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The Infield and Their Successors

Steve Garvey (left) and Ron Cey applaud and bobble their heads in agreement with the introduction of the new Dodger owners on May 2.
Steve Garvey (left) and Ron Cey applaud and bobble their heads in agreement with the introduction of the new Dodger owners on May 2.

Last night at Chavez Ravine the Los Angeles Dodgers honored their famous infield of 1972 to 1981 with a group bobblehead (pictured here), and an appearance by all four members of that quartet: Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey. Nod along with your bobblehead if you can remember watching those four playing together for all those years.

Believe it or not, there is no picture of those four from last night in our database, but you can view an AP photo of that appearance here.

That sort of infield and roster stability is not something to which Dodger fans of today are accustomed. In fact, you have to go back a dozen years to the 2000 and 2001 seasons to find the same exact players listed as the starters at each infield position, where a starter is determined by being the player who played the most at that position that season.

Your 2000-2001 Dodger starting infield:

  • 1B Eric Karros
  • 2B Mark Grudzielanek
  • SS Alex Cora
  • 3B Adrian Beltre

Curiously, this infield served under two different managers, with Davey Johnson finishing out his Dodger stay and turning the reins over to Jim Tracy.

In 2000, Cora supplanted Grudzielanek at SS, with the erstwhile shortstop moving over to second base to replace the departed Eric Young (Sr.) who had been traded to the Chicago Cubs by Dodgers General Manager Kevin Malone, whom you may have memories of. When 2002 rolled around, Cesar Izturis, acquired by General Manager Dan Evans along with relief pitcher Paul Quantrill, wrested the position from Cora, with the other member of the infield remaining in place. (Coincidentally, minor leaguer Chad Ricketts arrived in the Dodger organization in the Young trade and exited via the Izturis deal.)

With James Loney's future in doubt as he becomes free-agent eligible, Mark Ellis' recovery of unknown length, Dee Gordon's progress perhaps stalled, and Juan Uribe under contract only through next year, it may be awhile before we see another repeat infield here in Los Angeles.


Related trivia question: Who was the last Dodger infielder to be a primary starter at two different positions in two different seasons? For example, Grudzielanek was the SS in 1999 and the 2B in 2000, but he was not the most recent example.