Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1981 Chicago Cubs

Was Mike Schmidt not available?
In 1981, the Cubs were the worst team in the National League recordwise. Just three years later in 1984, they would have the best record. Here are the players on the '81 Cubs roster who would contribute to the 1984 Cubs team:
Jody Davis
Leon Durham
Lee Smith
Mel Hall (played a partial season in 1984 for the Cubs, though traded for Rick Sutcliffe that year)

Here were the 1984 Cubs playing for the Phillies in 1981:
Gary Matthews
Larry Bowa
Keith Moreland
Ryne Sandberg
Bob Dernier
Dick Ruthven
Warren Brusstar
Dickie Noles (played part of 1984 with the Cubs)

So you have to look at the 1981 Phillies to see how the Cubs turned their team around in 3 quick years. Maybe a Cub or Phillie fan can let me know, what was the connection between these teams?

Unfortunately in 1981, many of the Cubs that would turn the team around (Sandberg, Lee Smith, Jody Davis) didn't have cards out in 1981.

Here is my link to a Chicago Cubs collector....Wrigley Wax.

Adding after the original post...Jim from the Phillies Room answers the question, which I should've known by looking at the GMs for the teams. Dallas Green was manager of the Phillies in 1981 and later became GM of the Cubs in 1984. I also know that he was manager of the Yankees when they were lousy in the early 1990s, so his luck must've run out by then.


C Jody Davis
__ TO 625 1B Bill Buckner CHC

2B Pat Tabler
__ TT 820 3B Ken Reitz CHC
__ TO 54 SS Ivan de Jesus CHC
__ TT 769 LF Steve Henderson CHC
__ TT 805 CF Jerry Morales CHC
__ TT 756 RF Leon Durham CHC
__ TT 740 CF Bobby Bonds CHC
__ TO 553 C Tim Blackwell CHC

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 176 SP Mike Krukow CHC
__ TO 645 SP Rick Reuschel CHC
__ TT 737 SP Doug Bird CHC
__ TT 783 SP Ken Kravec CHC

Relief Pitchers
__ TO 352 CL Dick Tidrow CHC
__ FL 300 RP Randy Martz CHC

RP Lee Smith
__ TO 136 RP Doug Capilla CHC

RP Rawly Eastwick
__ TO 483 SP Mike Griffin NYY
__ TO 609 RP Lynn McGlothen CHC
__ TO 574 RP Bill Caudill CHC

Other Players
__ TO 395 CF Scot Thompson CHC
__ TT 750 UT Hector Cruz CHC
__ TO 78 2B Steve Dillard CHC
__ TO 294 2B Mike Tyson CHC
__ TT 837 2B Joe Strain CHC

3B Ty Waller
__ FL 308 OF Jim Tracy (or DO 520)
__ TT 795 UT Mike Lum CHC

2B Scott Fletcher
__ TO 492 C Barry Foote CHC
__ FL 307 OF Carlos Lezcano (or DO 521)

OF Mel Hall

PH Gene Krug

C Bill Hayes

RP Jay Howell

RP Dave Geisel
__ TO 238 RP Guillermo Hernandez CHC

__ DO 522 MG Joey Amalfitano CHC


  1. Dallas Green is the connection between the two teams. After being fired as the Phillies manager, he went on to become the GM of the Cubs. He did what the Astros' GM Ed Wade is doing today, but with much, much more success. Dallas managed to wrestle this guy away from the Phillies as a player to be named later:


  2. Ah...should've looked at the GMs, that would make sense.

    When I was writing this entry, I was trying to find common ground between this team in '81, which was worst in the NL to the 1984 team, which had the best record. Amazing turn around in three short seasons. I noticed a lot of the '84 Cubs were playing on the Phillies in '81, and so a blog entry writes itself.

    Its interesting that the worst teams in 1981 all turn it around in a short time and make a playoff appearance, within 5 years. I know compiling the 1982 teams, the Rangers and Reds are at the bottom, and it takes them both nearly a decade to get back to being competitive.

  3. Thanks for reminding me of this really horrible team! 1981 was also the last season that William Wrigley owned the team. They were sold to the Tribune Company during the season. It was the Tribune Company that brought Dallas Green in after the '81 season, being hired away from the Phillies. The slogan he adopted was "Building a New Tradition." To Cubs fans, it was "Building a Phillies Tradition." But hey, it worked.

    I'm not familiar with any regional cards to fill in your blanks. The Cubs first team issued set was the next year, 1982.

  4. Hey, I also brought up the 1984 team...as a Tiger fan, that is a World Series that could've been classic. Two cities that have a lot of sports rivalries anyway playing in old turn of the century ballparks.

    I have never bought a price guide, so the internet has clued me in on a lot of cards I never knew existed before 1997. Thanks fpr the heads up, I will look out for any Cubs issues when I move onto the 1982 checklists.