03 November 2010

the continuing evolution of the 1978 topps dodgers - 1965 edition

no new players debuted or had topps cards in 1965, but all 4 of the 1978 topps dodgers featured in 1964 returned.

vic davalillo became the first of these players to make an all star team when he was named to the al squad in 1965.
he was the starting center fielder and went 1 for 2 with a single off of juan marichal. he was hitting .321 at the break, and although he wound up hitting 'just' .301 on the season, that was good enough for 3rd in the american league and a 21st place finish in the mvp voting.  of his 5 home runs hit in 1965, two came in the same game against jim bouton and the yankees.

jerry grote got a card of his very own in 1965 after sharing space in 1964.
1965 was the first year for the team to be known as the astros as they changed their name from the colt .45's. grote, however, was never an astro. he spent the entire 1965 season in the minors at houston's aaa affiliate in oklahoma city where he split his time between catching and playing third base. meanwhile, up at the big club, the astros used 5 different catchers over the course of the season, led by rule v draftee ron brand. i suppose having to keep brand on the big league roster was a big reason why grote didn't get a call up. it worked to his advantage though, as the expendable grote was traded to the mets after the 1965 season ended.

tommy john also got his first solo card in 1965, an oddly cropped and centered photo placed to obscure the fact that he was wearing an indians jersey. 
that's because john had joined the chicago white sox in the rocky colavito trade. john appeared in 39 games for the white sox, starting 27 times. he went 14-7 with 3 saves, 6 complete games and a shutout. in his first appearance for the south siders, john was summoned from the bullpen with 2 outs in the 9th to preserve a 2-run lead against the orioles, who had two men in scoring position. john struck out future teammate boog powell to end the game. at the plate in 1965, john hit his first career home run - a solo shot against the yankees' bill stafford that put john and the white sox ahead for good.

manny mota spent his third year in pittsburgh patrolling the outfield for the pirates.
he played mostly centerfield, but spent some time in left and right as well. he hit .279 in 121 games with 4 home runs on the season, including his second career pinch hit home run (off of jim bunning) and a walk off job against bob miller and the dodgers. as a pinch hitter, mota hit .355 with 11 hits in 31 at bats.
so, those were the 1978 topps dodgers in 1965.

here's the tally so far:

4/27 players featured by topps in 1965

total appearances:

davalillo 3 (1963, 1964, 1965)
grote 2 (1964, 1965)
john 2 (1964, 1965)
lasorda 1 (1954)
mota 3 (1963, 1964, 1965)

1 comment:

Johngy said...

Really enjoying this series.