08 March 2015

sunday morning target dodgers - that's babich, not babip

here's another sheet (15 more cards) from the 1990 target dodger 100th anniversary set. enjoy.

johnny babich
babich broke into the majors with the dodgers in 1940 and pitched for them for two seasons.  he won 7 games in each, but lost a total of 25 with a cumulative era of 5.46.  when i first saw this card on the sheet, being the forward thinking analytical fan that i am (not really), i immediately thought of 'babip'.  that's batting average on balls in play in case you didn't know.  i don't know what babich's babip against was during his time with the dodgers, but in his last two seasons as a member of the philadelphia a's, his .267 babip was below the league average of .292.  as a batter, his career babip was .243, but in his final season, he had an incredible .476 babip.  thanks baseball reference!

jim campanis
campanis spent parts of 3 seasons (1966-1968) with the dodgers as a backup catcher before his dad, general manager al campanis, sent him to the royals prior to the 1969 season.  campanis was the first pinch-hitter in kansas city royals history, and he recored the first pinch-hit and pinch-hit rbi in franchise history as well.  i appreciate the fact that the union 76 logo is visible atop the left field pavilion in dodger stadium in the background of campanis' card.

bob darnell
darnell pitched six innings of scoreless relief in his major league debut on august 10, 1954, although he did allow an inherited runner to score.  he got the start in his next appearance (which came against the same club - the phillies - against whom he had thrown those scoreless innings and wound up lasting only two frames.  he pitched in only four more games that season and just one in 1956, and that was the total of darnell's big league career.

john dobbs
dobbs was an outfielder for the superbas from 1903-1905, which also happened to be the last 3 seasons of his big league career.  he hit .247 over that time which was about 40 points lower than he had hit in the first two seasons of his career.  after retiring as a player, dobbs became a successful manager in the minor leagues.

clise dudley
dudley was 8-18 as a member of the brooklyn robins from 1929-1930. he is better known as a member of the 'home run in first major league at bat' club.  in fact, dudley homered on the first pitch he saw at the big league level.

mariano duncan
in 1985, duncan was the heir apparent to bill russell as the dodger shortstop, as he made 120 starts at short and finished third in the rookie of the year voting.  after two more seasons, duncan had fallen out of favor with manager tom lasorda, and was banished to the minor leagues for the entire 1988 season.  with alfredo griffin at short, duncan returned to the bigs in 1989, but was traded during the season to the reds in the kal daniels deal.  duncan went on to win a world series title with the reds in 1990 (plus one with the yankees in 1996) while the dodgers haven't been back to the fall classic since '88.  duncan eventually returned to the franchise as a minor league coach, and became the dodgers' first base coach during grady little's managerial tenure.

herman franks
first off, this is the same photo that topps used of franks for the inset photo on his 1978 topps card. this increases the likelihood that the photo shows franks in a dodger uniform (a question that i had pondered as a youth back in '78) as he played for the team in 1940 and 1941, but i still don't know for sure.  in addition to the dodgers, franks played for the cardinals, a's, and giants, although it was as a dodger that he played the most, appearing in 122 of his 188 games wearing the brooklyn uniform.  franks was on the 1941 pennant winning team and ended game 1 of the world series with a gidp in his only appearance in the fall classic.  perhaps franks could have held on to strike 3 in game 4 of the series had he been behind the plate instead of mickey owens, but we will never know.

tony giuliani
giuliani was another backup catcher on those 1940 and 1941 dodger teams after previously playing for the browns and senators.  his total dodger experience came in the form of one appearance and one at bat in 1940 and 3 appearances with 2 at bats in 1941.  he did not appear in the 1941 world series.

derrell griffith
the dodgers won the pennant in three of the four seasons in which griffith played for them, but he did not appear in the postseason in any of those years.  griffith debuted with the 1963 world champion club as a 19-year old, seeing action in one late-season game.  he was back in 1964, playing in 78 games and hitting .290.  in 1965 and 1966, both pennant winning seasons for the dodgers, griffith hit .171 and .067, respectively, while playing in just over 20 games each season.  after that, he was traded to the mets with tommy davis, but never returned to the majors.

johnny hall
like griffith above, hall was from oklahoma. he pitched for the dodgers during the 1948 season, his only season in the majors. in three appearances, hall logged 4.1 innings pitched and posted an era of 6.23.

stu pederson
pederson was a late season call-up with the 1985 dodgers after hitting over .300 in the minor leagues since being drafted in 1981.  he made 8 appearances during the last month of that season, but was 0 for 4 with a sacrifice fly at the plate.  pederson spent the next couple of seasons back in the minors for the dodger organization, and then moved on to the blue jays' minor league system, but was unable to return to the majors.  he should be spending some time at chavez ravine this year, however, as his son joc is poised to make the team out of spring training as one of the dodgers' outfielders.

arky vaughan
the hall of fame shortstop finished his career with four seasons as a dodger.  in 1942, with pee wee reese at short, vaughan was used as the dodgers' third baseman despite having played there only 5 times during his previous 10 years with the pirates, and he made the all-star team.  in 1943, with reese serving in the military, vaughan returned to shortstop for most of the time, and he led the league in runs scored and stolen bases.  after that season, vaughan retired rather than continue to play for manager leo durocher.  when durocher was suspended for the 1947 season, vaughan returned to the team as an outfielder and hit .325 in 64 regular season games, plus he was 1 for 2 in the world series.  vaughan played in 65 games for the dodgers in 1948 and hit .244 after which he spent the 1949 season in the pacific coast league and then retired a second time.  sadly, he died three years later in a boating accident.  vaughan is largely regarded as one of the greatest shortstops of all-time, perhaps sitting behind only honus wagner on that list.

jack warner
warner had played for the tigers for four years before joining the robins for the 1929 season.  as a backup shortstop, warner appeared in 21 games that season.  in 1930, he was used mostly as a pinch-hitter, although he played some third base, too, and he hit .320 in 28 plate appearances.  the following season, his last with brooklyn at the major league level, saw him hit .500 in 4 at bats over 9 games played.

ron washington
the dodgers gave washington a call-up late in the 1977 season, and in 10 games played, he hit .368 and scored 4 times.  still, he couldn't quite make the roster with bill russell firmly entrenched at short and was eventually traded by the dodgers to the twins in 1980.  wash played for the twins, orioles, indians, and astros before retiring as a player and moving into coaching.  he was a highly respected coach for the a's prior to becoming the manager of the rangers, leading texas to their two lone world series appearances.

kaiser wilhelm
wilhelm's real name was irvin, which i would have preferred to kaiser, given the actions of germany's kaiser wilhelm in the early 1900's.  brooklyn's wilhelm pitched for the superbas from 1908 through 1910, and although his record during that time was just 22-42, his era for the same period was 2.62.  in fact, wilhelm lost 22 games in 1908 despite a 1.87 era.  wilhelm's playing career outlasted the other kaiser wilhelm's reign in germany, as he pitched as a 47-year old in 1921, three years after the german ruler had been exiled to the nederlands.

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