05 October 2011

the 1978 topps dodgers who were dodgers in 1974

1974 was a good year for the dodgers, including those that would still be on the team to be featured in the 1978 topps set as boys in blue.  well, most of them anyway (sorry tommy john).  they made it to the world series for the first time in their post-koufax existence and they had players who captured the mvp (steve garvey) and the cy young (mike marshall) awards - the first time they had done that since sandy koufax won both awards himself in 1963 (sidenote - maury wills was the mvp to don drysdale's cy young in 1962, and don newcombe won both awards in 1956, while the bulldog and gibby accompished the feat in 1988).  maybe 2011 will be the first time since 1988 that the dodgers claim both of these awards, who knows?

i do know that ron cey was given a kick-ass card by topps in 1974.
cey's line in 1974 was 18/97/.262 and he was named to the all-star team for the first time in his career.  as the national league's starting third baseman in the midsummer classic, the penguin was one of four dodgers in the starting lineup.  he drove in the first run with a double off of gaylord perry (he drove in steve garvey who had singled).  cey later drove in another run with a with a 4th inning ground out before being replaced in the field by mike schmidt.  in the nlcs, cey hit .313 with a home run and 3 doubles against the nl east champion pirates.  he did most of his damage (4 for 5, 2 doubles and a home run) in the dodgers' game 2 win.  in the world series against the al champion oakland a's, cey was held to 3 hits in 17 at bats with no rbi.

steve garvey got one of the best cards in the set, hands down.  it's perfect.
garvey's year was even better than cey's.  he won his first gold glove (the first of four consecutive), reached the 200 hit plateau for the first time, and had a line of 21/111/.312.  he was named the mvp of the all-star game and the national league.  not too shabby, right?  he played the entire 9 innings of the all-star game, going 2 for 4 with an rbi, a double, and a run scored.  i believe he was the first write-in candidate to start the all-star game, too.  in the nlcs, the garv hit .389 and had an ops of 1.199 with a double and two home runs as the dodgers dispatched the pirates in 4 games.  against the a's, garvey hit for high average, but no power posting a batting average of .381 with 8 hits, all singles.

now we enter the boring photo phase of the post - here's charlie hough on his first solo card
hough was 9-4 with a single save for the dodgers in 1974.  he made a singular appearance in the nlcs, and gave up 2 runs in 2.1 innings of relief as he replaced doug rau in the dodgers' game 3 loss.  he fared better in his lone world series appearance, pitching two scoreless innings while striking out four athletics in another game 3 loss for the dodgers.

tommy john is standing in pretty much the same spot as hough
john was cruising through mid-july.  he was 13-3 with a 2.50 era after his 21st start of the season on july 12.  five days later, he took the mound against the expos at dodger stadium and lasted just two innings.  it was later discovered that he had a torn ligament in his elbow and his season, and most thought career, was over.  no postseason for tommy in 1974.

lee lacy's turn to stand in the spot - hey! is that ken mcmullen lurking?
leondaus played some second and third for the dodgers in 1974.  he was relegated to backup/spot starter status having lost the second baseman's job to davey lopes the previous year.  he did hit .282 on the season though.  in the nlcs, he appeared in one game but didn't get an at bat, and he was 0 for 1 in his only world series appearance.

walt alston mixes it up, although it's tom lasorda in the yellow part of the card that we are interested in here
lasorda coached third for alston.  in a nationally televised game in june, he is mic'd up and predicts a ron cey home run.  he was wrong, but cey did get 7 rbi in the game.  all this according to baseballreference's bullpen page for tommy.

davey lopes gets a card of his own with thankfully a different background, at least
lopes scored 95 runs and stole 59 bases (good for second in the league) for the dodgers in 1974.  in the nlcs, he scored 4 times and stole 2 bases while posting an impressive .450 obp.  in the world series, he again stole 2 bases, but scored only twice and got on base at a lowly .238 clip.

here's manny mota as he was in 1974. 
mota was firmly ensconsed in his role as a pinch-hitter in 1974.  in that role, he had 64 plate appearances (versus just 8 as a left fielder) hitting .288 with 16 rbi.  he made 3 pinch-hit appearances in the nlcs, going 1 for 3 with an rbi.  he didn't make any appearances in the world series.

doug rau, on his first solo card, gets to have the holman field seats in the background.  paging 2007 topps and 2009 topps heritage...
rau was inserted into the dodgers' starting rotation in 1974 and responded with a 13-11 record, a 3.72 era, 3 complete games, and a 7-hit shutout against houston in july.  the heavier workload may have affected rau down the stretch as he lost 5 of his last 7 starts of the season.  that might explain his poor showing in the nlcs - 1 start, two-thirds of an inning pitched, 1 loss and 5 runs (3 earned) allowed before being replaced by hough.  no word on whether there is audio of alston removing him from the game.

bill russell stands in a state-of-the-art multipurpose stadium for his 1974 card
russell hit .269 in the regular season, and played in 160 games.  in the nlcs, he hit .389 with 3 rbi, but then had an average of just .222 against the a's.  still, russell hit safely in every postseason game except the last game of the world series.

don sutton is kind of the guy doing his own thing here.  his 1974 card features a photo from a couple years back or so - the piping on the uniform gives it away
sutton kicked some serious ass in his first postseason (if you recall, he didn't appear in the world series in his rookie year of 1966).  in 1974, sutton was 3-0 in 4 starts.  in the nlcs against the pirates, he was 2-0 with an era of 0.53 and 13 strikeouts in 17 innings.  in the fall classic, he made 2 starts, earned the only dodger victory, and had an era of 2.77 with 12 k's in 13 innings.  combine all that with his 19-9 regular season (which earned him his 3rd straight top-5 placement in the cy young balloting) and sutton certainly had a helluva year.

finally, we have steve yeager with the muttonchop sideburns
yeager began the season as joe ferguson's backup but started taking over as the year went on and ferguson started to make more appearances in the outfield.  he hit .266 in the regular season with 12 home runs.  in the nlcs, yeager was held hitless in 9 at bats, but went on to hit .364 in the world series while starting 4 of the 5 games against the a's.  yeager was the one, of course, who was behind the plate and caught joe ferguson's strike from right field to nail sal bando on reggie jackson's game 1 8th inning fly ball. 

so, those were the 1978 topps dodgers, well, the ones that were dodgers in 1974.  here's the link to the non-dodgers. 

here's the tally so far:

23/27 members of the 1978 topps dodgers featured by topps in 1974

total appearances:

baker 4 (1971-1974)
cey 3 (1972-1974)
davalillo 12 (1963-1974)
forster 3 (1972-1974)
garman 3 (1971-1973)
garvey 4 (1971-1974)
goodson 2 (1973-1974)
grote 11 (1964-1974)
hooton 3 (1972-1974)
hough 3 (1972-1974)
john 11 (1964-1974)
lacy 2 (1973-1974)
lasorda 3 (1954, 1973-1974)
lopes 2 (1973-1974)
martinez 4 (1971-1974)
monday 8 (1967-1974)
mota 12 (1963-1974)
oates 3 (1972-1974)
rau 2 (1973-1974)
russell 5 (1970-1974)
smith 8 (1967-1974)
sosa 1 (1974)
sutton 9 (1966-1974)
yeager 2 (1973-1974)

teams represented so far:

16 (dodgers, indians, colt .45's, pirates, white sox, astros, mets, a's, red sox, angels, expos, cardinals, braves, cubs, orioles, giants)


steelehere said...

Rico Carty actually was the first write-in candidate to start an All-Star game. He did it back in 1970 for the National League.


Tony said...

How did Garv and the Penguin end up getting action shots and everyone else had a posed shot on their cards?