Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Card #15 (Article 4)
Fans today just don’t know how good Don Gullett was before be came to the Yankees. Gullett was a star lefty – an ace.
He had been a member of the great Cincinnati Reds “Big Red Machine” teams that had won the 1975 and 1976 World Series. In fact, Gullett was the Reds’ Game One starter against the Yankees in the 1976 World Series (a series the Reds swept).
Just take a look at the back of Gullett’s baseball card to see his season-by-season wins and losses. The guy was good…better than good:
1973: 18-8, 3.51
1974: 17-11, 3.04
1975: 15-4, 2.42
1976: 11-3, 3.00
Over those four seasons, Don Gullet was 61-26, 3.04. His winning percentage was .701. Amazing. He was a big time pitcher. In the 1975 post season, he earned wins against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox. In 1976, he won his starts against the Philadelphia Phillles and the Yankees.
The only thing Gullett didn’t have was durability. He was breaking down. In 1975, he pitched 159.2 innings, but in 1976, he was only able to log 126 innings. Still, the Yankees signed him with the hopes that he’d help anchor their staff.
And he did.
In 1977, Don Gullett pitched to a 14-4, 3.58 record for the Yankees. He was able to log 158.1 innings for the bombers, though the same arm troubles showed up. In 1977, Gullet didn’t pitch at all in August. He did come back, though, to go 4-1 in September logging three complete games.
Gullett pitched three times in the 1977 post season, but that was basically it for him. His arm problems ended his career after only eight games pitched in 1978. Gullett is not a mostly forgotten star, but boy did he shine brightly for a while.