Friday, August 14, 2009

Once they were Dodgers

There are a lot of major leaguers who I wish had played for the Dodgers. Roberto Clemente is probably at the top of the list. The Dodgers had their chances, signing Clemente before losing him to the Pirates after Brooklyn couldn't find a spot for him.

Then there are players that may have come close to playing for the Dodgers or didn't come close at all. But none of that kept me from wishing they wore Dodger blue. Tom Seaver was first in that category when I was a kid. Then later it was Garry Maddox, Fred Lynn and Willie Wilson. I even went through a Ben Oglivie phase (it was a 1980 thing). More recently it has been Jim Thome and Jake Peavy. (Lucky White Sox).

I think every fan has players they wished played for their team. I think that's why we're so happy when we see a big-name player land on our team. (I did a major double-take last year when someone at work told me the Dodgers had traded for Manny Ramirez).

A lot of times that big name doesn't pan out. But it's always interesting to look back and see all the famous players who you don't associate with your favorite team, but actually played at least a year for the good guys.

Here is a list of some Dodgers who you don't associate with playing for the Dodgers:

Greg Maddux
David Wells
Kenny Lofton
Sandy Alomar Jr.
Fred McGriff
Rickey Henderson
Terry Mulholland
Kevin Elster
Bobby Bonilla
Mike Blowers
Gary Carter
Phil Garner
Cesar Cedeno
Al Oliver
Mark Belanger
Bill North
Frank Robinson
Hoyt Wilhelm
Doyle Alexander
Ken Boyer
Jim Bunning
Zoilo Versalles
Rocky Colavito
Jim "Mudcat" Grant
Jim Gentile
Sal Maglie
Tony Lazzeri
Kiki Cuyler

All Dodgers at one point, baby. Even if it was for one forgettable year.

But I left one name out. He's one of my favorite players from my childhood. He's the first Cardboard Appreciation subject. The only time he appeared on a card as a Dodger was in the team photo on the 1978 Topps card.

Boog Powell, the longtime Oriole and brief Indian, played in 50 games for the Dodgers in 1977. He hit .244 in 41 at-bats. Then his career was over at age 35.

I've wanted to see a virtual card of Boog Powell as a Dodger for more than a year. Unfortunately, my patience for creating such things is lacking. And I could never find a photo of Powell in a Dodger uniform. Not that I looked all that hard.

Enter Doc from Baseball Card Recollections. He has created some fine "Topps Cards That Never Were," including Ernie Banks, Willie Mays and Lou Brock. And he created this for me:

Boooooooooooooooooog!!!!! Now that would have fit perfectly in the 1978 Topps set. But, no, Topps had to produce cards of Sam Hinds, Gary Wheelock and Jerry Tabb instead.

That's OK, Topps. I have my Boog Powell card now. Thanks, Doc.


  1. Great post as always Greg! I have a similar list of Rays players that you don't associate with the Rays. Hideo Nomo is on there, along with Doc Gooden, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Guillen, etc. Its crazy how things work out. I just started work on my 78 set again, that Boog card would have looked good. Glad ya finally got it. cheers! good night.

  2. that kicks arse over the 78 topps boog i've created. send it to the bbq shack and get it signed!

  3. I wonder how many more pennants the Dodgers would have won if they would have been able to hang on to Clemente. He probably wouldn't have made much of a difference in the Brooklyn days, but he would have helped a lot in years like '62 and '71.

  4. That's too funny - I was reading your list and thinking, "How could he leave out Boog Powell?". It's a good thing that I kept reading.

    I believe there is an oddball Dodgers card of Boog from a 1990 All-Time Dodgers set produced by Target.

  5. kevin's right. the target set has boog and marichal and roy gleason!

  6. Bobby Bonilla as a Dodger? When was that, the tail-end of his career? If only L.A. could have brought along Bonds too then the BB's would have partied like it was 1992.

    As for Mariner's players I wish played for Seattle: Cal Ripken Jr. (a boy can dream), Albert Belle (don't ask why), Kenny Lofton (one of about 3 teams he never played for)and of course Ben Zobrist and Roy Halladay.

  7. You should have added Daryl Strawberry and Eric Davis to that list too.

    Honorable mention: Babe Ruth who was the Dodgers 1st base coach in 1938.

  8. To be fair, Gary Wheelock is an awesome name. Sounds like a Transformer or something. :D

    Word Verification: catingle

  9. Awesome, Boog in Dodger Blue! As a boy growing up in B'more he has always been my favorite O's player to this day. I have all his cards.

  10. Paul Waner and Arky Vaughan are a couple "Pirate" Dodgers and HOFers, who should also be included, not to mention Wee Willie Keeler!

    And then there is Juan Marichal too! Look out Johnny Roseboro!