DODGERS-GIANTS, THE EIGHTIES

With last night’s loss , my personal record against the Giants at The Ravine has now reached an even .500 at 30-30.  And in this never-ending feud between North and South ( California, that is ) we all know that the roots of this rivalry trace all the way back to each teams East Coast roots in Brooklyn and New York.  As for me, it started in the 80’s.  My first taste of the Dodgers-Giants  rivalry came on the final weeked of the ’82 season when Joe Morgan hit his 3 run home run in the final game of the season to knock us out of the playoffs, thus giving the NL West to the Atlanta Braves, managed by a 40 year old manager named Joe Torre.  At 8 years old, the impact of that home run never really hit me.  In fact, the fact that there was a rivarly never even donned on me as a kid until I was in junior high school.  Of course, during my elementary years, the Dodgers had won 3 division titles in ’81, ’83, and ’85, while the Giants, sans 1982, were either occupying the bottom or close to it.  Heck, there was even talk of moving the Giants out of San Francisco, as if anyone up north even noticed, as crowds at the ‘Stick were so sparse every night was foul ball night.  Then the Giants won themselves a couple of division titles  in the later part of the eighties, capturing the West in ’87 and ’89,  winning the  ’89 NLCS over the Cubs before being swept by the A’s in the World Series, led by the Bash Brothers of MacGuire and Canseco.  ( What is it with the Bay Area and Juice ? )  Of course, who could forget the magical run of 1988 and Kirk Gibson’s shot off Eckersley in Game 1 of the WS ?  The Dodgers in the eighties would win 4 division titles, 2 NL pennants, and be the only team in the majors to win more than 1 WS title in the decade.  Of course there would be some personal rivalry moments thrown in as well.  During the final weekend in 1983, being 3 games up on the Braves with 3 to play, as we hosted the Giants, with Darryl Evans up for the hated ones, it had been posted on DiamondVision that the Padres had defeated the Braves, clinching the West for the Blue, and of course, the Giants being on our field to watch the celebration. Another personal favorite was in 1985 in late September when Pedro Guerrero hit his 33rd home run of the season against the Giants, tying a then LA Dodger record set by Ron Cey.  Of course, in any rivalry, there will always be 2 sides involved in each story.  In Opening Day of 1988, after back to back 73-89 seasons, and the acquisition of a scruffy outfielder from the Tigers by the name of Kirk Gibson, and with Shirley Jones ( Mrs. Partridge ) rousing the faithful with her rendition of the national anthem, the season started off with a bang as Steve Sax would send Giants Opening Day starter Dave Dravecky’s 1st pitch of the season to the LF Pavillion, prompting a fist pumping reaction from the second baseman as he rounded the bases.  Unfortunately, that would be Dravecky’s only blemish of the day, as he would settle down and the Giants would knock Fernando around, 7 years removed from his Opening Day masterpiece in his rookie season,  defeating us 5-1.  Tragically, Dravecky would only pitch one more season as his throwing arm would be amputated due to a form of cancer discovered in his left arm. 

My all-time Dodger starting lineup for the eighties

2B Steve Sax ( Rookie of the year in 1982 )

1B Steve Garvey

LF Kirk Gibson ( HR in Game 1 of ’88 WS voted as LA’s #1 sports moment )

3B Ron Cey

RF Pedro Guerrero

CF Ken Landreaux

SS Bill Russell

C Mike Scioscia ( Trailing 2 games to 1, Mike had  a key 2 run home run in game 4 of the NLCS against Dwight Gooden in the top of the 9th @ Shea Stadium to tie the game at 4.  The Dodgers would eventually win 5-4 in the 12th as Kirk Gibson hit a solo shot off future Dodger reliever Roger McDowell, perhaps Gibson’s biggest home run of his career….to that point….)

Starting Pitchers

Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Bob Welch, Burt Hooton, and Tim Belcher

Relievers

Bobby Castillo, Jay Howell, Tom Niedenfuer

Closer

Steve Howe ( RIP 1959-2006 ) If only he coulda stayed clean….

The Bench

Davey Lopes, Steve Yeager, Mickey Hatcher, John Shelby, Mike Marshall ( Did not make starting lineup due to " General Soreness " ), Alfredo Griffin, and Mariano Duncan. 

As many of you read this, I’m sure some debate will be sparked as for the starting lineup, perhaps maybe even the bench.  And i’m sure many of you are wondering why I took Davey Lopes out of the longest running infield.  Well, here’s my explanation, the year I attended my 1st Dodger game in 1982 was one year removed from the famous longest running infield, so I missed watching the quartet by one year.  Well, let’s hear your 80’s Dodgers-Giants memories, and maybe even your version of your all time 80’s lineup. 

As many of you read this, i’m sure there will be plenty of debated with this lineup.  And i’m s

Starting Pitchers

Valenzuela, Hershiser, Reuss, Welch, Hooton

Closers

Steve Howe ( RIP ), Jay Howell

The bench

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