30 November 2014

sunday morning target dodgers - the rifleman, a unibrow, and 12 others

only 14 cards from the 1990 target dodgers set today, because this particular sheet featured another dodger double dipper who gets his own post later on.

bobby bragan
bragan began his career as a shortstop with the phillies in 1940, but began catching as well, and after he was traded to the dodgers just prior to the 1943 season, catcher was his primary position.  he returned to shortstop for a bit in 1944, and then missed the 1945 and '46 seasons due to military service during world war ii.  when bragan returned to the dodgers in 1947, he signed the petition protesting the addition of jackie robinson to the major league roster, and even asked branch rickey for a trade.  bragan wasn't traded, and he soon changed his mind about being jackie's teammate.  in 1948, after appearing in just 9 games for the dodgers, bragan was offered a job managing in the organization's minor league system at fort worth.  bragan accepted, knowing that his roster spot had essentially been taken by roy campanella.  after several seasons in fort worth (where he made maury wills into a switch-hitter), bragan eventually managed in the major leagues for the pirates, indians, and braves.  he returned to fort worth, and became the oldest manager in professional baseball history when he managed a game for the independent cats at the age of 87 in 2005.

buster burrell
another catcher, burrell spent three seasons (1895-97) with the grooms/bridegrooms, although he never appeared in more than 62 games in a single season.  his best year was 1896 when he played in 62 games and hit .301.  burrell looks pretty intense, but he lived to be 95 before passing away in 1962.  so, in his lifetime, the entire history of professional baseball up until sandy koufax's 7th start of the 1962 season occurred.  crazy.

guy cantrell
cantrell's nickname was 'gunner', and as a pitcher for the brooklyn robins in 1925 and 1927, he was 1-0 with a 2.93 era over 20 appearances.  cantrell was acquired by the philadelphia a's during the 1927 season, and finished his major league career with the tigers in 1930.  now we go from one 'gunner' to another…

chuck connors
connors was a brooklyn native who signed with the local club as a teenager in 1940.  he soon after went to college at seton hall and was picked up by the yankees.  in 1946, he wrote to branch rickey asking the dodgers to re-acquire him, and they did so after the yankees waived him.  connors wound up playing in the minor leagues, but also spent some time on the roster of the boston celtics from 1946-48.  he finally made his baseball big league debut in may of 1949 as a pinch-hitter.  with one out in the bottom of the 9th in a game against the phillies, connors pinch-hit for carl furillo.  gil hodges was on first base, so connors represented the tying run, as the dodgers were down 4-2.  unfortunately, connors grounded into a game ending double play, 1-6-3.  that turned out to be his only appearance as a dodger, but he was traded to the cubs and played in 66 games for the southsiders in 1951.  after that, connors played in the pcl for the los angeles angels, and was discovered by hollywood.  he eventually decided to pursue acting as a career, and landed the title role in the abc program 'the rifleman'.

jumbo elliot
elliot first pitched for the robins in 1925 after throwing just one inning for the browns in 1923.  after taking the loss in 2 of the 3 games in which he pitched in '25, elliot spent 1926 in the minors, but was back in the majors to stay in 1927.  he pitched both as a starter and a reliever for the robins through the 1930 season, which happened to be the only time in his career up until that point that he earned a winning record.  with a 26-36 record overall, the robins traded elliot to the phillies, with whom he promptly led the league with 19 wins in 1931.

dick farrell
farrell was better known as 'turk' during his playing days.  he spent the last few months of the 1961 season with the dodgers, but didn't ever get a complete card as a dodger from topps, so it is quite disappointing that this card fails to feature him in the correct uniform as well.  as a dodger, farrell was 6-6 with 10 saves in 50 appearances.  he was selected by the colt .45's in the expansion draft, and lost 20 games for them in 1962.

balvino galvez
galvez was once traded for billy beane, straight up.  i wonder if the a's general manager makes that deal today.  all of galvez's major league experience came as a dodger in 1986.  he pitched in 10 games and had a record of 0-1.  the first batter galvez faced as a big leaguer was none other than ron cey.  the penguin stroked a two-run, game-tying single off of galvez, and tommy lasorda removed the rookie pitcher from the game.  galvez was traded by the dodgers to the tigers during the 1987 season, and they sent him to the twins the following year for beane.

phil garner
garner doesn't look quite right without his bristle brush mustache, does he?  he joined the dodgers during the 1987 season following a trade with houston and wound up playing in 70 games for the club. he hit just .190 with two home runs (the last two of his career), and finished his major league career with 15 games for the giants in 1988.

jeff hamilton
hamilton was a backup third baseman who won the job during the 1988 season when pedro guerrero was moved to first base.  he wound up manning the hot corner for the dodgers during the world series, too, catching the final out of their pivotal game 4 win.  that was the game that, thanks in part to hamilton's presence in the lineup, caused bob costas to comment that the dodgers were fielding the weakest hitting lineup in world series history.  hamilton was the dodgers' primary third baseman in 1989, but was injured for most of 1990 and '91.  he attempted to convert to a pitcher, but was unsuccessful, meaning his only pitching appearance as a major leaguer remained his 1.2 innings of work in a 22-inning game against the astros in 1990 in which he struck out billy hatcher and ken caminiti, but was nonetheless saddled with the loss.

dale mitchell
mitchell's career started with a bang in cleveland - over his first 8 seasons with the indians, mitchell had 1201 hits, 60 triples (he led the league with 23 in 1949), and a .315 batting average.  beginning in 1954, however, he was relegated to part-time duty, and the indians eventually sold his contract to the dodgers during the 1956 season.  with brooklyn, mitchell hit .292 in 19 games down the stretch as the dodgers repeated as national league champions.  in the world series, mitchell was hitless four pinch-hit appearances against the yankees, the third of which resulted in the final out of don larsen's game 5 perfecto.

wally moon
all hail the unibrow!  moon was the 1954 national league rookie of the year for the cardinals, who traded him to the dodgers after the 1958 season for gino cimoli.  moon immediately made an impact for the dodgers in 1959, hitting .302 while leading the league in triples and launching his 'moon shot' home runs at the la coliseum as the dodgers won the pennant and the world series.  moon hit .299 in 1960, and then .328 in 1961 (his .434 obp led the league that year), but his performance tapered off after that.  his final appearance as a dodger came in the 1965 world series, where he was hitless in two pinch-hitting appearances.

bill posedel
posedel didn't reach the majors until the age of 31 when he debuted for the dodgers during the 1938 season.  he made 17 starts, finishing 6 of them (one was a shutout), and also relieved in 16 games.  he finished with a record of 8-9 and was traded to the braves during the offseason.  he was sometimes known as barnacle bill due to his two stints in the navy - one prior to the start of his big league career, and one during his career to serve in world war ii.

howie reed
the dodgers acquired reed from the kansas city a's in 1961, buy he didn't make it to the club's big league roster until 1964.  he was 3-3 as a starter with a no-decision, and 0-1 with a save as a reliever in 19 other appearances that year.  in 1965, reed pitched in 38 games (5 as a starter) and had an overall record of 7-5 plus a save.  he appeared in two games during the 1965 world series, but had just one appearance for the dodgers in the 1966 season before he was traded to the angels.

rj reynolds
robert james reynolds received a september call-up from the dodgers in 1983, but was with the team for most of 1984 and 1985 up until the time he was traded to the pirates for bill madlock.  he played for the pirates through the 1990 season, and then went to japan where he found some success.  as a dodger, reynolds is best remembered for his walk-off squeeze bunt on september 11, 1983 that beat the braves and put the dodgers 3 games up on atlanta in the nl west. that was a big two-game swing in the standings, and the dodgers held on to win the west.

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