Was Mike Schmidt not available?
In 1981, the Cubs were the worst team in the National League recordwise. Just three years later in 1984, they would have the best record. Here are the players on the '81 Cubs roster who would contribute to the 1984 Cubs team:
Mel Hall (played a partial season in 1984 for the Cubs, though traded for Rick Sutcliffe that year)
Here were the 1984 Cubs playing for the Phillies in 1981:
Dickie Noles (played part of 1984 with the Cubs)
So you have to look at the 1981 Phillies to see how the Cubs turned their team around in 3 quick years. Maybe a Cub or Phillie fan can let me know, what was the connection between these teams?
Unfortunately in 1981, many of the Cubs that would turn the team around (Sandberg, Lee Smith, Jody Davis) didn't have cards out in 1981.
Here is my link to a Chicago Cubs collector....Wrigley Wax.
Adding after the original post...Jim from the Phillies Room answers the question, which I should've known by looking at the GMs for the teams. Dallas Green was manager of the Phillies in 1981 and later became GM of the Cubs in 1984. I also know that he was manager of the Yankees when they were lousy in the early 1990s, so his luck must've run out by then.
|__||TO||54||SS||Ivan de Jesus||CHC|
|__||FL||308||OF||Jim Tracy (or DO 520) ||CHC|
|__||FL||307||OF||Carlos Lezcano (or DO 521) ||CHC|