Monday, May 22, 2006

Rudy Law

Rudy Karl Law was one of the quickest players in the game.

As they say, he had speed to burn.

Yet, one of the major knocks on him when he played with the Los Angeles Dodgers was that he had poor instincts as a base runner.

But, he was so incredibly fast that he was able to steal bases on pure talent alone.

"He's awkward, unorthodox," Dodger teammate Davey Lopes noted at the time. "I don't know of any other base runner like him. He hasn't developed the art of base running and maybe he doesn't have to. Some guys don't, if they have speed like he does."

Defensively, Law was adequate at best in the outfield. He did not always get good jumps on flyballs, but could often make up for mistakes with his outstanding speed. However, his arm was a major liability and enemy runners would routinely take extra bases against him.

At bat, Law was a Punch-and-Judy hitter with virtually no power. He made his living putting the ball in play and trying to leg out grounders for base hits.

A native of Waco, Texas, Law was signed as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers in 1975 and made his major league debut three years later.

After a blazing spring in 1980, Law was the Dodgers' Opening Day starter in center field and was a regular until midway through the season. He was hitting .286 with 27 stolen bases at the All-Star break, but shortly thereafter wound up in Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda's doghouse. Nevertheless, Law ended up batting .260 on the season with 40 steals, a Dodger rookie record.

Law's days in Los Angeles were numbered. During the winter of 1980, the Dodgers acquired center fielder Ken Landreaux from the Minnesota Twins. As a result, Law was shipped back to the Albuquerque Dukes, the club's Triple A affiliate.

"If it wasn't for my wife, I probably would have quit after the Dodgers sent me to Albuquerque," Law told the press. "It was a low point. But she helped motivate me, kept me going."

On March 30, 1982, the Dodgers peddled Law to the Chicago White Sox for minor leaguers Cecil Espy and Bert Geiger.

Law played four seasons with the White Sox before finishing up his career with the Kansas City Royals in 1986. He batted a career high .318 in 1982 and stole a career high 77 bases in 1983.

[1] Hoffer, Richard. "The Big Surprise in Center Field." LAT, April 29, 1980, D1.
[2] Holtzman, Jerome. "Now, Rudy's Law: Get it done--fast." Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1983, C3.


At 3:25 PM, Blogger Tomy said...

Omg.... Today I met him in person i couldn't believe it. I got a baseball card from him and an autograph!

At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Raymond Camacho said...

Rudy Law is an outstanding person .Met him 2 years a go ....great person to be around with....

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We met him today at Eastview Little league. He is an outstanding person. My son got to meet one of the greats! But, now that he's signed my sons hat, he refuses to wear it and wants the "pro" hat. LOL! Thanks Rudy! LOL!

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the best of all players in the mlb.

good with kids when giving lessons.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why was Law in Lasorda's doghouse?


Post a Comment

<< Home