29 July 2014

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1993 - the return of johnnie b. baker

none of the three 1978 topps dodgers who were featured in the 1992 set dropped out in 1993, and they were joined by another member of the club.

we'll start with the lone dodger of the bunch - tom lasorda
topps went to a dual manager format in 1993 for the first time.  it calls to mind the dual all-star player cards of 1973 and 1974.  anyway, hal mcrae joins tommy on his card and he brought the royals back to the right side of .500 in 1993 just like tommy (almost) did.  lasorda's dodgers, having lost 99 games in 1992, rebounded to finish an even .500 at 81-81 in 1993.  this was due in no small part to the arrival of mike piazza, who hit 35 homers with 112 rbi and a .318 batting average in his rookie season.

charlie hough
hough had signed with the expansion marlins as a free agent following the 1992 season, and he wound up making the first start in franchise history.  as such, he recorded a lot of franchise firsts in that game against (who else?) the dodgers.  he was the first marlin starting pitcher, the first to strike a batter out, the first to issue a walk, the first to allow a home run, and the first to record a win (yes, the marlins beat the dodgers in their first ever game).  when the season ended, hough was 9-16 with a 4.27 era in 34 appearances, all of them starts.  he even recorded a couple of hits in his return to the national league, where he was the oldest player on any roster.

johnny oates
oates shares his 1993 topps card with hall of fame manager bobby cox, inducted to the hall just last weekend.  oates in 1993 led baltimore to their second straight winning season at 85 wins and 77 losses. that was four fewer wins than the team had posted in 1992, but the finish was the same:  3rd in the american league east.  oates' pitching staff in 1993 included fernando valenzuela, whom oates narrowly missed having as a teammate with the dodgers.  he did manage a former dodger teammate, however, as rick sutcliffe was a member of oates' starting rotation in both 1992 and 1993 for the orioles.

dusty baker
baker gets to share space with blue jays' manager cito gaston whose team won the world series for the second straight season in 1993.  baker meanwhile was brought in to replace roger craig as the giants' field leader following a 90-loss season and 5th place finish in 1992.  the giants turned things around for baker, winning 103 games in 1993.  in 1992, that would have been plenty of wins to garner the nl west title, but in 1993, it was one game short.  the braves, winners of 104 games in 1993, took the crown thanks to a dodger beatdown of the giants on the final day of the regular season.  i still recall baker choosing to start rookie salomon torres in game 162 and mike piazza hitting two home runs (including a grand slam) to end the giants' season.  i was happy to see dusty back on the diamond and back on cardboard, but also pleased that he wasn't taking the giants into the postseason.

unfortunately for me, topps would do away with the managerial cards in 1994 (and not bring them back  until 2001), so the coming years were going to be pretty lean when it came to the 1978 topps dodgers.  they weren't done yet, though - stay tuned...

here is the yearly tally of appearances to date:

baker 18 (1971-1987, 1993)
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 22 (1972-1993)
john 26 (1964-1989)
lacy 16 (1973-1988)
lasorda 19 (1954, 1973-1974, 1977-1981, 1983-1993)
lopes 16 (1973-1988)
martinez 9 (1971-1976, 1978-1980)
monday 18 (1967-1984)
mota 18 (1963-1980)
oates 13 (1972-1981, 1991-1993)
rau 9 (1973-1981)
rautzhan 2 (1978-1979)
rhoden 16 (1975-1990)
russell 18 (1970-1987)
smith 17 (1967-1983)
sosa 10 (1974-1984)
sutton 23 (1966-1988)
yeager 15 (1973-1987)

teams represented so far: 24 (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, marlins)

1 comment:

Stack22 said...

Charlie Hough "the first to allow a home run"

A home run hit by the Dodgers Tim Wallach.

Here's the video of it on MLB.Com