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.

 

 

 

Your Favorite Teams Worst Trades

I can speak about the Dodgers because I lived it… What are the worst trades your favorite team made? If you want…comment below…I would love to see them.

1…1993 Pedro Martinez The number one bad trade – 3 words… Delino for Pedro. No Dodger fan will forget/forgive this trade that involved Delino DeShields from the Expos going to the Dodgers for Pedro Martinez. If free-agent second baseman Jody Reed agrees to a multiyear contract and returns to Los Angeles, this doesn’t happen. It’s not like they didn’t know Pedro was good… in 1993 he appeared in 65 games (two starts) and went 10–5 with a 2.61 ERA, including 119 strikeouts and 57 walks in 107 innings…then Fred Clair traded him…because of his size Lasorda didn’t think he would hold up and he would be a bullpen guy. Then GM Fred Claire takes responsibility for this though.

2… 1998 Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile to the Florida Marlins for Manuel Barrios, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, Charles Johnson, and Gary Sheffield. Yes, they did some quality back with Sheffield more than anyone else…but Piazza was the face of the franchise and a future Hall of Famer. 

3…1998 Paul Konerko traded for Jeff Shaw – This was stupid. Yes, the Dodgers needed a closer that part is true and they had Eric Karros at first but he didn’t have anywhere near the career Konerko had with the White Sox. Paul was given 54 games to show what he had with the Dodgers. When he had all of that time to hit…he was traded. Tommy Lasorda was made GM for a very short time…I’m thankful it was short…and he did this. To be fair Shaw was a successful closer but he was not worth the price. 

4…1983 Ron Cey to the Chicago Cubs for prospects Vance Lovelace and Dan Cataline. This trade made NO sense. Living by Branch Rickey’s logic…better to get rid of someone one year too early than a year too late…great advice but Cey wasn’t near being done. Cey would end up knocking 84 home runs for the Cubs in the next 4 years. Al Campanis really messed up with this one. Third base would be a wasteland for the Dodgers for years and years after Cey left. Adrian Beltre did great briefly but then…they didn’t resign him. Justin Turner is the first good regular third baseman the Dodgers have had since Cey was traded in1982.

5…1982 Rick Sutcliffe traded to the Cleveland Indians for Jack Fimple, Jorge Orta and Larry White. All because Sutcliffe rearranged Lasorda’s office. This was in 1981 and he just won the Rookie of the Year in 1979.

Honorable Mention…I will lump 3 trades together… Juan Guzman traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Toronto Blue Jays for Mike Sharperson a utility player… Sid Fernandez with Ross Jones to the New York Mets for Bob Bailor and Carlos Diaz…and John Franco to the Cincinnati Reds for Rafael Landestoy. Three very good pitchers for not much at all.

 

 

 

Top 10 3rd Basemen of the 70’s

I am a child of the 1970s. My teen years were in the 80s but 1970s baseball is closer to my heart. These are my top 10 pics for third base. I’m going to cover all the positions and then have an all 70’s team.

I pitched a little and caught a little but I mostly played 3rd base in little league, 13-14, 15-16 and High School so that is where I will start. My favorite modern player at the time was Ron Cey…he was the reason I wanted to play 3rd base.

I will list WAR on these…but I don’t go just by that. I think WAR is a great tool but not everything about a player.

I first list their career WAR and at the end list their 1970’s only WAR.

Which ones do you agree with or disagree with? Thank you baseball reference!

  1. Mike Schmidt106.8 WAR – His 1980s stats were just as good as his 70s stats and that is saying something. …he is probably the best of all time…not just the seventies. 50.3 1970’s WAR 1970s
  2. George Brett – 88.7 WAR – George’s swing was a thing of beauty. He was the Pinetar man but much more than that. 31.5 WAR 1970s
  3. Graig Nettles68 WAR – This guy could beat you defensively just as much as offensively. Nettles had just as much to do with beating the Dodgers in the 77 and 78 World Series than Reggie Jackson did. I think he should be in the Hall of Fame as painful as that is to say. 54.5 WAR in the 70s…the leading WAR third baseman in the 70s.
  4. Sal Bando – 61.5 WAR – Sal was the captain of those great Oakland A’s teams of the 70s and had good power.  49 WAR 1970s
  5. Ron Cey –  53.8 WAR – The Penguin had a great batting eye and was the best power hitter the Dodgers had not named Reggie Smith. He was clutch in the postseason. He was the MVP (one of 3) of the 1981 World Series.  35.6 WAR 1970’s 
  6. Buddy Bell – 66.3 WAR – I remember Buddy Bell from the eighties more than the seventies. He languished with the Indians and Rangers in the 70s. He never played in the postseason.  31.4 1970’s WAR
  7. Bill Madlock – 38.2 WAR – This man could flat out hit. He played with a lot of teams in his career. I remember him most with the Pirates and he was part of their 1979 We Are Family championship. He was injured quite a bit in his career. He had a career batting average of .305.  20.8 1970’s WAR
  8. Don Money – 36.5 WAR – Don played with Philadelphia and Milwaukee. I remember him with Milwaukee and he had some pop.    28.8 1970’s WAR
  9. Richie Hebner – 33 WAR – I remember Richie with the Pirates and Phillies but mostly with the Phillies but he spent the bulk of his career with the Pirates and won a championship in1971 with them. 25.3 1970’s WAR
  10. Pete Rose – 79.7 WAR – Pete only played third from 1975 – 1978 for the Reds…that is why he isn’t higher.  19.9 WAR 1970s as a 3rd baseman
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