie Jackson and Steve Carlton. Certainly 2 of the best to ever play the game, respectively, and although the Carlton was clearly a Parallel, it was uncertain which Parallel it was. That was, until Schultzy’s turned the card over and saw the “1/1” stamp! Turns out it was a Superrefractor, one of the biggest hits in the Decade’s Best Set. A real fun Set with Hits HIDDEN in every pack, literally.

As a student at North Miami High School, young Steve Carlton was never really into his studies, but he was into sports! He played basketball and baseball, and loved every second of it, but had no plans beyond High School.That was until his Senior year, where as a 2-sport athlete, he decided to focus on Pitching.He excelled and did well enough on the field and in the classroom to get a spot on the roster as a reliever at Miami Dade College North.

Under the tutelage of a strong Coach, Demie Mainieri, at Miami-Dade, Carlton signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for a $5,000 bonus in 1963. Nicknamed “Lefty”, Carlton is currently 2nd in lifetime strikeouts of any left-handed pitcher (4th overall), and 2nd in lifetime wins of any left-handed pitcher (11th overall).

Pretty impressive.

He was also the first pitcher to win 4 Cy Young Awards in a career, and held the lifetime strikeout record several times between 1982 and 1984. One of his most remarkable records was accounting for nearly half (46%) of his team’s wins, when he won 27 games for the last-place (59–97) 1972 Phillies. Carlton pitched for 6 different teams from 1965 to 1988, most notably the Phillies, with whom he won four Cy Young Awards as well as the 1980 World Series.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994, and as of now, is retired in Colorado.