This Day In Dodgers History: Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey & Bill Russell Begin Streak As ‘Longest Running Infield’
Los Angeles Dodgers legendary infield of Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes, Stevey Garvey
Los Angeles Dodgers

On June 23, 1973, the Los Angeles Dodgers had a lineup that included Steve Garvey at first base, Davey Lopes at second base, Ron Cey at third base and Bill Russell playing shortstop in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.

A seemingly nondescript game and new infield for the Dodgers wound up being the start of MLB and franchise history. The quartet played together for the rest of the 1973 season, then eight more in a record that still stands.

Just as improbable as the infield’s run together was how it came to be. Garvey spent two years playing third base but struggled to make throws across the diamond. He was tried in left field and right field before catching on at first base, which created an opportunity for Cey at the hot corner.

Russell and Lopes both began their professional careers before converting to shortstop and second base, respectively.

Russell was first to join the Dodgers organization, as he was selected in the ninth round of the 1966 Draft. Garvey, Lopes and Cey were each picked in the 1968 Draft after initially being taken by other clubs but declining to begin their respective careers.

Garvey, Lopes, Cey and Russell anchored an infield that was part of four National League pennant-winning teams, one World Series title and a slew of All-Star Game appearances. Their final game together came during the 1981 World Series.

It ended in celebration as the Dodgers rallied from losing the first two games to win the next four. In each of the last three games against the New York Yankees, Lopes hit leadoff, followed by Russell, Garvey and Cey.

Lopes was traded that offseason in a move that allowed for Steve Sax to begin his rise. Cey and Garvey remained with the team for another year, and Russell was shifted into a utility role.

Garvey, Lopes, Cey and Russell shattered a record previously held by first baseman Frank Chance, second baseman Johnny Evers, third baseman Harry Steinfeldt and shortstop shortstop Joe Tinker, who played together for the Chicago Cubs from 1906-10.

The Dodgers honored their ‘Longest Running Infield’ in bobblehead form during the 2012 season and invited them to participate in the Old-Timers Game at Dodger Stadium in 2015.