Billy McCool – 1970 Topps

December 28, 2011

Yeah, That’s Right, McCool, Private Eye…

Rummaging through the LCS, I found this card. For 1970, I was concentrating on Pilots and Expos but this card sang to me.

McCool was a flame thrower that made the Reds after one minor league season, but arm trouble caused his performance to falter. His strikeouts went down, his walks went up, and his usefulness was limited. But he had a name and that made him a perfect fit for the nascent San Diego Padres.

All in all, he didn’t have such a bad year for the Padres, considering. Yeah, he had a negative WAR and an ERA+ of 83. It could have been worse, though. His name could have been Reberger or McBean.

Names are one thing – performance is another. After he had arm problems, McCool had problems throwing strikes, but still had some teams that wanted him. So early in 1970, those wonderful Padres sent him to St. Louis, a team that had pitching issues. After a 6.23 ERA in 21 2/3 innings, he was down to Tulsa. He hadn’t played in the minors since 1963.

I wonder if he wore his hat like that for the Drillers…