01 December 2009

an all-star year for the infield - gcrl in 1980

the dodgers hosted the 1980 all-star game, and the fans did their best to stock the roster with members of the big blue wrecking crew. three of the infielders - steve garvey, bill russell and dave lopes - were voted in as starters. mike schmidt led the voting at third base, but was injured and unable to play. i am guessing that, since reggie smith was also voted in to start, chuck tanner and the rest of the brain trust in charge of replacing schmidt and filling out the rest of the roster would have been hard pressed to invite ron cey to the game. instead, they went with ken reitz and ray knight. quite the tandem there. anyway, the 1980 dodgers finished second in the nl west to the houston astros, but only after they swept houston in the final weekend to set up game 163. needless to say, it didn't go the dodgers' way.

steve garvey once again turned in his standard season. he hit over .300 (.304), had 200 (exactly) hits, hit 26 home runs, drove in over 100 runs (106) and played in all 163 games. he finished 6th in the mvp voting, and as i mentioned above, was selected to start at 1st base at the all-star game. in that game, garvey went 0 for 2. he hit two home runs in a game just once (against the cardinals). after going 5 for 12 in the final weekend series against the astros (with a big home run in the second game), garvey went 0 for 4 in game 163.

ron cey had another good year in 1980. although his average dropped to .254, he hit more doubles and matched his 1979 home run total of 28. it was the penguin's two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th in game 162 that forced the one game playoff. unfortunately, cey had fouled a pitch off his foot in that at bat and was unable to play in game 163.

bill russell was selected as the all-star starter clearly as a hometown favorite. he had perhaps his worst season since 1971 (not counting his injury filled 1975 season) as he hit just .264 with 3 home runs and an ops of .636. in the all-star game, he went 0 for 2. russell played in 130 games in 1980, and was hurt towards the end of the season so didn't play in the series against houston. he was replaced in the lineup by derrel thomas and pepe frias.

davey lopes came back to earth after his huge 1979 season. he hit just 10 home runs (6 of which were lead off shots), scored only 79 runs, and stole just 23 bases while hitting only .251. still, he was voted to start the all star game for the second straight year. in that game, he went 0 for 1 before being replaced by phil garner. lopes went just 1 for 13 against houston at the end of the season, including 0 for 4 in the final game.

as i mentioned last time, there would be no 'extra cards' featuring any of the dodgers' infielders in 1980, nor will there be any in 1981. however, 1981 would see the infield return to the postseason...

No comments: