22 June 2012

the dodger 1978 topps dodgers in 1980

most of the gang was still wearing dodger blue when the 1980 topps set came out.  this was the first set that i collected that had the facsimile autograph, and i wasn't too impressed.  1980 was also the year that the dodgers went into the final weekend of the season down three games in the standings to the astros.   they beat houston three in a row to force a game 163.  i remember suggesting to my teacher that perhaps we be allowed to watch the game (he was way ahead of me), but sadly, i also asked him to pull the plug when the dodgers were down by 6 after four innings.

here's dusty baker
baker had one of the best seasons of his career in 1980.  he hit .294 with 29 homers and 97 rbi and finished fourth in the league mvp voting.  he also won a silver slugger award for the first time.  he had a couple of two-home run games in 1980, including one against tom seaver. his last home run of the season, number 174 of his career came off of the padres' rick wise.  baker would hit his first homer of the 1981 campaign off of rick wise.  i may be the only one that finds stuff like that interesting.  i can just hear vin scully saying something like 'the last time baker faced wise, he hit a home run, and there's a high fly ball to deep left field and wouldn't you know it, dusty did it again!'

ron cey
did not have a home run off of rick wise in 1980, but did hit four of his 28 bombs off of seaver. cey had 77 rbi and a .254 average and was left off of the all-star roster for the first time since 1973.  he was the only member of the infield to not make the team and play in the game as it was held in dodger stadium for the first time.  it was cey's two-run homer in the bottom of the 8th in game 162 that gave the dodgers  their 4-3 victory and forced game 163.  unfortunately, cey was injured and could not play in the one game playoff, and was replaced in the lineup by a rookie named mickey hatcher.

terry forster
was still dealing with injuries and bone chips in 1980, and pitched in just 9 games as a result. he earned no wins, losses or saves in those appearances, nor did he have a plate appearance. in a statistical anomaly that had nothing to do with forster's pitching, the dodgers lost all 9 games in which he appeared.

steve garvey
was up to his usual tricks in 1980 - 163 games played, 200 hits, .304 average, 26 homers and 106 rbi.  it turned out to be the last time in his career that he reached those numbers.  garvey also started for the national league in the all-star game for the 7th straight year and finished 6th in the league mvp voting in 1980.  his home run off of nolan ryan was the difference in game 161, but the garv was held hitless in game 163.

burt hooton
was 14-8 with a 3.66 era in 33 starts for the dodgers in 1980.  he also made a single relief appearance in which he earned a save.  that save came in a 17-inning game on april 12 against the astros in which both hooton and rick sutcliffe entered the game as pinch hitters.  sutcliffe, in fact, singled in his at bat and did not even pitch in the game.  hooton, on the other hand, sacrificed dusty baker to second in the top of the 17th, and johnnie b eventually scored the go ahead run on a mickey hatcher single.  hooton started game 162 for the dodgers, but was replaced by bobby castillo after he allowed 2 runs in the second inning without recording an out.

charlie hough
didn't make it to the final series of the season with the dodgers, as the rangers purchased his contract from the team in mid-july.  hough had appeared in 19 games for the blue, and had a record of 1-3 with a save at the time of his departure.  in texas, hough went 2-2 in 16 appearances.  both wins with the rangers came in hough's two starts - one a complete game and the other his first career shutout.

tom lasorda
guided the team to 91 wins in 1980, a 12 game improvement over 1979.  he was named as a coach on chuck tanner's squad for the all-star game at dodger stadium, and, well, you read the rest yesterday in my tommy john write-up.  later in the season, lasorda chose dave goltz to start game 163, and has been second guessed ever since.

dave lopes
started the all-star game for the national league for the second year in a row, despite a .236 average at the break.  i was partially to blame for the ballot stuffing as i voted straight dodgers multiple times.  lopes had a better second half as he raised his average to .251 by the season's end.  he stole only 23 bases on the year, his lowest full season total as a major leaguer.  for what it's worth, lopes hit 10 homers, 6 of which were lead-off blasts. his first dinger of the season came at the expense of the aforementioned rick wise.

rick monday
returned from an injury plagued 1979 season to play in 96 games for the dodgers in 1980.  relegated largely to pinch-hitting duties, monday still hit 10 home runs including a walk-off pinch hit job against the reds in june.  mo drove in the dodgers' only run in game 163.

manny mota
appeared on two cards in the 1980 topps set, the only dodger to do so.  he got a highlights card thanks to his career pinch-hit record set in 1979
i thought this was pretty cool.  it was the first dodger highlight/record breaker card to come along since i had been collecting, and the dodgers' first since mike marshall got one in 1975.  i only had to wait until 1982 for the next one, thanks to fernando valenzuela.  as for mota, he had actually retired after the 1979 season, so i thought that his base card would be a final tribute, but the dodgers activated him late in the season.  he wound up going 3 for 7 as a pinch hitter in september, and he had a big rbi single in that role in the bottom of the 7th inning of game 162 to cut the astros' lead to one run and help set the stage for cey's two-run blast to win the game.

johnny oates
was released by the dodgers during spring training 1980, so i guess i should have shown this card yesterday.  no matter.  oates wound up signing with the yankees of all teams, and played in 39 games for them in 1980.  he hit the final home run of his big league career that year, a solo shot off of dave hamilton of the a's.  while the yankees made it to the alcs in 1980, oates did not make an appearance in the three games of the series as the bronx bombers were swept by kansas city.

doug rau
missed the entire 1980 season due to injury.  next!

bill russell
was the third and final member of the infield to start for the national league in the all-star game.  it turned out to be the final all-star appearance of his career.  on the year, russell hit .264 with 3 homers and 13 steals.  russell missed the last couple of weeks of the season and was replaced in the lineup by derrel thomas.

reggie smith
was the fourth dodger to be named a starter in the all-star game.  he earned it with 15 homers and a .328 average at the break.  after the all-star game, however, smith suffered a shoulder injury and then needed stitches to close a wound on his arm that may or may not have been the result of a clubhouse scrap with derrel thomas.  he wound up not playing in a game after august 13, and finished the year hitting .322 with those 15 home runs.  jay johnstone took his spot in the lineup.  it's amazing that the team finished as well as they did, now that i think about it.

don sutton
was 13-5 in 31 starts for the 1980 dodgers.  he also made a single relief appearance, earning the save in game 162 - two days after starting and throwing 8 innings in game 160.  sutton also led the national league in era (2.20) and whip which made me so happy.  that's because i knew sutton would appear on a league leader card in 1981.  having started collecting in 1978, i missed the glut of dodger leaders from 1975 through 1977, and so was pretty excited when 1981 topps was released.

steve yeager
appeared in 96 games in 1980.  he hit .211 on the year with a couple of home runs.  yeager missed a couple of weeks in late august/early september, and when he returned, he was used mostly as a pinch hitter and late inning replacement for mike scioscia and joe ferguson.  yeager singled in game 162 after entering the game in the 8th inning, but did not play in game 163.

i need to also mention that of the 1978 topps dodgers that were active in 1979 but not included in the 1980 set, vic davalillo was the only one who played in 1980, and a couple of guys (glenn burke and lance rautzhan) were denied 'final tributes'.  more about that in a future post.

21/27 members of the 1978 topps dodgers were featured by topps in 1980

total appearances:

baker 10 (1971-1980)
burke 2 (1978-1979)
cey 9 (1972-1980)
davalillo 14 (1963-1974, 1978-1979)
forster 9 (1972-1980)
garman 8 (1971-1973, 1975-1979)
garvey 10 (1971-1980)
goodson 6 (1973-1978)
grote 15 (1964-1976, 1978-1979)
hooton 9 (1972-1980)
hough 9 (1972-1980)
john 17 (1964-1980)
lacy 8 (1973-1980)
lasorda 7 (1954, 1973-1974, 1977-1980)
lopes 8 (1973-1980)
martinez 9 (1971-1976, 1978-1980)
monday 14 (1967-1980)
mota 18 (1963-1980)
oates 9 (1972-1980)
rau 8 (1973-1980)
rautzhan 2 (1978-1979)
rhoden 6 (1975-1980)
russell 11 (1970-1980)
smith 14 (1967-1980)
sosa 7 (1974-1980)
sutton 15 (1966-1980)
yeager 8 (1973-1980)

teams represented so far:

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

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