Saturday, October 8, 2011
364 - Rick Wise
Rick Wise enjoyed 18 seasons in the Major Leagues as a pitcher with five different teams. Wise made his big league debut at the age of 18 with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1964. Wise developed into a solid starter for the Phillies during his seven seasons in Philadelphia. His finest season occured in 1971 in which Wise pitched to a 17-14 record with a 2.88 ERA and a selection to the All-Star Game. On June 23 of that season, Wise threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds and also hit two home runs in that game; he became only the third no-hit pitcher to hit a home run in the same game.
In what turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades in Major League Baseball history, Wise was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Carlton in 1972. The Cardinals owner, Gussie Busch, ordered the team to trade its star pitcher after a contract dispute; trading for Wise was the best deal the team could get. Tim McCarver, who had caught for both Carlton in St. Louis and Wise in Philadelphia, called the trade at the time "a real good one for a real good one." Wise would continue to pitch two solid seasons in St. Louis with a 32-28 record and a 3.24 ERA along with the start in the 1973 All-Star Game while Carlton would pitch another 15 seasons for Philadelphia on his way to 329 career wins, four Cy Young Awards and a selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Wise was traded prior to the 1974 season to the Boston Red Sox with whom he would spend four seasons. He would have his only post-season experience which included a win in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series which ended with the famous walk-off home run from Carlton Fisk in the 12th inning.
In 1978, Wise was part of a trade to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for future Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley, thus, giving him the distinction of being traded for two future Hall of Famers. After two seasons in Cleveland, Wise signed with the San Diego Padres and finished his final three seasons there.
About This Card
The bio on the back of the card references Wise as the second leading winner behind Bob Gibson in 1972. The following year, Wise led the Cardinals staff in wins. While Wise was certainly a solid starting pitcher during his two years in St. Louis, the Cardinals certainly did not get the return that the Phillies got with Carlton.