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Ron Cey

November 15, 2000

Where do you start with a player like Ron Cey? With his membership in the first team foursome to hit 30 homers in a season, 1979? The co-MVP Award in the 1981 World Series, or the diving catch of Bobby Murcer's popped up bunt or the Gossage beaning from the same Series? The consistent play throughout the 70s and 80s, and his part in the longest running infield of all-time? Nine errors in 1979, at the time a record for fewest errors by a third baseman in a full season of play? The way he ran the bases, they said, like a penguin?

Or maybe when you stop to think, the Dodgers have had exactly one solution at third since landing in Los Angeles. One. We'll find out about Adrian Beltre soon enough, but until that time, Cey is that one.

When recalling his memories, Cey talks about the infield, with Garvey, Lopes and Russell, and about winning the championship in 1981: "...it's where the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort for 25 guys and more are recognized. It's a great feeling to be able to reach that peak, it's what it's all about, it's what you play for."

And about this: "From a historical standpoint, I was fortunate enough to play in the game that Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record in 1974, when he hit his 715th in Atlanta. I feel grateful. To be involved in an event like that, with Hank finally being able to get over that hump and break Babe's record. It was a tremendous moment."

Cey also chimed in about another guy on the field that night, Bill Buckner: "It's unfortunate that a player who had as long and productive a career as Bill did, gets remembered for one isolated play in a game. But Billy's accomplishments and determination, and the sacrifices that he made to play the game....those of us that played with him and against him know that that is an unfortunate situation, but certainly not the player that Bill was. He can play for me anytime."

Cey currently works for the Dodgers' Marketing and Community Affairs department, primarily in corporate entertaining, but is most excited about another project.

He's a big part of the Call of Fame, a new sports venture which unites fans with their favorite players, via telephone, hence the name. The company, Professional Athletes Systems, is led by President of Baseball Operations Dave Winfield, and features along with Cey, Jim Fregosi, representing Philadelphia, Ferguson Jenkins (Cubs), Davey Johnson (NYM), Jerry Moses (Bos), and Graig Nettles (NYY), along with Asst. VPs of Player Relations, Darrell Evans and Jim "Mudcat" Grant. Find out more by calling 800-670-2291 or check out their website, www.calloffame.com.

"I feel very good about being able to offer a program that's by far the best that's ever crossed the retired player's desk. Hopefully, if this program gets off well, we can incorporate other cities as well."

We thank Ron Cey for the interview, and for the memories. With Professional Athletes Systems' Call of Fame, you can thank him yourself.

Howard Cole



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