Blake's 32 Double Plays Ranks High on List

Despite the pairing of shortstop sure-handed fielders Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson, it was veteran third baseman Casey Blake who put his name in the record book by having a hand in 32 double plays during the 2009 season.

Casey Blake's glove certainly added a new dimension to the infield as he placed his name in a tie for third on the Los Angeles charts, trailing only Ron Cey (39 in 1973) and Adrian Beltré (33 in 2002). Beltré also recorded 32 DPs in 2004.

A healthy Rafael Furcal and newly-added Orlando Hudson sparkled in the early part of the season and were on a pace to turn 177 double plays between them, which would have placed them in the top 10. However, Hudson (77) and Furcal (76) settled for 153, just three behind Charlie Neil and Maury Wills in 1963.

Los Angeles fans have enjoyed watching a number of remarkable double play combinations over the years: Charlie Neal and Don Zimmer, Jim Lefebvre and Maury Wills, Bill Russell and Davey Lopes and more recently Alex Cora and Cesar Izturis.

The 1958 team turned 198 double plays to top the L.A. list. The fewest DPs, excluding strike seasons, is 106 in 1973.

Dodger pitchers benefitted from the spectacular double play combinations of Cesar Izturis, Alex Cora and Adrian Beltré.

In 2004 Cora and Izturis turned 187 double plays and Adrian Beltré added 32 in what turned out to be one of the tightest fielding infield in Dodger history.

As far as double plays go, the 2003 entry was even better with Cora and Izturis totaling 206, second in Dodger history, and Beltré recording 33, also second in LA.

The top double play combination in club history is Brooklyn's Jackie Robinson-Pee Wee Reese duo that recorded the top two marks of all time, 243 DPs in 1951 and 227 in 1950. They are represented four times in the all-time top 15 performances.

The most prolific Los Angeles combination was Charlie Neal, who earns three different spots on the list, at second and Don Zimmer at short in 1958, the Dodgers' first season in California. Ron Cey holds the top third base mark with 39 double plays in 1973.

The 1951 team made 192 double plays. The low mark came in Brooklyn in 1908 when they only could manage 66.

Those numbers are a long way from the Brooklyn teams 1892, 1891 and 1890 who made 398, 358 and 319 errors — but still led the National League in fielding.

The 2009 team committed only 83 errors, third on the all-time list that included the 2004 club which they made a franchise-low 73 errors. This is only the third time in the history of the franchise that a team was under the 100+ mark in errors. The 2002 Dodgers were the second with 90 boots. The L.A. high, or low as you interpret it, mark is 170 in 1964. 

The team fielding average of .986 is second all-time for Los Angeles, and was fourth in the National League. Joe Torre's 2008 team recorded a .984 percentage, fourth all-time.

Defensive excellence was the hallmark of Jim Tracy's teams. During his four years at the helm of the Dodger club, his 2004 team's .988 percentage tops the charts and the 2002 is third (.985). The 2001 and 2003 are tied for the fifth best percentage (.981).

The best Brooklyn fielding mark was .982 in 1952.

The 1905 team, who compiled a 48-104 record, contributed to that dismal mark with 408 errors, but turned 138 double plays.

The top double play combinations:

  Los Angeles

221 - Neal 121, Zimmer 100, 1958
206 - Cora 112, Izturis 94, 2003
196 - Lopes 90, Russell 106, 1973
190 - Kent 73, Furcal 117, 2006
187 - Cora 91, Izturis 96, 2004

180 - Lefebvre 91, Wills 89, 1965
179 - Lopes 88, Russell 91, 1978
176 - Lopes 74, Russell 102, 1977
175 - Kent 76, Furcal 99, 2007
172 - Reed 76, Offerman 95, 1993

167 - Neal 63, Wills 104, 1961
166 - DeShields 79, Gagné 87, 1996
165 - Young 111, Gagné 54, 1997
162 - Sax 99, Anderson, 63, 1984
156 - Neal 78, Wills 78, 1960

   All-Time

243 - Robinson 137, Reese 106, 1951
227 - Robinson 133, Reese 94, 1950
222 - Stanky 123, Reese 99, 1949
221 - Neal 121, Zimmer 100, 1958
212 - Robinson 199, Reese 93, 1949

206 - Cora 112, Izturis 94, 2003
196 - Cuccinello 113, Wright 83, 1932
196 - Herman 97, Reese 99, 1942
196 - Lopes 90, Russell 106, 1973
192 - Stanky 88, Reese 104, 1946

190 - Kent 73, Furcal 117, 2006
187 - Cora 91, Izturis 96, 2004
185 - Gilliam 102, Reese 83
180 - Cuccinello 113, Wright 83, 1932
176 - Robinson 83, Reese 93, 1948

    Third Base 
  Los Angeles 	          All-time
39—Ron Cey, 1973	39—Ron Cey, 1973
33—Adrian Beltré, 2003	35—Billy Cox, 1950
32—Adrian Beltré, 2004	33—Jim Johnston, 1921
32—Casey Blake, 2009	33—Adrian Beltré, 2003
30—Adrian Beltré, 2000	32—Adrian Beltré, 2006
29—Ron Cey, 1977	32—Casey Blake, 2009

29—Jeff Hamilton, 1988	29—Jeff Hamilton, 1988
27—Todd Zeile, 1997	28—C. Lavagetto, 1939
26—Bill Sudakis, 1969	28—Billy Cox, 1949
26—Ron Cey, 1974	27—Wally Gilbert, 1930
25—Ron Cey, 1978	27—Todd Zeile, 1997
                        25—Ron Cey, 1979	

  INDIVIDUAL RECORDS:

    Los Angeles

  Second base	  Shortstop	
121-Neal, 1958	 117-Furcal, 2006
112-Cora, 2003	 106-Russell, 1973
111-Young, 1997	 104-Wills, 1961
110-Neal, 1959	 102-Russell, 1977  
  99-Sax, 1984	 100-Zimmer, 1958

  92-Sax, 1987	     99-Furcal, 2007
  91-Lefebvre, 1965  97-Grudzielanek, 2000
  91-Cora, 2004	     96-Izturis, 2004
  90-Lopes, 1973     95-Offerman, 1993
  88-Lopes, 1978     94-Izturis, 2003

  Brooklyn

  Second base	          Shortstop
137-Robinson, 1951	106-Reese, 1951 
133-Robinson, 1950	104-Reese, 1946  
128-Cuccinello, 1936	  99-Reese, 1942
123-Stanky, 1947	  99-Reese, 1947
119-Robinson, 1949	  97-Wright 1930
	
113-Cuccinello, 1932	 94-Reese, 1950
113-Robinson,  1952	 93-Reese, 1948
102-Gilliam,  1953	 93-Reese, 1949
101-Stanky, 1945	 90-Durocher, 1938
  99-Gilliam, 1954	 89-Reese, 1952

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