1983 - a year in which the dodgers reached the nlcs for the 4th time in 7 years - was in a lot of ways the last hurrah for the 1978 topps dodgers. at least for those who remained with the team. topps featured 9 of them in dodger blue in the flagship set that year, but only 6 were actually with the club, and one of those six (dusty baker) played his final game as a dodger in '83.
baker played left field for the dodgers in 143 games and appeared in 6 others as a pinch hitter. his .260 average was 40 points lower than it had been in 1982, but he had only two fewer extra base hits than the previous year. he hit 15 home runs, 6 of which came against the cardinals including 2 in a game on july 11. baker's second homer that day was a walk-off job hit off of hall of famer bruce sutter. in the playoffs, baker was great. although in a losing cause, baker hit .357 and scored half of the eight runs that the dodgers managed in the four game series. he also hit one of the two home runs (mike marshall hit the other) that the team mustered.
ron cey got a card as a dodger in the 1983 set
but he was one of those so featured that wore a different uniform during the season. topps got it right with the traded set when they put the penguin in chicago pinstripes.
cey had a great first year in chicago. he hit 24 home runs and drove in 90 - his highest rbi total since 1977. he raised his average by 21 points to .275 and his ops by 54 points to .805 when compared to the previous season. he also matched his career high with 159 games played. the cubs, however, finished fifth in the nl east. perhaps the highlight of cey's season, other than being name checked in manager lee elia's famous tirade against the cub's fans, was hitting the lone inside the park home run of his career. from what i can gather, that particular home run was aided by the wrigley field wind and the fact that dave parker took a hard run into the wall in pursuit of the fly ball. oh well, it looks like a line drive in the box score.
here's terry forster, another guy featured in the 1983 set as a dodger
while playing elsewhere that season. forster, like cey, was featured in the traded set in his new team's apparel. in forster's case, that was the uniform of the atlanta braves.suttoning! forster had signed with the braves as a free agent after the 1982 season, and he pitched well for them in '83. he appeared in 56 games for the second year in a row, but was used more as a closer than he had been during his last few years in la. forster saved 13 games for the braves, combining with steve bedrosian to form a lefty-righty closer committee in the bullpen. he also won 3 games and had an era of 2.16. best of all, the braves let forster bat 9 times, and he responded with 4 hits including a double and a sacrifice for a average of .500 and an ops of 1.125. at that point, forster's career average stood at a lofty .408.
the last of the 1978 topps dodgers to be shown as a dodger in the 1983 flagship set but not play for the team is steve garvey
he spent the season with the padres, and was featured as such in the traded set
wearing the uniform that he said made him look like 'a taco', garvey extended his consecutive game streak to 1207, along the way breaking billy williams' national league record of 1117 while visiting dodger stadium (i was there, by the way, and obtained my only in person garvey autograph that night). unfortunately for the garv, the streak ended after he hurt his thumb on a play at the plate in late july, causing him to miss the rest of the season. statistically, garvey had a decent year going at the time of his injury. he was batting .294 with 14 home runs and 59 rbi, but perhaps most impressively, he had already scored 76 runs! that was more than he scored in 1982 in 62 more games! he didn't hit 2 home runs in any games, and 10 of his home runs were solo shots, but he did manage to hit a couple against fernando valenzuela. his final home run of the season, number 233 of his career, was a grand slam.
burt hooton was a dodger in 1983, both by topps' standards and by his actions.
making a triumphant return to the topps set, tommy lasorda received his first solo card since 1978 after managers took a one year hiatus from the set.
looks like tommy is confirming directions to the nearest italian eatery. i should have scanned the back because it featured both tommy's major league career pitching stats and his minor and major league managerial stats. the 1978 card only featured his major and minor league playing stats. at any rate, lasorda improved upon those managerial stats in 1983. he led the club to 91 wins and was two playoff wins shy of reaching his fourth world series in seven years. at the end of the season, his record as manager stood at 608 wins and 479 losses.
rick monday was still a dodger in 1983.
bill russell was still the dodgers' regular shortstop in 1983
the last of the dodgers in 1983 is steve yeager
i'll address the 1978 topps dodgers who were not dodgers in any way, shape, or form in 1983 with the next post.