11 June 2010

deciphering the 1978 topps dodger team card once and for all (i think)

when i received my cards signed by mark cresse a while back, i was a little bit disappointed that he didn't answer the question i had asked him.  i was really hoping that he would tell me who the two guys in front of him were, since they were the two non-uniformed guys i couldn't identify in my previous post about the 1978 topps dodger team card.
in that previous post, i identified all of the players, and left the two bat boys sitting in front remain anonymous.  the civilians on the left of the card were identified as general manager al campanis and trainer bill buhler, while the guys in streetclothes to the right were the ones in question.  it turns out, i think my al campanis assessment was incorrect.

instead, i turned to my handy dandy 1977 and 1978 dodger yearbooks, with a little assist from the future.  as in the 1980 topps dodger team card and the 1984 dodger yearbook.  i'll explain.

the 1980 topps card features a skinny, gray haired man with glasses and a long neck.
see him there on the left in the dark suit?  now, the guy to his left is the same guy i thought was al campanis on the 1978 card.  in fact, he may well be wearing the same outfit.  at any rate, even though campanis was still the gm in 1979, he had more hair than this guy, and even may have been using the grecian formula.  next, look to the far right of the card at the two guys out of uniform.  the one in the lighter shirt is bill buhler, no doubt.  he was featured enough on dodger telecasts that i would recognize him right away.  but, just for good measure, here's his entry in the 1978 yearbook. 
and look - the guy next to him on the 1980 card has got to be herb vike, assistant trainer based on that mustache.  armed with this knowledge (that buhler is standing next to the assistant trainer on the 1980 card), i can take a look at the staff photos from the 1977 yearbook
to find that jack homel was the assistant trainer that year.  so, i conclude that jack homel is on the 1978 card, except that he is not next to buhler - he is the guy in casual clothes at the far right end of that second row.  then, to take things one step further, buhler is standing next to the 'campanis' guy on the 1978 card who i now believe is the team doctor, robert woods.

with three down and one to go, i look through my yearbooks for the guy with glasses and a long neck and find that in 1984, bill delury was the dodgers' traveling secretary,
(nice hair, newk!) a position he assumed in 1979 after working his way up the ladder in the organization starting in 1950.  so, if the traveling secretary is on the 1980 card, then it stands to reason that the same position would be represented on the 1978 card, in which case the fourth non-uniformed person would be...
lee scott (seriously, nice hair newk!).  i originally thought that fred claire may have been featured on the 1978 card, but scott makes much more sense.

to prove my theory, i found an ebay auction for a team issue 1979 team photo, which actually provides the names of those pictured
it confirms that the non-uniformed personnel are woods, delury, vike, and buhler.  so, it stands to reason that woods, scott, homel and buhler would be in the 1977 photo and 1978 card.

so, to sum up, that middle row on the 1978 topps dodger team card consists of: dr. robert woods, bill buhler (trainer), reggie smith, ted martinez, lee lacy, dusty baker, bill russell, ron cey, dave lopes, rick monday, boog powell, lee scott (traveling secretary), jack homel (assistant trainer).

i was feeling good about all of the sleuthing i did, until i realized that i could have just gone to walteromalley.com and been done with it!  now i even know the name of the bat boys - dan ayers and walt luchinger!  oh well, at least my latest round of research has been vindicated.


Captain Canuck said...

lol... I'm glad I'm not the only one who does crazy stuff like this...

night owl said...

That's a little too crazy for me. But thanks for the cool website!

Orioles Magic said...

Good research, do you have all of the Dodgers yearbooks laying around or something?

Mariner1 said...

I'm glad you figured that out. With just a quick look, I thought it might have been the guy that used to be at Dodger stadium before the remodel with the panama hat and the radar gun. I wish someone could a site for the Mariners like the O'Malley site.

gcrl said...

@ryan - i have the 77, 78 and 84 yearbooks. i also have the 78 media guide, but it didn't help much in this case.