Monday, October 17, 2011

#15 Ron Cey

Card: This is Ron Cey's 12th Topps Card and his 10th solo card. His 1972 Rookie Card is a three player card that he shares with Ben Oglivie and Bernie Williams (no not that one). Curiously Topps lists Cey as an outfielder on the '72 card despite never playing there in the minors or majors.

Picture: This is a nice action shot of Cey getting ready to fire the ball across the infield.  At first glimpse you might peg Cey as a hurler.  Oddly this is Cey's only Topps Card where he is pictured fielding.

Player: Ron Cey, affectionately known as the Penguin for his low center of gravity and choppy running gait, was drafted by the Dodgers in '68.  Cey did well in the minors and got a small taste of the big leagues (2 games) in '71 and a better look in '72 (11 games).  With Steve Garvey moving to firstbase in '73, this opened the door and Cey would entrench himself at hot corner for the next ten Dodger seasons.  Cey was a part of the longest running infield in MLB history with Garvey at first, Davey Lopes at second, and Bill Russell at shortstop.  They played together from '73 through '81.
Cey was a remarkably consistent player who could be counted on for around 25 HR, 85-100 RBI and good defense. He did not hit for a high average but he offset that with a very good eye. 
Cey played in nine postseason series and was a consistent performer.  His postseason slash stats of .261/.362/.441 are eerily similar to his regular season numbers of .261/.354/.445.
Cey shared 1981 World Series MVP honors with teammates Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager.
Cey was traded by the Dodgers to the Cubs before the '83 season for Vance Lovelace and Dan Cataline.  Cey would provide stabilty at the hot corner for the Cubs, something they had been lacking since the days of Ron Santo.  Cey would hit 24 HR in '83 and 25 more in '84 as he helped the Cubs win the division title.
Desite 22 HR in '85, Cey's performance began to slip a little as he batted a career low .232.  In '86 Cey saw his playing time reduced to 97 games.  Sharing third base with veteran Manny Trillo and former teammate Davey Lopes, Cey remained productive, batting .273 with 13 HR in 256 at bats. 
After the season Cey was dealt to the Oakland A's for Luis Quinones.  Used primarily as a DH with the A's, Cey platooned with veteran Reggie Jackson but struggled.  Cey was batting .221 when he was released July 15, 1987.

Flipside: You can see Cey's consistency in his HR totals.  Not including the strike shortened '81 season, Cey hit between 22 and 30 home runs every season between '75 and and '85.

Oddball: Tommy Lasorda is often given credit for tabbing Cey with the nickname Penguin. However, Cey was given the moniker back in his days at Washington State University.
Ron has played himself in a number of TV series including Columbo, Simon & Simon, Hardcastle and McCormick and Pryor's Place.  Cey even got a gig playing in the house band in an episode of Murder, She Wrote. Cey has also been featured in several commercials.

History: Cey, a six time all star, is beloved by Dodgers' fans for his steady production and 1981 World Series Heroics. Cey is also highly regarded by Cubs fans who appreciated his efforts in leading the Cubs to a rare post season appearance.  Cey works with the Dodgers making appearances on their behalf and working in public relations. 

1 comment:

  1. My favorite player ever on my favorite '80s set. Too bad it's his last card as a Dodger (from when he was still playing). He never should've been traded.