31 May 2015

sunday morning target dodgers - uncle robbie pays a visit

it must be sunday because here's another 15 cards from a sheet in the 1990 target dodgers 100th anniverary giveaway set. let's get right to it.

doyle alexander
alexander was part of the dodgers' hugely successful 1968 draft class.  he was taken in the 9th round and was pitching in the major leagues three years later.  after going 6-6 with four complete games for the 1971 dodgers, alexander was traded to the orioles in the frank robinson deal.  he may be best remembered for being traded by the braves to the tigers in 1987 for john smoltz.

lloyd brown
brown began his career with the robins in 1925, but found better success with the senators later on. in his lone year with brooklyn, brown was 0-3 in 17 appearances (five starts). from 1928-1932, brown was 58-49 for the senators, and he also pitched for the browns, red sox, indians, and phillies during his big league career.

hal gregg
gregg pitched for the dodgers from 1943-1947.  he won 18 games for the club in 1945 after losing 16 the previous season.  overall, gregg was 37-41 as a dodger during the regular season, and 0-1 in postseason play (he pitched in three games during the 1947 world series) before he was traded to the pirates in the trade that  also sent dixie walker to pittsburgh.

roy henshaw
the dodgers traded for henshaw in 1937 after he had gone 21-11 with a 3.68 era for the cubs over the previous three seasons. with the dodgers, however, henshaw was just 5-12 with a 5.07 era in 42 appearances.  as a result, he was dealt to the cardinals after the season ended in the deal that brought leo durocher to brooklyn.

george kelly
'high pockets' kelly belongs to that list of hall of famers (greg maddux and rickey henderson are recent examples) who are not typically remembered for their time with the club, but ended their career playing for the dodger organization.  for kelly, that was 1932, and he joined the dodgers after spending the 1931 season in the minors.  kelly hit .243 in 64 games for brooklyn, and netted his 1000th career rbi while doing so.  he was elected to the hall of fame in 1973 by the veteran's committee, although he is often cited as the least worthy hall of famer.

ken lehman
lehman was a september call-up in 1952, and struck out the first batter he ever faced in the big leagues (sam jethroe).  he was 1-2 in his four appearances that month, and impressed folks enough that he was added to the dodgers' postseason roster.  he appeared in one world series game against the yankees, and pitched two scoreless innings.  lehman returned to the majors in 1956, pitching in 25 games for brooklyn, but he appeared in just 3 games for them in 1957 before the orioles purchased his contract.

eddie miksis
speaking of the orioles, i think of miksis as one because his 1958 topps card (which featured him as an oriole) was one of the first '58 cards i ever owned.  anyway, miksis started his big league career as a dodger in 1944 when he was just 17.  he hit .220 in 26 games that year, and then returned to the majors in 1946 after a stint in the navy, but hit only .146 in 23 contests.  miksis improved in 1947, hitting .267 and appearing in the world series. he remained with the dodgers into the 1951 season until he was traded to the cubs in the andy pafko deal.

earl naylor
naylor, who had spent a couple of years with the phillies earlier in the decade, appeared in three games for the 1946 dodgers, although he did not play in the field. he pinch-ran and scored a run in his dodger debut, and then was used as a pinch-hitter twice - he grounded into a double play and struck out.

wilbert robinson
uncle robbie, who had a 17-year playing career as a catcher, was the manager of the brooklyn baseball club from 1914 through 1931.  as the team had no official nickname, it took on the name 'robins' during robinson's tenure in reference to the manager.  his robins teams won more than 90 games three times, twice claiming the national league pennant.  for his career, robinson won 1399 games as a manager (1375 with brooklyn and 24 with baltimore when he was a player-manager in 1902) and lost 1398 (1341 with brooklyn and 57 with baltimore).  he was elected to the hall of fame in 1945, and is one of seven brooklyn/los angeles managers so honored for their managerial careers.

dave sax
the older brother of steve sax, dave sax made his big league debut in september of 1982 - the year after his younger brother first played in the majors.  he appeared in just two games that year, going 0 for 2 and seeing action in left field in his second game (most likely due to the fact that it was the 16th inning and tommy lasorda was running out of players - luckily steve garvey hit a walk-off homer to win the game in the bottom of the 16th).  sax was back with the dodgers in 1983 and finally saw some action behind the plate at his regular position, and at the same time that his brother was playing second base.  unfortunately, he was 0 for 8 with an rbi during his stints with the dodgers that year, and didn't make it back to the majors until 1985 with the red sox.

joe simpson
simpson was a september call-up for the dodgers in each season from 1975 through 1978, although he did get a couple of midseason call-ups during that time as well.  he hit .188 in 71 games for the dodgers during that time, and had his contract purchased by the mariners prior to the 1979 season.  simpson is best known these days as one of the braves' broadcasters, as he's been performing that function since 1992.

milt stock
stock joined the robins in 1924 following 11 years with the giants, phillies, and cardinals.  he hit .242 as the team's third baseman his first year, and then moved to second base in 1925 and hit .328.  at one point that year, stock had four consecutive 4-hit games, which is considered to be a record.  stock finished his playing career with just three games in 1926 for the robins, and he went on to manage in the minors and eventually coach in the majors, including for the dodgers in 1949 and 1950.

bill sudakis
sudakis was a third baseman who was drafted by the dodgers in 1964 and made his debut for them in 1968. he was their primary third baseman in 1969, and his 14 home runs were second best on the team that year. in 1970, billy grabarkewitz got most of the playing time at third, and so the dodgers had sudakis play other positions, including catcher - a position that sudakis had not previously played at the big league level, and had only played for a handful of games in the arizona instructional league. it was also curious because he had bad knees.  the mets picked sudakis off of waivers prior to the 1973 season, and he went on to spend time with them, the yankees, the rangers, the indians, and the angels before retiring after the 1975 season.

elmer valo
the owner of one of my favorite non-dodger baseball cards was himself a dodger in 1957 and 1958.  acquired in a trade with the phillies, valo played in 81 games for the brooklyn dodgers in their final season.  in fact, he was the second to last dodger batter at ebbetts field, grounding out before gil hodges struck out to end the 8th inning on september 24, 1957.  the following year, valo played in 65 games for the los angeles dodgers in their first season. it was the second time that valo had played for a team that relocated while he was on the roster (he had previously played for the philadelphia/kansas city a's), and wouldn't be the last (he would later play for the washington senators/minnesota twins).

sandy vance
another member of the dodgers' 1968 draft class, vance pitched in 30 games as a major leaguer - all with the dodgers in 1970 and 1971. he was 7-7 as a rookie in 1970 with two complete games and a 3.13 era.  in 1971, however, he was just 2-1 with a 6.92 era. vance continued to pitch in the minors through 1973, but was unable to return to the majors.

there are only two sheets left in the 1990 target set to show, so we are definitely close to the end.  i'll have one of those sheets next week.  stay tuned….

No comments: