Ron Cey sets record straight on 'The Penguin'

I am excited- baseball’s spring training is underway and games are being played in Florida and in Arizona. A month from now and the season will be starting. I have no hope for my Pittsburgh Pirates who are the odds on favorite to lose more games this year than any other team in Major League Baseball- but I am excited about watching them- and other ballgames too. Last year a two month season- with all that was going on I couldn’t get into it. It was also the first year since I was six years old that I didn’t attend a game in person. Of course with the COVID it wasn’t possible. I was thinking of doing a baseball feature this month to get me in the mood for the season. I thought baseball songs but I’ve already had a Baseball Songs Countdown a year or two ago. Saturday morning I got a text from my old friend Heinrich-[the friend who turned me on to The Beatles] and he was mentioning great baseball nicknames from the past. Baseball players have had some great nicknames over the years. Not so many today. I don’t know what that says but.. anyway. I am going to hit upon some of the greatest baseball nicknames during the month of March.

Tacoma ~ Pierce County - Old~Timers Baseball~Softball Association

Ron Cey- ‘ The Penguin.’ Ron Cey is best remembered for being the third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1971-82. He finished his career with the Chicago Cubs 1983-86 and Oakland in 1987 but everyone remembers him as a Dodger. He was a very good player who was part of a history making infield. The Dodger infield of Steve Garvey at first, Davey Lopes at second, Cey at third and Bill Russell at shortstop has the record for playing together as an starting infield for eight and a half years. Cey hit 316 home runs in his career and had a .261 career batting average. He was a 6 time All-Star- and was my friend Badfinger20’s favorite player growing up.

Cey got his nickname ‘The Penguin’ – while in college due to his short legs which gave him a waddling walk and run just like a penguin. A lot of credit has to go to Dodgers coach and later manager Tommy Lasorda for popularizing the nickname.

Image 1 - Original-1983-Nike-Poster-034-PENGUIN-POWER-Ron-Cey-Chicago-Cubs-LA-Dodgers


  1. Awesome! Ron Cey had a great batting eye…he would only swing at his pitch…I wish Garvey would have taken notes. Put him in a tight spot and he would always come through.
    I started playing 3rd base in little league because of this man and even start to run like him… One of the worse trades and a dark day for me was when they traded him…he still had plenty in the tank with the Cubs.

    Hans I don’t ever see another infield that will stay together that long. None are in the Hall of Fame but they were really good.

    • I agree we will never see an infield stay together anywhere near that long in today’s game. They were all very good and steady. Yes, the Dodgers shouldn’t have traded Cey. He didn’t look right in a Cubs uniform and they got nothing in that trade for him. A head shaker.

    • I was such a fan as a kid that I would sign my name as his on my homework…I had a Yankee fan as a teacher and he would sign Reggie Jackson on study guides to me…just to get to me. ,…oh yes…they went by “better a year too early than late” but it was 4 years early for him.

    • It was 78-79 when I had him for homeroom and other classes. So the 3 home runs were on my mind from 77…he was a great guy. We formed 6th grade softball teams and he threatened to put me on the “Yankees” but no he put me on the Dodgers of course lol.

  2. Cool! I remember him but didn’t know that nickname. The Dodgers were a formidable team back then when I was a kid with him, Garvey, Lopes, Sutton etc. … took a long time but they’re back to that level and then some.
    Max – you woulda loved it… I was at a convenience store this morning, out early, and grabbed a coffee, guy just ahead of me also had big coffee. Older man in a new LA cap. He says something about the large drinks being on sale, so I ask “do you think your Dodgers will repeat this year?” He says “I hope so! My nephew is a professional scout for ’em”. Wish I could’ve talked to him about that.

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