Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Familiar Faces / Strange Places: Boog Powell / Dodgers

Continuing my Boog Powell theme... Following an unproductive 1976 season in Cleveland, it looked the end of the road for the 35 year old former Baltimore All-Star. He was released by the Indians near the end of spring training in 1977.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and new manager Tommy Lasorda were preparing to battle and finally take down the Bid Red Machine in the NL West. On April 5th, two days before opening day they signed Powell (Yes, Opening Day used to be in April). With Steve Garvey entrenched at first base, Lasorda was counting on some left handed power and veteran leadership off the bench.

The Dodgers cruised, but Boog's contribution wasn't pretty. He appeared in 50 games before being released on August 30th. Garvey basically never took a day off and all but one of Boog's appearances was as a pinch hitter. His final at bat, facing the Pirates and future Hall of Famer Rich Gossage, Boog grounded out to second base in the 10th inning of an eventual 2-1 Dodgers win. When it was all said and done, he collected 10 singles in 41 official at bats. He was credited with 5 RBIs. Not one extra base hit. He was not on the roster when the Dodgers clinched the NL West three weeks later (September 20th), when they beat the Phillies in the NLCS, nor when they finally lost to Reggie Jackson and the Yankees in the World Series.


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