Friday, May 22, 2009
1989 Topps Major League Debut #102: Kevin Ritz
It's amazing how many of the guys in this set were expansion picks, and Ritz is another, taken by the Rockies.
PHOTO: The photo is fine although that pea green color bugs me, as does the blurry Pirates logo in the background.
STAT: Ritz was the first pitcher to post more than 12 wins in a season for the Rockies when he won 17 in 1996. Of course, that year Ritz had the worst-ever ERA for a guy who won at least 17 games. (It's worth pointing out, though, that his ERA was just about league average when adjusted for playing in Coors Field.)
Ritz was a better player than his numbers indicate thanks to playing in Colorado, but still wasn't all that great and didn't stick around long due to injuries. Even though his numbers were deceptively decent in 1995 and 1996, his win totals were an important milestone for that franchise becoming competitive.