The final installment of this series is about a threesome that may do something at Petco Park that hasn't been done in 30 years. If Don Mattingly's lineup has Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and James Loney in it, they will become first set of three players to start five consecutive seasons since the threesome of Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Dusty Baker did it from 1976 - 1982. Davey Lopes and Steve Yeager also joined those three for a five year run during that period.
Garvey, Cey and Baker's last season together was 1982. In 1983, only Baker remained as Greg Brock and Pedro Guerrero manned the corners on Opening Day in 1983.
Andre Ethier's first start on Opening Day was in 2007, 2012 marks his sixth straight start, Matt Kemp and James Loney joined Andre in 2008, 2012 will be their fifth consecutive start. Andre joins Kenny Landreaux, Brett Butler and Raul Mondesi for the most Opening Day starts as an outfielder since 1982 with six. Landreaux had seven consecutive starts going back to 1981. Andre could join Ron Fairly, Mike Marshall and Raul Mondesi with the most Opening Day starts in right field as LA Dodger with five.
Matt Kemp, who started in right field in 2008, will be making his fourth straight start in center. Matt would have to continue to play center for the length of his contract plus one to tie Willie Davis with 12 starts in center on Opening Day. By then, Matt could very well be at the top of the list of several LA Dodger career batting lists but for now, Kemp enters the game as the only one of his 5-year threesome knowing where he will be after 2012.
James Loney breaks a tie with Eddie Murray by playing his fifth Opening Day since 1982. Eric Karros has played most the Opening Day starts since 1982 with nine, the LA Dodger record. If you are wondering Garvey has seven Opening Day starts, Wes Parker has five.
Some may say well what about Karros, Piazza and Mondesi. Those three made four consecutive Opening Day starts but in 1998, Paul Konerko (unfortunately only this one time) started at 1B with Piazza and Mondesi, in a few months only Mondesi would remain from that Opening Day trio.
Ethier, Kemp and Loney are the most recent players to debut for the Dodgers and play in over 780 games and 3000+ PA, prior to that you have to go to Adrian Beltre, Raul Mondesi, and Eric Karros. After that you hit the run of Pedro Guerrero, Mike Scioscia, MIke Marshall and Steve Sax. And in the last 40+ years is when you bring in Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey, and Steve Yeager.