Some of the collections I have been working on over the years are starting to get filled out and my goals are being reached. As a result, I'm starting to slow down a little when it comes to acquiring many cards for some of my mini-collections. Now that the collection is feeling more and more complete, I wanted to start showcasing the cards I have, player by player.
Todd Worrell saw his first Big League action in 1984. He made 17 relief appearances and recorded a solid 2.91 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP. With his rookie status still in place in 1985, Worrell became the Cardinals' closer. That season, he pitched 103 2/3 innings in 74 games. He led the NL with 36 saves and lowered his ERA to 2.08. Not only did he beat out a loaded NL rookie field that included Barry Bonds, Barry Larkin, Will Clark, John Kruk, and Kevin Mitchell, but he absolutely ran away with the award. He received all but one 1st-place vote. (The lone straggler vote went to Kevin Mitchell, who finished fourth.) Worrell was by no means a bad pick, but in hindsight he was a surprise. Using today's metrics, he might not have one. His 2.6 WAR was good, but was fourth-best behind Bonds (3.5), Robby Thompson (3.4), and Bruce Ruffin (3.2).
Over the next six seasons with St. Louis, Worrell kept his ERA under 3.00. from 1986-1989, he remained the Cardinals' closer. He earned his first All-Star bid in 1988 en route to a 32-save season. Tommy John surgery and a torn rotator cuff kept him on the shelf for all of the 1990 and 1991 seasons. He returned out of the bullpen in 1992, but not in the closer role. Still, he was solid. He signed with the Dodgers as a free agent and served as a middle reliever in 1993 and 1994. In 1995, he regained the closer role, which he would hold through the end of his career after the 1997 season. As the Dodgers' closer, he saved 32, 44, and 35 games from 1995-1997. He made two more All-Star teams in 1995 and 1996, and his save total in 1996 led the league.
In 11 Major League seasons, Worrell pitched 693 2/3 frames, finishing 456 games and earning 256 saves. His career ERA was 3.09. He struck out 628 batters to 247 walks and held opponents to a .235 batting average. He even received MVP votes in two seasons (1985 and 1996) and finished fifth in the NL Cy Young voting in 1996. A good career, to be sure, but far from elite. In 2003, his first and only year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Worrell failed to receive a vote.
Since he spent his entire career with just two teams, it was easy enough to complete the run for Todd Worrell. The first page shown was all I needed for my binder. The second scan is just gravy. I'll keep any Worrell cards I come across, but I'm no longer actively seeking them now that his portion of my binder is complete.