there are many players who have had unheralded statistical anomalies that have made me take notice over the years. one such stat was the 76 runs scored that steve garvey tallied in just 100 games during the 1983 season. he had scored only 66 in 162 games for the dodgers in 1982, and in 1984, he scored only 72 times in 161 games. had he not been hurt, garvey could have scored around 120 runs in '83, easily a career high, and almost certainly would have broken the 100-run barrier for the first and only time in his career.
another such stat that i found interesting came courtesy of todd hundley. hundley hit exactly 24 home runs in each of his first two seasons with the dodgers, but he did it in 114 games in 1999 and just 90 games in 2000. his batting average was quite higher in 2000, and he was able to cut down on his strikeouts that year, too. here's his 2000 fleer tradition card
hundley was a met prior to coming to the dodgers, and he was injured when the mets acquired mike piazza from the marlins in 1998. as a result, he came back to the team without his usual spot behind the plate being an option and so spent most of his time in left field. meanwhile, the dodgers were willing to move charles johnson who had been acquired in their deal with the marlins, and so a hundley for johnson (and roger cedeno) swap was engineered after the 1998 season ended. this is interesting to me because, according to baseball reference, the most similar player to todd hundley was charles johnson.
hundley played for the dodgers in those aforementioned 1999 and 2000 seasons, but signed as a free agent with the cubs prior to the 2001 season. here's his 2003 topps card
still, the dodgers were interested in bringing him back, and so they did by trading mark grudzielanek and their all-time home run leader (eric karros) to the cubs in december of 2002. the deal had salary dump written all over it as the team saved about $7 million in 2003 (assuming they would have bought out the g-man and karros' contracts after the season). however, hundley was due to make $6.5 million in 2004, so the team really was only saving half a million dollars. and, they had to replace karros, and they did so by signing fred mcgriff to a deal worth just under $4 million.
anyway, hundley was back, and despite playing in only 21 games and hitting .182 during the 2003 season, topps got him in the 2004 flagship set.
final career stats, but i forgot to scan the back.
here's to you, todd hundley - another dodger double dipper!