17 December 2013

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1989

the 1989 topps set included just a few members of the dodgers from the 1978 set - the final four, as it were.

manager tom lasorda
who also received a box bottom card, thanks to his 1000th career victory in 1988
unfortunately, 1989 was a season of underachievement for lasorda and the defending world champion dodgers.  they finished at 77-83 and in fourth place in the nl west, 14 games behind the league champion giants.  the dodgers actually led the league in team era (2.95), but were last in runs scored (554).  perhaps the highlight of lasorda's season was managing the 2000th game of his career in august.

charlie hough
the veteran knuckleballer hit double digits in wins (10) and losses (13) for the 8th consecutive season.  he made 30 starts and had 5 complete games, including an opening day 5-hit shutout against the tigers.  later in the season, he threw a one-hit complete game, but lost to the mariners in seattle, 2-0.  of course, hough also walked 5 in that game (2 were intentional), and also threw a wild pitch and balked.

tommy john
the 46-year old john made 10 starts for the yankees in 1989 before being released in may.  he was 2-7 with a 5.80 era in what turned out to be his final season in the major leagues.  his last start came on may 25 against the angels, and in that game, john surrendered two home runs to bill schroeder, joining fellow 1978 topps dodger teammates don sutton and charlie hough in the fraternity of pitchers (steve farr and floyd bannister are also among the group) who gave up two bombs in a single game to schroeder.  the last batter john faced in the majors, in case that schroeder thing wasn't enough trivia for you, was devon white (he singled).

rick rhoden
not much variety to those yankee cards in 1989, was there?

rhoden actually did not pitch for the yankees in 1989.  he was traded by new york to houston in january of 1989, and so he got to wear the rainbow uniforms.  for some reason, topps left him out of the 1989 traded set.  rhoden appeared in 20 games for the astros, including 17 starts.  he finished the season at 2-6 with a 4.28 era.  his first win of the season marked the 150th victory of rhoden's career.  rhoden became a free agent at the end of the year, but did not sign with anyone, meaning that like john, his career came to an end with the 1989 season.

don sutton was not included in the flagship set, but he did get a box bottom card
celebrating the 750th start of his career.  obviously, that start came in 1988 since this is a 1989 card and also because sutton didn't pitch in 1989.  that means that topps was 'this close' to having a final tribute card for sutton in their flagship set.  instead, score was the only card company to give sutton his due.

i'll get into that when i post the two 1989 topps cards that should have been for the 1978 topps dodgers.  until then, here is the yearly 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 18 (1972-1989)
john 26 (1964-1989)
lacy 16 (1973-1988)
lasorda 15 (1954, 1973-1974, 1977-1981, 1983-1989)
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 15 (1975-1989)
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)

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