21 June 2012

one who left and the ones who were already gone - the non-dodger 1978 topps dodgers in 1980

so, here we are in 1980, and another 1978 topps dodger has seen his career come to an end.  at least topps gave ted martinez a card in 1980, unlike teammates lance rautzhan and glenn burke.  all three played their final big league games in 1979, but only teddy got a card.  here is his 'final tribute'
here's the back, with his complete career stats
i like the double play turn in the cartoon!  it's too bad that topps couldn't find any sort of highlight from martinez' 1979 season and had to resort to a couple of plays from the 1978 campaign to write about.  they could have mentioned that martinez' final major league hit was an 8th-inning double off of the astros' vern ruhle that came on september 28, 1979, and it started a 5-run dodger rally in a game that they won 6-5.  maybe that's too verbose for the back of the card.  anyway, martinez was released by the dodgers in early april of 1980, and, although he never did make it back to the big leagues, they must have re-signed him shortly thereafter as he played 86 games for the aaa dukes that same year.

in his second year away from la, tommy john posted a career high in wins with 22 for the yankees.
john also returned to dodger stadium for the first time in 1980, as a member of the american league all-star squad.  the story goes that tommy lasorda, a coach on chuck tanner's national league staff, recalled the success that ken griffey sr. had enjoyed against john while john was pitching for the dodgers, and suggested that griffey hit against john.  sure enough, griffey hit a home run off of tj to put the nl on the board.  the problem with that tale is that griffey entered the game when the american league starter, steve stone was still in the game (although maybe tommy saw john warming up), and then didn't face john until john's second inning of work came around.  besides, the american league was still leading 2-1 after griffey's solo shot.  john did go on to take the loss in the game, however, after he allowed three straight hits and ed farmer couldn't shut the door in the 6th inning.  it should be noted that jerry reuss, john's replacement in the dodger rotation, earned the win for the national league.

lee lacy had a pretty good season in 1980, even though he was in a left field platoon with mike easler
lacy played in 109 games for the defending world champs (at that point, it was the most games he had ever played in a single season) and hit .335 with an obp of .394 - both career highs.  he hit two home runs in a game for the first time in his career, including one off of steve carlton for the second straight season.

rick rhoden returned from injury in june of 1980
he wound up making 19 starts and one relief appearance for pittsburgh, going 7-5 with a 3.84 era along the way.  his first win of the season (and as a pirate) came against the dodgers as he out dueled the pitcher that essentially replaced him in the rotation, bob welch on july 18th.  rhoden also had a couple of complete games in 1980, and slugged a home run (the fifth of his career) off of houston's gordie pladson.  it was the second home run pladson gave up in the game, and the last of his career.

here's elias sosa, who spent 1980 in montreal, and so was featured with the proper team on his 1980 topps card for the first time since 1977
sosa was 9-6 with 9 saves for the expos in 67 relief appearances.  i find it interesting that on june 11, 1980, sosa was allowed to bat not once, but twice in a tie game against the padres.  sosa popped out to lead off the bottom of the 8th, but then singled in the bottom of the 9th to put chris speier in scoring position for ron leflore, who ended the game with a single of his own, with sosa obviously getting the win.

tomorrow we'll look at the 1978 topps dodgers who were, in fact, dodgers in 1980.

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