Before steroids, and the non-stop chatter about the use of them, baseball had another drug scandal in the early 1980s. The drug scandal centered around the use of cocaine, and many of the players on this Pirates roster were involved in that scandal. Dave Parker, Dale Berra, Rod Scurry, Lee Lacy, and John Milner were all involved in the Pittsburgh drug trials in 1985 that may have been the biggest baseball scandal since the 1919 Chicago White Sox.
I think this scandal has been mostly forgotten about because outside of a handful of players derailing their own careers, this didn't really ruin the history or integrity of the game the way the steroid scandal that would come along in just a decade or so did. It also wasn't reportedly to be as wide spread as the steroid scandal. I think the perception of recreational drug use has changed quite a bit since then as well. I can't imagine a player would be suspended for an entire year as some of these players were if this happened in 2010. In fact Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted to using them as recently as last year, and nothing really became of it.
Bill Madlock led the team in batting average and runs scored. He was second in home runs and RBIs. I will give him the award for this Pirates squad, but he narrowly beats out Jason Thompson, who led the team in home runs, RBIs, and OBP. Johnny Ray led the team in hits.
Similar to the batters in that there was really no one who stood out and several who deserved consideration as best pitcher on this team. I am going to give it to Kent Tekulve. He led the team in saves, was 2nd in ERA and 3rd overall in wins. Honorable mention goes to fellow bullpen member Rod Scurry and starter John Candelaria.
Rookie Card of the Year
Tony Pena had his first cards solo in 1982, having a card in each of the three major regular sets. But he had was on the multi-player Pirates prospects card in 1981. I may have given it to him anyway, because he would go on to be the face of the Pirates until Barry Bonds came along in the later half of the 1980s. I will give this instead to second baseman Johnny Ray. He would have an all-star career through 1990 with the Pirates and Angels. He led this 1982 team in games played and hits. He also was 2nd overall in National League rookie of the year voting. He had cards in the Donruss and Fleer sets, and was on the multi-player prospect card for the Pirates in the 1982 Topps set, but I am using his 1982 Topps Traded card in this checklist.
Most Interesting Non-Topps card
In the 1982 Donruss set, they included a handful of coaches. This is the only set outside of a team issued set that was released after 1980 (at least) that included coaches. Harvey Haddix was the pitching coach for the 1982 Pirates. He had a 14 season career from 1952-1965 pitching for the Cardinals, Phillies, Reds, Pirates, and wrapping it up with the Orioles. His claim to fame may be taking a perfect game into the 13th inning against the Milwaukee Braves in 1959 while pitching for the Pirates. He ultimately lost the game in the 13th inning as he received no offensive support for this effort.