24 October 2011

coaches, man. coaches.

well, the players who appeared for the dodgers in 1977 and/or 1978 that were left out of the 1978 topps set have all been accounted for.  what's left?  how about the coaches.  i used a picture from the 1978 photo album, and although it includes tom lasorda (whose eyes are closed i am pretty certain), it will have to do.  here is the 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update card that should have been for the 1977/78 dodger coaching staff:
to lasorda's right we have preston gomez and to his left is jim gilliam - the longest tenured coach and second african-american coach in the majors.  kneeling in front are red adams, monty basgall, and mark cresse.  i did a back, too
i modeled the back after the rookie cards from the 1978 set
i prefer this type of coaches card to the floating head cards from the 60's and 70's, and it is along the same lines as the coaches cards from the dodgers police sets.  for example, here's the 1983 dodgers police coaches card, with basgall and cresse still on staff
the photo was recycled for the 1984 set, too.
let's give these guys their due.  preston gomez was lasorda's third base coach, replacing lasorda at that position for the dodgers.  gomez had previously been a coach for the dodgers in the late 60's before he left to manage the padres and then the astros.  he left the dodgers one more time to manage the cubs in 1980 before settling down in the angels organization, where he stayed until he passed away in 2009.

jim gilliam was the first base coach, and also filled the role of hitting coach.  a career dodger, gilliam's coaching career began in 1965, but he was added to the active roster in may of that year.  in 1966, he again filled the role of player-coach before becoming a full-time coach the following season.  gilliam suffered a stroke in mid-september 1978, and passed away in early october as the dodgers clinched the nl championship.  jim lefebvre was brought in to replace gilliam while the team wore '19' patches on their uniforms during the fall classic.

red adams was the pitching coach, and was revered by tommy john, don sutton and even the reclusive dr. mike marshall.  he filled that role from 1969 through 1980, serving both walt alston and lasorda.  adams is the one lasorda asks to 'give me a sign when i get out there' as he heads out to remove doug rau from the mound in his famous world series tirade.

monty basgall was another holdover from alston's staff.  he was originally signed as a player by the dodgers, but they traded him to the pirates before he reached the majors.  he re-joined the dodgers' organization as a scout in 1959 and was promoted to coach in 1973.  he is perhaps best known (and appreciated) for his work with the dodgers' long-running infield of garvey cey russell and lopes which included two converted outfielders and a third baseman who was moved to first base.  basgall remained on the coaching staff through the 1986 season, and was replaced by russell in 1987.

mark cresse is the only coach on the staff to not have any major league experience.  he spent 3 seasons in the cardinals' minor league system before joining the dodgers as their bullpen coach.  he stayed with the dodgers through 1998 and is currently running a baseball school in southern california.
here's to you, 1977/78 dodger coaches, and your card that should have been!


Anthony Hughes said...

Those are cool. I love team cards with coaches. I tested myself to see if I could recognize those coaches from my formative, KTLA watching years - I got them all but Adams - I do not remember Red Adams at all, I thought it was Perranoski.

Tony said...

Awesome card!! Topps should call you, put you on the payroll.