1988 Fleer #7 Steve Carlton (Twins)
The final years of Steve Carlton's career are largely forgettable.
Judging from the picture on this card, you'd never know that this guy was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. By 1988, Carlton just looked old and worn out. This '88 Fleer issue is Carlton's final baseball card.
Not the best way to go out.
During his Hall-of-Fame career, Steve Carlton racked up 329 wins, 4,136 strikeouts, and ten All-Star selections. He also took home four Cy Young awards, including his magnificent 27-10 season (with a 1.97 ERA) in 1972 for a last-place Phillies team.
But by the time this card came out, Carlton was 43 years old and in the twilight of his career. In 1986, he played for the Phillies, Giants, and White Sox. In '87, he suited up for the Indians and the Twins.
1988 would be his final season. He'd close out his career in Minnesota, going 0-1 with a 16.76 ERA in 9 2/3 innings that year before being released in late April.
Until I got this card, I had no idea that Carlton even played for the Twins.
Perhaps it would've been better if it stayed that way.