16 November 2014

sunday morning target dodgers - talkin' baseball...bunny, ducky, and the duke

woo hoo.  we're gonna learn about some new players today!  here's another installment of 15 cards from the 1990 target dodgers set that was given away in installments at dodger stadium that year.  each sheet features 15 players or managers that wore the uniform (or sat in the dugout in burt shotton's case) during the franchise's first 100 years in the national league.  we've got some hall of famers and some interesting names to get to today...

jesse barnes
nicknamed "nubby", barnes led the national league in wins in 1919 with 25 while pitching for the new york giants, although he also led the senior circuit in losses in both 1917 and 1924 when he was a member of the boston braves (he double dipped).  barnes was a member of the giants' world series championship teams in 1921 and 1922 as they defeated babe ruth's yankees both times.  he finished his career with two forgettable seasons in brooklyn - in 1926, barnes was 10-11 with a 5.24 era, and in 1927 he went 2-10 with a 5.72 era.

jim bucher
bucher made his big league debut in 1934 as an infielder with the dodgers.  he stayed with brooklyn through the 1937 season but was then traded to the cardinals in the deal that netted the dodgers leo durocher.  during his stay in brooklyn, bucher hit .269 and appeared in 405 games.

cannonball crane
crane (give name "ed") began his career in 1884 as an outfielder.  he converted to pitcher when it became apparent  that he wasn't a good hitter.  according to baseball reference, he was a hard thrower whose fastball was nicknamed "cannonball", and while he threw hard, he also lacked control.  in fact, his career k/w ratio is less than 1, and he led the league in wild pitches twice.  his brooklyn career consisted of two games (the last two of his career) in 1893 for the grooms.  he started both games and took the loss in each (although one was a complete game), allowing 15 earned runs in 10 innings of work and issuing 9 walks.  he also hit a batter and uncorked a wild pitch.

rick dempsey
dempsey joined the dodgers as a free agent prior to the 1988 season.  a few days after he was acquired, the dodgers released mike scioscia's backup from the previous season (alex trevino), and the job was given to dempsey.  dempsey appeared in 77 games and hit .251 during the regular season in that role, but also made some big starts, especially in the postseason.  tommy lasorda gave dempsey the start at catcher in the pivotal game 5 of the nlcs against the mets' sid fernandez, and dempsey opened the scoring with a 2-run double in the 4th inning as the dodgers went on to win the game 7-4.  dempsey, who was the 1983 world series mvp for the orioles, also got to start game 5 of the fall classic and had a rbi double in that game, too.  he also got to run out and hug orel hershiser after the last out was recorded and the dodgers had claimed the title.  dempsey remained with the dodgers through the 1990 season, and later managed in their minor league system for a few years.

bunny fabrique
fabrique played for the robins in 1916 and 1917. he appeared in just 2 games for the club in 1916, but saw action in 25 contests the following year.  being a shortstop, it is likely that his 18 errors in those 25 games greatly contributed to the early demise of his big league career.  by they way, he's wearing the checked brooklyn unis i mentioned the other day.  i do hope the dodgers do a throwback or two in 2016 to these things.

john gochnaur
gochnaur played in 3 games for the 1901 brooklyn superbas, although he looks to be wearing a different team's uniform in his photo.  it's probably from a minor league stop as the only other majore league team he played for (cleveland) had distinguishing lettering on their dark, collared jerseys that would have been visible in this photo.  in those 3 games in which he played for brooklyn, gochnaur was 4 for 11 with a walk and 2 rbi.

gerald hannahs
gerry hannahs was a member of the team of my youth, but just barely as he made one appearance for the club in 1978 following his acquisition by al campanis in the deal that sent mike garman to the expos.  he pitched two innings against the padres in that lone outing, allowing a couple of runs but also striking out 5 padre batters, including dave winfield.  the gerry hannahs appearance that i remember very clearly, however, came in 1979 when he came in to pitch against the big red machine.  hannahs had earned a september callup, and made his first appearance of the season on september 7 in a game against the reds.  called on to preserve a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 9th, hannahs struck out joe morgan, dave concepcion, and george foster to end the game and earn the save.  i remember listening to the game in our living room on my dad's trusty transistor radio, and hearing hannahs being interviewed following the game by jerry doggett.  good times.  hannahs only pitched in 3 more games for the dodgers that season, which turned out to be his last in the majors.

frank howard
hondo was the 1960 national league rookie of the year, and he turned out to be one of the better roys in terms of his overall career production.  howard lasted with the dodgers through the 1964 season (he won a ring with the 1963 squad, even homering in the world series against the yankees) after which he was traded to the senators in the claude osteen deal.  with washington, howard twice led the league in home runs and he earned his nickname as the "capitol punisher".  howard retired following the 1973 season with 382 career home runs, and only 63 men who have played the game have hit more in their career.  and, i believe that was a top 20 all-time total at the time howard retired.

leron lee
lee played for the dodgers in 1975 and 1976, mostly as a pinch-hitter and sometimes outfielder.  following his release from the team after the 1976 season, lee left for japan and wound up finding great success there as he hit a total of 283 home runs in 11 seasons.

tony malinosky
malinosky was with the dodgers in the big leagues for about 2 and a half months during the 1937 season.  in that time, he appeared in 25 games and hit .228.

joe medwick
ducky medwick had two stints with the dodgers, and helped them win the pennant in 1941 - their first since 1920.  he was better known as a member of the gashouse gang in saint louis, where he won a world series in 1934 and the triple crown in 1937.

rich rodas
rodas pitched for the dodgers during the 1983 and 1984 seasons.  in his big league debut, he struck out the first batter he faced (terry kennedy) and later retired tony gwynn on a groundout.  rodas relieved starter burt hooton in that game, and on june 19, 1984, hooton relieved rodas (who had taken over for carlos diaz who relieved starter fernando valenzuela) in what turned out to be rodas' last big league appearance.

duke snider
the duke.  snider played for the dodgers from 1947 (he debuted two days after jackie robinson) through 1962, and holds many franchise records, such as offensive war (career), home runs (career), rbi (career), and strikeouts (career), although matt kemp with pass him in 2015 in that last category unless he is traded away.  snider was elected to the hall of fame in 1980 and his number 4 has been retired by the team ever since.

don sutton
back-to-back hall of famers!  sutton was the ace of the staff as far as i was concerned during my first few years of dodger fandom.  he wound up leaving the team before they won it all in 1981, but returned for their 1988 championship season.  unfortunately for him, the dodgers released him in august of 1988 so he did not get a chance to finally win a world series.  like snider, sutton holds a lot of franchise records, such as wins, strikeouts, starts, shutouts, games pitched, and games started.

rene valdes
valdes' only major league experience came with the dodgers in 1957 and consisted of 5 games.  he debuted against the pirates in april of '57 and retired roberto clemente twice in his 3.2 innings of hitless and scoreless relief.  valdes had taken over for don newcombe in that game, and was himself relieved by sandy koufax.  overall, valdes was 1-1 with a 5.24 era as a major league pitcher.

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