Friday, March 19, 2010

1981 Texas Rangers

Not Much To Say
I don't have much to say about this team. The roster is led by a handful of players that were decent major leaguers, but weren't the most exciting to get in your packs of cards. This team had a nice little run from 1977-1981, hovering around 85-90 wins every year, but they would fall off a cliff in 1982, so it wasn't a team coming down or going anywhere. Even the lone Hall of Famer on this team, Fergie Jenkins, is well past his prime by 1981.

Buddy Bell
Seeing that Buddy Bell was probably the best player on this team brings back flashbacks for me of the god-awful mid-90s Tigers teams that he was manager of. Randy Smith was the GM of the Tigers then, and he would make a lot of awful trades that would send out garbage for more garbage, mostly from the Astros and Padres organizations. The worst trades centered around a player named Matt Drews, who never played in the majors. First Smith traded Cecil Fielder to the Yankees for him. Then they left Drews unprotected in the expansion draft when Arizona and Tampa Bay joined the league, and the Diamondbacks picked him up. To get him back, the Tigers sent out Travis Fryman to the Diamondbacks, who immediately traded him to a division rival. So in the end, the Tigers traded two all-stars away, and probably the only two Tigers worth mentioning from the 1990s, for a guy who never pitched in the majors. No wonder they nearly matched the 1962 Mets record just a few seasons later.

The Rangers of this era seemed to make a lot of similar pointless trades, mostly with the Cleveland Indians, that didn't seem to do anything. For example, in December 1980, The Rangers made this trade:
Traded Steve Finch, Brian Allard, Rick Auerbach, Ken Clay, Jerry Gleaton, and Richie Zisk to the Seattle Mariners. Received Larry Cox, Rick Honeycutt, Willie Horton, Mario Mendoza, and Leon Roberts. A largely pointless trade on both sides reminiscent of the Randy Smith era in Detroit.

By the way, if you are a Rangers collector...check out this blog.

__ TO 95 C Jim Sundberg TEX
__ TO 498 1B Pat Putnam TEX
__ TO 173 2B Bump Wills TEX
__ TO 475 3B Buddy Bell TEX
__ TT 801 SS Mario Mendoza TEX
__ TO 283 LF Billy Sample TEX
__ TO 145 CF Mickey Rivers TEX
__ TO 545 RF Johnny Grubb TEX
__ TO 70 DH Al Oliver TEX
__ TT 825 OF Leon Roberts TEX

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 702 SP Doc Medich TEX
__ TT 772 SP Rick Honeycutt TEX
__ TO 22 SP Danny Darwin TEX
__ TO 158 SP Fergie Jenkins TEX
__ TO 656 SP Jon Matlack TEX

Relief Pitchers
__ TO 592 CL Steve Comer TEX
__ TO 371 RP Charlie Hough TEX

Other Players
__ TT 836 UT Bill Stein TEX
__ TT 852 SS Mark Wagner TEX
__ TO 153 OF Tom Poquette BOS
__ TO 339 1B John Ellis TEX

OF Bob Jones

IF Wayne Tolleson

OF Rick Lisi

UT Bob Johnson

UT Dan Duran
__ DO 509 SS Nelson Norman TEX
__ TT 749 C Larry Cox TEX

DH Don Werner

RP Dave J. Schmidt
__ TO 197 RP Jim Kern TEX

RP Bob Babcock
__ FL 635 SP John Butcher TEX
__ TO 216 RP John Henry Johnson TEX

RP Mark Mercer

SP Len Whitehouse
__ TO 481 RP Bob Lacey OAK

__ FL 230 MG Don Zimmer BOS

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