02 October 2008

the penguin

the second piece of the infield of my youth. while steve garvey was my hero, the poster on my wall was of ron cey. sometimes overshadowed by garvey on the dodgers and mike schmidt among national league third basemen, he was pretty consistent at the plate during his time in la. he even had a couple strong years with the cubs, losing to garvey's padres in the 1984 nlcs.

this card is from the 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams set, and it commemorates the third baseman for the 1980 dodgers. with 89 wins, they needed to sweep the first place astros in a 3 game series the final weekend of the season to force a one game playoff. after winning the first two games, it was ron cey who hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th of game 162 to give the dodgers the lead, despite injuring his ankle with a foul ball. hall of famer don sutton actually came in and got the last out to record the save!

alas, the next day did not go so well, for the penguin or the dodgers, as cey had to sit out due to his injuries and the astros beat the dodgers 7-1. i remember asking my 5th grade teacher if we could watch the game at school, and for some reason, he agreed. i think we turned it off after terry puhl went crazy on the bases and art howe drove in the 6th and 7th runs for houston. so, the dodgers finished in second place as the astros went on to play the phillies in the nlcs.

things would turn around for the dodgers in 1981, though. fernandomania, rick monday, and a world championship with the penguin sharing in the world series mvp honors. i'll talk about that another time.

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