1988 Dodgers player profile: Mike Marshall, he got the bat

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Mike Marshall, who missed on average 38 games a year for the Dodgers, had his healthiest campaign with the Dodgers in 1988 and was a key part of their lineup.

The story of Mike Marshall with the Dodgers is one of unfulfilled promise, but the oft-injured corner man once known as General Soreness enjoyed a his healthiest season in 1988, and was a reliable part of the heart of the Dodgers lineup all season.

Marshall was the Sporting News minor league player of the year in 1981 after hitting .373/.445/.675 with 34 home runs and 137 RBI in 128 games with Triple-A Albuquerque, and by 1983 was a regular on the Dodgers. From 1983-1989, he hit .273/.325/.451 and averaged 19 home runs per season, but was never able to live up to the expectations of his minor league prowess. He was hampered by injuries throughout his career, and averaged just 124 games per year in those seven peak seasons.

But despite not replicating his Pacific Coast League numbers in MLB, Marshall was a productive Dodger. Among players with at least 900 games with the Dodgers, Marshall's 117 OPS+ ranks 17th.

How acquired: Marshall was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 1978 draft, out of Buffalo Grove High School in Illinois.

Prior MLB experience: From 1981-1987, Marshall hit .272/.327/.457 with 106 home runs in 679 games, all with the Dodgers, and made the National League All-Star team in 1984.

1988 age: 28

1988 stats: Hit .277/.314/.445 with 20 home runs and 27 doubles. He posted the second most RBI of his career (82) and the second-best OPS+ (118), and played in a career best 144 games. He began the season as the starting first baseman but by June moved back to right field. On the year he started 51 games at first and 88 in right.

Marshall spent most of his time batting cleanup behind Kirk Gibson in 1988, with 87 starts in the fourth spot. Marshall also had 49 starts batting fifth.

Regular season game of the year: Marshall drove home the winning run in the ninth inning in a pair of 1-0 victories in 1988, with a home run against Todd Worrell on May 18 and a double against Rick Mahler on Sept. 14, but I'll choose his May 3 game against the Pirates. Marshall homered in the first and fourth innings and later added a double, as he drove in five runs in the Dodgers' 14-6 win at Dodger Stadium.

NLCS performance: Marshall had a pair of three-hit games against the Mets in wins in Game 2 and Game 6, but for the rest of the series had just one hit in 21 at-bats.

World Series performance: Marshall scored in the sixth inning of Game 1, pulling the Dodgers to within one run at 4-3, but his big game of the series came the next night. In the third inning of Game 2, the Dodgers rallied for a 2-0 lead before Marshall blew the game open with a three-run home run off Storm Davis for a 5-0 lead, more than enough support for Orel Hershiser.

A back injury limited Marshall to one plate appearance in Games 3 and 4 combined, but he started in right field and played the entire game in the clinching Game 5.

Post-1988 playing career: Marshall returned to the Dodgers for one more season in 1989, and hit 11 home runs in 105 games. After the 1989 season Marshall was traded with relief pitcher Alejandro Pena to the Mets for second baseman Juan Samuel. The non-Dodgers portion of Marshall's playing career lasted just two seasons, consisting of 107 games with the Mets, Red Sox, and Angels, with whom Marshall hit .259/.287/.419.

Where he is now: Marshall has managed nine seasons in independent leagues, and is currently manager as well as vice president of baseball operations for the San Rafael Pacifics of the North American Baseball League.

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