Monday, February 06, 2012

Thank You, Hong-Chih Kuo

Hong-Chih Kuo has been a warrior for us. Battling multiple arm injuries and surgeries, he continued to provide quality relief innings. He has been an inspiration, and will be a player I continue to root for even as he wears the uniform of another team. Best wishes, big guy.

As noted by Jayson Stark on twitter, Kuo is expected to join the Seattle Mariners.
(Pic Link: Twitter: @JaysonSt)

UPDATE: It looks like it is now official. Kuo has joined the Mariners. Eric Stephen's at True Blue LA has more information.
Kuo, who is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow in October, will receive a base salary $500,000, plus bonuses of up to $2.5 million, per Peter Wang of ETTV. Kuo will make $1 million if he makes the Mariners' 25-man roster.

Kuo will wear number 32 with the Mariners, a number already forever claimed in Los Angeles by Kuo-fax.

#32, eh? It looks like you can take the man out of LA, but you can never take the influence of LA out of the man.

Collection: Fleer Greats Davey Lopes

Davey Lopes wasn't just a Dodgers Great, but was also a Fleer Great. To prove it, here is a 2004 Fleer Great card with his signature in my collection.

Lopes was part of a long line of speedy ballplayers to come out of the Dodgers farm system, but he could do a little bit more. Davey Lopes could hit home runs.

Over his Dodger career he had a total of 418 stolen bases and 99 round-trippers. The latter number might not sound that impressive, but keep in mind that 66 of those homers were hit over a four year period (1977 to 1980). I guess you can say he hit his stride those years.

In his best season, 1979, Lopes slugged 28 homers while swiping 44 bases. He would also be a gold glover and was 16th in MVP voting that year. Considering he did all that before the steroid era makes his accomplishments ever more remarkable.

Lopes was a driving force in the Dodgers National League pennants in 1974, 1977 and 1978, but it was in 1981 when he would finally get a World Championship ring. Unfortunately, it would prove to be his last year in Blue. Steve Sax had already taken much of his playing time as a new era of Dodger infielders was about to take hold. In the afterglow of the Dodgers 5th World Series title that season, Lopes would be traded to Oakland.