26 April 2011

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1971 - the newcomers

because of blogger's 20-label limit on posts, and my obsessive need to label the heck out of my posts, the evolution of the 1978 topps dodgers posts will now be presented in two parts.

the future roster that would become the 1978 topps dodgers is coming into shape with a few new faces adorning cards in 1971.  first up is johnnie b. 'dusty' baker, who happens to share his rookie card with dodger tom paciorek and the orioles' don baylor.
baker and paciorek would be traded for each other in 1975 in the deal that brought dusty to la.  baker debuted in 1968 at the age of 19 as a pinch-hitter for phil niekro in a september game against the astros.  on the year, he went 2 for 5 (his first hit coming in his third career at bat - a single off of mike cuellar) and was sent to the minors for more 'seasoning'.  in 1969, he earned a midseason call up, but was hitless in 7 at bats.  1970 was a bit better - he was a late season callup and hit .292 in 13 games and drove in the first 4 runs of his career.  by the time 1971 rolled around, baker broke camp with the big club and eventually made his first big league start and got his first extra base hit.  baker was sent back down in may with a .167 average, but returned to the braves for september and went 9 for 32 to finish out the season.

the second future dodger to appear within the black borders, also on a multi-player rookie card, is mike garman
like baker, garman debuted at the age of 19.  he pitched in (and started) two september games for the red sox in 1969, winning the first one which just happened to come against the yankees at fenway.  in the first inning of his debut, garman gave up 3 walks and threw a wild pitch, but he also struck out roy white and allowed only one run.  he settled down and allowed just 2 more runs in 7 total innings of work.  he spent all of 1970 in the minors, but returned in 1971 for three more september starts.  the first was forgettable - a 3+ inning, 5 run performance against the indians - even though the red sox son the game.  his second resulted in his second big league win, and the third was a heartbreaker, as garman suffered the loss despite giving up just one run (a brooks robinson home run) and 4 hits in 7 innings of work.

steve garvey got a card of his very own in the 1971 set
garvey had made 3 pinch hitting appearances in 1969 (striking out in his first big league at bat), but didn't appear in the field until 1970, where he played in 34 games, mostly at 3rd base (he spent 1 inning at second base). he did hit his first big league home run that year, a solo shot against the expos' carl morton. in 1971 garvey hit .227 in 81 games with 7 home runs.  he was used exclusively at third base where he made 14 errors.  1972 would be worse.

finally, we have shortstop ted martinez, along with fellow metropolitans rich folkers and jon matlack
not as good a trio as the baker/paciorek/baylor card, but some serviceable big leaguers nonetheless.  martinez had debuted in 1970 (against the dodgers) and was 1 for 16 in his 4 game trial.  his lone hit, a single, came in his second big league start against the giants' skip pitlock.  in 1971, the mets brought martinez up in july and he played well, hitting .288 in 38 games while fielding four different positions (second, third, short and a one-time appearance in left).  martinez also hit the first home run of his career - a true leadoff home run against nelson briles and the pirates.
that's it for the newcomers in 1971.  i'll do the player tally on the veterans post - coming later today.

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