14 September 2014

sunday morning target dodgers featuring one of the greatest catchers of all-time and one of the greatest dodger franchise players ever

and no, i'm not referring to roy campanella even though he fits the bill on both counts.  this particular sheet of cards from the 1990 target set recognizing the 100th anniversary of the dodger franchise's national league membership happens to contain some notable and interesting folks.

deacon mcguire
mcguire was acquired by the superbas in a trade with the senators during the 1899 season.  he was then a 35-year old catcher with 14+ seasons under his belt.  still, he hit .298 in 202 games for brooklyn, and then left them to play for the tigers in 1902, successfully challenging the reserve clause along the way.  following his two-plus years with the superbas, mcguire played in 9 more seasons, setting a record of 26 seasons that was not tied until tommy john came along in 1989.  it was later broken by nolan ryan who played in his 27th season in 1993.  mcguire also held the record for most teams played for in a career (11) until matt stairs played for his 12th team in 2010.  he still holds records, however, for runners caught stealing (and for stolen bases allowed) in a career, assists by a catcher, and was the all-time leader in games caught until ray schalk broke that record in 1925.  mcguire is also credited with being the player who added padding to the catcher's glove in the late 1890's, no doubt out of necessity. still, his hands bore the brunt of his occupation - google his xray and see for yourself.

zack wheat
wheat broke in with the superbas in 1909 and by the time he finished his run with the franchise as a robin in 1926, he had claimed a whole bunch of franchise records.  for the record, wheat finished out his big league career by playing the 1927 season with the philadelphia a's, but for 18 of his 19 years in the majors, he belonged to brooklyn.  as a superba/dodger/robin, wheat amassed over 2800 hits and a .317 lifetime average.  he led the league with a .335 average in 1918, and led the robins to the pennant in 1916 and 1920.  no one has played in more games, had more plate appearances, had more total bases, had more hits, more triples, more doubles, or more singles for the franchise than zack wheat.  and, when he left the club following the 1926 season, he was also the franchise leader in runs scored and walks.  wheat was enshrined in the hall of fame by the veterans committee in 1959.  

sammy bohne
bohne finished up his big league career by playing the second half of the 1926 season with the robins.  he had previously played for the cardinals and reds.  he hit an even .200 in 47 games for the robins in '26

kiki cuyler
like bohne, cuyler finished his major league career with a short stop in brooklyn.  unlike bohne, cuyler's career was later determined to have been worthy of the hall of fame.  cuyler spent the 1938 season with the dodgers, following 17 seasons with the pirates, cubs, and reds.  he hit .273 in 82 games for the dodgers, falling just one hit short of reaching 2300 for his career.  the black armband he is wearing, by the way, is for the club's president stephen mckeever, but i'll cover that in a different post.

kal daniels
man, was i excited when kalvoski daniels joined the dodgers in a trade with the reds during the 1989 season.  sure, the dodgers gave up mariano duncan and tim leary, but they had alfredo griffin and rookie ramon martinez, and they needed someone to replace the injured and/or ineffective kirk gibson and john shelby in the outfield.  daniels did just that for about two weeks, hitting .342 in 11 games for the dodgers before he was injured and lost for the season just like gibby, who had shifted to center to replace shelby.  daniels returned in 1990 to hit .296 with 27 homers and 94 rbi, but the 26-year old had ancient knees and was not the same in 1991 or 1992 when he was traded to the cubs.

wild bill donovan
donovan hurled for the superbas from 1899 to 1902.  the first two seasons were not impressive - he had a record of 2-4 and an era of 5.63 in that span - but in 1901 he led the league with 25 victories.  he completed all but 2 of his 38 starts that year, and appeared in 10 other games as a reliever.  in 1902, donovan went 17-15 and then bolted for the detroit tigers.  with the tigers, he appeared in three straight world series from 1907-1909, although ty cobb and the boys lost all three times.  he retired in 1912 and managed in the international league, including a team in 1913 that had a first-year player named babe ruth.  donovan eventually managed in the majors, leading the yankees from 1915-17 and the phillies in 1921.  he died in the december, 1923 wreck of the 20th century limited train ("the most famous train in the world") on his way to the baseball winter meetings where he was expected to be named the manager of the washington senators.

solly drake
i'm not sure if there was a transaction involved, but drake played for the dodgers' affiliate in saint paul in 1956 according to baseball reference, even though he appeared in the majors with the cubs at different times throughout that season.  no matter, the dodgers did bring drake into the fold officially in 1958, and he reached the majors with the club in 1959.  drake appeared in only 9 games as a dodger, however, batting .250 in 8 at bats.  his contract was purchased by the phillies in june of 1959, just in time for him to take the field against the dodgers - drake's first at bat as a phillie was as a pinch hitter for sparky anderson against the dodgers' stan williams.

alfredo griffin
griffin joined the dodgers in that big 3-team trade prior to the 1988 season that involved three of the four teams that would make the postseason in '88 (the mets, a's, and dodgers).  although he hit only .199 in his first season with the dodgers, they beat the mets in the nlcs and the a's in the world series with griffin on the field.  he was re-signed following the season, and hit better in 1989.  griffin left the dodgers after the 1991 season, returning to toronto where he was part of their back-to-back championship teams in 1992 and 1993.  he's currently the angels' first base coach.

charlie hargreaves
hargreaves was a robin from 1923 into 1928 when he was dealt to the pirates.  he hit .407 for the robins in 1924, but he only played in 15 games so it doesn't really count. overall he hit .267 in 231 games for brooklyn.

cookie lavagetto
lavagetto was acquired from the pirates in the late 1930's and he quickly took up residence for the dodgers at third base.  lavagetto was an all-star for the dodgers in each of the four seasons from 1938 through 1941, but he missed the four subsequent seasons as he was serving in the military during world war ii.  lavagetto returned to the dodgers for the 1946 and 1947 seasons, and returned to the hot corner although he eventually gave way to spider jorgensen in 1947.  lavagetto's last appearance in the majors came in the 1947 world series.  even though the dodgers lost that series to the yankees, lavagetto is remembered for his game 4 two-out 9th inning walk-off pinch-hit double that not only won the game for the dodgers, but broke up bill bevens' no-hit bid.

gene mauch
mauch, better known as a big league manager than player, was a dodger double dipper who missed out on the 1947 world series and lavagetto's heroics because he spent the last half of that season in pittsburgh following an early season trade.  he returned to the dodgers shortly after the world series as part of the infamous dixie walker deal.

doc newton
newton pitched for the superbas in 1901 and 1902, amassing a record of 21-19 in 44 games.  he also pitched for the reds and highlanders (later known as the yankees).  i find it interesting that he left the majors after pitching for the superbas in 1902 in order to join the los angeles angels of the pacific coast league.  he won 39 games for the angels in 1904, which must have caught the attention of the highlanders who brought newton back to the majors.

jose vizcaino
vizcaino had 7 games as a dodger to his name when this set was produced.  he appeared in only 37 more before he was traded to the cubs following the 1990 season.  he eventually returned to the dodgers in the late 1990's, but was dealt away again during the 2000 season.  he was a dodger double dipper.

tommy warren
warren spent one year in the big leagues, and it was with the 1944 dodgers.  he was 1-4 in 22 games with a 4.98 era.  he had allowed only one earned run in his first 8 innings of work in the majors, spanning his first four appearances, when he was used in relief in the first game of a doubleheader against the giants on april 30.  he came out to start the fourth inning, already the fifth dodger pitcher of the day, and was likely told by manager leo durocher that there would be no reliever following him.  he allowed 15 runs (11 earned) in his five innings of work that day as the dodgers lost 26-8.  on the bright side, they won the nightcap.

tom winsett
winsett had a lifetime average of .218 over 78 games when the dodgers traded three players for him in 1936.  he had put up big numbers in the minor leagues the previous few seasons, so the dodgers sent frenchy bordagaray, dutch leonard, and jimmy jordan to the cardinals.  winsett gave them a .241 average in 152 games spanning the 1936 through 1938 seasons, and he was left to be picked up on waivers by the new york giants.


Daniel Wilson said...

I googled the x-ray. Pretty crazy! The photo on the Doc Newton card is awesome!

Nick said...

I never knew Kiki Cuyler played for the Dodgers.

Matthew Scott said...

I like that Doc Newton too!

gcrl said...

yes, that newton card is pretty good between the hat and the fact that it looks like doc enjoyed more than just a pinch between his cheek and gum.