You gotta figure it was pretty good to be a Los Angeles Dodger in the early 1980s, right?

I mean, from 1970 through 1983, the Dodgers finished as low as third just once (1979) and locked down four division titles during that run.

Four pennants, too, though not exactly in the years they won those NL West crowns.

Well, not always …

Sure, L.A. made it to the World Series in 1974, 1977, and 1978, when they took their division, but not in 1983 — they lost to the Phillies in that NLCS.

But the Dodgers had already made up for that in 1981, when they finished second overall in the West but managed to “win” the first half of that strike-torn campaign, then took down the Houston Astros in the first National League Division Series … and the Montreal Expos in the NLCS … and the New York Yankees in the World Series.

So, yeah, it was good to be a Dodger in the early 1980s.

And that went double if you were a young up-and-comer, especially a pitcher.

In 1979, starter Rick Sutcliffe won the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

In 1981, ace Fernando Valenzuela was the NL ROY.

In 1982, it was second baseman Steve Sax.

All Dodgers.

All building the next generation of contenders.

But you can’t build a contender with nothing but lefty starters and a keystone dude.

So, in 1980, the Dodgers threw in a rookie reliever, and he won the Rookie of the Year Award, too.

How would you feel coming of an ROY campaign and heading into a new season with sights on bigger and better, surrounded by plenty of other young talent, gunning for a World Series crown?

Yeah, you’d feel about like this …

Find Steve Howe cards on eBay (affiliate link)

Find Steve Howe cards on Amazon (affiliate link)

Smiling in the sunshine … Dodgers jacket draped over a nonchalant hand … hips cocked just so — a picture of joy and cockiness and promise and plenty of baseball left to be played.

Steve How was all of that, there on his 1981 Fleer rookie card, no matter what hardships and shortcomings and tragedies still lay ahead of him.

And he’s still there today, after all the darkness, waiting for us to remember the good times.

Hobby Wow!

Howe and his Dodgers teammates were on top of the world in 1981 when they took down the New York Yankees to win the World Series.

This eBay lot recaptures some of that feel:

That’s a gold and diamond pendant celebrating the championship, backed by Dodger Blue … naturally!

Check out the full listing on eBay right here (affiliate link).