03 August 2014

sunday morning target dodgers - featuring the 'other' mike ramsey. or was the other mike ramsey the 'other' mike ramsey?

here are another 15 players featured together on a sheet of cards from the very large 1990 target dodgers set.  enjoy.

ed albosta
albosta made two starts for the dodgers in 1941 and lost them both.  both games were against the phillies, and both times lefty hoerst was the opposing (and winning) pitcher.  to make matter worse, in all other games in which he pitched in 1941, hoerst was 1-10.  anyway, that was all albosta would do for the dodgers, although he did return to the majors in 1946 with the pirates.  he went 0-6 for pittsburgh, with a couple of those losses coming against the phillies, but not hoerst.

ken boyer
boyer, who was the nl mvp in 1964 with the world champion cardinals, finished his playing career with the dodgers in 1968 and 1969.  he was one of the many to play third base for the dodgers before ron cey arrived to stabilize the position.  boyer didn't homer in any of his 25 games in 1969, but he did hit his last two home runs of his career in the same game in 1968.  after retiring, boyer returned to the cardinals and eventually became their manager.  the team wore a black armband in his honor following his death in 1982.

rocky bridges
bridges was another guy who played some third base for the dodgers, although he spent his time there in 1951 and 1952, his first two years in the majors.  as a dodger, bridges hit .237 in 114 games.  he went on to play for the reds, senators, tigers, indians, cardinals, and angels.  after his playing days were done, he coached for the angels and giants, and managed in the minors as well.  he also signs cards through the mail, much to my appreciation.

dick calmus
calmus was 3-1 with a 2.66 era as a 19-year old dodger rookie in 1963.  he pitched in 21 games (one start), and won a world series ring, although he did not appear in the fall classic.  even so, it was back to the minors for calmus until he was traded to the cubs in 1967.  he made one appearance for chicago that season, then it was back to the minors for good.  calmus was still only 25 when he returned to the dodger organization in 1969, but he was never recalled from albuquerque and called it quits.  with the pitching rich dodgers of the mid-1960's it was too bad that calmus didn't get more of a shot at the big leagues.  at least he made it, though.  and, by the way, i'm still not certain what's going on in the background of his 1964 topps card.

bob clark
clark was a catcher for brooklyn when they joined the national league in 1890.  he was with the bridegrooms for four seasons before that as well.  as a national leaguer, clark hit .219 in 43 games, and was 2 for 3 in the postseason exhibitions that the pennant winning bridegrooms played against the louisville colonels.

babe dahlgren
i did not realize that dahlgren played for the dodgers, but he did - for 17 games in 1942.  he was just 1 for 19 with 4 walks in that span, however, and the dodgers flipped him to the phillies for lloyd waner and one other player prior to the 1943 season.  dahlgren is, of course, much better known as the man who replaced lou gehrig in the yankee lineup.

al gionfriddo
gionfriddo was traded to the dodgers early in the 1947 season by the pirates, for whom he had played since 1944.  he played in 37 regular season games for the dodgers, hitting .177 with no homers and 6 rbi.  gionfriddo was often used as a pinch-hitter, but got some playing time in the outfield as well, and that's where his most memorable play was made.  in game 6 of the 1947 world series, gionfriddo was sent out to left field in the bottom of the 6th inning.  the yankees were trailing 8-5, although they were leading the series 3 games to 2.  with two on and two out, joe dimaggio hit what was going to be a game-tying 3-run home run at worst, and an extra base hit at best, but gionfriddo made a nice catch going back on the ball, and the dodgers lived to play game seven (they lost).  the play is also known for the fact that the stoic dimaggio showed some frustration by kicking the dirt after the catch was made.

andy high
high spent the first 3-plus seasons of his 13-year big league career with the brooklyn robins.  he had the best season of his career as a robin in 1924, hitting .328 while scoring 98 runs in 144 games.  usually a third baseman, he had moved to second base that season and wound up finishing 12th in the league mvp voting.  high was lost on waivers to the braves during the 1925 season, but not before the photo used on his card was taken.  that image does indeed come from the 1925 campaign, as the robins wore black armbands for team owner and president charles ebbetts.  i'll address that memorial further in a future post.

fred lindstrom
lindstrom is probably one of the weaker hall of famers in cooperstown, but he's still a hall of famer as determined by the veteran's committee in 1976.  he had a good 9 year run playing mostly third base for the new york giants in the 1920's and into the 1930's, but joined the dodgers as an outfielder for his final season in 1936. he hit .264 in 26 games for brooklyn before asking for, and receiving his release.

jose morales
there have been 11 people from the us virgin islands that have reached the major leagues, and morales is one of them.  he's also one of three to have played for the dodgers (the others are henry cruz and al mcbean).  morales was known for his pinch-hitting prowess, once setting the record for most pinch-hits in a single season (1976), although that record was broken by john vanderwal in 1995.  morales spent most of his final three big league seasons with the dodgers from 1982-1984.  he had 108 plate appearances as a dodger in 104 games.  of those plate appearances, 95 were as a pinch-hitter as were 24 of his 27 hits as a dodger.

mickey owen
the dodgers traded for owen prior to the 1941 season, and he took over the everyday catching duties from babe phelps.  owen delivered a solid season behind the plate, earning his first of four straight all-star berths as a dodger and helping the franchise get to the world series for the first time since 1920.  it should be noted that his fielding percentage that season was .995 - only 3 errors and 2 passed balls - with 597 chances.  with that said, mickey owen is best known for dropping the third strike that would have ended game 4 of the 1941 fall classic and tied the series between the dodgers and yankees at two games apiece.  instead, tommy henrich reached first base and the yankees subsequently rallied for four runs to beat the dodgers 7-4 and take a 3 games to 1 lead.  they closed things out in game 5.  1955 couldn't come soon enough for owen, whom i imagine to have been (right or wrong) a sort of bill buckner figure, as in mickey owen : dodgers :: bill buckner : red sox.

dave patterson
patterson appeared in 36 games for the dodgers between june 9 and september 27, 1979 - all in relief.  he was 4-1 with a 5.26 era and 6 saves in those appearances which were the most of any reliever on the dodger staff that season.  he was back in triple-a albuquerque in 1980 and '81, and then finished his career with spending the 1982 season at the triple-a level in the oakland a's organization.

jeff pfeffer
pfeffer spent 9 seasons with the superbas/robins, pitching in 226 games for them between 1913 and 1921.  he posted a record of 113-80 with a 2.31 era for brooklyn during that span, and pitched in both the 1916 and 1920 world series for the club.

pat ragan
ragan joined the brooklyn franchise after spending a short time with both the reds and cubs in 1909.  he first appeared for the dodgers in 1911 and stayed with the club into the 1915 season before being claimed on waivers by the braves.  as a dodger/superba/robin, ragan was 37-54 with a 3.26 era.  in 1919, ragan was the player to be named later in the deal that sent jim thorpe from the new york giants to the braves.

mike james ramsey
you may recall from a previous sunday morning target dodgers post that mike jeffrey ramsey also played for the dodgers.  while his tenure was a mere 9 games in 1985, this mike ramsey appeared in 48 games for the 1987 dodgers, including opening day when he was the team's starting center fielder.  the team had been looking to acquire a center fielder (possibly even trading alejandro pena to get one) to replace ken landreaux when ramsey put on a display during spring training and won the job outright.  he went 10 for 28 in his first 7 starts, but hit just .196 over his next 30 games (27 of which were starts), and the dodgers made the deal with the orioles for john shelby.  in 2004, this mike ramsey (not the 'other' mike ramsey) was named the most obscure but memorable dodger following nominations made by the readers (like me) of jon weisman's dodger thoughts.

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