17 April 2012

the rest of the 1978 topps dodgers in 1979

here's the second part of the 1978 topps dodgers as they appeared in 1979.  we start part 2 with happy hooton.
hooton pitched well in 1979.  he had an era of 2.97 in 29 starts, threw a shutout and completed 17 games.  unfortunately, his win-loss record was only 11-10.  he pitched well enough to be 16-5, in my opinion.  he was shelved for most of september with a sore shoulder.

charlie hough
was 1-2 out of the bullpen for the dodgers with no saves for the first time since his cups of coffee in the early 1970s when tom lasorda put him in the starting rotation shortly after the all-star break.  hough made 14 starts and went 6-3 in that role, with the team going 10-4 in those games.

speaking of lasorda, he got a card in the 1979 set, sharing space with the 1978 dodgers on the team checklist card
this was the norm from 1975-1977, and i'm glad they separated the two in 1978.  lasorda got a dose of reality in 1979 as the dodgers won only 79 games and finished 3rd in the nl west.  i believe that was the first time any team managed by lasorda finished below 2nd place.  still, as the reigning pennant-winning manager, lasorda got to manage the national league in the all-star game, and he was victorious in his effort.

speaking of all-stars, davey lopes was voted to start in the all-star game for the first time in his career in 1979
he exploded at the plate that year, hitting 28 home runs (tied with garvey and cey for the team lead).  those home runs included 7 of the lead-off variety, plus an inside-the-park job.  in addition, the first and last home runs of the season for lopes were walk-offs, including a grand slam off of bruce sutter to cap his campaign.  he also stole 44 bases in 48 attempts.  at the all-star game, lopes was 1 for 3 but led off the game by striking out against nolan ryan.

ted martinez
played his final season in the big leagues in 1979.  he appeared in 81 games and hit .268.  he played third, short, and second about equally, and started at second or short in 9 of the dodgers' last 10 games of the season.  his last big league hit came off of vern ruhle, and his last major league at bat was against joe sambito.

rick monday mirrors martinez's pose while rocking the all-star banner on his 1979 topps card
at least he's not picking his teeth.  monday hit .303 on the year in 1979, however, he played in only 12 games and all ten of his hits were singles.  he had surgery on his achilles tendon in july after sitting out for a couple of months and wound up missing pretty much the entire season.

manny mota didn't get to play the field much, even with monday out
he made 47 appearances, all as a pinch-hitter (although he did stay in one game and play some left field).  he was 15 for 42 (.357) on the year with 3 rbi.  like monday, all of his hits were singles, but one of those was his 145th career pinch hit, setting a major league record.  i don't remember the hit, which came on 9/2/19 against lynn mcglothen of the cubs, but i do remember his 5th attempt to set the record which came a few days earlier.  i can distinctly recall the anticipation in vin scully's voice as he made the call on a sharp line drive that was snared by the cardinals' second baseman to postpone mota's achievement.

johnny oates
made his way into 26 games in 1979.  he hit just .130 although he did throw out 7 of 19 base stealers.  oates would be released by the dodgers during spring training in 1980, so 1979 was his last season with the club.

doug rau
also had his final season in dodger blue in 1979.  he was 1-5 with a 5.30 era in 11 starts, but his lone win was a one-hit shutout of the expos in mid-may.  sadly, the only expos hit came with 2 outs in the 8th inning.  even worse, it was chris speier who had also broken up a potential rau no-hitter with a late-inning hit earlier in their careers.  less than a month later, rau was lost for the season with a torn rotator cuff.

bill russell was the only member of the infield not to hit exactly 28 home runs in 1979.
he hit 7, one of which was a walk-off.  he also played in 153 games and hit .271.

reggie smith, like forster and monday and rau, also caught the injury bug in 1979
he played in 68 games and hit .274 with 10 homers while battling a nagging achilles injury.  he finally gave up after august 1st and sat out the remainder of the season.

don sutton liked to kneel on his topps cards.  at least on this one and the two he got in 1981 as we shall see eventually.
sutton had a losing record for the first time since 1969.  he was 12-15 with a 3.82 era in 32 starts and one relief appearance in 1979.  that relief duty earned him his 4th career save, and came in the final appearance of the season for sutton.  he had 1 shutout and six complete games, including 4 of his first 7 starts of the season.

finally, we have steve yeager
yeager played in 105 games in 1979, catching in 103 of them.  he threw out 41% of would be base stealers, and stole a base of his own.  he also smacked 13 homers (including two 2-homer games) and hit on the right side of .200 after a down year at the plate in 1978.

and those were the 1978 topps dodgers in 1979.  it was the first time since 1974 that none of the players appeared on a secondary card.  here's the running tally:

26/27 members of the 1978 topps dodgers featured by topps in 1979

total appearances:

baker 9 (1971-1979)
burke 2 (1978-1979)
cey 8 (1972-1979)
davalillo 14 (1963-1974, 1978-1979)
forster 8 (1972-1979)
garman 8 (1971-1973, 1975-1979)
garvey 9 (1971-1979)
goodson 6 (1973-1978)
grote 15 (1964-1976, 1978-1979)
hooton 8 (1972-1979)
hough 8 (1972-1979)
john 16 (1964-1979)
lacy 7 (1973-1979)
lasorda 6 (1954, 1973-1974, 1977-1979)
lopes 7 (1973-1979)
martinez 8 (1971-1976, 1978-1979)
monday 13 (1967-1979)
mota 17 (1963-1979)
oates 8 (1972-1979)
rau 7 (1973-1979)
rautzhan 2 (1978-1979)
rhoden 5 (1975-1979)
russell 10 (1970-1979)
smith 13 (1967-1979)
sosa 6 (1974-1979)
sutton 14 (1966-1979)
yeager 7 (1973-1979)

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)

No comments: