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Dodgers rewind: Ken McMullen

Remembering the former third baseman

Dodgers third baseman Ken McMullen on his 1974 Topps baseball card.
Dodgers third baseman Ken McMullen on his 1974 Topps baseball card.

Today on Leading Off with True Blue LA, we remember former Dodgers third baseman Ken McMullen, an underrated player who was a part of two humungous trades in franchise history.

The Oxnard native started his career with the Dodgers and played parts of his first three major league seasons mostly as a reserve. He was part of a seven-player trade at the 1964 winter meetings, headlined by Frank Howard going to the Senators and Claude Osteen coming to the Dodgers to bolster the rotation.

The back Dodgers third baseman Ken McMullen’s 1974 Topps baseball card.
The back Dodgers third baseman Ken McMullen’s 1974 Topps baseball card.

McMullen thrived as a regular, first with Washington, then with the Angels. For an eight-year stretch, McMullen averaged 16 home runs, 18 doubles, 54 walks, and 4.0 WAR. Then the Dodgers reacquired him in another large trade, one that was headlined by Frank Robinson and Andy Messersmith.

McMullen started twice on opening day for the Dodgers, both at third base, but 10 years apart, in 1963 and 1973.

On his second stint with the Dodgers, McMullen found new life as a pinch-hitter, a role he had for the final five years of his career. He turned 80 last week.

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Episode link (time: 19:05)