Friday, June 03, 2011

Collection: 1981 Vero Beach Dodgers

Here is my next installment of Dodger minor league sets from my collection. Check out my other sets here. This set was produced by TCMA for the 1981 Vero Beach Dodgers- a single A team in the Florida State League. The team did not perform well overall, just compiling a 63-73 record.
Furthermore, these Dodgers were not filled with a great number of future Major League ballplayers, but there are a couple of notables to recall. In the middle, on the bottom row, is R. J. Reynolds. He played just 3 season for the Dodgers before moving on to Pittsburgh, then to Japan and the Mexican League. On September 11, 1983 he became a Dodger hero during a pennant run against the Braves. In the bottom half of the 9th inning against the Atlanta rival he laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to score Pedro Guerrero to win the game, 7 to 6. The win extended their lead over the Braves to 3 games in the division.
The only other notable Dodger in this set isn't even a player. It is pitching coach Dave Wallace. He is on the left side, bottom row, below. Wallace rose through the ranks of the team, becoming the Dodgers pitching coach then interim General Manager in 2001. Then, he went to Boston and became their pitching coach. While there, he steered the Red Sox to their first World Series victory in 2004.

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