24 February 2012

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1978, part 2

let's finish up the 1978 topps dodgers as they were in 1978.  here's part 1, in case you missed it and give a rip.  and now for the rest of the story

dusty baker
baker is in the midst of giants, or more likely just a giants' ballboy, in this photo.  i like to think he's smiling at some family or friends in the stands since he hails from that part of the country.  as far as 1978 went, dusty had a down year.  although he played in 149 games, his home run total plummeted to 11 and his rbi output fell to 66.  his average also took a tumble, falling almost 30 points to .262.  still, the 1977 nlcs mvp played well against the phillies in the postseason once again, this time hitting .467 with 7 hits and 4 runs scored in the four game series.  in the fall classic against the yankees, dusty hit only .238, but did have a solo home run to his credit.

ron cey
the penguin raised his average by almost 30 points, to .270 in 1978.  he hit fewer homers than he had in 1977 (23) and drove in fewer runs (84), but he scored more times (84 vs. 77) and struck out 10 fewer times while appearing in 6 more games over the course of the 1978 season.  he made the all-star team for the fifth straight year (grounding out in his only plate appearance, although he moved the runner over!) and had a home run in the nlcs and the world series.

steve garvey
garvey finished 2nd in the league mvp voting in 1978 thanks to playing every day, getting 202 hits, having a line of 21/113/.316, and a career high ops of .852.  he failed to win the gold glove after four straight years receiving that honor (stupid keith hernandez), but was named the mvp of the all-star game (2 for 3 with 2 rbi and the winning rally-starting triple off of goose gossage in the 8th inning) for the second time in his career.  to top things off, garvey also won the mvp of the nlcs for the first time, putting up a line of 4/7/.389 in the 4 games against the phillies.  in the world series, however, he hit only .208 thanks in part to the play of graig nettles at third base for the yankees.

burt hooton
happy hooton won a career high 19 games in 1978, finishing 2nd in the cy young award voting and 15th in the mvp voting.  he had 10 complete games and 3 shutouts.  he made one start in the nlcs (game 1) and lasted only 4.2 innings of work, allowing 4 runs and 10 hits to the phillies although the dodgers wound up winning the game.  he had two starts in the world series, winning game 2 despite allowing 3 runs in 6 innings, and losing game 5 after allowing 4 runs (3 earned) in 2.1 innings of work against the yankees.

charlie hough
thanks to the arrival of terry forster, hough was no longer the dodgers' closer in 1978.  still, he saved 7 games while making 55 appearances, all in relief. he also won 5 and lost 5. in the nlcs, he made one appearance without a decision.  he made two relief appearances in the world series, and despite allowing 5 runs in 5.1 innings of work, he did not give up a towering home run to reggie jackson this time.

tommy john
john won 17 games in his third year back from his eponymous surgery.  he finished 8th in the cy young voting and was named to the all-star team.  in the postseason, john was the dodgers' best pitcher.  he was 1-0 in the nlcs, throwing a 4-hit shutout against the phillies in game 2 of the nlcs.  in the world series, john won game 1, allowing 3 earned runs in 7.2 innings of work.  in game 5, john got a no-decision as he allowed 2 earned runs in his 7 innings of a game the dodgers lost 5-4.

lee lacy
1978 was lacy's last in los angeles, and he went out with a bang.  he played in 103 games, a career high, and belted 13 homers, also a career high.  he proved his utility-ness, playing in right, left, short, third and second over the course of the season.  he was 0 for 2 in the nlcs (both appearances came as a pinch-hitter), but started four of the world series games as the designated hitter and was 2 for 14 with an rbi.  lacy became a free agent after the season ended and decided to try his luck in pittsburgh.

tom lasorda
and here we have tommy's first solo card since 1954.  it's a classic, too.  in lasorda's second year at the helm of the team, the dodgers won 95 games en route to their second straight pennant.  highlights from tommy's year included leading the national league to a victory in the all-star game and going on a tirade about dave kingman's performance in a game in which kong hit three home runs against the dodgers.  good stuff.

dave lopes
lopes appeared on multiple cards in the topps set for the third year in a row, thanks to the nlcs summary card
which shows him perhaps hitting the ball to larry bowa in the 'black friday' game.  i always wondered why the card was labeled 'nl championships', as if there were more than one series.  anyway, the captain of the dodgers made the all-star team for the first time (he was 1 for 1 with an rbi) and also won his only career gold glove.  he stole 45 bases while being caught just 4 times, although he did get gunned down trying to steal off of goose gossage and jim sundberg in the all-star game.  lopes had hit a then-career high 17 homers during the regular season, and kept up the power surge in the postseason.  he hit two homers against the phillies (to go along with a .389 average and 5 rbi) and then hit 3 longballs in the world series against the yankees.  he also hit .308 with 7 rbi and 2 steals in the fall classic, although in a losing effort.

manny mota
mota appeared in 37 games (all as a pinch-hitter) for the dodgers in 1978, and, of course, had 37 plate appearances.  he was 10 for 33 (.303) with 3 walks and a sacrifice in those appearances, and drove in 6 runs as well.  for the second year in a row, mota was 1 for 1 with a double against the phillies in the nlcs, although this time he added a sacrifice for good measure.  mota then worked a walk in his lone (and final)world series appearance.
 
doug rau
rau had another solid season for the dodgers, going 15-9 with a 3.26 era.  he threw 7 complete games and 2 shutouts, including a string of 3 straight complete games in june.  rau started game 4 of the nlcs, but didn't figure in the decision despite giving up just 2 runs in 5 innings.  he finished the 1978 season for the dodgers, pitching the last two innings of game 6 of the world series, striking out reggie jackson to end the top of the 9th.

rick rhoden
rhoden's card is almost symmetrical to rau's.  they look nice next to each other.  rhoden went 10-8 in 30 games (23 starts) for the dodgers in 1978.  he threw 6 complete games and 3 shutouts and did not appear in the world series.  in his lone nlcs appearance, rhoden pitched 4 innings of relief in game 4 allowing only a bake mcbride home run, but was removed from the game before the dodgers rallied to win in the 10th.  it was his last appearance as a dodger, as rhoden was traded to the pirates at the start of the 1979 season for jerry reuss.

bill russell
ropes still looks boyish on his card, but then again, he was only 29 in 1978.  russell wound up playing in 159 games and hitting a career high .286 on the year.  defensively, he was third among shortstops in range factor, assists, and errors as it turns out.  good thing that his offense carried through to the postseason, then.  in the nlcs, russell hit .412 with 7 hits and 2 rbi, and then he went 11 for 26 with 2 doubles in the world series for a .423 clip.

reggie smith
smith very nearly repeated as a 30-home run hitter in 1978, finishing with 29 bombs to lead the team.  he also drove in 93 runs and hit .295 to earn his second straight all-star appearance (he was 0 for 3) and 4th place finish in the league mvp voting.  smith hit .188 in the nlcs and just .200 in the world series, although he did have a home run and 5 rbi against the yankees.

elias sosa
though featured as a dodger in the 1978 set, sosa was pitching in oakland when the season rolled around.  his contract had been purchased by the pirates in january of 1978, and they traded him just before the start of the campaign to the a's, along with miguel dilone for manny sanguillen.  with the a's, sosa was 8-2 with 14 saves and a 2.64 era in 68 games. he became a free agent after the season and signed with the expos, perhaps hastening the exit of former teammate mike garman in the process.

don sutton
sutton wears the all-star shield proudly!  in 1978, don was 15-11, and his era had increased for the third straight year, this time all the way to 3.55.  still, his whip was 1.18 and he led the league with a 2.85 strikeout to walk ratio.  he completed 12 of his 34 starts, and threw two shutouts on the season.  in the postseason, sutton took the loss in each of his 3 starts - one in the nlcs and two in the world series. 

steve yeager
i wish i could tell who the lurkers were in the background of yeager's card.  yeager suffered some injuries in 1978 and was limited to only 94 games for the dodgers.  he hit a measly .193 with 4 homers, but came up strong behind the plate as usual, leading the league by throwing out 47% of would-be base stealers against  him.  yeager did nearly all the catching in the postseason, and he hit .231 in both the nlcs and the world series.
and those were the 1978 topps dodgers in 1978.  here's the evolutionary tally so far:

27/27 members of the 1978 topps dodgers featured by topps in 1978 (duh)

total appearances:

baker 8 (1971-1978)
burke 1 (1978)
cey 7 (1972-1978)
davalillo 13 (1963-1974, 1978)
forster 7 (1972-1978)
garman 7 (1971-1973, 1975-1978)
garvey 8 (1971-1978)
goodson 6 (1973-1978)
grote 14 (1964-1976, 1978)
hooton 7 (1972-1978)
hough 7 (1972-1978)
john 15 (1964-1978)
lacy 6 (1973-1978)
lasorda 5 (1954, 1973-1974, 1977-1978)
lopes 6 (1973-1978)
martinez 9 (1971-1976, 1978)
monday 12 (1967-1978)
mota 16 (1963-1978)
oates 7 (1972-1978)
rau 6 (1973-1978)
rautzhan 1 (1978)
rhoden 4 (1975-1978)
russell 9 (1970-1978)
smith 12 (1967-1978)
sosa 5 (1974-1978)
sutton 13 (1966-1978)
yeager 6 (1973-1978)

teams represented so far:

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

1 comment:

Matthew R said...

Those 1978 manager cards were great!