07 June 2013

the evolution of the dodger third baseman, part three

the hot corner merry go round following the trade of ron cey really gets going now...

here's the story using baseball cards.

german rivera (1984 - second half)
rivera started 71 games for the dodgers at third base in 1984, and appeared there in another 19 contests. this was after pedro guerrero, who had started 72 games at third, was moved back to the outfield in what i believe was an attempt to kick start his offense.  it seemed to work, as petey hit 10 homers and raised his average from .277 to .303 after moving back to the grass.  as for rivera, he hit only 2 homers with 17 rbi, and was returned to the minors for the 1985 season before being traded to houston for enos cabell.  it's worth (to me) noting that rivera is in the ted lilly/scott proctor/shane victorino group of almost dodger double dippers.  he was signed by the dodgers, went to another organization, and later returned.  if only he had played for the dodgers before being drafted by oakland in the rule v draft...

other folks to try their hand at third in 1984 included bob bailor, rafael landestoy, candy maldonado, and this next guy - dave anderson.

dave anderson (1985)
39 starts, 36 complete games, 51 total appearances at third.  that's what anderson logged in 1985.  bob bailor had 18, 12, and 45 respectively.  enos cabell? 29, 15, 32.  bill madlock, a midseason acquisition had 32, 14, 32.  bill russell made 5 appearances at third, steve sax spent three innings there in a game, and even len matuszek manned the hot corner for the grand total of one inning in 1985 for the dodgers.  the person who logged the most starts and innings at third for the dodgers in 1985 was actually pedro guerrero, who had 44 starts, 42 complete games, and 44 total appearances.  i'll leave anderson there by virtue of his total number of games played at third, but know that 1985 was an unholy mess for the dodgers at third base.

bill madlock (1986)
yes, i know that's a card from 1987.  oh well.  madlock started and appeared in 101 games at third base for the dodgers in 1986.  he hit .280 with 10 homers and 60 rbi, but he was 35 and we knew it wouldn't last.  he was released by the dodgers in may of 1987 and finished his career that year with the detroit tigers.

mickey hatcher (1987)
hatcher had been released by the twins prior to the start of the 1987 season, and signed with the dodgers a week or so into the season.  he played third for the dodgers in 49 games in '87, 42 of which he started.  this made him a true dodger double dipper, by the way.  in addition to madlock and hatcher, the dodgers also had anderson (11 starts), sax, phil garner (29 starts), craig shipley, alex trevino (!), mike sharperson, brad wellman, tracy woodson (33 starts), and jeff hamilton (23 starts) spend time at third in 1987.

jeff hamilton (1988-1989)
even though that's a 1988 donruss card i used for hamilton, i like it.  the dodger stadium left field pavilion and diamondvision in the background, along with the 'mac' patch on his shoulder for coach don mcmahon means that it fits into a few different collections of mine.

as for hamilton the third baseman, he started 80 games there in 1988 and was the dodgers' third baseman in the world series that year.  he followed that championship season with a whopping 140 starts at third for the dodgers in 1989.  he also had the rare honor that year of suffering a loss as a pitcher.  hamilton took the loss in a 22-inning affair against the astros - a game that also featured fernando valenzuela at first base and eddie murray at third.

hamilton began the 1990 season as the dodgers' third baseman, but his bid to end the revolving door ended when he tore his rotator cuff just a few days into the season.

mike sharperson (1990)
sharperson took over for the injured hamilton, and made 75 starts at third over the course of the season, appearing there in a total of 106 games. sharpy was essentially part of a platoon with lenny harris, who started 74 games there that year, and took over the majority of the playing time in 1991.

lenny harris (1991)
harris claimed this spot in the evolutionary chain by starting 89 games at third in 1991.  he was just keeping the spot warm until the next guy came along.

dave hansen (1992)
yes, dave hansen (another double dipper) was the primary third baseman on the worst los angeles dodger team in history.  the team lost 99 games that year - the first time the franchise had lost 90 since 1944 - and finished 35 games behind the atlanta braves.  i'm not suggesting that it was hansen's fault.  he started 98 games at third that year, and hit .214, by the way.  there were plenty of underperformers on that team.  on a side note, i appreciate that, even early in his career, leaf was already recognizing hansen as a pinch hitter - something that he would excel at throughout his career.

tim wallach (1993-1995)
the dodgers acquired wallach from the expos in a trade prior to the 1993 season.  he started over 100 games at third for them in both 1993 and 1994, and then made 92 more starts there in 1995.  after a brief stint with the angels to start the 1996 season, he returned to the dodgers (yes, another double dipper), and reclaimed the position from the injured mike blowers.

i'll get into the blowers era next time.

1 comment:

petethan said...

I was at just the right age to be duped into thinking German Rivera might end up being the answer. Turned out to be a rhetorical question until Beltre...