18 February 2009

the penguin makes three - gcrl in 1972

though listed as an outfielder on his 1972 rookie card, ron cey never played a game beyond the infield in his major league career. in fact, he never played anywhere other than 3rd base until his final season. the penguin made his major league debut during the 1971 season, going 0 for 2 in 2 late season 9th inning pinch hitting appearances. he struck out both times. he wouldn't appear in the field until the 1972 season, when he would start 11 games while batting .270 with an ops of .778.

garvey, meanwhile, would build off his 1971 season which saw him play 81 games exclusively at 3rd base, to appear in 96 games in 1972, including his first 3 at first base. garvey's ops jumped 62 points in 1972 to .734. his fielding percentage took a nosedive, though - down to a whopping .902 as he led all national league third basemen in errors. thus, the impetus for the move to first.

notice that, while garvey got rid of the black batting glove, bill russell did not.after essentially splitting his time between the outfield and second base in 1971, russell would spend the vast majority of 1972 (121 out of 127 games) at shortstop. the stability with his position may have contributed to improvements at the plate (if you believe in those types of performance cliches) as he hit .272 with an ops of .692, both big improvements over his 1971 numbers. he did make more errors than any other national league shortstop, however, joining garvey in that regard.


Andy said...

I'm confused--is that a real 1972 Topps card featuring Cey, Ogilvie, and Williams? Wasn't Cey on a card with Schmidt the following year as well? So he was on two multi-player rookie cards in successive years?

gcrl said...

Andy you are correct. Cey didn't have his own card until 1974. Dale Murphy was also featured on two multi player cards (1977 and 1978) before getting his own card in 1979.