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Consistency key for LA first basemen

Consistency key for LA first basemen

LOS ANGELES -- Since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, the Dodgers have had several first basemen who have made a name for themselves in Dodger blue. Now, it's up to the Dodgers faithful to decide who was the best among them.

This month, Dodgers fans will be able to vote on the first basemen for the team's all-time roster as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Dodgers moving to Los Angeles. Other positions will follow in the coming months as fans put together their all-time roster, to be announced in 2008.

The list of first basemen consists of a Hall of Famer in Eddie Murray, a member of four World Series teams in Ron Fairly, a Rookie of the Year Award winner in Eric Karros, a 10-time All-Star in Steve Garvey and the recently named all-time Gold Glove first baseman Wes Parker.

Below is a list of the five candidates with a quick overview of their career with the Dodgers. The rest is up to you, the fans who have watched and cheered for your favorite Blue Crew members over the years.

Ron Fairly
Fairly was a member of the Dodgers from 1958-69 and helped the team win the 1965 World Series. Fairly drilled two homers and drove in six runs as the Dodgers defeated the Minnesota Twins.

After taking over first base for Gil Hodges, Fairly was a solid first baseman who had a short compact swing with occasional power to all fields. He hit .266 with 215 homers and 1,044 RBIs in his 21-year Major League career.

He was named to the All-Star team in '73 for Montreal and '77 for Toronto. His best season as a Dodger came in 1962, when he hit .278 with 14 homers, 71 RBIs and 80 runs scored.

Steve Garvey
Garvey was a part of one of the best infields in Dodgers history when he teamed up with Ron Cey, Bill Russell and Davey Lopes over seven seasons. A member of the Dodgers from 1969-82, Garvey was a power-hitting, run-producing first baseman, who helped the club win a World Series in 1981.

A 10-time All-Star, Garvey finished his career with a .292 average, 272 homers and 1,308 RBIs. Garvey won Gold Gloves in '74 and '77 and was named the NL MVP in '74 after hitting .312 with 21 homers and 111 RBIs. He also set a record that still stands for consecutive games without an error with 183 and played in a National League-record 1,207 consecutive games.

Garvey put his stamp on the Dodgers' 1981 World Series team by hitting .417 (10-for-24) with a double and three runs scored as the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in six games.

Eric Karros
The NL Rookie of the Year in 1992, Karros was one of the most productive hitting first basemen in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Karros was known for his consistency, producing six consecutive 20-home run seasons, including a career-high 34 homers in 1999.

In 1995, Karros won the Silver Slugger Award at first base and finished fifth in the voting for the NL MVP. His finest season as a Dodger was in 1999, when he hit .304 with 34 homers and 112 RBIs.

Despite 11 solid years with the Dodgers, Karros was never named to an All-Star team and never won a Gold Glove. He finished his Dodgers career as the all-time Los Angeles Dodgers career home run leader with 270.

Eddie Murray
The Hall of Famer had a short but productive stint with the Dodgers from 1989-91. Murray, who earned the nickname "Steady Eddie" for his offensive consistency, didn't take long to win over the Dodgers faithful, producing one of his finest seasons in 1990, hitting .330 with 26 homers and 95 RBIs.

An eight-time All-Star, Murray hit .287 with 504 homers and 1,917 RBIs over his 21-year Major League career. Murray's 504 home runs rank second among switch-hitters behind Mickey Mantle's 536.

Murray won three Gold Gloves at first base and had 3,255 hits in his career. He finished his career as one of only four players in Major League history to amass 500 homers and 3,000 hits. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Rafael Palmeiro are the only others to accomplish the feat.

Wes Parker
Parker, who was named to the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove team on Aug. 21, won six Gold Gloves as a member of the Dodgers from 1964-72.

Parker hit .267 with 64 homers and 470 RBIs in nine seasons in L.A. He helped the Dodgers defeat the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 World Series by hitting .304 (7-for-23) with a homer and two RBIs in seven games.

His finest season as a Dodger was in 1970, when he hit .319 with 10 homers and a career-high 111 RBIs. That same season, Parker led the NL in doubles with 47.

Jayson Addcox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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