Ronald Charles Cey is an American former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1971-1982), Chicago Cubs (1983-1986) and Oakland Athletics (1987). Cey batted and threw right-handed. A popular player, he was nicknamed “The Penguin” for his slow waddling running gait by his then-minor league manager Tommy Lasorda.
Cey was born in Tacoma, Washington. A graduate of Mount Tahoma High School, he attended Washington State University. He also played college baseball for the Cougars in 1968.
With the Dodgers, third baseman Cey was part of an All-Star infield that included Steve Garvey (first baseman), Davey Lopes (second baseman) and Bill Russell (shortstop). This quartet was the most enduring infield in baseball history. The four infielders stayed together as the Dodgers’ starters for eight and a half years. Cey was one of the most productive and adept-fielding National League third basemen in the 1970s, but was overshadowed by Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt. In 1977, he helped the Dodgers to a fast start by batting .429 in April with a record-tying 11 home runs for the month and 29 RBI’s. The Dodgers won the Western Division title that season on their way to the National League pennant.
Cey would continue to have productive seasons with the Dodgers, helping them to pennants in 1978 and 1981. After the 1982 season, the Dodgers traded Cey to the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers so that Pedro Guerrero could move to third base and rookie Mike Marshall could get in the Dodgers’ outfield. Cey provided veteran leadership for the Cubs over four seasons and, in 1984, helped lead the Cubs to the National League East Division title, hitting 25 homers and driving in 97 runs, both team highs. Cey spent the final year of his career in 1987 as a part-time player with the Oakland A’s.
In a 17-season career, Cey was a .261 hitter with 316 home runs and 1139 RBI in 2073 games. He is also one of three Phis to win the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.
Cey had a terrific 1981 World Series in which he helped spark the Dodgers to four straight victories after they had lost the first two games, including returning for the clinching Game 6 after having been being hit in the head by a Goose Gossage fastball during Game 5. Cey was named co-MVP along with Steve Yeager and Pedro Guerrero. He is still a part of the Dodgers’ organization and continues to make appearances on the team’s behalf.