Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Phils' Feat Recalls 1977 Dodgers' Accomplishment

The Phildelphia Phillies now have four players with 30 or more home runs, becoming the 12th team to achieve this feat. As the article references, the first team to have four 30+ HR hitters was the 1977 Dodgers: our father Steve Garvey had 33, Reggie Smith had 32, and Dusty Baker and Ron Cey each had 30.

I have looked online for this photo, but cannot find an image of the cover of the Dodgers' 1978 Media Guide, which I remember well from my childhood. Roughly 4" across and 11" tall, the guide had a blue-bordered cover with a full-color picture of our fearsome foursome, standing there symmetrically, with two seated (I think) and two standing, all four players with gleaming smiles. I remember Reggie Smith's afro escaping from the sides of his baseball cap. I remember all four of them were wielding bats that looked like toothpicks. It's probably the most memorable early Dodger image I have in my memory.

I don't know what it was about that particular media guide, which was full of more statistics than my brain could probably process, as well as random factoids about the players that I absorbed like a sponge. In the days before the internet and deep statistical insight, this was already a treasure trove of information for me, and I recall holding onto that guide for years after the 1978 season, well after the bitterness of the 1978 World Series outcome had subsided. I still recall 1977 and 1978 with a warm happiness that can only come from those childhood memories that are so rose-colored, that the bad parts have washed away and only the good parts remain. And that photo on the cover, with four smiling Dodger players (Tommy Lasorda might have been in the middle, I'm not sure) was the lasting image, though.

I don't know how I fell into this media guide, nor do I know where it is today (probably in one of the many boxes in my parents' garage). If any of you have a picture of it, or know what I'm referencing, please weigh in. Just seeing the Phillies story today brought back an avalanche of fond memories about the 1977 and 1978 Dodgers, who hit for power back before baseball's home run numbers ran amok.

UPDATE 2:25p: Credit SoSG reader Fred's Brim for finding it on ebay:

I guess Dusty and Ron were kneeling, not sitting. And that wasn't Tommy in the middle after all! But I was close. Gotta love the slanting "A" in "Media" as well; those 1970's were so slick in their design... Thanks Fred's Brim!

12 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

$4.99 on ebay!

Fred's Brim said...

your memories are worth more than $4.99 of course :)

Gagne's lucky glasses said...

http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/3199/1978dodgersmediaguide.jpg

I don't have PhotoShop on my work computer so you will have to crop yourself

Dusty Baker said...

I just hauled out a box of old baseball cards and shit last weekend. I was rewarded to the point of tears by a long-forgotten pack of 1983 Dodgers 8X10 "autographed" pictures. The team pack sold for a whopping $1.50 back in tha day. I now recall purchasing this during my first trip to Dodger Stadium, August 6, 1983.

These memories are priceless, my friends.

Steve Sax said...

@Fred's Brim, that is awesome. Nice find! That's the one!

So I guess it wasn't Tommy in the center after all, but rather the Diamond Vision scoreboard. That's about the same girth, so you can excuse my mistake...

Picture added. Thanks, Fred's Brim!!!

Dusty Baker said...

I saved it for the last day to get HR #30.

Fred's Brim said...

ebay has everything!

Saxy, did you buy it?

Ken said...

awesome find~

Steve Sax said...

@Fred's Brim, I actually thought about buying it, but got worried that others might use the opportunity to start deducing my identity. So I passed...

Dusty Baker said...

@ Sax

Want me to pick it up for you? Mail it in a brown paper bag to a rural PO Box in a forgotten, oil-boom ravaged town? Call it "Springfield."

rbnlaw said...

I may be one of the few on this site to have been alive when that happened. It was a fun time to be a Dodger fan.

Dusty Baker said...

When what happened, RB?