01 February 2010

the changing of the second baseman - gcrl in 1982

in 1982, dodger fans everywhere basked in the glory of the 1981 world championship.  the dodgers themselves made a good run at returning to the postseason, finishing one game behind the atlanta braves at season's end.  i remember the 8 game losing streak that took them from 3 games up on september 21 to 2 games back on the 29th.  they climbed to one game back, and then, on the final day of the season, the braves lost and the dodgers faced the giants.  tied 2-2 in the 7th.  then, tom niedenfuer.  terry forster.  joe morgan.  so long postseason. 

still, the season was memorable.  we had the rise of pedro guerrero, the rookie of the year steve sax (who replaced davey lopes), and the final dodger appearances of ron cey and steve garvey.

in his final at bat in a dodger uniform, garvey struck out against greg minton.  in fact, 1982 was perhaps garvey's poorest season of his career to date.he hit .282 with 16 home runs and 86 rbi, but his ops slipped to .718 - the lowest it had been since he became a full time player.  he continued his consecutive games played streak, but his string of all star appearances came to an end.  he hit his 200th career home run on june 5th against steve mura and the cardinals, and his final home run as a dodger was a 16th inning walk-off at the expense of chris welsh and the padres.  garvey appeared on two topps cards, as topps brought back the 'in action' subset.garvey finished his dodger tenure with a .301 average and 211 home runs over 14 seasons, 5th all-time in franchise hits with 1968, 6th in total bases, 3rd in doubles, 9th in games played, 5th in home runs (now 6th), 5th in rbi, and the list goes on.  in a couple of those categories (doubles and rbi), garvey remains the all-time los angeles dodgers leader.

ron cey had a pretty solid 1982, although, like garvey, his ops slipped to the lowest it had been in quite some time.
he hit 24 home runs and drove in 79 runs in 150 games, batting .254 with an ops of .751.  traded to the cubs after the 1982 campaign, cey homered in his final game as a dodger, giving them a short lived 2-0 lead in the final game of the season.  cey also got the 'in action' treatment from topps (with rick monday lurking):
he finished his career with the dodgers as the all time los angeles dodger leader in home runs with 228 (since passed by eric karros), but is still 5th all time on the franchise leader board.  the penguin also cracks the top ten on the all time franchise leader board in rbi, walks and extra base hits.

bill russell did not play his final year with the dodgers in 1982.
russell had a pretty good year, actually, posting a career high ops of .697 in 153 games, thanks to a career high 63 walks.  he hit 3 home runs, 20 doubles and scored 64 runs - pretty productive from the 8 spot.

davey lopes spent his first year out of a dodger uniform in 1982.  somewhat ironically, he had three cards in the 1982 topps set, all as a dodger.  in addition to his base card,
he had an 'in action' card (although, like maury wills, i would prefer a davey lopes in action shot be of him on the basepaths)
and an 'all star' card, by virtue of his starting the 1981 all star game for the national league.as an aside - topps really wasn't too creative in 1982.  the garvey base card and lopes all star cards feature the same background, and the garvey in action, cey in action, russell base, and lopes in action cards look like they come from the same game.

back to lopes.  perhaps his most important card in 1982 was his topps traded card.
with the a's, lopes played in 128 games (including 6 in center field), and hit .242 with 11 home runs and 42 rbi.  he stole 28 bases and was caught 12 times.  none of his home runs were lead off shots, primarily because oakland had a pretty good lead off hitter in rickey henderson.  lopes' post dodger career started off well, as he walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in his oakland debut.

1983 would be a year of starting post dodger careers for half of the infield, and one lucky member made it back to the post season...

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