Monday, May 10, 2021

#171 Jim Roland - Minnesota Twins

James Ivan Roland
Minnesota Twins

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  175
Born:  December 14, 1942, Franklin, NC
Signed:  Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent before 1961 season
Major League Teams:  Minnesota Twins 1962-1964, 1966-1968; Oakland Athletics 1969-1972; New York Yankees 1972; Texas Rangers 1972
Died:  March 6, 2010, Shelby, NC (age 67)

For parts of ten seasons, Jim Roland served as a lefty long-man out of the bullpen, enjoying his best years with the Athletics in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Originally a starting pitcher, Roland pitched perhaps the best game of his career on May 19, 1964, earning the win in a 12-inning effort against the Yankees.  His best season came in 1969 in Oakland, when he set career highs in wins (five), ERA (2.19), appearances (39), innings pitched (86 1/3) and strikeouts (48).  Nagging injuries hampered him towards the end of his career and after spending the 1972 season with the Athletics, Yankees and Rangers, he retired at the age of 29.  Roland went 19-17 over 216 games during his career, pitching to a 3.22 ERA with nine saves and 272 strikeouts.

April 3, 2021 - Back at Citizens Bank Park
Building the Set

April 2, 2021 from Manchester, MO - Card #244
It's a strange time.  Spring has arrived, we finally attended a Phillies game in person and it seems as if with the arrival of the vaccine the pandemic could soon be behind us.  But I still find myself anxious, occasionally having trouble sleeping at night, and I know many of my friends and family feel the same way.  I went the entire month of March without adding to our 1965 Topps set, and as the month came to a close I decided to start off April with the purchase of a group of commons.  In search specifically for series two cards, I veered into the higher series when I found sellers on eBay auctioning off batches of cards from recent set breaks.  Over the course of a few days, I ended up winning 16 cards for $48 for an average of $3 per card.  

This Roland card came from eBay seller ace64cards from Manchester, Missouri for a winning bid of $3.33.  With the weather getting warmer, having enjoyed a beer at a few Phillies games and 16 new cards in our collection, the month is starting off on the right foot.

The Card / Twins Team Set
This is Roland's third appearance in a Topps flagship set, and his second solo appearance since appearing on a floating heads Rookie Stars card in 1963.  After this, he'd be absent from Topps' sets in 1966 and 1967.  On the back, his first start is referenced and that came on April 21, 1963.  Roland pitched a three-hitter against the White Sox, striking out seven but walking nine.  His large signing bonus is also reference on the back, and the amount was reported to be $50,000.

1965 Season
Roland spent the entire 1965 season pitching for the Denver Bears in the Pacific Coast League after ankle, elbow and thigh injuries contributed to a rough spring training.  He further damaged his chances of returning to the Twins when he injured his knee while jumping in protest of an umpire's call.  And Roland had a habit of walking off the mound before Bears' manager Cal Ermer had officially relieved him.  When not injured, Roland appeared in 29 games, making 25 starts and earning an 8-6 record and a 3.81 ERA over 187 innings pitched.  Only Jim Merritt, with 190 innings pitched, pitched more innings for the Bears.

1963 Topps #522
1964 Topps #341
1968 Topps #276
1970 Topps #719
1972 Topps #464

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1963 Topps #522
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (8):  1963-1965, 1968-1972
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1972 Topps #464

31 - Roland non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 4/10/21.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database


  1. A Night Owl Cards Legend of Cardboard! Those '64, '70 and '72 cards are wonderful.

  2. When a player has 6+ Topps cards to choose from for these posts, it's sometimes a struggle to figure out which ones should be shown. I had no problem picking the correct cards for Roland!