Jim Roland – 1972 Topps
October 30, 2011
Why Is This Man Smiling? Why Not?
No, really, I am.
What has happened since my aborted Gint-A-Cuff pack?
Well, lots. But I’ve got all my stuff, figuring out where to store my cards, and am officially open for business.
I’ve got a bunch of cards to sort through, and then need to figure out how to tactically deploy my doubles. I got a lot of shinys, some good parallels, and a couple of relics that I know people want / need. And, I have at least kept up my want lists. So I’m thinking of Christmas in…December or something like that.
Mr. Roland is a card I received from my hiatus. I had to steal the scan from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum, because right now I am sans scanner. But I wanted to be sure I nabbed a photo of his.
But I’m not a lefty. No sir.
Well, at least I don’t THROW lefty.
I don’t know how often I’ll post. Just point your reader or what not to me and I’ll, well, show up from time to time.
The new job is amongst the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but a challenge is a good thing.
And how does this all apply to Mr. Roland, except for projecting his mood that’s pictured on the card?
Well, I’m happy to have a job and to be here, and so was Jim Roland.
Roland never appeared in the minors after 1966, and lasted in the bigs until 1972. But he was just happy to be there. In his full seasons in the bigs (1963-64, 1967-72) he never:
Pitched in more than 39 games.
Pitched more than 86 1/3 innings.
Saved more than three games.
Won more than five games.
Lost more than six games.
Started more than 13 games.
Finished more than 12 games.
He was just…there. A lefty arm in the pen. Break glass and use in emergencies. In his career, he was credited with three holds and two blown saves. 108 of his 187 relief appearances were low leverage. His team was behind 143 times when he got the call from the pen. Now, he’d pitch in 87 games and throw 51 1/3 innings with 19 holds and inherit about 58 runners a season. Not then, he was the 9th or 10th guy, always.
His 1971 season (his last full season in Oakland), he appeared in 31 games. Oakland was 5-26 when he showed up on the mound. When he was idle, Oakland was 96-44. He pitched four times in May and just three times in August. He went 1-2 with one save and a 3.15 ERA. His save came on June 4, when he polished off the Senators in a 1-2-3 21st. Yes, the 21st. Rollie Fingers blew a save, but still pitched 5 1/3 innings. Roland wasn’t facing the dregs either; he got Mincher, Howard and Biittner to close out the game.
Ron Klimkowski was used even less than Roland, but at least Klimkowski went down to Iowa for five starts to stay sharp. Not Roland.
But he was happy to be there. And why wouldn’t he? He was a big leaguer.