Wednesday, September 09, 2009

No. 9

On this unique day, 9/9/09, check out some cards from some Dodgers who wore the number 9.

Arky Vaughan, nicknamed after his home state of Arkansas, was a Dodger player for the last 4 seasons of his career. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1985, retired with a career .318 batting average and was a nine time All-Star. Bil James, a noted sabermetrician, believes him to be the second best short stop to ever play the game. He is also known for a major rift with Dodger manager Leo Durocher.
Vaughan was involved in a dispute with Dodgers manager Leo Durocher during the 1943 season, and while he did finish out the season, he remained on his ranch in California for the start of the 1944 season, supporting the war by farming and avoiding Durocher. Vaughan remained at home for the next three seasons, coming back in 1947 when Durocher was gone and serving as a pinch hitter and backup outfielder for two seasons.
That's quite a grudge. Below is his 1960 Fleer card.
Gino Cimoli began his big league career with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. By 1957 he became a regular outfielder and fit right in with Snider and Furillo. In that season he batted .293, hit 10 home runs, knocked in 57 and scored 88. Also, he made his only appearance in an All-Star game that year. Before the 1959 season he was traded away for Wally Moon.

I love Gino's 1958 Topps card below. Notice that he is in a post swing stance, but his bat has been airbrushed away. Speaking of Wally Moon. He gets traded to the Dodgers for Gino Cimoli and takes over his number. We all know about Moons exploits since he became famous for his towering left field home runs, 250 feet away, over the wire mesh at the Coliseum. "Moon Shots" is what they called them. Once the Dodgers moved to Chavez Ravine his "Moon Shots" became lazy fly balls.

Below is his 1961 Bell Brand card.
Greg Brock manned first base for the Dodgers in the 80's and is notable for a squabble he once had with Steve Sax. From Dodger Blues:
The Dodgers were at Shea to face the Mets, and players were warming up on the field before the game. As Steve Sax was playing catch with Mike Scioscia, Greg Brock stuck his bat in the way. Sax then threw a ball that struck Brock in the back. The two players apparently started yelling at each other as the moved into the dugout. Before any punches were thrown, however, other Dodgers intervened.
The best part are the quotes, especially from Enos Cabell.
"These boys don't even know how to fight."
He was subsequently traded before the next season to the Brewers. Below is his 1986 Topps card.
I love Mickey Hatcher and it pains me to see him wearing a Angels uniform. Nevertheless, I can still close my eyes and see him running full steam to first after getting a walk. And I can never forget when he sprinted around the bases after his two home runs during the 1988 World Series. To quote Joe Garagiola,
"he's running like he's afraid they're going to take it off the board!"
Below is the always fun loving Hatcher in his 1991 Upper Deck card.
Juan Pierre is the current holder of the number 9. He is no doubt worthy since he has proven that he has the work ethic of a Mickey Hatcher and the numbers that rival Vaughan. (I know... he's an outfielder and Vaughan was a shortstop... but, still) He can hit. He can steal. And he can play. His stint as the left field regular in Manny's absence has gained the respect of every Dodger fan. Below is his Turkey Red Chrome card, but I do not know what year it was released.

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