04 December 2014

the 1978 topps dodgers in 2003 through 2006 - there was only one

one would have thought that with dusty baker's contract to manage the giants expiring in early november of 2002, and his subsequent hiring by the cubs on the 16th of that month, topps could have shown baker as a cub in their 2003 flagship set.  no dice - he showed up still as the manager of the giants.
the giants had hired felipe alou to replace baker a couple of days earlier, so it's not like there would have been a void in the set that baker needed to fill.  of course, the real reason is that back then, series one was released in november and so we have a bonus card of baker in a giant uniform.

thankfully, topps was sure to include baker in a cubs uniform in their 2003 traded set.
the cubs won 88 games under baker in 2003, good enough (by one game) to win the nl central title and advance to the postseason.  it was the first division title for the cubs since 1989, and baker had them sitting with a 3 games to 1 lead in the nlcs, but the marlins came back to win the final three games of the series and deny the cubs their first pennant since 1945.

baker returned to the cubs in 2004 (here's his 2004 topps card with a familiar photo)
and the team acutally improved, winning 89 games that year.  unfortunately, that was only good enough for third place in the nl central, 16 games behind division champ saint louis, and 3 games behind wild card champ houston.

in 2005, topps thankfully changed the photo they used for baker's card
and the cubs slipped to below .500.  they had a record of 79-83 and finished fourth in the division, 21 games behind the cardinals.

dusty was in the fourth year of his four year deal in 2006 (here's his topps card from that year)
and the cubs fell even further in the standings.  they finished dead last in the division at 66-96, although they were 'only' 17.5 games behind saint louis that year.  as a result of the poor showing, baker was not re-hired by the cubs.  he wasn't hired by anyone else, either, and spent 2007 as an analyst for espn.  that meant that, for the first time since the early 1960's, there were no members of the 1978 topps dodgers playing or managing in the major leagues.  thankfully, that would change in 2008.

here is the yearly tally of appearances to date:

baker 24 (1971-1987, 1993, 2001-2006)
burke 2 (1978-1979)
cey 16 (1972-1987)
davalillo 14 (1963-1974, 1978-1979)
forster 16 (1972-1987)
garman 8 (1971-1973, 1975-1979)
garvey 18 (1971-1987, 2002)
goodson 6 (1973-1978)
grote 15 (1964-1976, 1978-1979)
hooton 15 (1972-1986)
hough 23 (1972-1994)
john 26 (1964-1989)
lacy 16 (1973-1988)
lasorda 19 (1954, 1973-1974, 1977-1981, 1983-1993)
lopes 18 (1973-1988, 2001-2002)
martinez 9 (1971-1976, 1978-1980)
monday 18 (1967-1984)
mota 18 (1963-1980)
oates 14 (1972-1981, 1991-1993, 2001)
rau 9 (1973-1981)
rautzhan 2 (1978-1979)
rhoden 16 (1975-1990)
russell 18 (1970-1987)
smith 17 (1967-1983)
sosa 10 (1974-1984)
sutton 23 (1966-1988)
yeager 15 (1973-1987)

teams represented so far: 24 (dodgers, indians, colt .45's, pirates, white sox, astros, mets, a's, red sox, angels, expos, cardinals, braves, cubs, orioles, giants, phillies, yankees, rangers, tigers, padres, brewers, mariners, marlins)


YankeesFan1327 said...

Nice Dusty Baker cards! Did you get the cards that I sent? Please let me know. Thanks!

gcrl said...

i haven't received the cards yet, but i will let you know when they arrive!

Tony L. said...

I like this feature a lot. It's pretty cool to see where the players scatter to after a year like that.