21 September 2014

sunday morning target dodgers - mr. ebbets would like a word with you

another sunday, another sheet of 15 cards from the 1990 target dodger 100th anniversary set.  this one features a wide range of folks, including one of their owners, who gets a card because he also managed the team for part of a season.

charlie ebbets
an architect by trade, ebbets was also a member of brooklyn's city council who went to work for the brooklyn baseball franchise when they were still a member of the american association.  by the time the bridegrooms joined the national league in 1890, ebbets was a shareholder of the team.  he took over the operations of the club in the 1890's and installed himself as the team's manager for the latter part of the 1898 season.  the team finished 10th, and ned hanlon, who had purchased an interest in the club, took over managerial duties in an attempt to turn things around.  hanlon did just that, and brooklyn won the pennant in 1899 and 1900.  ebbets bought hanlon out in 1902 in an effort to keep the team in brooklyn, and in 1912, ebbets went a step further by selling shares in the team to help finance what would become ebbets field.  he continued to own the team with the mckeever brothers until his death in 1925.

jack banta
banta spent four seasons at the big league level, all with the dodgers.  he pitched in a total of 69 games from 1947-1950, posting a record of 14-12 with a 3.78 era.  banta appeared in 3 games during the 1949 world series, unfortunately they were all games that the dodgers lost.

lu blue
beginning with his debut with the tigers in 1921 through his release by the white sox prior to the 1933 season (he also played for the browns), blue had been his team's primary first baseman - averaging 134 games each season and hitting at a clip near .300 most years while drawing a lot of walks.  the dodgers signed him for the 1933 campaign following his release from chicago, but something happened and he had only one plate appearance for the club.  after making an out in that lone at bat, the dodgers released blue and his big league career came to an end.

alta cohen
cohen went 2 for 3 in his big league debut as a robin in 1931, so he entered the 1932 season with a .667 career batting average.  however, he hit just .156 in 9 games for the dodgers that year, and he found himself with the phillies for the 1933 season as a result.

nick cullop
cullop's nickname (according to baseball-reference) was 'tomato face'.  based on the photo that target used for his card, i suppose i could see the nickname making sense - he's looking a bit ruddy.  anyway, cullop played for the robins in 1929, one season of his five spent in the majors.  cullop had debuted for the 1926 yankees, but there was no room for him on murderer's row, so he was sent to the senators.  cullop also played for cleveland prior to joining brooklyn, where he hit .195.  following the 1929 season, cullop played for the reds as he finished out his big league career in cincinnati in 1931.

eddie dent
dent pitched for the superbas in 1909, and then was back with the dodgers in 1911 and 1912.  he was 4-5 with a 4.46 era in 12 appearances for the franchise, which is 6 times the number of appearances the next guy in the post had.

john duffie
duffie could be a poster boy for hard luck pitchers.  he made two appearances in the big leagues - both as a starting pitcher for the 1967 dodgers - and he has a career 0-2 record.  his career era is a nice 2.79, but the dodgers scored only two runs in his debut and just one in his final game.  in duffie's first game, he was facing the mets' rookie sensation tom seaver, and he allowed the first run to score thanks to his own error.  however, the mets scored two more unearned runs and beat duffie and the dodgers 7-2.  duffie's second and final start was at home against the phillies, and he allowed a lead-off home run to cookie rojas and a second run in the fifth inning, and the 1967 dodgers weren't going to come back from that kind of deficit.

jeff fischer
i do not recall fischer as a dodger, largely because he only pitched in two games for them at the tail end of the forgettable 1989 season after being acquired in a trade with the expos in which the dodgers gave up gilberto reyes.  fischer's first appearance for the blue was a disaster - five earned runs allowed in 1.1 innings of work against the astros - but his second (and last) was almost perfect.  after allowing a leadoff double to the padres' roberto alomar on september 23, 1989, fischer retired the next 6 padres he faced, including a couple by strikeout.  it would turn out to be his final big league appearance.

sid gautreaux
with a name like that, you know that gautreaux was from louisiana, and sure enough, he hailed from schriever, la.  gautreaux played for the dodgers in 1936 and 1937, appearing in a total of 86 games and putting up a .247 average.  other than that, all of gautreaux's time was spent in the minor leagues where he played until he was 40 and then spent a few seasons as a manager.

billy grabarkewitz
poor grabarkewitz has the misfortune of getting his name spelled incorrectly by the folks at target.  billy g was a utility infielder for the dodgers from 1969 through 1972, although he was the team's primary third baseman in 1970.  that year, grabs played in 156 games (95 starts at third) and earned a spot on the national league all-star team thanks to a hefty .341 batting average at the break.  unfortunately, he hit just .232 in the second half, and finished the season with a .289 average.  grabarkewitz was traded to the angels in the frank robinson for andy messersmith deal prior to the 1973 season.

shawn hillegas
hillegas was still active when this set was released, although he was pitching for the white sox at the time.  he had the misfortune of being traded by the dodgers to the chisox at the end of august, 1988 for ricky horton. as such, hillegas missed the chance to be a part of the dodgers' world series run.  he had been the dodgers' first round pick in the 1984 secondary draft, and debuted for the club in 1987.  he pitched in 23 games for the dodgers, posting an era of 3.85 with the club.

fred kipp
kipp moved west with the dodgers in 1958. having appeared in one game for the 1957 brooklyn club, he pitched in 40 games for the 1958 los angeles dodgers.  he was 6-6 that year and wound up appearing in just two games the following season for the eventual world champs, although he did not appear in the world series.  kipp was traded to the yankees prior to the 1960 campaign, and he finished his big league career that year with the pennant winning bronx bombers, although he again missed the world series.

ernie koy
koy was one of those guys whose rookie year turned out to be his best year.  in 1938, as a 28 year old rookie outfielder for the dodgers, koy appeared in 142 games, hitting .299 with 11 homers and 76 rbi.  he also scored 78 runs, stole 15 bases, and had 156 hits, 13 of which were triples.  all of those numbers except the batting average (he hit .301 in 1940) turned out to be career highs for koy.  he played in 125 games for the 1939 dodgers, but was traded to the cardinals during the 1940 season in the deal that brought joe medwick to brooklyn.  koy also played for the reds and phillies, and he lived to be 97 years old, passing away on new year's day, 2007.

bill mccarren
mccarren's lone season of big league experience came as a member of the 1923 brooklyn robins.  playing mostly third base, mccarren appeared in 69 games that season, hitting .245.  mccarren later became a scout for the red sox. 

bob milliken
milliken spent two seasons pitching in the major leagues (1953 and 1954), but was in the dodger organization from 1947 through 1959 (excluding military service in 1951 and 1952).  he had a big league record of 13-6 with 4 saves (including an 8-4 record in 1953), and he appeared in the 1953 world series, throwing two scoreless innings against the yankees.

that's it for this week - there should be another 15 tales to tell next sunday. stay tuned.

1 comment:

Daniel Wilson said...

Love reading the history behind the players/managers on these cards! Thanks for sharing! Not sure what other blog it was, but this was the second time this week I read something about Tomato Face!