06 November 2013

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1987 - the active pitchers (and the manager)

tom lasorda was one of just two 1978 topps dodgers still wearing the dodger blue in the 1987 topps set
lasorda's 11th full season as the dodgers manager ended with the same disappointing record (73-89) as his 10th campaign.  i seem to recall that there were many who thought that maybe a change was in order, and there were also rumors about lasorda perhaps heading to the yankees or phillies, but peter o'malley kept lasorda at the helm.

charlie hough
won 18 games (a career high) for the rangers in 1987.  he made 40 starts (also a career high) to lead the league, and threw 13 complete games.  he had a couple of 3-hitters, and struck out 13 royals in a game in august.  at some point in the season, hough notched his 1500th career strikeout.

tommy john
won 13 games for the yankees in 1987.  he threw three complete games, including a 2-hit shutout of the tigers in august.  all 33 of john's appearances came as a starter - the first time since 1983 that he hadn't made any relief appearances.

rick rhoden
was no longer with the pirates - he had been traded to the yankees in november of 1986 in the doug drabek deal.  he received a card in the 1987 topps traded set as a result

pitching in the american league for the first time, rhoden matched his career high with 16 victories.  he threw a 2-hitter against the white sox in may, and also made his first relief appearance since 1983 (and only the third since leaving the dodgers) against chicago in july.  unfortunately, rhoden didn't get to bat at all in 1987 thanks to the designated hitter.

don sutton
finished up his american league duty in 1987 with one final season as an angel.  in addition to his base card, he also received a box bottom card
highlighting his 300th career victory that came in 1986.  not much variety between the two photos there, topps.  i recall watching sutton's 300th win - it was a complete game victory with his signature fist shake/pump at the end.  that would have made for a better card than what topps put together. anyway, sutton was 11-11 in 1987 for the halos.  he struck out only 99 batters - the first time in his 22 year career that he failed to strike out at least 100 batters.  his lone complete game of the season (the last of his career) was unfortunately of the 8-inning variety.  sutton did pick up a win in relief, though - the first time he had done that since 1976.

next up - the four members of the 1978 topps dodgers that received their true final tributes in 1987...

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