02 July 2010

done, done and done - gcrl in 1987

steve garvey's 1987 season (and career) came to an abrupt end in 1987.
the season was just 44 games old when garvey pinch hit for lance mccullers in a game against the expos. against neal heaton garvey flew out to center. it was his 76th at bat of the season, and his 27th appearance for the padres, and it would be the last of his career. three days later, garvey was on the disabled list planning to undergo season ending shoulder surgery to replace a torn biceps tendon.

for the season, garvey hit .211 with one home run and 9 rbi. his lone home run came against guy hoffman of the reds.

garvey became a free agent after the season ended, but did not sign a contract with any team. he later sued as part of the collusion messs contending that his contract was not extended due to the owners' pact. garvey's claim was initially denied by an arbitrator. but was subsequently overturned on appeal in an unprecedented decision. the case went all the way to the supreme court where the original decision made by the arbitrator was upheld.

ron cey was featured on two cards in the 1987 topps set, his base card
and the cubs' leaders card (with steve trout),
even though he was no longer a cub. in january of 1987, the cubs traded cey to oakland for luis quinones, as evidenced by his 1987 topps traded card.
the idea was for cey to be the right-handed dh as well as provide some relief for carney lansford at third. cey also played a bit of first base for the first time in his career. at the plate, the penguin struggled, hitting just .221 in 45 games. he hit 4 home runs (including his final career homer off of ed correa of the rangers) and drove in just 11 runs.

cey made his final appearance on july 12, 1987. as the a's dh against milwaukee, cey went 0 for 3, striking out agains juan nieves in his final plate appearance. in the 9th, cey was pinch hit for by none other than reggie jackson. mr. october struck out to end the game. three days later, cey was released by the a's.

bill russell, whose playing career ended in 1986, was included in the 1987 topps set, making this a 'final tribute'.
for his career, russell played in 2181 games, scored 796 runs and had 1926 hits. his batting average was .263, fielding percentage was .960, and his ops was .648. he played in 5 national league championship series (hitting .337 in 21 games), 4 world series (winning 1), and 3 all-star games (going 0 for 5).
he shows up on the all-time leaderboard in a few categories (when we look at the top 100 players) - his career total of 106 intentional walks currently places him at 100th all-time (one of the perks of batting 8th for most of his career); his 5714 assists rank 60th in baseball history (5546 of those assists came as a shortstop which is good for 33rd all-time); he is 37th in defensive games played as a shortstop; and he places 56th all-time among shortstops with 339 errors. in a bigger scale, he is 135th all-time in games played and 180th all-time in singles (1530).

as far as the dodgers' franchise leaderboard is concerned, russell is second in franchise history (first in los angeles dodger history) in games played, fourth in at bats, sixth in hits, third in singles, and tenth in total bases, doubles, and strikeouts. not a bad career.

davey lopes finished his career in 1987 with the houston astros.
topps also included him in the record breaker subset in honor of his 25 stolen bases as a 40-year old in 1986.
lopes lasted the entire season on the astros' roster - not bad for a 42-year old. for the first time in his career, he played exclusively in the outfield, although he was primarily used as a pinch hitter. of his 47 games played, only 5 included time in left field, and all of those were in the month of july. as in 1986, lopes managed just one home run, a two-run shot off of the phillies' don carman that was also his first hit of the season. he stole just 2 bases and was caught one time. in his final big league appearance, lopes was called upon on the final day of the season to pinch hit for nolan ryan. with runners on first and second and nobody out, tom browning got lopes to fly out to center. still, he got the lead runner over to third. lopes was released by the astros in november of 1987.

so, the playing careers for the infielders had ended, although one of them would still find his way onto a topps card in 1988...


dodgerbobble said...

It's so strange seeing them in other uniforms.

They'll always be Dodgers in my mind.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lopes still holds that record. Surprised Henderson didn't knock that one off the books later. If Davey had played in our era, I think he'd have gone a couple more years before being let go.... judging by the .411 OBP he posted at age 40. I mean, com'on, if you can post a .411 & steal 40+, you're still valuable.... but in 1987, most still thought a .233 BA overuled a .411 OBP.