01 July 2009

1974 was a tough act to follow - gcrl in 1975

after winning the pennant in 1974, the dodgers finished 1975 with 88 wins (down from 102) and in second place behind the eventual world champion cincinnati reds.

steve garvey, however, followed his 1974 mvp season with a pretty similar year statistically. he raised his average slightly to .319 and his ops to .827. his home run and rbi totals dropped slightly, but he set a career high with 210 hits. all this was good for a 10-place drop in the mvp voting, although he was once again voted to start the all star game where he could easily have been voted the game's mvp for the second year in a row as he was 2 for 3 with a home run, but bill madlock's rbi single in the top of the 9th broke the tie and he was given the award (along with winning pitcher jon matlack). garvey did win a gold glove for the second straight year, matching his error total (8) and fielding percentage (.995) from 1974. garvey hit two home runs in a game just once in 1975 (september 24 against the padres), and two days later he hit his final home run of the season: a two-run walk off job off of houston's jr richard giving the dodgers a 3-2 victory.

1975 also marked the beginning of garvey's consecutive game played streak. after sitting out two games to start september, garvey was back in the lineup on september 3rd against the reds. he would not miss another game the dodgers played until he went to san diego in 1983. but that's for a later post.

1975 was the year that garvey became the first of the infield to appear on multiple topps cards - appearing on the mvp subset with his american league counterpart jeff burroughs,
as well as the 1974 nlcs highlight card. i should note that ron cey appeared on one of the 1974 world series cards - but as a lurker, not the main subject.

speaking of the penguin, he had a great 1975 season.
his 25 home runs were good for fifth in the league and together with 101 rbi, a .283 average and an ops of .845, earned him another starting gig in the all star game, as well as an 18th place finish in the mvp voting. cey was 1 for 3 with a single in the all star game. he hit two home runs in a game twice in 1975, and also had a 10th inning walk off homer against pedro borbon and the reds on august 1.

bill russell appeared in only 84 games for the dodgers in 1975, missing virtually all of april, may and june due to injury. he was replaced primarily by rick auerbach, with some help from ivan dejesus and none other than davey lopes. for the season, russell hit just .206 with an ops of just .535. luckily for russell, he would bounce back in 1976.

after spending the entire 1974 season at second base, davey lopes would spend some time in 1975 in center, at short, and, for 3 innings, in right field, along with his primary second base duties. no matter where he played, he was a terror on the base paths. for the season, lopes stole 77 bases to lead the league, becoming the first dodger to do so since maury wills did it in 1965. during the season, lopes was caught 12 times, although he had a record breaking streak of 38 straight successful stolen base attempts before gary carter gunned him down on august 24. at the plate, lopes hit .262 with an ops of .717 and scored 108 runs, good for third in the league. lopes hit 8 home runs in 1975, but none were lead off shots.

thanks, baseball reference!

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