The next player who got “ripped off” a nice Rookie Cup by Topps in the 1970’s is none other than future Dodgers’ All-Star second baseman Davey Lopes, who broke into the Major Leagues with a very nice 1973 season:
Lopes hit .275 for Los Angeles in his rookie year, with 36 stolen bases
and 77 runs scored, giving the team an idea of what he’d end up doing
over the next eight years while making the All-Star team four times
while also taking home a Gold Glove.
He’d would lead the National League in stolen bases two years in a row: 1975 and 1976, with a high of 77 in ‘75 and 63 in 1976.
What always amazed me about that 1976 total was that he stole those 63
bases on only 103 hits! Incredible to think he swiped so many bags on so
few hits (along with 53 base on balls).
On occasion he’d also show some “pop”, as he did in arguably his finest
season in the big leagues when he hit 28 homers to go along with 44
stolen bases, 109 runs scored and 97 walks in 1979, starting the
All-Star game alongside his teammate Steve Garvey.
By the time he retired after the 1987 season, he collected 557 stolen
bases and 1023 runs scored to go along with 1671 hits and a .263 batting
And to think, he didn’t play his first full season until the age of 28
in 1973. I never realized he got such a late start in his MLB career.