22 June 2014

sunday (maurice) morning (wills) target dodgers

this particular sheet of 15 players from the 1990 target dodger stadium giveaway set is a pretty interesting one.  i'll kick it off with maury wills, whose middle name if you didn't already know is 'morning'
i haven't done wills' double dipper post yet - i'll get to it someday - but he played for the dodgers from 1959 through 1966, and then again from 1969 through 1972.  he won the nl mvp award in 1962 after stealing a record 104 bases that year (since surpassed by lou brock and rickey henderson), and helped the dodgers win four pennants during his first tenure with the team.  for me, his most interesting record is 165 games played in 1962.  i don't see that being broken.

babe birrer
birrer, who debuted for detroit in 1955 (he's wearing his tiger duds in the photo used for this card), finished his major league career with 16 appearances for the 1958 los angeles dodgers.  he had no record, although he recorded what would have been a save in his final big league game if that stat had been around in 1958.  birrer's role with the dodgers looks like it was as a long relief/mop up guy, so he wound up getting some at bats and made the most of them - in 8 plate appearances, birrer was 4 for 7 with a double and a walk.

dan brouthers
first baseman dan brouthers had a fantastic mustache.  he also may well have been the best player in the late 19th century.  he spent two seasons of his hall of fame career with the brooklyn grooms (1892 and 1893) and led the league in hits (197), rbi (124), and batting average (.335) in his first season with the franchise.  as a member of the brooklyn grooms over two seasons, he reached base at a .438 clip, and his career on-base percentage of .423 is the 14th best all-time.

jack coombs
coombs, who had won 31 games for connie mack's a's in 1910, 28 in 1911, and world series titles in each of those seasons, joined the brooklyn robins for the 1915 season.  he wound up pitching for the robins through the 1918 season, posting a record of 43-43 in that span.  he won 15 games in his first season with the club, however, and was 13-8 in 1916 with a 2.66 era, helping the team win the national league pennant.  he was the starter and winning pitcher in game 3 of the series against the red sox - the only game the robins won.

tony cuccinello
cuccinello was the dodgers' second baseman from 1932 through 1935, although he saw some playing time at third base as well.  he was named to the all-star team in 1933, and pinch hit for carl hubbell in the 9th inning.  unfortunately, lefty grove struck him out to end the game.

bob fisher
fisher broke into the major leagues with the 1912 brooklyn dodgers.  he hit .233 in 82 games while playing short, second, and third.  in 1913, he played in 132 games, exclusively at shortstop, and hit .262.  fisher moved on to the chicago cubs, and later switched to second base playing alongside a young shortstop named rogers hornsby on the saint louis cardinals in 1918.

johnny frederick
frederick roamed the outfield for brooklyn from 1929 through 1934.  he never played in fewer that 100 games, and led the league with 52 doubles as a rookie in 1929.  frederick also had 10 homers in his rookie season, giving him a record 82 extra base hits as a rookie - a record that stood until albert pujols broke it in 2001.  injuries ate into frederick's playing time in the outfield, and he was often used as a pinch hitter.  in 1932, frederick hit 6 pinch hit home runs, a record that was eventually broken by the dodgers' dave hansen in 2000.

charlie fuchs
fuchs was 1-0 for the dodgers in 1944, the final season of his 3-year big league career.  he pitched in 8 games for brooklyn, posting an era of 5.74.

brad gulden
gulden appeared in three games for the 1978 dodgers, going 0 for 4 at the plate.  with steve yeager, joe ferguson, and johnny oates all on the roster, there was not much room for another catcher, and gulden was dealt to the yankees prior to the 1979 season for gary thomasson.  gulden was recalled by the bronx bombers following the death of thurman munson in august of 1979, and wound up playing in 40 games that year for the yankees.  gulden's last year in the majors was 1986, when he appeared in 17 games for the giants.

kirby higbe
higbe had been an all-star for the phillies in 1940 before joining the dodgers, and he promptly pitched brooklyn to the world series in 1941 by winning a league high 22 games.  higbe won 29 games over the next two seasons, and then spent two years in combat with the us army.  when he returned from service, he won 17 games for the 1946 dodgers, and was again named to the all-star team.  unfortunately, when higbe entered the game, he was greeted by a ted williams home run.  higbe was one of the players who signed dixie walker's petition asking that the dodgers trade jackie robinson in 1947, and wound up being traded away to the pirates early in the season as a result.

lerrin lagrow
the dodgers acquired lagrow from the white sox early in the 1979 season, and he posted a 5-1 record with 4 saves for them the rest of the way.  lagrow moved on to the phillies for the 1980 season, but was released in july and so did not get to pitch in the world series that year.

harry lumley
lumley spent his entire 7-year major league career with the brooklyn superbas, playing outfield for them from 1904-1910.  in 1904, he led the league as a rookie in both triples (18) and home runs (9), a feat no one has managed since.  lumley had a big year in 1906 as well, hitting .324 with 9 homers and a league leading .477 slugging percentage.  lumley became the team's player/manager in 1909, but after losing 98 games he returned to just player status in 1910.

dick nen
nen had 1 hit in 7 games as a rookie september call-up for the 1963 dodgers, and it was a game-tying, 9th inning home run against the saint louis cardinals.  nen spent all of 1964 in the minors, and then was included in the trade with the senators prior to the 1965 season that netted the team claude osteen.

john tudor
tudor was acquired by the dodgers late in the 1988 season in exchange for pedro guerrero.  he was 4-3 with a 2.41 era for the blue down the stretch, and made a start in both the nlcs and the world series for the club.  his world series start was cut short after four outs due to injury, but he retired all four batters he faced.

dixie walker
i mentioned walker above as the initiator of the player petition aimed at forcing the dodgers' hand to trade jackie robinson prior to the 1947 season. he was also a great ballplayer, hitting over .300 in each of his full seasons with the dodgers, including a league leading .357 in 1944.  walker also led the league with 124 rbi in 1945.  even with his petition, walker remained with the dodgers through the 1947 season before being traded to the pirates following the world series.

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