Sunday, April 13, 2014

#722 Bill Sudakis

Infielder convert to Catcher and a bit of a misnomer….the conversion is rarely successful, due to poor defense ….the move did not result in significant playing longevity for Bill and in reality only started 60 games at the position for his career…Tall and blonde, Bill came up in the Dodgers organization in a seemingly type cast situation… Was on the Cover of May 10th 1969 Sporting News…and was able to bypass AAA Spokane en route to Southern California….In a platoon with Jim Lefebvre they replaced an aging Ken Boyer and Bob Bailey who was lost to expansion….was second in team HR and had a career high for RBIs, but BA dropped over the course of the season….next year was bumped by one year wonder Billy Garbarkewitz fast start, initiating his transient relationship with a permanent position….Split time in 1970 at catcher and 3rd mostly…off season moves for 1971 effected him greatly, his return to 3rd was blocked by Dick Allen and rookie Steve Garvey and his claim to incumbency at catcher by newcomer Duke Sims and Tom Haller…1971 was a lost season mostly battling hitting slumps and injuries…. finished his season most as PH ...1972  waived by LA after spring training…picked up by the Mets but 1972 was similarly wasted including a stint in the minors….enjoyed a slight comeback with the awful 1973 Texas Rangers…Exploits were chronicled in the book “Seasons in Hell” about the 1973-75 Texas Rangers….Last significant playing time was with Yankees… Finished out mlb time with the Angels and Indians in 1975.


  1. Wow, the Dodgers really liked to tweak their infielders!

    Sudakis - 3B to C
    Garvey - 3B to 1B
    Ted Sizemore - C to 2B
    Bobby Valentine - SS to OF
    Bill Russell - OF to SS
    Bill Grabarkiewitz - 3B to obscurity
    Jim Lefebvre - flops between 2B and 3B

  2. Absoulutely right! It was as if they picked names out of hat for who was to play where. Add Dick Allen to the mix who played 3 positions (3rd and OF for 60 games each and 28 games at 1st, where he played for the rest of his career)