(Check out our other player card posts here.)

You may not know it to look at his 1979 Topps rookie card, but former Major League pitcher Scott Sanderson is a world-beater.

And a world-traveler. Or at least a country traveler.

Expanding His Horizons

Sanderson started his flirtation with the Big Leagues way back in 1974 when the Kansas City Royals selected him in the 11th round of the June draft. He spurned their advances, though, and headed to Vanderbilt University.

Sanderson must have been destined to latch on with a 1969 expansion club because the Montreal Expos drafted him in the third round three years later.

From there, it was a quick ride up the Montreal farm system and a Major League debut just a couple weeks after his 22nd birthday in August of 1978. In 10 appearances late that summer, Sanderson made nine starts and finished 4-2 with a 2.51 ERA.

A solid beginning that inspired Topps almost beyond words. Here, look at the masterpiece that is Sanderson’s 1979 Topps rookie card:

1979 Topps Scott Sanderson

It’s a pretty Pirtle pasteboard, but Sanderson clearly stands out for a couple of reasons …

He’s the only guy on the card not named “Jerry.”

He’s also closest to the camera. So there’s that.

But beyond an auspicious start to his career and his glamorous Topps debut, there really wasn’t much to indicate just how high Sanderson would rise in the game.

Take a look at his stats, and you’ll see that Sanderson was above league-average in his six seasons with the Expos.

He was a notch below his younger self in six subsequent seasons with the Chicago Cubs.

You Can Do Magic

After a one-year stop with the Oakland A’s, Sanderson landed with the 1991 New York Yankees.

And that’s when the magic happened.

Sanderson went 16-10 with a 3.81 ERA with the Bombers in ’91 and made his first (and only) All-Star team … but that wasn’t the magic.

No, that would have to wait until 1992.

On May 30 that season, Sanderson took the mound for the Yankees against the Milwaukee Brewers in County Stadium and pitched seven innings, giving up a single run.

The Yanks won that game, 8-1, and Sanderson ran his record on the season to 4-2.

But the big news was … *drumroll* … it was the first time Sanderson beat the Brewers.

And, entering that game, the Brewers were the only team whom Sanderson had not vanquished.

That’s the story of how Sanderson became one of just a handful of pitchers to ever defeat every Major League team.

You Say that Now …

Of course, that distinction has a time element to it, right?

I mean, Sanderson didn’t beat the St. Louis Browns because they were defunct by the time he was born.

And … well, he didn’t beat the Colorado Rockies, either.

Or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (or Tampa Rays *puke*).

Or the Arizona Diamondbacks.

But he did beat the Florida Marlins, in 1993.

In case you don’t remember (though I’m sure you do), none of those teams existed in 1992. Which means that, yes, Scott Sanderson had indeed defeated every Major League team by the end of the night on May 30, 1993.

Now, there have been several dudes since then who have slaughtered all 30 teams, but none of them had black-and-white rookie cards (though Jamie Moyer‘s rookie was a T-206).

And none had the impeccable timing of Scott Sanderson.

(Check out our other player card posts here.)

 

 

 

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