Thursday, December 1, 2011

1977 Topps Baseball #26 - Ray Sadecki

  • After a one year absence in 1976, Ray Sadecki returns with his final card
  • When this card was released, Sadecki was already pitching for the New York Mets
  • Ray Sadecki was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals at the age of 17 in 1958. All 16 major league teams wanted Ray, and it was reported that he was offered $100,000 by one of those teams. The terms of Ray's contract with the Cardinals were not disclosed
  • Ray rose up the ladder quickly. He pitched for class C Winnipeg as a 17 year old in 1958, and then moved up to AAA Omaha in 1959.
  • Sadecki had a 2-1 record with a 1.76 ERA in five starts for AAA Rochester when he was called up to the Cardinals in mid-May of 1960.
  • In 1960 Sadecki had a 9-9 record with a 3.78 ERA in 26 starts
  • Ray pitched in his first full season in 1961 and had a similar year (14-10, 3.72 ERA in 31 starts)
  • Sadecki had a rough year in 1962:
    • He started the season 2-3 with a 6.69 ERA in 7 starts before being sent to the bullpen on June 1
    • Ray was hammered by the Cincinnati Reds on June 5. He allowed five runs (three earned) on two home runs, committed two errors, and didn't retire a batter. Manager Johnny Keane fined Ray $250 later that night.
    • Sadecki didn't report the next day and was suspended by Cardinals GM Bing Devine.
    • One day later Ray came back to the club and his suspension was lifted.
    • Sadecki returned to the starting rotation, but he was inconsistent and eventually was sent to the minors at the end of July.
    • Ray ended up with a 6-8 record and a 5.54 ERA in 1962.
  • Sadecki performed better in 1963, going 10-10 with a 4.10 ERA in 28 starts.
  • The Cardinals won the World Championship in 1964 and Ray was a big part of it. He had his best season, going 20-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 32 starts. Sadecki started two games in the World Series and he was 1-0 with an 8.53 ERA. Ray started against Whitey Ford in game 1 and won the game. In game 4, Ray started the game, pitched to four batters, and allowed three runs before being removed with one out in the first inning. The Cardinals eventually won the game 4-3 as Roger Craig and Ron Taylor stopped the Yankees and Ken Boyer hit a grand slam to win the game.
  • Ray had a rough year in 1965. He had a 6-15 record with a 5.21 ERA as the Cardinals sunk to 7th place in the National League
  • In 1966 Sadecki got off to a good start. Ray was 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in three starts when he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Orlando Cepeda on May 8. Sadecki didn't fare as well for the Giants -- he went 3-7 with a 5.40 ERA in 26 games (9 starts)
  • Ray had a good year with the Giants in 1967. He went 12-6 with a 2.78 ERA in 35 games (24 starts). Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Maury Wills got upset with Sadecki after he was hit in the knee by a pitch. 
  • Sadecki led the NL in losses in 1968. He went 12-18 with a 2.91 ERA in 36 starts.
  • In 1969 Ray slumped. He went 5-8 with a 4.23 ERA in 29 games (17 starts)
  • In December 1969 Ray was traded (with Dave Marshall) to the New York Mets for Jim Goster and Bob Heise
  • Sadecki had an 8-4 record and an ERA of 3.89 in 28 games (19 starts) in 1970.
  • In 1971 Ray split time between the starting rotation and a relief role. In 34 games (20 starts) Sadecki was 7-7 with a 2.92 ERA.
  • Sadecki was almost exclusively a reliever in 1972. Ray went 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in 34 games (2 starts) in '72.
  • Ray was a swingman for the NL Champion Mets in 1973. He started 11 times and relieved in 20 other games and had a 5-4 record with a 3.39 ERA. Sadecki wasn't used in the NLCS, but he made four appearances in the World Series (0-0, 1.93 ERA in 4.2 innings).
  • In 1974 Ray was 8-8 with a 3.41 ERA in 34 games (10 starts)
  • After the 1974 season Ray was traded with Tommy Moore to the Cardinals for Joe Torre. Torre was  expendable since the Cardinals had Keith Hernandez coming up. The Mets also were better equipped (at least for a couple of years) to pay Torre's salary.
  • In February 1975 Ray won his arbitration case against the Cardinals. He asked for $52,000 and the Cards offered $47,000.
  • Sadecki didn't stay with the Cardinals for very long. In 1975 he appeared in 8 games (1-0, 3.27) for the Cards before being traded (with Elias Sosa) to the Atlanta Braves on June 2 for Ron Reed and Wayne Nordhagen.
  • Ray appeared in 25 games (5 starts) for the Braves (2-3, 4.21) before being sent to the Kansas City Royals in early September as the player to be named later in an earlier trade. Sadecki appeared in five games for the Royals and was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
  • Sadecki started the 1976 season with the Royals but wasn't used very much. He pitched 4.2 scoreless innings in three games before being released in early May. Ray signed with the Milwaukee Brewers on May 13 and had a record of 2-0 and an ERA of 4.34 in 36 appearances.
  • Sadecki was released after the 1976 season.  He signed with the Mets and was the oldest player in their 1977 spring camp. He wasn't used very much (0-1, 6.00 ERA in four games) and was released in early May. He retired with a lifetime record of 135-131 and a 3.78 ERA
  • After his playing career Ray did well in a sales job with an office products company and did that job from 1977-1990.
  • He did some coaching with the Chicago Cubs and the Giants from 1990-1994.
  • Ray was named to the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. A video is below:


  1. Because I jumped on the bandwagon in 1967, I always thought of Sadecki as a Giant.

    It wasn't until several years later that I discovered he had been a Cardinal (or that players like Jackie Brandt, Jim Landis, and Bob Buhl had been "good" players at one time!)

  2. He was a teammate of Stan Musial and George Brett! Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Harmon Killebrew...Moose Moryn and King Kong Kingman.