01 February 2015

sunday morning target dodgers - super bowl sunday edition.

like clockwork, here's another edition of the sunday morning target dodgers featuring 15 more cards from a sheet in the 1990 target 100th anniversary giveaway set.  just because it's super bowl sunday doesn't mean i'm doing anything different or exciting.  i honestly couldn't think of anything different or exciting.  enjoy.

bert abbey
abbey had a record of 9-30 as a major league pitcher when he joined the brooklyn grooms during the 1895 season.  he went 5-2 in 8 games for the club that year, and then posted an 8-8 record for brooklyn the following season, which turned out to be his last in the majors. abbey then returned to coach baseball at his alma mater, the university of vermont.

johnny butler
butler didn't debut in the majors until 1926 when he was a 33-year old infielder with the brooklyn robins.  he hit .269 in 147 games that year, and then played in 149 games for the robins the following season, although his batting average dropped to .238.  he was picked up by the cubs for the 1928 season, and finished his big league career with the cardinals in 1929.

ivan dejesus
the dodgers signed dejesus as an amateur free agent out of puerto rico in 1969.  he appeared in 3 games during the 1974 season as a late season call-up for the dodgers, and then saw some playing time as a backup to bill russell in 1975 and 1976.   in fact, dejesus and rick auerbach filled in for the injured russell during a good stretch of the 1975 season.  ultimately, however, dejesus was expendable, and he was traded with bill buckner to the cubs for mike garman and rick monday prior to the 1977 season.  dejesus later was traded by the cubs to the phillies for larry bowa and a throw-in named ryne sandberg.

harry eisenstat
eisenstat was a brooklyn native who made his big league debut for the local nine in 1935, when he was just 19 years old.  he was 0-1 in his 2 relief appearances that season, but earned his first big league win (against 3 more losses) the following year.  in 1937, his last year with the dodgers, eisenstat was 3-3 in 13 games.  he went on to pitch for the tigers, for whom he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning on the last day of the 1938 season, beating bob feller of the indians who struck out 18 tigers that day.  coincidentally, the indians traded for eisenstat the following year, and he pitched in cleveland for the remainder of his career.

don elston
elston threw 757.2 innings as a major league pitcher, 756.2 of which came as a member of the chicago cubs.  he was acquired by the dodgers from chicago prior to the 1957 season, but was dealt back to the cubbies after pitching just one inning as a member of the brooklyn dodgers.  in that lone dodger appearance, elston took over for sandy koufax and pitched a scoreless 9th inning against the milwaukee braves. in addition to this card, elston also shows up as a dodger in the 1957 topps set which is nice given his short tenure with the team.

jim gentile
i don't think i knew that diamond jim gentile began his big league career with the brooklyn dodgers in 1957.  he also played for the los angeles dodgers in 1958, amassing a .139 batting average in 16 games over those two seasons.  his first big league hit was a home run off of the phillies' robin roberts, which was not a bad way to start.  i knew of gentile more because of his big 1961 season with the orioles in which he hit 46 home runs and earned a spot on the 1962 topps home run leader card with roger maris, mickey mantle, and harmon killebrew.  gentile also hit .302 with 141 rbi that season.

jerry grote
grote came to the dodgers late in the 1977 season as a third catcher and sometimes third baseman.  he remained with the team through the 1978 season, playing in the nlcs and world series both years. in fact, grote was on deck when ron cey scored the pennant winning run in the 1978 nlcs, and so is featured prominently in one of the celebratory photos that i used to make the 1979 topps card that should have been.  grote was also a dodger double dipper, as he returned to the club for the 1981 pennant run after coming out of retirement earlier that year to join the kansas city royals.

joe harris
harris was acquired by the robins via trade with pittsburgh during the 1928 season.  he appeared in 55 games for brooklyn, hitting .236 in what would be his final stint in the major leagues.  his was a career that lasted 10 seasons over 15 years, but had been sidetracked early on when commissioner landis banned him from the game for life due to harris playing in an independent league in ohio during the 1920 season rather than return to the cleveland indians for whom he had played in 1917 and 1919.  harris was obviously later reinstated, and became the first player to hit a home run in his first world series at bat.

butch henline
henline was the player that the robins received in return when they traded burleigh grimes to the giants in 1927. henline came from the phillies, who were the third team in that trade.  he served as the backup catcher for three seasons, hitting .243 in 149 games as a robin.

rube melton
melton kinda sorta looks like ted williams here, don't you think?  he was a pitcher for the dodgers for two years before and after serving in world war ii.  he joined the dodgers in 1943 and had a combined record of 14-21 over the '43 and '44 seasons.  melton spent 1945 and some of the 1946 season in the armed forces, but posted a 1.99 era with a 6-3 record for the portion of the '46 campaign that he did play in.  he pitched in just 4 games in 1947, collecting only a loss to go with a 13.50 era in those appearances.

andy pafko
pafko is best known as the guy who is on the first card in the 1952 topps set, which features him in a brooklyn uniform thanks to a june, 1951 trade with the cubs.  pafko also played for the dodgers in the 1952 season, hitting .287 in a career high 150 games.  he was traded to the braves prior to the 1953 campaign.

jimmy ripple
ripple had played in 417 games and two world series as a member of the new york giants when he was dealt to the dodgers in september of 1939.  he hit .330 for the dodgers in 28 games over the course of the last few weeks of that season, but the club still finished 12.5 games behind the reds in the standings.  ripple returned to the dodgers in 1940, but only appeared in 7 games before the aforementioned reds claimed him on waivers in august.  ripple went on to help cincinnati win the world series that year.

jack smith
smith pitched for the dodgers in 1962 and 1963, although he earned no decisions in his 12 appearances (all in relief) during that time.  he did not appear in the 1963 world series, either, and was soon thereafter lost to the braves in the rule v draft.

carl warwick
warwick began his career in 1961 as a member of the dodgers. he debuted on april 11 of that year, pinch-hitting for wally moon against ken lehman of the cardinals and promptly hit an rbi single into left field.  it turned out to be the only hit warwick would record as a dodger.  he was 0 for his next 10 (although he did draw 2 walks) and was traded to the cardinals on may 30.

bob welch
welch was the dodgers' number 1 pick in 1977, and he made his big league debut a year later.  he famously struck out reggie jackson to save game 2 of the 1978 world series and was a member of the 1981 team that finally beat the yankees in the fall classic.  as a dodger, welch was 115-86 over a 10 year stretch that ended with him being traded to oakland prior to the 1988 season.  i remember seeing him during the introductions prior to game 1 of the 1988 world series that paired the dodgers against the a's and felt sad that he was no longer on 'my' team.  i didn't feel too badly for him, however, as i obviously wanted the dodgers to win.  welch got the start in game 3, which was the only game the a's won in the series, but he got his second ring in 1989 when the a's beat the giants (although welch did not pitch in the world series that year). to cap things off, welch won 27 games in 1990 en route to the cy young award.  sadly, welch passed away during last season at the age of 57.

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