10 August 2011

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1973 - part 2

here's part 2 of the 1973 installment in my review of the evolution of the 1978 topps dodgers.  we've seen the newcomers and the sophomores already, so here are the first group of veterans.  start us off, johnnie b.
dusty established his career bests in games, runs scored, hits, rbi, and stolen bases in 1973.  he was sent out to center field for the braves, and played in 159 games there.  he scored 101 runs, had 174 hits, 99 rbi and 24 steals.  he also hit 21 home runs, including two in one game against the pirates in august, a walk-off against the pirates later in that same month, and long balls in three straight games against the reds in september.

vic davalillo suffered through one of the worst, and one of the best, seasons of his career in 1973
this photo reminds me of little league picture day.  the pose, the chain link fence and the group of other players waiting around for their turn.  all that's missing is a pin-back button.  anyway, davalillo began the season with the pirates, who used him at first base and the outfield, but primarily as a pinch hitter.  he didn't do so well for them - in 59 games for the bucs, he hit .181 and his lone home run that season came as a pinch hitter in april against les expos.  in july, his contract was purchased by the defending world champion oakland a's.  he didn't fare much better down the stretch, hitting .188 for oakland in 38 games. 

davalillo made the postseason roster, however, and tore it up in the alcs against the orioles. he appeared in 4 of the 5 games, going 5 for 9 with a walk, a double and a triple.  in the world series, he was just 1 for 11 with 2 walks, but the a's won anyway and davalillo had his second ring.
terry forster was still with the white sox in 1973
nice zip-up jerseys by the way.  he appeared in 51 games, 12 as a starter, and won 6 games - the same as he had the previous year.  his saves were down to 16 from 29 in 1972, and his era jumped about a run to 3.23.  he pitched a career high 172.1 innings and had a personal best 120 strikeouts.  in what was a great tragedy, the advent of the designated hitter in the american league in 1973 meant that forster, at that point a career .500 hitter (12 for 24) got to bat just once all year when chuck tanner called on him to pinch hit for outfielder pat kelly against catfish hunter late in the season. forster flew out against the future hall of famer.  it should be noted that a week prior to his pinch hitting appearance, forster was inserted as a pinch runner for ed herrmann.  take that, letterman.

for the third year in a row, mike garman has to share his card space with some other dudes.
in his final year with the red sox, garman appeared in 12 games but did not register a win, loss or save.  after the season, he was traded to the cardinals in the deal that would allow bill simmons to eventually come up with the concept for the 'reggie cleveland all-stars'.

steve garvey got a typical 1973 topps card
in that he is less visible on his own card than another player.  in this case, it's the dodgers' outgoing first baseman wes parker.  cool card.  i've written about it before, and i've written about garvey's 1973 season before, too.  'nuff said.

here's jerry grote!
grote played in 84 games for the mets in 1973, including a few at the hot corner.  he hit .256 with a home run and 32 rbi in the regular season, and threw out 35% of would-be base stealers.  he helped the mets return to the post season and hit .211 with 2 rbi in the nlcs.  in the world series, he hit .267 as the mets fell to davalillo's a's.

burt hooton got a card of his own in 1973
it's nice how he emulates the topps right-handed pitcher 'symbol' with his pose.  hooton threw a career high 239.2 innings in 1973, and spun a 3-hit shutout to go with a couple of 4-hitters along the way.  he won 14 games for the cubs, but was saddled with 17 losses.  hooton didn't do so well in '73 against his future teammates.  grote was 4 for 5 against him, lopes hit .667 against him, and mota, lacy, garvey, baker and cey were all hitting above .300 when they faced him that year.  he did hold johnny oates to one hit in 7 at bats, however.
last, but not least for part 2 is tommy john
like hooton, john gets the topps lefty pitcher pose pretty close to the generic moniker on the card.  in his second year in la, john went 16-7 and led the league with his .696 winning percentage.  he made 31 starts plus 5 relief appearances, threw a couple of 3-hitters and won each of his final 4 starts of the season.

hopefully i'll get to the rest of the 1978 topps dodgers in 1973 tomorrow.  stay tuned.

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