Ron Cey does Penguin walk

Very few baseball players were defined by their nickname as Ron Cey was. He really did resemble a Penguin when he walked, but when he played the game he resembled the greatest third baseman in LAD history, and it is not even close.

The stats speak for themselves:

  • Most hits
  • Most home runs
  • Most doubles
  • Most runs batted in
  • Most runs scored
  • Most walks
  • Most everything

This table tells the story.

Name G PA R H 2B HR RBI BB IBB
Ron Cey 1481 6108 715 1378 223 228 842 765 85
Adrian Beltre 966 3818 456 949 176 147 510 286 32
Casey Blake 406 1608 197 366 75 49 192 153 17
Tim Wallach 388 1525 148 346 65 48 200 117 8
Todd Zeile 200 842 111 194 23 38 117 95 7
Bill Sudakis 291 1016 108 219 35 34 116 102 12
Jim Gilliam 1210 4894 630 1084 176 31 323 631 20
Juan Uribe 407 1391 125 334 68 28 155 80 7
Justin Turner 296 1000 124 258 57 28 125 85 3
Jeff Hamilton 416 1273 111 282 61 24 124 43 9
Wilson Betemit 139 385 41 78 15 19 50 49 3
Ken McMullen 234 549 34 119 16 16 74 38 4
Bill Madlock 166 618 63 158 22 15 82 46 4
Bob Bailey 221 737 45 146 17 12 67 78 8

Cumulatively he’s the best. But would you pick Ron Cey for a season over Todd Zeile? Adrian Beltre? Even Justin Turner? Maybe, but that is another article.

Name From To BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
Ron Cey 1971 1982 0.264 0.359 0.445 0.804 *5/H
Adrian Beltre 1998 2004 0.274 0.332 0.463 0.794 *5/H6
Casey Blake 2008 2011 0.26 0.338 0.431 0.768 *5/H374
Tim Wallach 1993 1996 0.251 0.312 0.409 0.721 *5/H39
Todd Zeile 1997 1998 0.265 0.352 0.454 0.806 *5/H3
Bill Sudakis 1968 1971 0.243 0.321 0.411 0.732 *5/H2739
Jim Gilliam 1958 1966 0.261 0.358 0.338 0.696 *54H7/938
Juan Uribe 2011 2015 0.26 0.306 0.381 0.687 *5/H463
Justin Turner 2014 2016 0.293 0.367 0.459 0.827 *5/H463D
Jeff Hamilton 1986 1991 0.234 0.263 0.349 0.612 *5/H6413
Wilson Betemit 2006 2007 0.236 0.332 0.455 0.787 *5/H649
Ken McMullen 1962 1975 0.237 0.291 0.369 0.66 *5H/3479
Bill Madlock 1985 1987 0.285 0.346 0.406 0.752 *5/H3
Bob Bailey 1967 1968 0.227 0.309 0.325 0.633 *5/H736

This table tells you that Ron Cey had a long and storied career, tallying up stat after stat. What it doesn’t tell you is why Ron Cey is dear to the heart of many a Dodger fan growing up in the 1970’s.

Clutch more or may not exist, but when one of your stars actually delivers in the clutch, that is a whole hell of a lot better than having to say “small sample size” when they fail.

The Penguin led the Dodgers every time they were in the NLCS, delivering an OPS far above his career norms.  The LAD went to the post season four times during his career. Each time the Dodgers made the World Series, the first three times it was very much because of Ron Cey who delivered the following OPS numbers in the NLCS.

  • 1974 – 1.109
  • 1977 – 1.015
  • 1978 – .951

Cey however, failed to put up big numbers in the World Series until 1981. Strangely in 1981, Cey had a poor NLCS, but made up for it by winning the World Series MVP along with Steve Yeager and Pedro Guerrero.

My favorite Ron Cey moment during his long career was the game winning home run he hit during my favorite regular season series. But that is also another article.

 

 

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