13 November 2013

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1988

when the 1988 topps set came out, i did something i had not done in 11 years.  i didn't buy any.  i had bought two boxes of every topps release since 1982, and bought way more than the equivalent of 72 packs each year before that, going back to 1978.  

i think i finally wound up buying some '88 cards in 1991.  i was quite disappointed to find out that neither ron cey nor steve garvey were included in the set.  and they weren't the only members of the 1978 topps dodgers to be dropped from the checklist, but the others (bill russell, terry forster, steve yeager, and dusty baker) had ended their careers in 1986.  that means that only 7 of the 27 members of the 1978 topps dodgers appeared in the 1988 set.  here they are.

tom lasorda  
the last remaining dodger of the bunch.  what did he do in 1988?  he coerced 21 more wins out of his team than they had earned in the two previous seasons.  he won his 1000th game as a manager as well as his second manager of the year award, and, of course, he won his second world championship.

charlie hough
the 40-year old knuckleballer went 13-16 in 1988 for the rangers while knocking about a half of a run off of his era from the previous season.  his first win of the season, a victory over cleveland, was the 150th win of hough's career.  hough threw 10 complete games on the season, including a pair of 10-inning efforts.  he had another start where he left after throwing 10 innings and then walking the first batter of the 11th, and another in which he pitched 11 shutout innings and left the game after allowing the first batter of the 12th inning to reach base on a single.  i doubt something like that will happen again.

tommy john
john didn't throw any complete games, but he did make it into the 9th inning in one of his 32 starts.  he finished the season with a 9-8 record for the yankees, with 35 total appearances.

rick rhoden
rhoden finished up his two-year tour of the american league in 1988.  he was 12-12 for the yankees with a 4.29 era in 30 starts.  he threw 5 complete games, including an opening day, 3-hit shutout against the defending world champion minnesota twins.  rhoden's 1988 season is best remembered, however, for his appearance on june 11 when he started the game as the yankees' designated hitter.  batting 7th in the lineup (ahead of rafael santana and joel skinner), rhoden was 0 for 1 with a sacrifice fly in his two plate appearances.  it was the first time that a pitcher had been used as the starting dh for a team, and it might be the only time, too.

don sutton
sutton finished up his career back where it began.  he rejoined the dodgers as a free agent, and went on to start 16 games for them in 1988.  he compiled a record of 3-6 with a 3.92 era and was released by the team in august.  his final tallies - 324 wins, 3574 strikeouts, and a 3.26 career era.  i was in attendance for one of his starts at dodger stadium that year - i would assume it was one of the two in june - and i remember very clearly one of my friends making the statement 'we could hit this guy'.  i doubted it, but it was clear that sutton's days were numbered.

dave lopes
lopes had finished his career in 1987 with the astros, but topps was nice enough to give him a true final tribute in the 1988 set.  here are the complete big league stats for the pride of providence
even 25 years later, lopes is still 26th on the all-time steals leaderboard, and he's 20th on the stolen base percentage list.  lopes joined the rangers staff under bobby valentine as a coach in 1988, and he has been coaching (or managing) ever since.

lee lacy
lacy is the other member of the 1978 topps folks to get a proper send off in 1988.  he was released during spring training after the orioles acquired wade rowdon from the cubs for a couple of minor leaguers.  here are his complete big league stats.
i think i forgot to mention back in the 1978 installment of this topic that lacy hit three consecutive home runs as a pinch hitter.  for all of his success as a regular after leaving los angeles, i still think of him as a pinch-hitter/utility guy.

1988 saw score come on the scene with a set of cards.  they were nice enough to include lopes and lacy in the set (and steve garvey, too, but i'll wait one more post to show that one again).  here's lopes' score final tribute
and here's lacy's card
there's a mention of his three straight pinch-hit homers.

and finally, lacy was all alone amongst the retired players in the 1988 fleer set.  donruss didn't give a rip about any of them.  here's lacy's fleer card from 1988
if only they could have fit his 1969 minor league stats on there, too.

now for the evolutionary wrap up.  there were 7/27 members of the 1978 topps dodgers featured by topps in 1987. here's the tally of appearances to date:

baker 17 (1971-1987)
burke 2 (1978-1979)
cey 16 (1972-1987)
davalillo 14 (1963-1974, 1978-1979)
forster 16 (1972-1987)
garman 8 (1971-1973, 1975-1979)
garvey 17 (1971-1987)
goodson 6 (1973-1978)
grote 15 (1964-1976, 1978-1979)
hooton 15 (1972-1986)
hough 17 (1972-1988)
john 25 (1964-1988)
lacy 16 (1973-1988)
lasorda 14 (1954, 1973-1974, 1977-1981, 1983-1988)
lopes 16 (1973-1988)
martinez 9 (1971-1976, 1978-1980)
monday 18 (1967-1984)
mota 18 (1963-1980)
oates 10 (1972-1981)
rau 9 (1973-1981)
rautzhan 2 (1978-1979)
rhoden 14 (1975-1988)
russell 18 (1970-1987)
smith 17 (1967-1983)
sosa 10 (1974-1984)
sutton 23 (1966-1988)
yeager 15 (1973-1987)

teams represented so far: 23 (dodgers, indians, colt .45's, pirates, white sox, astros, mets, a's, red sox, angels, expos, cardinals, braves, cubs, orioles, giants, phillies, yankees, rangers, tigers, padres, brewers, mariners)

there are a couple of cards that should have been in 1988, so stay tuned...

1 comment:

Nick said...

It's hard for me to even imagine guys pitching 10 or 11 innings in a game these days. Pitchers like Hough used to do it on a fairly consistent basis.