. . . Burt Hooton that is.
A Rookie Star in 1972 (correctly predicted by Topps) actually made his major league debut in 1971 appearing in just 3 games, going 2 - 0 and striking out 22 in 21 1/3 innings. He started 1972 like a "rookie star" should, pitching a no-hitter in his first start of the year on April 16, 1972 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field. While that would be his Cubs highlight, Hooton went on to a 34-44 record and an ERA that rose every year would eventually be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in May of 1975.
Hooton would have a solid career with the Dodgers, including going 18-7 in 1975 and 19-10 in 1978; earning him a second place in the Cy Young balloting that year.
His signature pitch was that nasty knuckle curve and 1981 Hooton earned his hardware; an All-Star selection, the NLCS MVP and a World Championship ring. Nicknamed "happy" by Tommy Lasorda, Hooton also could hit the ball; four career homeruns to go along with 49 RBI's. Hooton finished his career as a Texas Ranger going 5 - 8 in 1985.
While Burt Hooton will be most remembered for his knuckle curve, his playoff wins and world series ring as a Dodger . . . for me I give him four "hoots" for pitching a no-hitter in only his fourth game in the majors. A "rookie star" he was . . . as a Cubbie.
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