Monday, March 1, 2010

1981 Los Angeles Dodgers

I always liked how Fleer put their cards in order by how the teams finished, so I am going to do that with my team checklists. I also am attempting to put the cards in order of the starting lineup, starting pitchers, then relief pitchers. I used for this. Since the Los Angeles Dodgers won the world series in 1981, finally getting revenge on the New York Yankees, I will start with them.

1981 was of course the year that a strike took out the middle of the season, so major league baseball created an extra round of playoffs. Even though the Dodgers weren't the best team record wise in their division, but since they won the first half of the season, they made it to the playoffs. This was the year of Fernandomania, where rookie Fernando Valenzuela started out 8-0 and went on to win both the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.

This was also the last season with the famed Dodgers infield of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey which had been together since the 1974 season and led the Dodgers to be a competitive team throughout the late '70s, appearing in 4 World Series over that span. Other key cards in on this team include Mike Scioscia's rookie card and the first card of Pedro Guerrero on his own card.

Note that I am putting up the entire team roster and if there were no cards of that player in the 1981 sets, there is no number next to them. Also I am putting the team shown on the card after the player. Maybe someday I will include regional sets or other oddball sets to fill in these blanks.

Starters (played majority of innings at position for team or had 170 Plate appearances)
__ FL 131 C Mike Scioscia LAD
__ TO 530 1B Steve Garvey LAD
__ TO 50 2B Davey Lopes LAD
__ TO 260 3B Ron Cey LAD
__ TO 465 SS Bill Russell LAD
__ TO 495 LF Dusty Baker LAD
__ TT 787 CF Ken Landreaux LAD
__ TO 651 RF Pedro Guerrero LAD
__ TO 211 MI Derrel Thomas LAD

Starting Pitchers (majority of games started and at least 55 innings pitched)
__ TT 850 SP Fernando Valenzuela LAD
__ TO 565 SP Burt Hooton LAD
__ TO 440 SP Jerry Reuss LAD
__ TO 624 SP Bob Welch LAD

Relief Pitchers (at least 32 innings pitched)
__ TO 693 CL Steve Howe LAD

RP Dave Stewart
__ TO 548 RP Dave Goltz LAD
__ TO 146 RP Bobby Castillo LAD
__ TO 191 RP Rick Sutcliffe LAD

Other Players (doesn't meet requirements above)
__ TO 726 RF Rick Monday LAD

2B Steve Sax
__ TO 318 C Steve Yeager LAD
__ TO 372 UT Jay Johnstone LAD

OF Ron Roenicke
__ TO 75 1B Reggie Smith LAD
__ FL 134 IF Pepe Frias LAD

UT Mike Marshall
__ FL 130 SS Gary Weiss LAD

RF Joe Ferguson

OF Candy Maldonado

2B Jack Perconte

OF Bobby Mitchell

OF Mark Bradley

C Jerry Grote
__ TO 104 RP Terry Forster LAD

RP Tom Niedenfuer

RP Alejandro Pena

RP Ted Power

__ TO 231 MN Joe Beckwith LAD
__ TO 127 MN Rudy Law LAD

__ FL 116 MG Tom Lasorda (or DO 420)


  1. I remember when the Fernando card came out and how everyone wanted it but couldn't figure out how to get it.

    I must have four Fernando Slurpee cups from that year as well.

  2. I think this was the dawn of the collector market and less of baseball cards being thought of as just a child's toy. I could be wrong on that assumption, but I remember roughly around 1985 trading with kids who were more concerned about value of cards over completing sets or acquiring who was perceived as better players. I suspect Fernando Valenzuela may have been the first must have rookie card.