06 November 2013

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1987 - active fielders first

1987 was a big year as far as the 1978 topps dodgers were concerned.  five of them had their final cards issued that year (four were true final tributes), and another had their last topps card released.  in fact, 1987 was the final season for all of the remaining position players.  the one who was still playing in 1987 but didn't get a topps card in 1988 was steve garvey.

garvey did, of course, get a card in the 1988 score set but was left out of the topps set that year.  that's due to the fact that he played in his final game when the 1987 season was just 44 games old.  garvey pinch hit for lance mccullers in that game against the expos and flew out to center. it was just his 76th at bat of the season in his 27th appearance for the padres, and it would be the last of his career.  three days later, garvey was on the disabled list planning to undergo season ending shoulder surgery to replace a torn biceps tendon. for the season, garvey hit .211 with one home run and 9 rbi. his lone home run, the 272nd of his career, came against guy hoffman of the reds. 

ron cey was the lone active player in 1987 who wouldn't get a card of any sort in 1988.  topps did issue a bevy of cey cards in 1987, if that's any consolation.  there was his base card
the cubs leaders card
a box bottom card highlighting his 300th career home run which was hit in the 1986 season
and a topps traded card resulting from his being traded to oakland in january of 1987
the idea in oakland was for cey to be the right-handed dh as well as provide some relief for carney lansford at third, but cey also played a bit of first base for the first time in his career. at the plate, the penguin struggled, hitting just .221 in 45 games. he hit 4 home runs (including his final career homer off of ed correa of the rangers) and drove in just 11 runs.

cey made his final appearance on july 12, 1987. as the a's dh against milwaukee, cey went 0 for 3, striking out against juan nieves in his final plate appearance. in the 9th, cey was pinch hit for by none other than reggie jackson. mr. october struck out to end the game. three days later, cey was released by the a's.

davey lopes was active in 1987 and would get a topps card in 1988, too.  he had two cards in the 1987 set - his base
and a record breaker thanks to his 25 steals in 1986 at the age of 40
or was he 41?  the cards at the time had his birth year as 1946.  baseball reference lists 1945 as the year he was born.  if the website is correct, then lopes' 47 steals in 1985 would stand as the record for a 40-year old (or at least most of them, as lopes' birthday is in early may).  

no matter his age, lopes was back for more in 1987 as he made it through the entire season on the astros' roster. for the first time in his career, he played exclusively in the outfield, although he was primarily used as a pinch hitter. of his 47 games played, only 5 included time in left field, and all of those were in the month of july. as in 1986, lopes managed just one home run, a two-run shot off of the phillies' don carman that was also his first hit of the season. he stole just 2 bases and was caught one time. 

in his final big league appearance, lopes was called upon on the final day of the season to pinch hit for nolan ryan. with runners on first and second and nobody out, tom browning got lopes to fly out to center. still, he got the lead runner over to third. lopes was released by the astros in november of 1987.

like lopes, lee lacy's final topps card is not his 1987 issue
but his career did come to an end following the 1987 season. lacy played in 87 games, mostly as the orioles' right fielder, in 1987.  most of his starts (44 of 64) came against left handed pitchers, although he hit slightly better against rightys over the course of the season.  in total, lacy hit .244 with 7 homers and 28 rbi, with one of those home runs being his fourth and final career lead-off blast.  lacy's final career home run, a solo shot off of southpaw frank tanana in detroit, was the last hit of his career.

the pitchers are up next...

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