01 June 2011

gene mauch was a dodger double dipper

[this is the eighteenth installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, don zimmerrafael landestoy, dave hansen, jose vizcaino, hideo nomo, greg maddux, mike madduxjon garland, chan ho park, and vicente romo.]

the very first dodger double dipper i was aware of was either joe ferguson, lee lacy, or gene mauch.  ferguson returned to the dodgers for the latter part of the 1978 season while lacy had come back to them two years earlier, so, of the two, only lacy was featured as a dodger in the 1978 topps set.  mauch, meanwhile, was in the 1978 topps set as the manager of the twins.
i am guessing that it was probably lee lacy that first caught my eye as a double dipper thanks to the back of his 1978 topps card, and for the same reason, gene mauch was a close second.  i am sure i had identified both of them as two-time dodgers before the july trade that brought joe ferguson back to la because i studied the 1978 topps set like a forensic scientist.  i pored over the card backs looking at the stats and culling as much information from them as i could. 

here's the back of the card that served as my introduction to mauch and his dodger days
from this source i learned that mauch had debuted with the dodgers in 1944, then left the organization only to return in 1948.  double dipper!  i will admit that once i learned mauch had been a dodger, i was upset that topps used a photo of him as a red sox player on the front.  same with dick williams, for whom topps used a philadelphia a's photo.  thankfully, jeff torborg got the dodger treatment on his manager card, as did tom lasorda, of course.

mauch was 18 when he debuted for the dodgers, playing shortstop in a handful of april games at the beginning of one of the worst seasons in dodger history.  after spending the rest of the '44 season (along with all of 1945) in the military, and then 1946 in the minors (yes, i learned in 1978 that st. paul had been a dodger farm club and that it hadn't always been san antonio and albuquerque), mauch was traded to pittsburgh with four other players for al gionfriddo and cash.  after the season, he was traded back to brooklyn, and he brought boys of summer preacher roe and billy cox with him.  during the 1948 season, his contract was purchased by the cubs and mauch's dodger career ended with a total of 17 games played and a .143 batting average.

i don't have any 1940's cards period, let alone cards of mauch (i don't think there are any, actually) so i have to forego the dodger-some other team-dodger card display that i usually present in these posts.  instead, i'll show the only card i own of mauch in a dodger uni - his 1990 target dodgers card
mauch took over the phillies a couple of years after he retired as a player, and, in addition to managing the expos and twins, he was an angels' double dipper as manager.  he led the team in 1981 and 1982, which ended with a heartbreaking loss to the brewers in the alcs.  he returned to manage the halos from 1985 through 1987, and came oh so close to his first world series in 1986. 
although he is remembered mostly for his reign over the tragic '64 phillies and '86 angels, i will think of him as a dodger double dipper.  and roy smalley's uncle.  here's to you, gene mauch!

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