LAD All-Stars 1970 – 1979, Cey to Russell to Lopes to Garvey era
1970 – Billy Grabarkewitz starts off the decade with his only all-star appearance. Before Corey Seager, there was Billy Grabarkewitz who took the NL by storm in 1970.
What was a big surprise was that Billy was one of the best hitters in baseball for the first few months of 1970. He easily made the all-star team, and would even play a key role in one of the most famous all-star games in history. The 1970 All-Star game went into extra innings and is famous for Pete Rose bowling over Ray Fosse to win the game. It was Billy who singled to move Pete Rose into scoring position for that eventual scamper home on a Jim Hickman (ex-Dodger) single. Billy would end his all-star career batting 1.000 because that was his only all-star game appearance.
Claude Osteen was also selected in 1970 and would be the winning pitcher by hurling three shutout innings from the 10th through the 12th.
197 1- Willie Davis would be the only Dodger selected in 1971. It was Willie’s first all-star selection and by OPS his best season. This was the first time that Willie Davis was getting recognition as he also won his first Gold Glove, an award he won three straight times from 1971 – 1973 . Willie would get a hit in his only at-bat. Dick Allen was by far the Dodgers best player in 1971 but his first half (ops .811) was tame compared to his second half (ops .926) so that might have played into it. The Dodgers would trade Dick Allen to the White Sox where he would win the MVP in 1972. At least they got back Tommy John. Al Downing went 20 – 9 in 1971 and was 11 – 5 at the break. Certainly deserving but back then they only took eight pitchers. I’m going to have to go back and take a look again at the LAD 1971 season, they won 89 games, they finished one game back of the Giants.
1972 – HOF Don Sutton was selected for the first time in 1972. For a HOF, Don Sutton was only selected four times, and they would all come between 1972 – 1977. Don acquitted himself very well, pitching two scoreless innings.
1973 – After getting only one selection each in 1971 and 1972, the Dodgers would start a run of at least four all-stars from 1973 – 1978. Claude Osteen picked up his third and last all-star selection. Willie Davis and Don Sutton both got their second all-star selections in 1973. For Willie Davis, it would his last one. Manny Mota, Jim Brewer, and a young Bill Russell were all first-time selections. Manny Mota was 35 years old and wasn’t doing anything special in 1973 so I think he was simply added for nostalgia. Kind of strange given the Dodgers had six all-stars. Jim Brewer got his only selection and again it wasn’t close to his best season which was 1972. I think he got the call because they missed him in 1972. Bill Russell picked up the first of three all-star selections. Bill played all 162 games in 1973 and Steve Garvey was taking note. All three Dodger hurlers would pitch scoreless ball with Jim Brewer getting the save. Willie Davis made his last all-star appearance count, slugging a two-run home run off of Nolan Ryan.
1974 – The kids are here and they will dominate the all-star selections for the rest of the decade. I can simply type Ron Cey, and Steve Garvey for the next six years. This would be the first for both as the 1974 team exploded on baseball. Two key players acquired in the off-season made the team Jimmy Wynn and Mike Marshall. Andy Messersmith would round out the team. Steve Garvey wasn’t even listed on the all-star ballot but was voted in as a write-in candidate. Garvey showed the fans knew what they were doing when he collected two hits and won the MVP award. More than any other all-star game the 1974 game was a Dodger all-star game. Wynn, Garvey, and Cey batted 5th, 6th, and 7th and collected four hits in nine at-bats. Andy Messersmith started the game and Mike Marshall finished the game. This game probably deserves its own all-star write up.
1975 – In 1975 the exact same five players that made the team in 1974 made the team in 1975, while also adding Don Sutton. Garvey and Wynn would hit home runs, and Don Sutton would be the only Dodger to pitch, of the three pitchers selected. Don, once again hurled multiple scoreless innings.
1976 – Only four Dodgers made the list in 1976, with Garvey and Cey the holdovers. Bill Russell got back to the game, and Rick Rhoden made his first all-star game. I’ll say one thing. Dodger fans must have voted a lot more in the 1970’s than they do now. Steve Garvey hit a triple off of Mark the bird Fidrych which broke my heart because I’d grown to love the Bird. Rhoden pitched one scoreless inning.
1977 – Reggie Smith was traded for in the middle of 1976. In his first full season with the Dodgers in 1977, he was a tour de force leading a stacked team in many key offensive categories all while providing excellent defense in right field. As far as I’m concerned Reggie was jobbed out of the MVP award that went to George Foster and his 52 home runs. Reggie joined Garvey, Cey, and Sutton once again as all-stars. Garvey, Cey, and Sutton all started. Garvey once again left his mark on the game with a home, but this time, it was his teammate Don Sutton who won the MVP award. Sutton started, won, and pitched three shutout innings in a game that had 12 runs scored. The 1977 team was one of the greatest LAD teams of all time, and if not the best, maybe the 1978 team was.
1978 – Three newcomers cracked the Garvey/Cey/Smith all-star group in 1978. The Dodger had six once again but this time, they were Davey Lopes, Rick Monday, and Tommy John. Davey Lopes had watched his infield mates make all-star game after all-star game but this was the first time for the underappreciated second baseman. Steve Garvey would once again come through on the big stage, hitting another triple to win his second all-star MVP award.
1979 – 3/4 of the Dodger infield made the team, Garvey, Cey, and Lopes. For once Garvey would not collect a hit. Garvey and Lopes both started. For the first time since 1971, a Dodger pitcher did not make the team.
|Year||All-Star 1||All-Star 2||All-Star 2-6|
|1970|||||Billy Grabarkewitz|||||Claude Osteen||||
|1973|||||Willie Davis|||||Manny Mota|||||Bill Russell, Don Sutton, Jim Brewer, Claude Osteen|
|1974|||||Ron Cey|||||Steve Garvey|||||Mike Marshall, Andy Messersmith, Jimmy Wynn|
|1975|||||Ron Cey|||||Steve Garvey|||||Jimmy Wynn, Mike Marshall, Andy Messersmith, Don Sutton|
|1976|||||Ron Cey|||||Steve Garvey|||||Bill Russell, Rick Rhoden|
|1977|||||Ron Cey|||||Steve Garvey|||||Reggie Smith, Don Sutton|
|1978|||||Ron Cey|||||Steve Garvey|||||Davey Lopes, Rick Monday, Reggie Smith, Tommy John|
|1979|||||Ron Cey|||||Steve Garvey|||||Davey Lopes|