16 October 2009

dodgers in a's clothing

it's always strange to see players you have rooted for on your favorite team show up one day wearing another team's uniform. especially one so garish as the oakland a's. don't get me wrong - there was a time in the early 80's when the a's were my favorite american league team (thank you rickey), but that was still a distant second to the dodgers. anyway, here's a sampling of some strange looking dodgers.

dave lopes (1984 fleer)
lopes was the first of the infield to leave. or go, in his case. he was traded to the a's prior to the 1982 season for lance hudson, a minor leaguer who never advanced past aa. with steve sax waiting in the wings, lopes was expendable. while i was a fan of lopes', i would soon embrace sax as my favorite dodger.

dusty baker (1986 topps)oakland was actually dusty's second stop after the dodgers. he spent a year with the giants after his stint in la, and was traded to oakland for a couple of minor leaguers just prior to the start of the 1985 season. he wound up playing two seasons for the a's.

ron cey (1987 topps traded) like baker, the a's were the second post-dodgers stop, as well as the final team, for the penguin. cey was traded to oakland by the cubs for luis quinones prior to the 1987 season. unfortunately, he would play only a half-season before being released by the club - they had carney lansford at third and reggie jackson (on his farewell tour) at dh, so there wasn't a lot of room. cey did however, get to dh and play first base for the first time in his career. i would like to think that he was a positive influence on the club, which went on to win 3 straight al pennants starting the following season.

bob welch (1994 fleer)
whereas the rest of these guys were at the end, or at least near the end, of their careers, welch went to oakland and had his best season. traded to the a's after the 1987 season in the deal that brought jay howell, alfredo griffin, and jesse orosco to la, welch would set a career high in wins (17) in 1988, tied that in 1989, and then posted 27 wins in 1990 while winning the cy young award. very impressive, but his best moment still came as a dodger (a rookie, no less) when he struck out reggie jackson in the 1978 world series.

eric karros (2004 topps)fabio. like dusty and cey, karros ended his career with the a's. sadly for the la dodgers' all-time home run leader, his time was more like the penguin's as he was released after a disappointing half-season in oakland.

mike piazza (2007 topps)
this, of course, is an airbrushed card, but it's not too far off from the reality of the a's uniforms. it's hard to believe that the a's were piazza's 4th post-la team, but it's true. after a pretty good year with the padres in 2006, piazza signed with oakland as a designated hitter. he appeared in just over half of their games, and managed just 8 home runs.

you know, maybe it's not the uniform that bothered me with these former dodger heroes of mine. maybe it was just that their age exposed their decline.

at any rate, here's to you dodgers in a's clothing!

1 comment:

MattR said...

Lopes, Cey, and Garvey just don't look right in other uniforms. I'll always remember them as Dodgers. It must be strange for Lopes to be coaching against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium.