01 April 2010

an orwellian nightmare - gcrl in 1984

well, not an orwellian nightmare, but a nightmare just the same. in 1984, steve garvey, ron cey and davey lopes were back in the nlcs. but not with the dodgers.

1984 saw a return to form for steve garvey in many ways.
he played in 161 games, was voted to start the all star game for the national league, and led the padres to the world series for the first time in their history. curiously, he scored four fewer runs than he had in 1983 despite appearing in 61 more games, and his home run total of 8 was his lowest since becoming a full time player in 1974. in the all star game, garvey went 1 for 3 with a run scored before being replaced by keith hernandez in the 6th inning (why, topps. why?). garvey placed 20th in the nl mvp voting for the regular season.

in the nlcs, garvey shone as he had for the dodgers in 1978. he hit .400 with 7 rbi, an ops of 1.029, and one very big home run. the padres had been down 2 games to none before winning game 3. in game 4, they were behind 3-2 in the fifth when garvey singled in the tying run. then, in the 7th inning, garvey singled in the go ahead run, making it 4-3 for the padres. they scored another run on a passed ball before goose gossage gave up 2 runs to the cubs in the 8th to tie it. in the bottom of the 9th, garvey faced lee smith with 1 out and tony gwynn on first. garvey hit the second pitch from smith over the wall in right-center for a walk off win. garvey was named the mvp of the nlcs for the second time in his career as the padres would beat the cubs the next day (thanks in some part to a leon durham error) to move on to the world series. in the series, garvey hit just .200 with 2 rbi as the tigers dominated the padres. in his final postseason at bat, garvey grounded out.

ron cey played 146 games for the cubs as their regular third baseman in their unforgettable 1984 campaign. his average dropped all the way to .240, but he still hit 25 home runs and drive in 97 runs, good enough for a 17th place finish in the nl mvp voting. he hit 2 home runs in a game once (against bill laskey and the giants) and also hit a grand slam that year. in the nlcs against garvey and the padres, cey appeared in the postseason for the final time. he hit just .158 in a losing effort, but did hit a home run in the cubs' game 1 romp.

for the first time since 1974, bill russell played a game at a position other than shortstop.
in fact, he appeared in 23 games as something other than the dodgers' shortstop - 18 as a centerfielder (back to his roots!) and 5 as a second baseman. in total, russell appeared in only 89 games in 1984, giving way to dave anderson. he hit .267 with no home runs and 19 rbi. he ended the season with exactly 2000 games played, passing willie davis to top the los angeles dodgers' all-time leader board. in fact, those 2000 games put him in fourth place of the all-time franchise leader board. the dodgers finished 4th in the nl west, 13 games behind the padres.

davey lopes began 1984 with the oakland a's.  he hit .257 with 9 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 72 games for them before he was traded to the cubs for chuck rainey. as a cub, lopes appeared in 16 games, scoring 5 runs and stealing 3 bases. he stole 2 bases in a game just once, but was never caught all season. he collected his 1500th hit during the 1984 season, and, of his 9 home runs, one was an inside the park job. lopes played all over the place - at second, third (with oakland), left, center, and even right field. he was also the dh for oakland a few times, but was used primarily as a pinch hitter and runner for the cubs. in the nlcs against the padres, lopes appeared in two games and was hitless in his only at bat - a foul out against dave dravecky in the 7th inning of game 4.  somewhat strangely, topps didn't make a davey lopes card for their 1984 traded set.  i'll have to give that a shot, although just wait until next month when you see the strangeness that is davey's 1985 topps card...

speaking of  1985, that season would see the lone member of the infield shut out of the postseason in 1984 make a return to the playoffs.  sort of...

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