John Tudor only spent one season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he was one of the better one-year pitchers for the team. His 12 wins ranks sixth among pitchers who only spent one year with the team, but three of the guys ahead of him had losing records. Tudor, who turns 69 years old today, was involved in two significant trades in team history. His trade even up for Mike Easler was working out fine for the Pirates until they flipped Tudor a year later to the St Louis Cardinals in a trade for George Hendrick. That deal could have been much worse if the Pirates didn’t cut bait on Hendrick during his first year with the team.
Tudor has appeared in our series once before on his 1985 Fleer card. As you might be able to imagine, he didn’t appear on many cards while with the Pirates. He was also in the 1985 Topps and Donruss sets, the 1984 Topps Traded set, and today’s Card of the Day, which comes from the 1984 Fleer Update set. Tudor is card U-120 in the set.
Here’s the front of the card:
There are two ways to know that this is a Fleer Update card and not a card from the regular 1984 Fleer set. You either know Tudor wasn’t on the 1983 Pirates, so they wouldn’t have a photo of him on a Pirates uniform for this set OR you flip the card over and see the number on the back. Fleer didn’t try to differentiate the sets, they just produced more cards.
It had to be pretty cold when this photo was taken. Tudor is wearing a long sleeve shirt, a garbage bag and a jersey. He also does not look thrilled to be on a baseball card.
This set is lucky that they put the team logos on the front, otherwise this would be a very boring design. The great Pirates logo from this era, plus that old uniform (I like the reverse color pillbox caps) really helps out this card.
Here’s the back
The backs on 1984 Fleer cards add a second photo, and it appears that Tudor had a change of heart about appearing on a baseball card. He looks very happy there. You can see his entire career stats here, minors and majors. He still had a decent amount of time left in his career, but various injuries really sidetracked him. He was also apparently a pretty good basketball player at Georgia Southern. The racing stripes over the stats here are a nice added touch, something that Fleer did in many of these sets around this time. The “U” in the number is to signify that this is the Update set.
The 1984 Fleer set has been popular for quite some time because it has the rookie cards of Kirby Puckett and Roger Clemens. However, it was originally popular due to the Dwight Gooden rookie card. The popularity was helped out by the fact that these cards were much tougher to find than the regular set from that year. One of the things that has happened is that people are grading the Clemens and Puckett cards from the set (these cards were only sold as sets), so that means there are a lot more loose cards out there for commons.
You can find 24 examples of this Tudor card on Ebay. Two are autographed, with one for $12 and one for $10 delivered. The more expensive one has a best offer option, so it might be the cheaper one. If you just want the plain ole card, don’t pay more than $3 delivered.