11 August 2011

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1973 - part 3

we haven't seen tom lasorda since the start of this evolutionary journey (1954) so we'll kick off the third installment of the 1973 entry with him.
after many successful years in the dodgers' minor league system as a manger, lasorda was added to walt alston's staff for the 1973 season, replacing, i believe, roy hartsfield.  apparently, lasorda and alston, his former manager, didn't really get along but with so many of lasorda's minor league players making the big club, it made sense for him to get to the big leagues himself and help continue mentoring the guys he had coached in the minors.  good to see you again, tommy.

obviously, ted martinez was not one of lasorda's minor league players, since he was on the mets.
martinez played in 92 games for the nl champ mets in 1973.  listed by topps as a shortstop, he also spent time in the outfield and at second and third.  his lone home run of the season came against future hall of famer steve carlton.  martinez did not appear in the nlcs, but did make 2 appearances (without an at bat) in the world series against the a's.

rick monday was blissfully unaware of dwight k schrute watching him intently from the wrigley field bleachers on his 1973 topps card
in his second year in the national league, mo played in a career high 149 games and swatted 26 home runs.  he hit .267 and drove in just 56 runs, but much of that could be attributed to the fact that he was batting in the leadoff spot for most of the season.  in fact, 6 of his home runs were leadoff shots.  interestingly enough, monday's last home run in 1972 was off of tom seaver.  his first home run in 1973 also came at the expense of tom terrific, as did his final dinger of the campaign.  in between, he hit 3 home runs off of steve renko, including 2 in one game, a feat which he accomplished 3 other times in 1973.

manny mota gave way to the dodgers' youth movement in 1973
he played in 89 games, starting 71 of them in the outfield (left field to be precise), but once august and september came around, he started to give way to billy buckner more and more.  still, mota hit .314 on the year and was named to the all-star team (he went 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter turned left fielder in the game). as a pinch hitter in the regular season, mota was 5 for 13 with 3 rbi and 3 walks.

johnny oates got his first solo card in 1973
although he is shown as an oriole, he was actually traded to atlanta in the davey johnson deal that occurred in late 1972.  with the braves, oates hit .248 in 93 games sharing time behind the plate with paul casanova.  oates matched his career high with 4 home runs, and drove in a personal best 27 runs. 

bill russell was firmly entrenched at short for the dodgers in 1973 now that maury wills had retired
he played in all 162 games, hit .266 and was named to the all-star team along with teammates mota, willie davis, claude osteen, don sutton and jim brewer.  russell went 0 for 2 in the game after replacing chris speier at short in the 6th inning. 

reggie smith did not make the all-star team in 1973
although his final numbers for the year were pretty similar to his 1972 stats which earned him a spot in that season's midsummer classic.  he did play in only 115 games, but hit .303 with 21 homers and 69 rbi in what would be his final season in boston and the american league.  after the season ended, smith was traded to the cardinals for bernie carbo.

don sutton pitched a scoreless inning in the 1973 all-star game
it was his second straight trip to the midsummer classic, and 1973 also marked his second straight top-5 finish in the cy young voting.  with an 18-10 record and an era of 2.42, sutton finished 5th in the vote for the second straight year.  he threw 14 complete games and 3 shutouts and struck out exactly 200 batters, the fifth and final time he would reach that number in his career.  he twice pitched 10 innings in a game and at one point had a string of 5 straight complete games, including a 2-hitter and a game in which he struck out 12 cardinals.  on the down side, sutton allowed 5 home runs in a game against the pirates in 1973 - one each to willie stargell, dave cash, richie hebner, manny sanguillen and al oliver.  the dodgers lost the game 5-4.  at least they were all solo shots.

so, those were the 1978 topps dodgers, well, the last bunch of veterans anyway, in 1973.

here's the tally so far:

23/27 members of the 1978 topps dodgers featured by topps in 1973

total appearances:

baker 3 (1971-1973)
cey 2 (1972-1973)
davalillo 11 (1963-1973)
forster 2 (1972-1973)
garman 3 (1971-1973)
garvey 3 (1971-1973)
goodson 1 (1973)
grote 10 (1964-1973)
hooton 2 (1972-1973)
hough 2 (1972-1973)
john 10 (1964-1973)
lacy 1 (1973)
lasorda 2 (1954, 1973)
lopes 1 (1973)
martinez 3 (1971-1973)
monday 7 (1967-1973)
mota 11 (1963-1973)
oates 2 (1972-1973)
rau 1 (1973)
russell 4 (1970-1973)
smith 7 (1967-1973)
sutton 8 (1966-1973)
yeager 1 (1973)

teams represented so far:

16 (dodgers, indians, colt .45's, pirates, white sox, astros, mets, a's, red sox, angels, expos, cardinals, braves, cubs, orioles, giants)

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