1995 SUMMIT BRET SABERHAGEN
But Dickey’s stellar performance has led me back to another seminal season that I’d tried to erase from my memory, authored by a player for whom I’d never developed a particular affection.
The year is 1994, and a devastating strike is about to wipe out the season/post-season. It is another down year for the Mets, who will finish 18.5 games behind the first-place Expos, with a record of 55-58.
That 55th win comes on August 10, in what would turn out to be the penultimate game of the season. Bret Saberhagen goes 7.1 innings and allows just one earned run, elevating his record to 14-4, and lowering his ERA to 2.74.
These are some remarkable numbers to put up for such a mediocre squad, but there is one specific stat from Saberhagen’s 1994 campaign that is singularly amazing.
Bret walked only 13 batters that year, while striking out 143, resulting in a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11.00. This ratio smashed the then-record of 7.11 notched by Fergie Jenkins in 1971, and is still the all-time single-season best in the category.
And with all that, I could just never warm to Saberhagen…
Maybe it was the bleach-related shenanigans of the year before, maybe it was his general immaturity on a team that was starved for leadership, but even his considerable exploits on the mound in 1994 could not win me over.
He’s pictured here on a 1995 Score Summit card, which was Score’s premiere entry into the premium-card market. The set is printed on thick, glossy stock, and I’ve always appreciated the clean design and sharp photography.
This Saberhagen is pulled from the Nth Degree parallel set, which was inserted at a rate of one card per every four packs, and has more damn shiny on it than Haysi Fantayzee…