Friday, June 11, 2010

1982 Cleveland Indians

Not much to say about this team as a whole as this was in the middle of the era when the Indians were seen as a national joke (see the movie Major League) and there were just few signs of life. They did just finish a little south of .500 in 1982 though and had some decent young players.

This award is between Toby Harrah or Andre Thornton. I am giving the nod to Toby Harrah, as he led the team in all the average categories (batting, on base, slugging, OPS), was 2nd in homers, and played in the field. Thornton led the team in home runs and RBIs and had respectable averages, but never played in the field.

Cy Young
The Indians actually had a decent pitching staff in 1982. Len Barker and Rick Sutcliffe formed a pretty good one-two punch and Dan Spillner led the team in saves with a 2.49 ERA. Although he was injured in 1982 and only got into 20 innings, this roster also had Bert Blyleven. The Indians would trade these pitchers away for everyday players, which led them to have a solid lineup in 1986 with no pitching.

Rick Sutcliffe led the American League in ERA, so I am giving him the Cy Young award..

Rookie Card of the Year
Von Hayes had cards in the Fleer and Donruss sets as well as the regular Topps set on the Indians prospects card. His Topps Traded card is listed on this checklist.

Von Hayes must've been seen as quite a prospect. I don't remember reading or hearing anything about him as I was 9 in 1982 and didn't read much beyond the Tigers in the newspaper. The reason I say this is that for getting only 109 at bats in 1981, he has a presence in all of the major baseball card sets. In this era, most players didn't get a card until they were around a couple of seasons, or were a regular from day one of their career. The other reason I think this is what another team gave up to get him.

Von Hayes made his mark on the Phillies, being traded from the Indians after the '82 season and staying on the Phillies through the 1991 season. He was traded to the Phillies in exchange for 5 players. I can't remember a more lopsided trade ever as far as number of players exchanging teams. The five the Indians received were Jay Baller, Julio Franco, Manny Trillo, George Vuckovich, and Jerry Willard. All five had some degree of a major league career. Julio Franco was the best player received and if the trade was a straight up Von Hayes for Julio Franco deal, the Indians probably still would've won out. Franco would go on to a very long career, finally hanging it up in 2008 and winning a batting title along the way. Manny Trillo was the starting 2nd baseman for the 1983 all-star game and was a useful pinch hitter for several teams through the later half of the '80s. George Vukovich was the Indians starting right fielder for the next three seasons. Jay Baller never pitched for the Indians, but appeared as late as 1992 in the majors. Jerry Willard played in a few games for the Indians, but would stick in the major leagues through the 1994 season. Von Hayes was a decent player, but I hardly think he was worth what the Phillies gave up.

I've written before about a connection between the Cubs and Phillies in this era, but there must've been a connection between the Indians and Phillies as well. Besides the Von Hayes trade, going back to November of 1981, there were three other trades with the Phillies. They sent Bo Diaz to the Phillies in the trade that sent Lonnie Smith to the Cardinals. The Indians got nothing out of this deal. In February of 1982 the Indians traded relief pitcher Sid Monge for outfielder Bake McBride. Then in September traded John Denny was shipped to the Phils for Jerry Reed, Roy Smith, and another pitcher. The Hayes-Franco+4 deal was made in December of 1982. After that, they didn't deal with the Phillies for at least a few years.

Most Interesting Non-Topps Card
Under the list of retired players for 1982 that had cards, one player that was listed was Sal Bando, who had cards in both the Donruss and Fleer sets. Sal was a runner up MVP for the early 1970s Oakland A's and finished up his career as a Milwaukee Brewer in 1981. But baseball wasn't without a Bando brother, as his 12 year younger brother Chris debuted for the Indians in 1981. Chris Bando was the Indians platoon/back-up catcher through the 1988 season. Chris had his rookie card in the 1982 Donruss set.

__ TO 54 C Ron Hassey CLE
__ TO 310 1B Mike Hargrove CLE
__ TT 87 2B Jack Perconte CLE
__ TO 532 3B Toby Harrah CLE

SS Mike Fischlin
__ TO 77 LF Miguel Dilone CLE
__ TO 202 CF Rick Manning CLE
__ TT 42 RF Von Hayes CLE
__ TO 746 DH Andre Thornton CLE
__ TO 287 UT Alan Bannister CLE
__ TT 71 2B Larry Milbourne CLE
__ TO 512 SS Jerry Dybzinski CLE

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 360 SP Len Barker CLE
__ TT 116 SP Rick Sutcliffe CLE
__ TT 111 SP Lary Sorensen CLE
__ TO 773 SP John Denny CLE
__ TO 573 SP Rick Waits CLE

Relief Pitchers
__ TO 664 CL Dan Spillner CLE
__ TT 127 RP Ed Whitson CLE

RP Bud Anderson

RP Tom Brennan

RP Ed Glynn

Other Players
__ DO 551 C Chris Bando CLE

OF Carmelo Castillo

C Bill Nahorodny
__ TT 69 RF Bake McBride CLE

UT Rod Craig
__ TO 630 UT Joe Charboneau CLE

UT Karl Pagel

UT Kevin Rhomberg

SP Neal Heaton
__ TO 685 SP Bert Blyleven CLE

RP Jerry Reed

RP Sandy Wihtol

SP John Bohnet
__ TO 356 RP Dennis Lewallyn CLE

Minor Leagues
__ TO 478 MN Ray Searage NYM

__ DO 337 MG Dave Garcia CLE


  1. Someone who makes "custom cards" should fill in the gaps for these sets. :)

  2. Matt - I'm working on the Phillies side of that request!

    I'm not aware of any mid-'80s Phillies-Indians connection, like what existed between the Phillies-Cubs. And I had never connected all those trades together before reading your post. Very interesting stuff.

  3. I think it would be cool to have custom cards for some of these players that I really am positive never had a card made...on this roster, take Karl Pagel or Kevin Rhomberg for example....finding a picture of these players would be the challenge. I have no idea what they look like or much about them at all because not only did they not have cards in 1982, they never had cards period.