18 June 2013

the evolution of the 1978 topps dodgers continues - as those who were no longer dodgers were featured in 1984

1984.  big brother was watching us, van halen broke out the synthesizers, apple brought out the mac, and america voted for four more years of reaganomics.  also, three-quarters of the infield had at least a full season away from the dodgers under their belt.

ron cey
was in chicago, where he helped the cubs win the nl east for the first time since, well, ever.  it was their first trip back to the postseason since 1945 when they lost the world series to the detroit tigers in 7 games.  cey hit 25 home runs, drove in 97 runs, and batted .240 in 146 games.  he had a home run and a double, but hit only .158 in the nlcs against the padres.

the padres, conveniently enough, were led by cey's old teammate, steve garvey.
garvey played in all but one of the padres' games in 1984 after missing the last 62 games of the 1983 season due to injury.  he hit only 8 home runs, but had 86 rbi and a .284 average.  he was selected to start for the national league at first base in the all-star game, and went 1 for 3 with a run scored.  after leading the padres to their first postseason berth ever, he hit .400 in the nlcs against the cubs.  he was named the series mvp, largely because of the walk-off home run he hit off of lee smith in game 4 to force game 5.  in the world series against detroit, however, garvey was held to a .200 average with no home runs and just 2 rbi.

one other member of the infield made the postseason in 1984 - davey lopes
lopes began the seasons with the a's, who did not make the playoffs.  he was traded to the cubs late in the season, but was named to the postseason roster.  he appeared in two games against the padres - one as a late inning defensive replacement and the other as a pinch hitter.  although he had stolen a total of 15 bases without being caught during the regular season, he did not have an opportunity to attempt a steal in the nlcs.

lopes did get to appear on the al active career stolen base leaders card, however, along with a couple of yankees.
lopes did have 468 stolen bases heading into the 1984 season, but not all of them (only 50, in fact) were recorded in the american league.  what topps did here was different than what they did in 2012 - they based these cards on the league in which the player was affiliated with at the time, not the stats that active players accumulated in a respective league.  i'll post about it in more detail another time.

terry forster
spent his second season in atlanta, winning 2 games while losing none and saving 5 others.  he went 2 for 3 at the plate with an rbi and a run scored, getting the final hit of his big league career off of john franco.  at the end of the 1984 season, forster owned a .419 career batting average and a 3.28 era.

charlie hough
at 36, charlie hough was finding his groove.  he started 36 games (the most in the american league) and threw 266 innings.  he was 16-14 with a league-leading 17 complete games.

tommy john
john was still plugging along in 1984, although he did not have the success that hough was enjoying.  john was 7-13 in 29 starts for the angels with a shutout in one of those starts.  he relieved in three other games.

john did appear on the al active career victory leaders card
along with jim palmer and fellow 1978 topps dodger, don sutton.  palmer, who would only pitch in a few games during the 1984 season, would not add to his win total and would eventually be passed by both john and sutton.

lee lacy
lacy hit .321 in 138 games for the pirates, mostly as their right fielder.  he stole 21 bases and drove in 70 runs.  he set career highs in hits, rbi, and average that year, which was also his last in pittsburgh.

rick rhoden
was also with the pirates in 1984, when he won 14 games and had an era of 2.72.  that was an improvement of his 3.09 era in 1983 which was still good enough to lead the pirates' staff and earn rhoden a spot on the team leaders card
rhoden won the silver slugger award for the first time in 1984, batting .333 with 28 hits and 6 doubles.

don sutton
was 14-12 in 1984, and increased his career strikeout total to 3208.  before that, however, he got to headline the al active career strikeout leaders card
although bert blyleven would eventually pass him.

here's the al active career victory leaders card again, because sutton deserves a copy of his own in the binder
there was another featured in the 1984 set, but his card was a final tribute, so i'll give him the solo post that he deserves.  the 1978 topps dodgers that remained dodgers in 1984 will also get a post here shortly.  stay tuned.

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