Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vintage Card of the Month: Jack Pfiester

Jack “The Giant Killer” Pfiester was a decent pitcher who played from 1902 until 1911 though he did come back for one more season with Sioux City Indians in 1916 at the age of 38. Over the length of his career he played for the Spokane Smoke Eaters, San Francisco Pirates, Pittsburgh Pirates, Omaha Rourkes, Chicago Cubs, Louisville Colonels and Sioux City Indians. His lifetime record is 71-44 with a 2.02 ERA, add in his Minor League stats and he went 159-113 with a 2.44 ERA.

This 1909-11 T-206 card shows Pfiester in the “Throwing Pose”, another card in the set shows him in the “Sitting Pose” with an orange background and holding a bat. This card is actually a perfect representation of Pfiester, you notice the rough edges but then you take a closer look and you see a decent card with a nice surface… as long as you don’t get distracted by the giant tear in the corner. I picked up this card years ago, I have always been drawn to this set and will pick up the occasional card from time to time, most unknowns will run a couple of dollars with lesser stars $50 or less depending on the back.

 A couple interesting facts about The Giant Killer,

He pitched a complete game (1-1 tie) with a dislocated tendon in his pitching arm against the Giants in September 1908. The tendon was repaired by a doctor whose nickname was “Bonesetter” Reese.

His lifetime 2.02 ERA ranks him #4 on the All-Time ERA Leaders list ahead of Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and Mariano Rivera.

He went to the World Series 5 times (1x Pirates and 4x Cubs) winning twice with the Cubs in 1907 and 1908 though he only pitched in 5 total World Series games going 1-3 with a 3.97 ERA.

 I came across this picture while he was with the Omaha Rourkes in 1905; Pfiester is in the bottom right corner giving the camera man the stink eye.

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