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.