Tuesday, May 6, 2014

1978 Topps Baseball #152 - Ivan DeJesus

  • Ivan De Jesus was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1969. DeJesus worked his way through the Dodgers' system, but there wasn't room for him on the major league club. After having limited playing time in 1974, 1975, and 1976 Ivan was traded (with Bill Buckner and a minor leaguer) to the Chicago Cubs for Rick Monday and Mike Garman.
  • DeJesus was given a chance by the Cubs and he made the most of it. DeJesus played in 155 or more games in each of the next four seasons (1977-1980). Ivan batted .266 with 91 runs scored in 1977. 
  • Ivan led the NL in runs scored (104) in 1978 and also stole 41 bases.
  • In 1979 DeJesus scored 92 runs and batted .283. He also had a career high with 10 triples.
  • Ivan's stats started to drop off in 1980. He dropped to .259 and scored only 78 runs. DeJesus did steal a career high 44 bases.
  • DeJesus played in 106 games in 1981, but that was the strike year. He had a .194 batting average and Ivan's days in Chicago were numbered. After the 1981 season DeJesus was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa (WHOOOOOOPS!!).
  • Ivan was the starting shortstop for the Phillies from 1982-1984. He didn't put up the numbers that he did in Chicago. In 1982 DeJesus batted  .239 in 161 games, in 1983 he batted .254 in 158 games, and in 1984 Ivan batted .257 in 144 games. In 1983 DeJesus batted .250 (3 for 12) in the NL Championship Series and .125 (2 for 16) in the World Series.
  • In 1985 the Phillies gave the starting shortstop job to Steve Jeltz. DeJesus was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Dave Rucker. Ivan backed up Ozzie Smith at shortstop and Terry Pendleton at third base. Both players were durable, so DeJesus didn't get to play much (.222 in 78 at bats). 
  • DeJesus became a free agent after the 1985 season and signed with the Montreal Expos. He didn't make the team and was released at the end of spring training. Ivan signed with the New York Yankees on May 1 and spent some time with AAA Columbus. He went 0 for 4 in seven games for the Yankees and was released on June 24. Ivan then signed with the Cincinnati Reds in July and played in the minors but was released after a couple of weeks.
  • In 1987 DeJesus signed with the Cardinals. Ivan spent some time in AAA but was released by the Cardinals in June without  getting back to the majors. He signed with the San Francisco Giants,   played in AAA Phoenix, and spent a little bit of time in San Francisco (2 for 10 in 9 games).
  • DeJesus moved on to Detroit in June 1988. He spent most of the year in the minors but was up with the Tigers for about a week in July (.176 in 7 games). Ivan played in the minors for the Tigers in 1989 but he never made it back to the majors.
  • After his playing career DeJesus had various managing and coaching jobs, mostly in the minors. Ivan served as a coach with the Chicago Cubs in 2010 and in 2011.
  • 1978 Stats: .278, 3 HR, 35 RBI, 104 runs scored
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • Apr 16 - Went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 1 RBI to help the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1.
    • June 16 - Had three hits and knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the 9th inning against the Houston Astros. The Astros were able to tie the game twice in the 9th and 10th innings, but the Cubs eventually won the game 7-6 in 12 innings.
    • July 28 - Doubled and scored the only run in the game in the 7th inning of Chicago's 1-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.