Sunday, June 26, 2011

The 1967 Dodgers

After being swept by the Orioles in the 1966 World Series (including 3 complete game shutouts), Sandy Koufax retired, and the Dodgers embarked on a 3-year tour to oblivion, their only one in the Walter Alston era. In those 23 seasons, the Dodgers finished in first place 7 times, and second place 9 times. From 1967 to 1969 was the only time they finished lower than second place for 3 consecutive seasons.

Based on everyone's games played, it seems that the Dodgers used 9 pitchers and 16 position players in 1967.

The Dodgers went with a 4-man rotation in 1967. These four accounted for 140 starts in 1967. With Koufax retired, Don Drysdale (13-16) was now in charge. Claude Osteen (17-17) was the only southpaw among the starters. Sophomore Don Sutton (11-15) and rookie Bill Singer (12-8) rounded out the rotation.

The bullpen was headed up by veteran lefty Ron Perranoski (16 saves). He was the only pitcher among the top 8 to appear strictly in relief. Righthanders Phil Regan and Bob Miller complemented Perranoski, as did southpaw Jim Brewer. Brewer appeared in about half as many games as the other 3 relievers, and 11 of those were as a starter.

Other pitchers: 30-year-old Dick Egan (who has been in the minors for most of his 10 year career) appeared in 20 games for the Dodgers, all in relief. This was Egan’s last season. Rookie Alan Foster appeared in 4 games, veteran Bob Lee made 4 relief appearances before he was sold to the Reds on May 31, and Joe Moeller (who played all of 1966 with the Dodgers) relieved in 6 games, but spent most of 1967 and 1968 in triple-A.

Except for center fielder Willie Davis, the Dodgers did a lot of shuffling at the 8 positions. These 8 played the most at each position.

John Roseboro started 93 games, and had been the team’s #1 catcher since the days of Roy Campanella. Wes Parker started 94 games at first base, and another 15 in centerfield. Ron Hunt was acquired from the Mets before the season, and started 89 games at 2nd base, pushing last year’s regular over to 3rd base.

Rookie Gene Michael came over from the Pirates in the Maury Wills deal, and shared the shortstop job (66 starts) with veteran Dick Schofield (56). He apparently didn’t impress, because he moved on to the Yankees after the season. Michael would eventually manage and GM the Yankees.

1965 rookie of the year Jim Lefebvre moved over to 3rd base after starting most games at 2B in 1966. He made 89 starts at 3B and another 33 at 2B this season. Lou Johnson was the primary leftfielder, with 73 starts. Willie Davis started 135 games in center, leading the team in starts at any one position. Ron Fairly (63 starts) shared the rightfield duties with Al Ferrara (62). Ron also started 62 games at 1st base.

Here are the subs, in order of their playing time: Al Ferrara was the co-starter in right field, along with backing up Johnson in left. Bob Bailey was acquired from the Pirates in the off-season for Maury Wills. He made 65 starts at 3B and 23 in left field.

Veteran Dick Schofield (like Bailey, seen here in his Pirates uni) started 56 games at shortstop. You may know that Schofield is ex-Phillie Jayson Werth’s grandfather. Len Gabrielson was acquired by the Dodgers on May 10th for infielder John Werhas. He was the team’s 5th outfielder, backing up the corner spots.

Nate Oliver was the middle infield reserve, also starting 23 games at 2B and 29 at short. Jeff Torborg made 63 starts as Roseboro’s backup, and was one of several 1967 Dodgers (along with Lefebvre and Michael) to become managers after their playing careers.

Jim Hickman came from the Mets in the Tommy Davis for Ron Hunt trade, and was used as a pinch-hitter and outfield reserve in his only season with the Dodgers. Jim Campanis was the 3rd-string catcher. He was with the team for the entire season, but played in only 41 games, half of them as a pinch-hitter. He was also the GM’s son.

Other bit players for the Dodgers: In a late-season fact-finding mission, Luis Alcaraz started 17 of the final 18 games at 2nd base, while Tommy Dean started 11 of the final 12 games at shortstop.

Willie Crawford played in 4 games, and was the only one of this foursome to have a decent career. Bruce Brubaker pitched ONE INNING for the Dodgers in 1967, and had no previous major-league experience. How does he get a card?

This was the 3rd and last (partial) season for John Werhas. He was dealt to the Angels for Len Gabrielson. Walter Alston managed the Dodgers from 1954 through 1976, all on one-year contracts!

John Kennedy did not play for the Dodgers in 1967. He shared the 3B position with Jim Gilliam in 1966, but was traded to the Yankees a few days before the start of the ’67 season, and spent the year as backup 3B-SS in the Bronx. Jim Barbieri also did not play in 1967. His big-league career consisted of 82 at-bats in 1966, but he did appear in the 1966 World Series. He also appeared in the Little League World Series in 1954.

Tom Hutton had cups of coffee with the Dodgers in 1966 and 1969. His career was really with the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Expos from 1972-81. This picture of Gene Michael is one of only 4 airbrushed photos in the 1967 set.

Transactions from the end of the 1966 season to the end of 1967:

10/31/66 – Released infielder Jim Gilliam.

11/21/66 – Released Wes Covington and Dick Stuart.

11/29/66 – Traded Tommy Davis and Derrell Griffith to the Mets for Ron Hunt and Jim Hickman.

12/1/66 – Traded Maury Wills to the Pirates for Bob Bailey and Gene Michael.

12/7/66 – Traded pitcher Howie Reed to the Angels for Dick Egan.

12/15/66 – Traded pitcher Nick Willhite to the Angels for Bob Lee.

4/3/67 – Traded John Kennedy to the Yankees for 2 minor leaguers.

4/26/67 – Traded pitcher Dick Calmus to the Cubs for pitcher Fred Norman.

5/10/67 – Traded John Werhas to the Angels for Len Gabrielson.

5/31/67 – Sold Bob Lee to the Reds.

6/6/67 – Drafted catcher Steve Yeager.

11/28/67 – Lost Joe Moeller in the Rule 5 draft to the Astros.

11/28/67 – Traded Ron Perranoski, Bob Miller, and John Roseboro to the Twins for pitcher Jim Grant and shortstop Zoilo Versalles.

11/30/67 – Sold Gene Michael to the Yankees.

11/30/67 – Traded Lou Johnson to the Cubs for infielder Paul Popovich.

12/1/67 – Released Dick Schofield.

Next team review: Baltimore Orioles


night owl said...

Only 4 airbrushed photos in the set, huh? I guess that's one of the reasons the '67 set so appealing (despite all the capless players!)

Those are very sad transactions for a Dodger fan: released Gilliam, traded Tommy Davis, traded Wills, traded Perranoski, traded Roseboro, traded Lou Johnson. End of an era.

Hackenbush said...

Firstly, the Dodgers cards look particularly good -- love the red. Secondly, Jim Hickman is remembered by Cubs fans for his role on the late sixties early seventies teams. He was an all-star in 1970.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Night Owl,

I added a link to those other airbrushed cards about the same time that`you commented.

One of the better capless cards in 1967 is this one, but I also like these old school shots.

You forgot "releasing Dick Stuart" in your end of an era lament! :)


The Dodgers were one of the few teams (also Yankees, Giants, Cubs) that kept their 1966 Topps' color scheme in 1967.

Anthony Hughes said...

Boy, that Sutton kid had some ears on him, didn't he?

Jim from Downingtown said...

I learned on "Ken Burns' Baseball" that little-league champ Jim Barbieri threw out the first ball in the 1954 World Series game where Willie Mays made "The Catch".