15 March 2015

sunday morning target dodgers

let's dive right into another sheet of 15 dodger cards from the 1990 target 100th anniversary giveaway set.  actually, only 14 cards. i found another dodger double dipper.

del bissonette
i am guessing that bissonette is wearing a portland pilots uniform. that was the team that he managed in his home state of maine in the late 1940's. before that, however, he was a ballplayer touted as a babe ruth type talent, largely because he was both a left-handed pitcher and a skilled batter.  he hurt his arm at some point before signing with brooklyn, and so focused solely on hitting.  as a rookie for the robins in 1928, bissonette played in a league-leading 155 games, and hit .320 with 25 home runs and 106 rbi.  he was the robins' first baseman for the next three seasons as well, and after his first four years in the majors, bissonette owned a .308 career batting average with a .376 on-base percentage and a ops of .870. not ruthian, but not bad, either.  unfortunately, bissonette severed his achilles tendon in a spring training volleyball mishap in 1932, and he missed the entire season. he was back in 1933, but underperformed and was traded away.  he failed in his attempts to return to the majors, and eventually went into managing - both at the minor and major league level.

billy earle
earle was an early version of craig biggio for the 1894 brooklyn grooms.  he played both catcher and second base (and had played outfield and other infield positions for teams earlier in his career) while hitting .340 in 50 at bats.  although he was just 26 when the season ended, and he owned a .286 lifetime average in addition to his positional flexibility, earle did not continue to play in the majors after his brooklyn experience.  some believe that this was due to his penchant for studying things such as hypnosis which made his teammates uncomfortable.

duke farrell
farrell was a member of the brooklyn superbas for four of his 18 years in the big leagues, playing for them from 1899-1902.  he helped the superbas win the pennant in 1899 and 1900, and then played for the first world champions in 1903 - the boston pilgrims.

freddie fitzsimmons
fitzsimmons finished his 19-year career with 7 in  brooklyn.  he pitched for the dodgers from midway in the 1937 season through 1943, amassing a record of 47-32 in that time.  his best season by far was 1940 when he was 16-2 with a save in 20 appearances (18 starts), finishing fifth in the league mvp voting.  the following season, fitzsimmons helped the dodgers return to the world series for the first time since 1920, and earned a no-decision in game 3 of the fall classic despite pitching 7 scoreless innings against the yankees.

joe gallagher
gallagher joined the dodgers during the 1940 season, and played in 57 games for them.  he hit .264 with 3 homers and 16 rbi during that time.  when 1941 rolled around, gallagher enlisted in the armed forces rather than return to the diamond.  he did return to baseball following world war ii, and roomed with jackie robinson at montreal in 1946.

jay howell
howell was obtained by the dodgers prior to the 1988 season, and he formed a closer tandem with jesse orosco in their championship season.  unlike orosco, howell remained with the team for a few seasons, saving a total of 85 games for the dodgers from '88 through 1992.

bill lohrman
lohrman was a dodger for less than a calendar year. he was obtained in a trade with the new york giants in july of 1943 and dealt to the reds in may of 1944.  in between, lohrman pitched in 9 games for the dodgers, going 0-2 with 2 complete games in 2 starts.

lew malone
you know what those checkered uniforms mean...yes, malone was a member of the 1917 brooklyn robins.  he appeared in only one game that season (as a pinch-runner), but returned in 1919 to play in 51 games for the robins.

buck marrow
marrow pitched for the dodger in 1937 and 1938.  in 21 appearances, he had a cumulative record of 1-3 with a 5.50 era.

teddy martinez
martinez was a member of the team of my youth, playing for the dodgers from 1977 through 1979. he played 3 of the four infield positions (no first base for teddy), and spelled ron cey, bill russell, and davey lopes for a total of 202 games during his tenure with the dodgers. a veteran of two postseasons prior to joining the dodgers, martinez did not appear in either the 1977 or 1978 playoffs or world series.

al nixon
nixon played in 21 games for the robins over the 1915, 1916, and 1918 seasons. he hit .333 over those games, but didn't play in the majors again until 1921 when he was a member of the boston braves.

jorge orta
orta joined the dodgers prior to the 1982 season in the deal that sent rick sutcliffe to cleveland, and the dodgers traded him to the mets for pat zachry a little over a year later. in his lone season in los angeles, orta hit .217 in 86 games.  despite what his card above says, orta played zero games for the dodgers as an infielder.

willie ramsdell
ramsdell was a knuckleball pitcher (hence his nickame - willie the knuck) who debuted for the dodgers as a 31-year old rookie in 1947.  he was 1-1 that season in two games, and then went 4-4 for the dodgers in 1948 while appearing in 27 games.  he had a cumulative era of 5.26 over those two seasons, but when he returned to the majors in 1950, he posted an era of 2.84 in his five apparances for the dodgers.  ramsdell later pitched for the reds and cubs, and in june of 1952, he pitched the last 6.2 innings for the cubbies in a game against the dodgers in which carl erskine threw a no-hitter.  oisk missed a perfect game by walking one batter in the third inning.  that batter was willie ramsdell.

mike sandlock
sandlock played for the dodgers in 1945 and 1946.  he appeared in a career high 80 games in 1945, playing primarily at catcher and, of all places, shortstop.  he hit .282 that season, but just .147 the next, and didn't appear in the majors again until 1953 when he was with the pirates.  sandlock is currently 99 years old, and is quite possibly the oldest living major leaguer.

the 15th player from the sheet will show up a bit later today.  stay tuned.

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