The 8 1/2 Year Infield

On June 13, 1973 exactly 48 years ago today…The Dodgers’ infield of Steve Garvey (first base), Davey Lopes (second base), Ron Cey (third base) and Bill Russell (shortstop) played together for the first time in a 16-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. The quartet would set a major league record for longevity by playing 8 1/2 years in the same infield.

Growing up I didn’t have to wonder who would be playing where. My personal opinion is this record will not be broken…free agency, trades, and money have changed the game.

None of the four players are in the Hall of Fame. Garvey is the closest one to the Hall but all were very good players. The weakest would be Russell but in the seventies shortstops were not lighting up the scoreboard.

Those four players played in 4 World Series together and won  1…that one in 1981 against the Yankees. I do think if they would have won 2 World Series…they would be remembered more. 1981 was their last year together. Lopes was traded that offseason, Garvey left after the 1982 season to a record breaking contract with the Padres and Ron Cey was stupidly traded to the Cubs before the 1983 season. Garvey would make it to his 5th  World Series in 1984 with the Padres.

Bill Russell retired with the Dodgers in 1986 and became a coach in 1987. He became manager in 1997.

Garvey was an All Star 10 times,  Cey 6, Lopes 4, and Russell 3 times.

They will always be my favorite infield of all time… I would take them now in their prime if I could and place them on the 2021 Dodgers.




Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

4 thoughts on “The 8 1/2 Year Infield”

  1. I agree due to a number of things- free agency etc all the reasons you mentioned this will never be broken. To think that it did happen at the start of the free agency period too… if you call the turn of the century modern baseball history- all those years when teams had control over the players as long as they wanted them- it never happened… to get four players at that position who you are happy with -and whose play would keep them all as starters…an excellent infield- again no Hall of Famers but- all were good to very good players. Back in the late 70’s I would have thought for sure Garvey would end up in Cooperstown. … I wonder if the cracking of his image hurt him enough to keep him out? He isn’t a slam dunk- but borderline- and when you’re on the borderline…. Lefty Carlton was so great he could get away with not talking to the press and still get the vote- they’d look like fools to keep him out… Garvey… I hate the he is better than this guy and should be in argument- but certainly Garvey is more qualified than say Harold Baines. …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garvey has some of the stats…the many women did hurt his image and he was not popular with his teammates…
      Off that team I always thought Reggie Smith might have been a possible candidate back then but from 79 on he was hurt.

      I do agree that Garvey was better than Gaines.

      What about Tommy John? I am surprised he is not in.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, you could find a better player at each position most years but no way could you find a better total infield. I’m amazed Garvey isn’t in Cooperstown… pretty much assumed he would be, and would have leaned towards thinking Lopes might have been too.
    Only thing comparable in terms of time was Trammell/Whitaker in Detroit, but of course the corner infielders kept changing on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ron Cey is who I thought would have been the other one as a kid. I felt vindicated when Bill James said that he was a better player than Garvey…you don’t think that until you look at the stats. Cey fits in with modern hitters….really well.

      But I think they will forever own that record unless the game changes again.


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