Since the Mariners came online in 1977, this was their best team recordwise. This would also be the team's best record until 1987. This team also had the first hall-of-famer in team's history, in Gaylord Perry. Perry was one of nine Mariners in the Topps Traded set.
He was picked up in one of those moves that many expansion teams make in order to create a history for their team because he won his 300th game shortly after joining the Mariners. Who did Wade Boggs get his 3000th hit with? The Devil Rays (or Rays) in 1999, which Boggs only played with for two seasons. Who did Pete Rose get his 4000th hit with? The Montreal Expos, who he played with for only 4 months in 1984. This may have all started with the '62 Mets who attempted to create an all-star team of over-the-hill players from other NL teams until they could get fully up and running in order to put fans in the seats.
Al Cowens, who came in 2nd in the MVP race in 1977 with the Royals, was purchased to by the Mariners prior to the '82 season. He led the team in hits and RBIs (even though it was only 78), was 2nd in runs scored, HRs, and slugging percentage, and was third in batting average and OBP. This wasn't a team known for it's offense. Al Cowens, Julio Cruz, Bruce Bochte, and Richie Zisk led this offense, but wouldn't have even come close to leading any other team in 1982.
This team was stronger in the pitching department. There wasn't any pitcher with a strong winning percentage, but alot of young pitchers (who either panned or didn't) with decent ERAs. The best pitcher though was actually the teams closer. Bill Caudill had 26 saves for this team to go with a 2.35 ERA.
Rookie Card of the Year
Another strong arm out of the bullpen was Ed VandeBerg, he was truly a 1st year player with a card in one of the sets. He had a 2.37 ERA as a set up man out of the pen. 1982 was his best year though and after leaving the Mariners in for the 1986 season to play for the Dodgers, Indians, and Rangers, he was out of baseball after 1988.
Most Interesting Non-Topps Card
I am trying not to use the manager cards that were in the Donruss set, so I am going with the only player who saw playing time with the Mariners in 1982 that didn't have a Topps card, Paul Serna. Serna was a backup middle infielder who signed with the Mariners as an amateur free agent in 1980 and was with the big club in 1981. 1982 was his last season in the majors, although he was in the farm system until 1985.
Note: Dave Revering played his final season in 1982. He bounced around between the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Mariners in 1982. He had a card as a Yankee in the regular Topps set and a card in the Traded set with the Blue Jays. He got 159 plate appearances with the Jays, 92 with the Mariners, and 44 with the Yankees, so I am placing his Yankees card on the Mariners checklist since he got more playing time with the Mariners.
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