It’s April 25, which is World Penguin Day, coinciding with the annual migration north by Adelie penguins in Antarctica. I guess that makes sense, though I might have chosen February 15 for World Penguin Day.
That, after all, is Ron Cey’s birthday. Cey earned the nickname from Bobo Brayton, his coach at Washington State, for his waddling running style, and it stuck well after he was drafted by the Dodgers.
Cey excelled on April 25 throughout his career, especially with the Dodgers. He had at least one hit on every April 25 in each of his last seven seasons with the Dodgers (1976-82), including four consecutive multi-hit games from 1976-79.
It’s no surprise Cey’s best April 25 came in 1977, the month he set major league records for most home runs (9) and RBI (29) before May 1, made more impressive since the Dodgers’ season didn’t begin until April 7. On World Penguin Day that year, Cey homered twice in his first two at-bats against reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones in San Diego, who then intentionally walked Cey in the fifth inning.
Cey played in 13 games on April 25 in his career, from 1973-87, and the only two years he was on an active roster and didn’t play (1983, 1985) was because the Cubs had a scheduled off day. Cey in those games was 15 for 42 with three home runs, eight RBI, nine runs scored, a double, 10 walks, and a hit by pitch, hitting .357/.491/.595.
With the Dodgers, in 10 games on April 25 (1973-82) Cey hit .400/.523/.714. World Penguin Day, indeed.
- The Dodgers notified non-playing team employees on Friday they would be paid through at least May 31, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
- Ken Gurnick at MLB.com navigated the Dodgers trade tree from Mike Piazza to Andre Ethier.
- Dustin May was voted best hair in baseball in a contest on MLB Network Radio.
- Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season. Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs outlined what he’d like to see in the next agreement between owners and players.
- Robert Arthur at Baseball Prospectus analyzed the factors why the Red Sox and Astros received different punishments for their sign-stealing malfeasance.
- Steve Dalkowski passed away this week at age 80. He never made the majors but was still quite legendary, described by Ted Williams as “the fastest pitcher in baseball history.” Dalkowski’s Baseball-Reference page is an exciting read. There are so many wonderful nuggets, but perhaps my favorite is this: in 1960, pitching for Stockton in the California League, a 21-year-old Dalkowski struck out 262 batters in 170 innings and allowed only 105 hits. But he also walked 262.