Monday, August 30, 2010

1967 Topps Fritz Peterson New York Yankees

Today's entry for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is about a pitcher who made national news for a personal decision with another Yankees pitcher. It is Fritz Peterson, pitcher for the New York Yankees, card number 495 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph from Fritz Peterson was obtained via Gate X Autographs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 10th, 2010. Mr. Peterson was making a personal appearance and had a private autograph session with Gate X. I sent the card to Gate X on April 30th and received it back June 10, 2010 with a beautiful blue sharpie signature from Fritz Peterson. Thank you Gate X and Mr. Peterson. As of August 30, 2010, I have built my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed card to 510 cards and counting.

Fritz Peterson career lasted 11 seasons from 1966 to 1976 with three teams. He pitched for the Yankees from 1966 to 1974, then was traded to the Cleveland Indians, where he pitched until 1976. During the 1976 season, Fritz Peterson was traded to the Texas Rangers where he ended his career that same season. His career statistics include 133 wins versus 131 losses, 1015 strikeouts and a career 3.30 earned run average. His best season was 1970 when he won 20 games for the Yankees and made the All-Star team. Fritz Peterson has the distinction of having the lowest earned run average (2.52) in the old Yankee Stadium bettering Hall of Famer Whitey Ford who was second with a 2.55 e.r.a.

In the off-season of 1972, Fritz Peterson made national news along with fellow Yankees pitcher, Mike Kekich. They had been best friends for several years and their families were very close as well. Peterson and Kekich decided to swap spouses with Mrs. Kekich marrying Fritz Peterson and Mrs. Peterson moving in with Mike Kekich. Fritz is still married to the former Mrs. Kekich. It did not work as well for Kekich, who never married the former Mrs. Peterson. During the 1973 and 1974 seasons, Fritz was roundly booed on the road by the American League fans and he never really pitched up to standard he set in the 1970 season.

After baseball, Fritz Peterson became an evangelist, sold real estate and dealt blackjack at a casino in Illinois. Quite a journey! He wrote his first book in 2009, titled "Mickey Mantle is Going to Heaven. 

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