Sunday, May 5, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #504 - Los Angeles Dodgers / Tom Lasorda

  • The LA Dodgers were able to dethrone the two-time World Champion Cincinnati Reds in 1977. The Dodgers had four 30 Home Run guys (Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Dusty Baker, and Reggie Smith) and they also had great pitching. The Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Championship Series and then lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series.
  • Pitcher Tommy Lasorda was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1945. Lasorda missed the 1946 and 1947 seasons due to military service. Tommy came back in 1948 and had some impressive games in the minors. The Brooklyn Dodgers got wind of Lasorda's pitching prowess and drafted him out of the Phillies chain.
  • Lasorda stayed in the  minors for most of his pitching career. Although Tommy put up some good numbers in AAA, he couldn't stick in the majors. Lasorda had brief trials with the Dodgers in 1954 (5.00 ERA in 4 games) and in 1955 (13.50 ERA in 4 games/1 start).
  • The Kansas City A's purchased Lasorda during spring training in 1956. Tommy started the 1956 season with the A's but was 0-4 with a 6.15 ERA in 18 games (5 starts). On July 11 Lasorda was traded to the New York Yankees for Wally Brunette. Tommy pitched in the minors for the remainder of the 1956 season (and for the rest of his career as it turned out).
  • Tommy was purchased by the Dodgers in May 1957. Lasorda pitched for AAA Montreal through the 1960 season.
  • Lasorda was a scout for the Dodgers from 1961-1965. In 1965 Tommy started his managing career in the low minors. Lasorda worked his way up until he managed in AAA from 1969-1972.
  • Tommy joined Walter Alston's staff as the Dodger third base coach in 1973. He remained as third base coach until Alston retired toward the end of the 1976 season. 
  • Lasorda managed the Dodgers for the last few games of the 1976 season. He continued to manage the Dodgers for the next 21 years (1976-1996). Lasorda won eight NL West titles, four NL pennants, and two World Championships (1981 and 1988) as manager of the Dodgers. Tommy retired in June 1996 after he had a heart attack. Tommy became a Dodger executive and was the General Manager for part of the 1998 season.
  • Tommy was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
  • Record: 98-64 (1st in NL West, 10 games ahead of Cincinnati Reds)
  • Attendance:  2,955,087 (1st in NL)
  • Team Batting: .266 (5th in NL)
  • Team HR: 191 (1st in NL)
  • Team Stolen Bases: 114 (7th in NL)
  • Team ERA: 3.22 (1st in NL)
  • Team Fielding: .981 (2nd in NL)
  • All Stars: Don Sutton (starting pitcher); Steve Garvey (starting 1B); Ron Cey (starting 3B); Reggie Smith (OF)
  • Awards:  Steve Garvey (Gold Glove 1B); Dusty Baker (NL Championship Series MVP)
  • NL Leaders: Steve Garvey (games played - 162)
  • Batting Leader: Reggie Smith (.307)
  • Home Run Leader: Steve Garvey (33)
  • RBI Leader: Steve Garvey (115)
  • Stolen Base Leader: Davey Lopes (47)
  • Victories Leader: Tommy John (20)
  • Losses Leader: Charlie Hough (12)
  • Strikeout Leader: Burt Hooton (153)
  • Saves Leader: Charlie Hough (22)
  • ERA Leader (starters): Burt Hooton (2.62)
  • ERA Leader (relievers): Elias Sosa (1.98)
  • Players who could have had Dodgers cards in 1977 (batters with over 100 AB, pitchers with over 40 innings) :
    • Rick Monday (CF) - pictured with Chicago Cubs - .230, 15 HR, 48 RBI in 118 games
    • Ted Martinez (2B) - no card in 1977 - .299 in 137 AB
    • Johnny Oates (C) - pictured with Philadelphia Phillies - .269 in 156 AB
    • Glenn Burke (CF) - rookie card in 1978 - .254 in 169 AB
    • Mike Garman (P) - pictured with Chicago Cubs - 4-4, 12 saves, 2.73 ERA in 49 games

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