01 June 2009

1974 was a very good year for the infield (and the rest of the dodgers)

after establishing the infield in the 1973 season, the dodgers enjoyed the benefits of the stabilized foursome in 1974. the end result was a trip to the world series, and although they lost to the a's, the dodgers gave notice that the kids had arrived.

steve garvey had the biggest year of the four for sure. he was the all star game mvp and the league mvp. he likely would have been the nlcs mvp, too, if there were such an award at that time. he played in 156 games, all at first (he hadn't played at third since 1972, even though topps shows him as a '3b-1b' on his card), collecting 200 hits, 95 runs, 21 home runs, 111 rbi and a .312 batting average. his ops was .811. he earned his first gold glove with a fielding percentage of .995. a write-in candidate, garvey was the only all star game starter to play the whole game, getting two hits (including an rbi double off of luis tiant) and scoring the eventual winning run. garvey was consistent in the postseason, too, batting .389 in the nlcs with 2 home runs and 5 rbi and .381 in the world series. in the series, however, he was limited to only 8 singles and 1 rbi.

ron cey followed up his rookie season with another great year, starting in the all star game alongside garvey in what was the first of 6 consecutive all star appearances for the penguin. he played in 159 games and hit .262 with 18 home runs and 97 rbi. his ops was .746, and he finished 25th in the mvp voting. at third, he had a career high 542 chances and made 22 errors. he hit a double off of gaylord perry in the all star game, and drove in 2 runs, the second of which put the nl ahead for good. in the nlcs, he hit .313 with a homerun, but in the world series, the penguin managed only 3 singles in 17 at bats and no rbi.

bill russell followed up his 1973 all star campaign with a solid season as well. he played in 160 games, hit .265 with 26 doubles, 56 rbi, and 15 stolen bases. russell spent all but one inning at shortstop, making 39 errors. he hit .389 in the nlcs against the pirates, but only .222 in the world series against the a's.

davey lopes also avoided the sophomore slump in 1974. playing in 145 games (all at second), lopes stole 59 bases (finishing second to lou brock who stole a then-record 118), scored 95 runs, hit 10 homeruns (including his first 3 lead off home runs of his career) and had an ops of .733. his .965 fielding percentage was slightly below league average. in the postseason, lopes hit .267 with a triple and 2 stolen bases against the pirates, but only .111 against the a's. he did steal 2 out of 3 bases in the world series, though.

things were looking up for the dodgers and their infield...

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