How imbalanced was baseball's divisions in 1983. I've commented on the depth of the AL East before, but this is the third team I am covering from the old NL West, and I still haven't touched the 2nd place teams in the AL West or NL East. The Astros started slowly but got to 85 wins. Just four games above .500 (or is that 8?) and still no second place team out of two divisions.
The Astros big news in 1983 was Nolan Ryan passing the career strikeout record previously held by Walter Johnson. Ryan shattered this record eventually by nearly 2000 K, and although no record is unbreakable, it will take a pretty special pitcher to break Ryan's record of 5714 strikeouts.
Best Player: Tough decision between Jose Cruz and a break out season by Dickie Thon, but I will give this to Cruz
Best Pitcher: Nolan Ryan
All-Stars: Bill Dawley, Dickie Thon....really Bill Dawley, not the token player since Thon was on the team, but he was 6-6 with a respectable ERA, but didn't lead the team in saves
Hall-of-Famers: Nolan Ryan
Rookie Card of the Year: Bill Doran
Other rookie cards: Frank DiPino, Alan Knicely (under players on new teams, did appear on the Astros prospects card in 1981), Mike Madden
First Astro cards: George Cappuzzello (under retired players), Randy Moffitt (under players on new teams), Omar Moreno, Mike Scott
Most interesting non-Topps card: There were no cards not in one of the Topps sets