Ron Cey in . . . The Franchise All-Time All-Stars

July 1, 2008
Be warned: the following further installment of The All-Time Franchise All-Stars is both derivative and ill-informed, probably more so than the earlier installments, which were focused on teams, the Expos and Mets, that I know a little better than the team profiled here. Though I have, in an effort to retain some semblance of originality, lately avoided looking at Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Lineups, which is a multi-acre amusement park compared to the tangled yo-yo of this ongoing feature, it’s a good bet that whatever I get right in my picks for the all-time teams of any franchise owes to earlier readings of that book.

But who knows, maybe all we can ever really claim as our own is what we get wrong. So on that capitulatory note, here’s how I see the Dodgers all-time team. (In parentheses after each player mentioned is their positional ranking, if available, from The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.) If it seems to you at any time that I’m in way over my head, please feel free to throw me a Dodger blue lifesaver.

C: Roy Campanella (3) or Mike Piazza (5)?

I’d be interested to see what Dodgers fans who watched Piazza every day have to say on this one. I’m following James and going with Campanella, even though Piazza’s offensive numbers in context seem decidedly better than Campanella’s. Piazza’s OPS+ is 159—second all-time on the Dodgers to the relatively brief-tenured Gary Sheffield—while Campanella’s OPS+ is 124. Campanella had the reputation of being a far better fielder than Piazza. He had a gun for an arm, I guess, but then again the era in which he played, the 1950s, featured a relative dearth of stolen base attempts, so the value of Campy’s cannon might be overrated. But then again, I believe these all-time teams should be assembled with the idea that their opponents will be formidable in every way, able to exploit any weakness. Since Campanella had no weaknesses, I’m going with him. 

1B: Steve Garvey (31) or Gil Hodges (30)?

Speaking of the OPS+ stat, I was surprised to find that Garvey actually ranked slightly higher (122) than Hodges (120). This advantage would seem to pull Garvey into a virtual tie. So who does the tie go to? Should clubhouse chemistry be a factor in the naming of these teams? I think both were considered to be team leaders, but Garvey’s claim to this role eventually seemed to be of his own making, part of the unofficial smile-heavy Steve Garvey public relations campaign that began to crumble pretty garishly after his sun-drenched prime. On the other hand, Hodges certainly proved his leadership qualities when, after his own playing career ended, he led the Mets to the championship in 1969. But I don’t know, I still find myself wanting to go with Garvey. Maybe his being overrated while he was a player has caused him to be underrated now. Maybe his willingness to interact with the media, which seems to have at times prompted derisive smirking by his teammates, actually took pressure off those teammates. Maybe a guy who shields everyone else from the cameras can be a key element of a successful team. Maybe, just maybe, you kind of need a schmuck.

2B: Jackie Robinson (4)

The Dodgers’ all-time roster includes the pitcher who authored the most famous run of dominance by a starting pitcher in the history of the game (Sandy Koufax) and the pitcher who authored the most famous run of dominance by a relief pitcher in the history of the game (Eric Gagne). Joe Morgan’s run for the Reds in the mid-1970s would be a more well-known contender to a similar distinction among second-basemen, and I’m sure Rogers Hornsby has some astounding peak numbers, but as pointed out by Joe Posnanski recently, Jackie Robinson had his own stretch of dominant play that has to rank among the best burst of years any player has ever had. I don’t think Robinson is generally thought of in this way, as a player who at his peak was one of the more dominant players in baseball history. 

SS: Pee Wee Reese (10)

Who’s second after Pee Wee? Bill Russell? Maury Wills?

3B: Ron Cey (16)

Speaking of bursts of dominance, one of my more vivid memories of following baseball in the 1970s was learning of Ron Cey’s spectacular month of power hitting. I believe it occurred in 1977, very early in the season. I heard about it on This Week in Baseball and read about it in Sports Illustrated. This funny-looking, funny-nicknamed guy was on pace to smash all records! He couldn’t keep up the pace, of course, but he ended up with another in a long line of very good seasons. Until Adrian Beltre came along, I don’t think there was any Dodger even within shouting distance of Ron Cey at third base (though I guess old-timers and Roger Kahn devotees would wax poetic over the defensive wizardry of Billy Cox). 

LF: Zack Wheat (23)

Not for nothing, but I think this all-time Dodger team is shaping up to have the best collection of names of any all-time franchise team. Zack Wheat is the team leader in this respect, but you’ve got to love the relative preponderance of boyish names (Pee Wee, Sandy, Jackie), and any team with a guy named Duke gets extra points in this regard, too. Also, unless Ed Ott somehow wrestles his way onto the Pirates all-time team, the Dodgers will probably offer the shortest name of any all-franchise team member, Ron Cey, who of course was also known, perfectly, as the Penguin.

CF: Duke Snider (6)

The biggest no-brainer on this team?

RF: Pedro Guerrero (25)

Reggie Smith fans, have at it. My choice was based largely on Pedro’s considerably longer career with the Dodgers.

SP: Sandy Koufax (10)

Who fills in for Sandy on Yom Kippur? Drysdale? Dazzy? Fernando? Hershiser?

RP: Eric Gagne

The whispers about Gagne seemed to get confirmed with the inclusion of his name in the Mitchell Report. But the devaluing cloud over steroid era homer numbers seems to have yet to cast a shadow over Gagne’s prodigious feats with the Dodgers. I see this happening when Gagne is under consideration for the Hall of Fame, and I see him getting little support for that honor. I guess my opinion on that whole mess is not really an opinion at all but a surrender. Who the hell knows? We’ll never know. He kicked some ass though, huh?

Wild Card: Babe Herman? Pete Reiser? Tommy Lasorda? Vin Scully?

Here’s the toughest call for me. Do you go with Babe Herman, who epitomized the idea of Dodgers as lovable Bums? Do you go with Pete Reiser, who speaks most eloquently to the nostalgic glow of the vanished Brooklyn era? Do you go with Tommy Lasorda, who bridges Brooklyn (as a lousy pitcher) and Los Angeles (as a highly successful manager)? But then again if the wild card rules are going to be stretched to allow Lasorda, whose significance to the team is as a non-player, then I’d much rather vote for the great Vin Scully.

Dodgers all-time batting leaders (courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com)
Dodgers all-time pitching leaders (courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com)


  1. 1.  As a lifetime Dodger hater, Josh, I second your vote for Vin Scully. I can’t personally think of any other likable Dodger quality or attribute, but Mr Scully makes up for quite a lot.

    Perhaps “announcer” should be a category in Franchise All-Time All-Stars…?

  2. 2.  “Eric Gagne” and “Hall of Fame” should never be used in such close proximity when writing a good sentence. He may be the best reliever in Dodger history–I don’t follow the team–but three seasons as an elite closer do not a Hall of Famer make.

  3. 3.  As for relievers, it might be interesting to consider some old timers, when the role of an RP was rather different. What about the likes of Clem Labine or Hugh Casey?

  4. 4.  Wes Parker and Don Drysdale definitely make the All-Brady Bunch Guest Star Team. Or is it the Brady Bunch All-Star Guest Team?

  5. 5.  As a lifetime Dodger lover 😛 —

    Mike Marshall could arguably be considered the best closer, although when he was in his prime I was just a toddler. But from what I’ve seen and read. Or poor Steve Howe? (certainly their best LH reliever…)

    Scully has to make any Dodger all-time team, even if in honorary capacity.

    Nice list overall, Josh, fun read and I can’t argue with too much of it. Who would be second second baseman after Jackie? Davey Lopes I’d imagine.

    I would never argue against the Penguin, my favorite player growing up.

  6. 6.  Oh, and this is uh a little before my time, but Babe Herman probably deserves some consideration, at least as honorable mention. He had quite a great career for Brooklyn.

  7. 7.  As noted above, Gagne was brilliant for three seasons, and mediocre (at best) the rest of the time. He doesn’t get into the HOF on the merits of his career even if there wasn’t a hint of steroid use. Perranoski may not have had Gagne’s peak, but he was pretty good for a longer period of time.

    Hodges over Garvey any day of the week. Piazza vs. Campy is very tough, but Campy was with the Dodgers longer than Piazza was.

    I’d go with Vin for the wild card, too.

  8. 8.  I added links at the bottom of the post to the Dodgers all-time leader lists.

    1 : Good idea about adding the announcer category. Scully wins here, and Bob Murphy gets the spot for the Mets. I don’t really know the Expos announcers, but I think Tommy Hutton was pretty popular.

    2 : Good point. I didn’t mean to imply Gagne would have a serious candidacy, just that he’d someday be on a ballot, briefly, just long enough for his numbers to be PED-dismissed.

    5 : Marshall’s a good call. He also turned in good years for the Expos and, I think, the Twins.

  9. 9.  6 : Babe Herman gets a brief mention in the wildcard discussion.

    He must have been the model for the guy who Roy Hobbs replaces in rightfield, right?

  10. 10.  5 : “Who would be second second baseman after Jackie? Davey Lopes I’d imagine.”

    Jim Gilliam’s also in the mix.

  11. 11.  Right now, Vin Scully is about the only reason that I watch Dodger Baseball. He is definitely in for me. I have this theory that when Vin really wants the Dodgers to pull some magic out of nowhere, he kind of deems it possible. He hints at it, and I am sometimes convinced that he wills them to a few improbable wins. I would have loved to listen to him calling the game the other night when the Dodgers won while getting no-hit.

    A nice mention at first base might also be the un-sung Eric Karros. He was a consistent 30 home run 100 RBI guy for 6-7 years. I was pulling for the Cubs that year he played for them to get his shot at a title.

  12. 12.  Babe Herman might have been just one DH rule shy of a Hall of Fame career.

  13. 13.  11 : I was surprised at how high Karros ranked in a lot of Dodger career batting lists.

  14. 14.  9 Yah, forgot that ’til after I posted. Good job!

    Jim Gilliam is definitely an honorable mention guy.

    The beauty of Vin (well, one of the many beautiful things) is that, unlike a lot of other announcers, he’s never been a homer. His heart lies with the Dodgers of course, but he is critical of them when appropriate and praises opposing players, and so on. When I was a little kid, I sometimes hated that – I wanted him to root for them, to tell me it was all going to be okay. But bless him he’s never been that way.

  15. 15.  I know he didn’t play enough games to make your list in LF but before his injury Tommy Davis was a joy to watch.

  16. 16.  Don Sutton’s name needs to be mentioned somewhere. He owns many of the Dodger career pitching records.

    I think Pedro Guerrero is a flat out better hitter than Reggie Smith, but there’s always the problem of where to play him. He was just a butcher at third base, often played right field by default, but got moved around in order to keep Mike Marshall (the other one) in the lineup.

    Its funny when you think about the Dodgers as one of the historical elite franchises, they are surprisingly thin at a lot of positions. 3rd base, in particular, is called out by Bill James as being Ron Cey and a bunch of also-rans. And shouldn’t a team like the Dodgers have a bunch of great left fielders? Or one HOF first baseman?

    But, as Josh pointed out a couple of weeks ago, the Dodgers have always had good to great catching. And the pitching. Oh, the pitching. Guys who had really solid careers (Podres, Welch, Ramon Martinez) have to get in line behind all-time gods like Koufax, Drysdale, Hershiser, Sutton, and Fernando.

  17. 17.  Carl Furillo came to mind for RF, especially if you factor in defensive prowess. When I looked up his numbers they are probably not good enough to be in the running with Guerrero and Smith, but he had some excellent years for some great Brooklyn Dodger teams.

  18. 18.  I just ran that lineup through Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis, and it calculates that team would score 5.135 runs per game (using the career stats for each player). If the rotation was Koufax, Drysdale, Sutton, Vance, and Hershiser… and a bullpen ending with Gagne and Steve Howe… yikes! I’d love to see that all-franchise team play a season. They’d probably win 130 games.

  19. 19.  17 : The Boys of Summer era Dodgers have, including the guys I mentioned and now Carl Furillo, legit contenders at six of the eight positions (plus Billy Cox at third). What did the Yankees have that they didn’t have?

  20. 20.  19 Good fortune.

  21. 21.  16 They’ve had such great pitching over the years, Dodger management tends to undervalue it, throwing away good to great pitchers with reckless abandon, usually for little return. Everyone knows about Pedro Martinez, but also Rick Sutcliffe, Bob Welch, Tommy John, Dave Stewart, Edwin Jackson. Catchers too: I suspect the Piazza trade was fired by the belief that another Piazza would turn up. Dioner Navarro was surplus, but they traded him as if he was a flop.

  22. 22.  20 : I agree. But couldn’t there be something else besides just bad luck? I mean, five world series wins in six meetings over nine years suggests to me that the Yankees had an edge over the Dodgers, however slight. I think the standard thinking might be that they had slightly better pitching and better depth.

    But then again I don’t know when a sample size becomes large enough to be valid. During that span the Yankees went 23-16 against the Dodgers, outscoring them 180 to 146.

  23. 23.  I would put Wills before Russell. Willie Davis in center to backup Snider.

  24. 24.  22 Yeah, the Yankees did have somewhat better pitching. They didn’t really have any star pitchers except for Whitey Ford, but somehow the Yanks of that era seemed to always coax extraordinary performances out of journeyman pitchers who they picked up from the Kansas City A’s, the Browns, and other teams.

  25. 25.  16 Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell my favorite Pedro Guerrero story. It may or may not be apocryphal, but if it’s not true, it should be, and that’s good enough for me.

    Back when Pedro was playing third, the Dodgers had, ah, some defensive problems. So one day Lasorda sits Guerrero down and tries to get his head in the game a little more. “OK, Pete, let’s say it’s the ninth innning of a tie game, runners on second and third [or some such]. What are you thinking when you’re out there?”

    “Well,” Guerrero says, “I’m thinking I hope they don’t hit the ball to me.”

    “No, seriously,” Lasorda says, “What are you really thinking?”

    “Okay. I’m hoping they don’t hit it to Sax, either.”

  26. 26.  Frank Howard was the bomb for me. It was very disappointing for me when he was traded away.
    Being twelve years old at the time, I blamed it all on Ron Fairly.

    At Bats per Home Run:

    AB/HR 14.5, PA 2276, (1) Gary Sheffield
    AB/HR 15.3, PA 3017, (2) Mike Piazza
    AB/HR 17.1, PA 2321, (T-3) Frank Howard
    AB/HR 17.1, PA 7633, (T-3) Duke Snider
    AB/HR 17.4, PA 4816, (5) Roy Campanella

    Based on their total plate appearances the Duke and Campy really stand out.

  27. 27.  As Josh alluded to, Roy Campanella had a great arm. In fact, to say he had a great arm understates things considerably. He was by far — by far — the greatest throwing catcher in baseball history that we know of. (That is, in the Retrosheet era — 1950s-present — which is the time period for which SB-CS data exists.)

    Campanella threw out 57.4 percent of basestealers in his career. In terms of stolen base percentage, he has five of the top six seasons in baseball history. Retrosheet’s Dave Smith broke down the numbers:


  28. 28.  How about Walter Alston’s perspective?

    Not to keep dragging the Complete Handbook of Baseball 1977 into discussions … but Alston contributed his “All-Time Dodger Team” to the book.

    Most of his choices are obvious and have already been mentioned.

    His choices for relief pitcher:
    Ron Perranoski, Jim Brewer and Labine.

    His choice for left fielder:
    Sweet Lou Johnson.

    Also, he had to put Jackie at third to make room for Junior Gilliam.

  29. 29.  25 I’ve heard that story, which still doesn’t necessarily make it true.

  30. 30.  Oh, and I meant to say, Guerrero is probably the ultimate example of a player about whom it could be said, “He does the little things extremely poorly.” He couldn’t field. Terrible base runner. Lets not talk about the sliding. But, man oh man, could he hit the baseball.

  31. 31.  “Also, he had to put Jackie at third to make room for Junior Gilliam.”

    That’s actually quite accurate from Alston’s perspective, as Jackie played only 27 games at second while Alston was his manager, and 206 at third. Gilliam, on the other hand, played more at second than he did at third.

    Alston really disliked Robinson and vice versa, so I’m surprised he put him on the team at all. But then, what other third baseman was he going to pick?

  32. 32.  28 : Sweet Lou Johnson? No Zack Wheat, or did Alston have Wheat in rightfield?

    Here’s a question, who’s your all-time Dodgers manager? Lasorda or Alston?

  33. 33.  Alston. 4 titles to 2. Interestingly, they may have each had their best teams in years they came up short (62 and 77, respectively). I consider both of Lasorda’s title teams a little flukey (81 because of the weird divided season, and 88 because of fate intervening on behalf of an otherwise over-matched club.)

  34. 34.  Alston. If you hired Lasorda, you’d need to start looking for new pitchers in two or three years since he’d blow out all their arms. Plus Lasorda was (is) a phony and a blowhard.

    That said, the flukiness of the ’88 team has been overstated considerably in the years since then. This was a team that won 94 games and had two of the four best players in the league.

  35. 35.  34 The 88 team was neither bad nor an unworthy title winner. Still, they weren’t nearly as good as either NYM or Oakland, even before all the postseason injuries. The Mets beat the Dodgers like a drum during the regular season (something like 12 out of 13). Plus, while they did have 2 otherworldly players, they were pretty sub-par at many spots on the diamond (cough, left side of infield, cough).

  36. 36.  8 : the only two men in contention for greatest Expos announcer should be Dave Van Horne and Claude Raymond. I’d go with Raymond, whose TV broadcasts on Radio-Canada were always an undiluted pleasure for me growing up, as the French-language broadcasts were the only way I could keep in touch with the team (mostly no English TV or radio coverage where I was).

  37. 37.  32 Although the article is titled “Walter Alston’s All-Time Dodger Team,” it could more accurately be called “Walter Alston’s All-Time Dodger Team of Guys He Managed, Including a Couple Who Had Their Best Years Before He Got There.”

    No Zack Wheat. No Dazzy Vance, either.

    Also, at one point in the piece, Alston says, “I could interchange Jackie and Jim Gilliam at second and third. It really wouldn’t make any difference to me.”

  38. 38.  8 The Expos actually have one legendary announcer. In fact, it’s pretty much the only one they ever had. Jacques Doucet called nearly every Expos game between 1972 and october 2004 he became practically synonymous with the franchise throughout the years. I think he deserves to get in the hall of fame, but I don’t think it will happen since pretty much everyone voting on it has never listened to him and even if they did they probably couldn’t understand what he was saying anyway. I’m a little surprised no one mentioned him yet since he was nominated for the Ford Frick award a few years ago. A man who came that close to being inducted in the HOF has to have a few supporters in the US, no?


    Dave Van Horne did the same thing for the english radio, but he left for the Florida Marlins when the english broadcast of the games was cancelled around 2000.

  39. 39.  36 I shouldn’t start typing a comment, leave for two hours then come back, finish the comment and press sumit.

  40. 40.  36 I shouldn’t start typing a comment, leave for two hours then come back, finish the comment and press submit.

  41. 41.  38 : I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know this guy. I grew up closer than most baseball fans to Montreal, too, and I was even taught French with a Quebec accent in high school, so there may have been a time when I could have understood a couple things he was saying.

    I do still remember the French headline about the only Expos game I managed to attend in all my time living in a bordering state:

    “McGwire Frappent Mais Les Expos Gagnent.”

    Anybody care to take a stab at a translation?

    Also that day, Vlad the Impaler extended his franchise record hitting streak.

  42. 42.  41 “McGwire Frappent?” That doesn’t look right. “Frappe” means “hit,” but isn’t “frappent” the plural?

    Basically, I assume it means, “McGwire homers but the Expos win.”

    29 No, it definitely doesn’t mean it’s true. Most likely, it means that Tommy Lasorda was the source, and that he’s told the story even more than I have.

  43. 43.  I’m surprised there was no talk at all about separating the teams into all-time Brooklyn Dodgers and all-time L.A. Dodgers. I know it’s one franchise, but they’re such a different kind of team out west.

    One of my favorite appearances by Ron Cey was on a COLUMBO episode, where he’s playing cards.

    For more L.A. Dodgers / Hollywood connections, check out this 6/18/08 Dodgers press release:


  44. 44.  42 : It’s of course possible that my memory may be failing me a little on the spelling of the French words.

    (According to a English-to-French message board, the translation for “hit a home run” would be “frapper un coup de circuit.”)

    But you did get the translation right anyway. Ah McGwire. Le roi triste de frapper un coup de circuit.

  45. 45.  43 : Good point. Here’s the Brooklyn/LA breakdown including all names mentioned in the post:

    C: Campanella
    1B: Hodges
    2B: Robinson
    SS: Reese
    CF: Snider
    RF: Wheat

    Los Angeles
    C: Piazza
    1B: Garvey
    3B: Cey
    RF: Guerrero
    SP: Koufax
    RP: Gagne

    Anybody got any thoughts on who fills in the various gaps?

  46. 46.  For the LA team, I’d probably put Delino DeShields at 2B. No, just kidding, probably Sax at 2B, Wills at SS, and Gibson in left field. Center field is tough. Willie Davis? Brett Butler?

    I want to have Hershiser as the SP for selfish reasons, since I spent many afternoons and evenings watching him pitch, but when you look at the stats, it has to be Koufax.

  47. 47.  20 I dissent. It was more than “good fortune” which won the Yankees titles in ’41, ’47, ’49, ’52, ’53 and ’56 over the Dodgers with only one loss in ’55. In fact, I’d argue that it was “good fortune” that Sandy Amoros was misplaced in the outfield to make his celebrated catch in 1955 to give the Dodgers their first world chamionship.

    The Dodgers were a great team. I love Boys of Summer and think that those Dodgers teams were great and the HOF members are richly deserved. In fact, I’d put Gil Hodges into the HOF. But when you lose 6 out of 7 series to another team (or 5 out of 6 if you don’t want to count 1941) there has to be an explanation that is better than luck. Maybe it’s park factors or intimidation or some unmeasurable factor.

    I am a bit to lazy to do a position by position comparison of the teams, but I tend to the think that positionally the teams were roughly even, and the Yankees pitching made the difference.

    I did look at the pitching stats and the Yanks had a better ERA+ than the Dodgers in every season except for 1941 and 1956. However, in most cases (with the exception of 1953 where the Yanks were 116 and the Dodgers were 104 or 1947 where the Yanks were 119 and the Dodgers 108) the difference was 5 points or less and would probably be too marginal to support such an explanation. However, I don’t know if ERA+ refers to the Yanks and Dodgers pitching numbers in their own leagues or their relative worth in MLB combined. If the numbers are against only teams in their leagues, this would tend to skew all the numbers and likely reduce them to apples and oranges comparisons. Also, I do recall the Yanks had some strong bullpen arms.

    I still think that there was more than good fortune involved.

  48. 48.  Um, 46 Sax over Davey Lopes?

    I’d go Willie Davis in CF, Butler second.

  49. 49.  For Brooklyn I’d move Wheat to left and put Furillo in right. Vance as the starter (or maybe Erskine). Cookie Lavagetto or Cox at third.

    For LA, Lopes at second, Wills at short, Willie Davis in center.

  50. 50.  45 For LA:

    I have to put Manny Mota’s name out there for Wild Card consideration: a genuine folk hero for the 70s fans and for a time he was the MLB record holder for career pinch hits.

    I’d hide Guerrero’s glove in LF (he played 200 games there for LA, 240 in RF), definitely the aformentioned Willie Davis in CF (585 extra-base hits for LA), and try and cheat to have a Raul Mondesi/Shawn Green melding in RF (one was traded for the other – RF was sweet for about ten years from ’94 – ’03).

    Lopes and Wills for middle IF.

    The runner-up to Koufax is Pedro Martinez. Oh, wait.

  51. 51.  42 It’s just possible you’re remembering “frappant”, which is the present participle = “homering”, but that is pretty unlikely for a headline. More likely it was “frappe” = “homers” (singular).

  52. 52.  50 If forced to stick to one guy in RF, Green’s six full seasons are enough for me. Reggie Smith was great on the ’77 and ’78 pennant winners, but he only played about 500 games total for the Dodgers, albeit at about 150 OPS+.

  53. 53.  47 : I never really studied the relative strengths and merits of the Yanks and Dodgers of that time, but I have certainly dwelled a lot on the differences between the Red Sox the Yankees from ’49 through ’51. The Sox, like the Dodgers, trotted out some fantastic everyday guys, but they always came up short in pitching depth and bench strength. Those things would naturally be more of a factor over a season than in a short series, but maybe they helped the Yankees in October, too.

    49 : I like the Cookie Lavagetto mention. When I was a kid I somehow confused him with Cookie Rojas, thinking that he had been clinging to the majors for decades.

    A vacancy is made in right and Reggie Smith still doesn’t get the call. Interesting.

    50 : Merci.

  54. 54.  52 : Makes sense. I would have guessed Reggie’d gotten more than 500 games in, but I guess besides not coming to LA until mid-career he was fairly brittle.

  55. 55.  I meant to say “merci” to 51 and to applaud the nomination of Manny Mota in 50 .

  56. 56.  Admittedly, my detailed knowledge of the Brooklyn teams is pretty thin, but shouldn’t Don Newcombe get the nod as the Flatbush starting pitcher over if not Vance, certainly Erskine?

    Although, to relate that to another point, Newcombe’s notorious post-season struggles (or non-clutchiness) may be part of the explanation for why the Bums had such a hard time getting over on the Bombers.

    In response to some other points –

    Lopes > Sax (but not better than sex)

    I guess you put Wills at short (certainly not Furcal who’s barely had one good season in LA; I’d sooner have Greg Gagne;)). On a team with this much offense, I’d love to see Cesar Izturis pickin’ em at short. Plus, this whole discussion of LA shortstops is pretty rough when the franchise’s all time games played leader can’t get his name mentioned. He had to be doing something right, right?

  57. 57.  56 also Gil Hodges was 0-21 in the 1952 series. It’s hard to overcome that kind of lack of production in the middle of the order. He did bat .318 in the other 32 WS games he played in though.

  58. 58.  56 to further the point, Newk had a 8.59 ERA in three world series, but only pitched in 5 games (which seems shockingly low to me).

  59. 59.  Of course, Newcombe also pitched in some big non-World Series games. I have to assume he’s the only pitcher ever to start a pennant-deciding game on the last day of the season, two years in a row. In 1950 he gave up the famous homer to Dick Sisler. In 1951 he avoided giving up the famous homer to Bobby Thomson, but was charged with giving up the tying runs (which he put on base, but scored after he left the game).

  60. 60.  Wot! No votes for Brickyard Kennedy?


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