02 November 2014

sunday morning target dodgers - an ox, a rabbit, and el toro

only 13 players from this particular sheet of cards featured in the 1990 target dodger anniversary giveaway set.  the other two played for the franchise in two separate stints, so they get their own double dipper posts later.  don't fret - there are a couple of hall of famers and some other interesting tidbits with these guys.

jimmy archer
there was a jimmy archer who played for the 1918 brooklyn robins.  he was an irish bloke who spent most of his career with the tigers and cubs (he played in the 1907 world series with the former and the 1914 fall classic with the latter) before splitting the '18 season between the pirates, robins, and reds.  in his 9 games with brooklyn, archer hit .273.  the photo used on the card, however, is of jim archer - a guy who pitched for the kansas city a's in the early 1960's.  oops.

chuck churn
that is, in fact, chuck churn on his card, standing inside the los angeles memorial coliseum which served as home to the 1959 los angeles dodgers.  1959 was the only year that churn pitched for the club, going 3-2 in 14 relief appearances.  he also pitched in one game of the 1959 world series, which turned out to be his last major league appearance.

ox eckhardt
eckhardt was a minor league legend.  he appeared in only a few big league games - 8 with the 1932 boston braves and 16 with the 1936 brooklyn dodgers - but in his 14 years in the minors, eckhardt recorded over 2700 hits.  his stint with the dodgers, in which he hit .182 with a home run and 6 rbi, came after eckhardt had recorded 200 hits or more in 7 straight minor league seasons, including 315 hits in 1933.  with a .367 career minor league average and several big seasons, he outhit joe dimaggio when both were in the pacific coast league, and was entered into the pcl hall of fame in 2003.

candy maldonado
what i recall most about maldonado is that he seemed to check his swing on every pitch.  he was one of the highly touted prospects in albuquerque that didn't quite live up to those expectations once he reached the majors in the early 1980's.  maldonado had cups of coffee with the dodgers in 1981 and 1982, an expanded stay in 1983, and was a relative fixture on the roster in 1984 and 1985.  the dodgers dealt him to the giants in a rare trade between the two teams (the last had been in 1968 involving nate oliver and tom haller) prior to the 1986 season, and maldonado went on to achieve greater success than he had with the giants.  perhaps the highlight of his career came in 1992 when he was a member of the world champion blue jays.

rabbit maranville
maranville spent just one of his 23 big league seasons in brooklyn.  he was a robin in 1926, appearing in 78 games and batting .235.  from there he went to saint louis, where he helped the cardinals reach the world series in 1928.  maranville was voted into the hall of fame in 1954, and depending upon when the voting results were announced, he may not have known he was a hall of famer, as he passed away in january of that year.

rube marquard
that's hall of famer rube marquard, by the way.  although best remembered as a new york giant thanks to his success from 1911-1913 with the national league pennant winners, marquard joined the robins late in the 1915 season (after starting that year by no-hitting brooklyn for the giants) and pitched for them through 1920. as such, he pitched in the world series against the red sox in '16 (he lost 2 games) and against the indians in 1920 (he lost once).  marquard was selected for the hall of fame by the veteran's committee in 1971.

carmen mauro
mauro was an outfielder that the dodgers picked up from the cubs following the 1951 season.  after a year in the minors, the dodgers brought mauro up to the big club for the 1953 season.  he appeared in 8 games, going 0 for 9, before they traded him to the senators for ken wood.

les munns
munns pitched for the dodgers in 1934 and 1935.  he amassed a record of 4-10 in that time, and then went to the cardinals for whom he was 0-3 in 1936.

nate oliver
from 1963-1967, oliver was a backup infielder for the dodgers who hit .234 in that span.  the club won three pennants and two world series titles in that timeframe, but oliver only appeared in the 1966 fall classic, which was the one that the team lost.  oliver was traded to the giants after the 1967 season in the  aforementioned tom haller deal (two trades with the giants in one post - yikes!).

nap rucker
rucker pitched for brooklyn for his entire 10-year career which spanned from 1907 through 1916.  he won 22 games in 1911, and then lost 21 the following year.  his career record wound up being an even 134-134 despite a nice 2.42 era.  rucker made his final big league appearance in game 4 of the 1916 world series when he threw 2 scoreless innings in relief in one of the aforementioned games that marquard lost.

greg shanahan
shanahan may be best known to card collectors as one of the guys on dave freisleben's 1974 topps card that is one of the washington nat'l league variants in the set.  shanahan pitched for the dodgers from september of 1973 through september of 1974.  he didn't appear in the '74 postseason, and finished his minor league career with the royals' triple-a affiliate in 1977.

wayne terwilliger
twig joined the dodgers during the 1951 season as part of the andy pafko trade.  he played in 37 games for brooklyn after the trade, hitting .280.  terwilliger spent 1952 in the minors at the dodgers' saint paul affiliate, and was picked up on waivers by the senators when the season ended, bringing his dodger experience to a close.  his baseball career was still in its infancy, however, as he went on to play in the majors into 1960 and then worked as a coach with the senators/rangers under ted williams.  following another stint with the rangers, terwilliger returned to minnesota and joined the twins' staff under tom kelly, playing a part of their two world championship teams.  in 1995, he joined the staff of the independent league saint paul saints and coached there for several years.

fernando valenzuela
el toro took the baseball world by storm in 1981, thanks to a torrid start to the season in which he won his first 8 starts, 5 by shutout, and pitched 9 innings in all of them - the only start in that stretch in which he did not throw a complete game was his sixth start in which he threw 9 innings and the dodgers won the game for him with 5 runs in the top of the 10th inning.  of course, valenzuela was only 5-7 over the remainder of the season, but we don't talk about that.  fernando wound up throwing a couple more complete games in the postseason, including one against the yankees in the world series, and he capped his rookie year with a world series title to go along with his cy young and rookie of the year awards.  fernando pitched for the dodgers for 11 seasons, posting a record of 141-116.  he is currently a spanish radio analyst for the club.

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