It Was in Cards for Koosman to Achieve Enduring Value

Jerry Koosman is retired and probably not bound for the Hall of Fame. But Koosman’s rookie baseball card is valued higher than that of any other active player’s except Nolan Ryan’s.

That is because Koosman, a left-hander who won 222 games during a 19-year career, is on the same Topps 1968 New York Met rookie card as Ryan, baseball’s all-time strikeout king.

“I once said, if my picture wasn’t on it, it would be worth a quarter,” Koosman said Monday from Port St. Lucie, Fla.

“With my picture on it, it’s worth about $1,500.”


Actually, the two-player card is worth $1,350, wrote Mark A. Larson in the May issue of Baseball Hobby News.

In 1987, the Ryan-Koosman card was worth $80. A year later, it fetched $130. Between the spring of 1989 and 1990, the card’s value rose from $215 to $1,000.

Said Koosman, who works for the Mets as minor league pitching coach: “Unfortunately, I only have about three or four. I gave (most of) them away.”

Add Koosman: Ryan’s 1969 baseball card is worth $410, Koosman’s $5.


Trivia time: Duke is making its sixth trip to the Final Four in seven seasons. What was the last team to defeat the Blue Devils in regional play?

Go figure: Judging from last weekend’s television ratings, it might be time to put March Madness on ice.

NBC’s live coverage Sunday of figure skating’s World Championships drew an 11.1 rating in the 25 major metered markets and an 11 in Los Angeles, according to figures released Monday by the A.C. Nielsen Co. By comparison, UCLA’s 106-79 loss to Indiana Saturday drew an 8.2 in the major markets and an 8.3 here. Duke’s victory over Kentucky in the East Regional had a 10.2.

What’s that smell? Designer Ralph Lauren has a new men’s cologne coming out called Safari, but Blackie Sherrod of the Dallas Morning News doesn’t think it will have much appeal to sports fans in the Longhorn state.

“Wonder if the fellow ever smelled a safari?,” he wrote. “What’s next, a cologne called Circus Back Lot? Camel Pen? And the one sure to be a best-seller in this part of the country: August Sheep Dip.”

All heart: Florida football Coach Steve Spurrier said he had no regrets taking away the fifth-year scholarships of backup quarterback Brian Fox and two others.

Said Spurrier: "(They) have been given four years of free education and they should be happy for that.

“We don’t have an obligation to bring back every fifth-year player if we as coaches think a freshman could help us more . . . and if a player isn’t happy about it, I can’t make everyone happy.”


Yabba, dabba, doo: Scott Davis and David Pate have been a successful doubles team in pro tennis, perhaps because they share similar interests off the court.

Asked to pick a favorite actress by International Tennis magazine, Davis picked Wilma Flintstone and Pate chose Betty Rubble.

Road map, please: The Philadelphia Phillies signed catcher Michael Crouhel off the Dutch national team after he hit 16 home runs and drove in 52 runs in 32 games.

Crouhel, 22, was asked what he knew about Philadelphia.

“The only thing I know about it is that it’s in New Jersey,” he said.

Trivia answer: Indiana defeated Duke in a 1987 Midwest Regional semifinal, 88-82. The Hoosiers went on to win the national championship.

Quotebook: Indiana Coach Bob Knight, on consistency: “If (a kid) plays consistently bad, I’ve got a place for him. And if he plays consistently well, I have a place for him. When he’s inconsistent, I have no idea where the hell to put him.”