Forty years ago! It was 1973, to be exact, I had graduated from high school the year before and turned down an academic scholarship at the Ohio State University, so that I could pursue my dream of becoming a plumber. [see, I told you I was a dumbass] A buddy and I went to Spring Training in Vero Beach for a couple of days. I was so elated that they had moved Steve Garvey who had 28 errors in 76 games from 3B to 1B. In my mind, I thought he was a little short, but at least wouldn’t have to throw very much.
Billy Russell was set to start all 162 games at SS that year after switching to the position the year before. Davey Lopes was a 28 year-old rookie with some wheels and Ron Cey who really walked like a penguin, was also a rookie. About this time, 40 years ago, those guys would start playing together as the Dodger infield for eight and a half years.
The seventies and early eighties were a good time to be a Dodger fan – In addition to these four infielders, there was Willie Davis, Willie Crawford, Bill Buckner, Joe Ferguson, Steve Yeager, Andy Messersmith, Don Sutton, Claude Osteen, Bert Hooton, Jim Brewer, Doug Rau, Tommy John, Jimmy Wynn, AL Downing, Rick Rhoden, Pitcher Mike Marshall, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, Bill North, Rick Monday, Bob Welch, Terry Forester, Pedro Guerrero, Rick Sutcliffe, Jerry Reuss, Charlie Hough, Rudy Law, Jay Johnstone, Dave Goltz, Mike Scioscia, Ken Landreaux, Fernando and the late Steve Howe.
From 1973 through 1982 Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey formed one of the best infields ever and the Dodgers had plenty of hitters… as well as pitching.
These times are starting to feel like the Golden Era of 1973 to 1982 of Dodger Baseball. You may have a different idea as to when the Golden Era is, so let’s just call the Golden Era now.
By season’s end Hanley Ramirez may have enough AB’s to win the MVP. Yasiel Puig is the real real and will figure it out while winning the ROY. Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier equal one solid player and Matt Kemp has a big run left in him. I like this team and would not mess with the chemistry unless blown-away by an offer. Let’s Roll!