Thanks to a tip from Wrigley Wax, I am adding a regional set to help fill out this Cubs checklist. In 1982, the Cubs in conjunction with Red Lobster produced a 28 card team set. Nothing goes better together than baseball cards and Red Lobster. The cards are slightly thinner than standard issue cards, but the height is the same, so they won't fit poorly in your box, like sets such as the 1988 Topps Big and 1989 Bowman sets. There are 6 cards in the set that will help fill out the ultimate checklist for the 1982 Cubs, which are all noted in the checklist below with CR.
Leon Durham led the team in home runs and RBIs and all the new age average stats (OBP, SLG, OPS), so he will get the award...consideration could go to Bill Buckner and Ryne Sandberg.
Lee Smith was the closer for this team and racked up 17 saves to go with his 2.69 ERA. On most teams, his card would get the award for Rookie Card of the Year, but...
Rookie Card of the Year
In the above mentioned Red Lobster set, one of the 6 players there were cards of that help us fill out the checklist is a card of hall-of-famer Ryne Sandberg. This card actually pre-dates his Topps, Fleer and Donruss rookie cards, which all came out in the 1983 sets. As mentioned previously in this blog, Sandberg made his debut in 1981 with the Phillies, but 1982 was his first season with the Cubs.
Most Interesting Non-Topps Card
This team was loaded with solid rookie cards in 1982, and one that gets lost behind Ryne Sandberg and Lee Smith is the rookie card of Pat Tabler in the 1982 Donruss set. Tabler was a high average hitting first baseman making a name for himself with the Indians through the 1980s. He wrapped up his career with the Royals, Mets, and Blue Jays, finally retiring after the 1992 season. 1982 was his last season with the Cubs before he was traded to the crosstown White Sox and then on to the Indians during the offseason of 1982-1983.
Note: Bob Molinaro has a card in the 1982 Topps set showing him as a member of the White Sox. He also has a card in the Cubs Red Lobster set showing him as a Cub. He played with the Cubs and Phillies in 1982. He had 72 plate appearances with the Cubs, 17 for the Phillies, so I am placing his 1982 Topps card on the Cubs checklist, simply because the Red Lobster card is probably rare. If I ever get that card, I will place the 1982 Topps Molinaro card with the Phillies.
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