Here is a team full of young stars that will make their mark on the game over the next decade, which may explain why the Cubs will improve greatly in 1984. Meanwhile, in 1983, the Cubs were having another 90+ loss season.
This may be remembered as the final season of hall-of-famer Fergie Jenkins career. Although he wasn't on the Cubs for his entire career, it is here where he made his mark, winning 20 games each year between 1967-1972 for the Cubs. He only had one other 20 win season with another team (1974 Rangers).
Best Player: Keith Moreland...led team in batting average, 2nd in OBP, and in top 4 for home runs and RBIs.
Best Pitcher: Lee Smith...not a good win/loss percentage, but led team in ERA, Saves, and WHIP.
All-Stars: Leon Durham, Lee Smith
Hall-of-Famers: Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg
Rookie Card of the Year: Joe Carter...you might think we would say Sandberg here, but he had a card in a regional set issued in 1982. Check the archives of this blog as I had an email exchange with the a relative of the person who took Sandberg's picture. Anyway, Joe Carter, although not quite a hall-of-famer, had a solid career with his high point coming in the 1993 World Series hitting a walk off home run in the final game of the World Series for the Blue Jays. The Cubs had a regional set out in 1983 as well, this time sponsored by Thorn Apple Valley (the Cubs sure knew how to pick partnerships for their cards, also thanks to Wrigley Wax for pointing this out to me). Joe Carter's first card is in this set, predating Donruss by a year and Topps by two years.
Other rookies: Tom Filer, Mel Hall, Steve Lake, Craig Lefferts, Ryne Sandberg (OK I will list him for people just wanting main stream sets)
First Cub card: Thad Bosley, Warren Brusstar, Ron Cey, Wayne Nordhagen (although this is in an OPC issue, not showing him in a Cubs uniform), Chuck Rainey, Dick Ruthven, Steve Trout, Tom Veryzer
Most interesting non-Topps card: Joe Carter, read what I wrote under rookie card of the year section...there were 7 cards to get out of that set that weren't in any other sets (noted below with CV in the checklist)...Joe Carter, Steve Lake, Warren Brusstar, Craig Lefferts. Thad Bosley, the team card and the coaches card...outside of that set, the only player on a Cubs card not in the Topps set is Pat Tabler in the Fleer and Donruss sets, he will be listed in the Indians checklist, as he played for them in '83.
|__||CV||0||CO||Cubs Manager/Coaches (Lee Elia, Ruben Amaro, Bily Connors, Duffy Dyer, Fred Koenig, John Vuckovich)||CHC|