Thursday, June 24, 2010

1982 Seattle Mariners

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.

Cy Young
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.


C Rick Sweet

1B Jim Maler
__ TO 130 2B Julio Cruz SEA

3B Manny Castillo

SS Todd Cruz
__ TO 224 LF Bruce Bochte SEA

CF Dave Henderson
__ TT 22 RF Al Cowens SEA
__ TO 769 DH Richie Zisk SEA
__ TO 382 OF Joe Simpson SEA
__ TO 523 1B Gary Gray SEA
__ TT 12 LF Bobby Brown SEA

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 468 SP Floyd Bannister SEA
__ TT 88 SP Gaylord Perry SEA
__ TO 22 SP Jim Beattie SEA

SP Mike Moore
__ TT 80 SP Gene Nelson SEA

Relief Pitchers
__ TT 18 CL Bill Caudill SEA
__ TT 122 RP Ed Vande Berg SEA
__ TO 632 RP Bryan Clark SEA

SP Bob Stoddard
__ TT 113 RP Mike Stanton SEA
__ TO 52 RP Larry Andersen SEA

Other Players
__ DO 567 IF Paul Serna SEA
__ TO 98 C Bud Bulling SEA
__ TT 31 C Jim Essian SEA

3B Dave Edler
__ TO 109 1B Dave Revering NYY
__ TO 312 UT Lenny Randle SEA
__ TT 114 UT Steve Stroughter SEA
__ TO 350 OF Thad Bosley MIL

OF John Moses

SS Domingo Ramos

UT Orlando Mercado

C Dan Firova

UT Vance McHenry

SP Ed Nunez

RP Ron Musselman

RP Rich Bordi
__ TO 371 RP Jerry Gleaton SEA

Minor Leagues
__ TO 571 MN Glenn Abbott SEA
__ FL 515 MN Casey Parsons SEA

__ DO 600 MG Rene Lachemann SEA
__ DO 445 CO Vada Pinson CHW


  1. Also this year, Floyd Bannister became the 1st Mariner to lead the league in K's. Now that I think about it... did any Mariner lead the league in anything (significant) before '82? He might've been the 1st.

    I do miss the old early 80's Mariners logo.

  2. You know, I didn't think to consider that fact when picking the best pitcher for the team. Bannister did lead the league in K's. I just thought that it was interesting that Caudill had 26 saves for a team 5 games below .500, this was when 26 saves was quite a lot.

  3. Amazing that 5 of their starters didn't have baseball cards in 1982. I would have hated to have been a kid in Seattle trying to track down cards of the Mariners' infield that year!

  4. The first base and catcher positions on the '82 Mariners demonstrates the problem of trying to show true starting full time players for every position. My compromise was to list the players with the most innings played at a position as the starter and anyone else after filling out a lineup who met a minimum number of plate appearances amongst the starters. This may also explain why they didn't have a card.

    At first, Gary Gray actually started the most games at 1B, but Jim Maler played the most innings, so I put Maler in as the regular first baseman. Maler played only 57 games and Gray only 60 games at first. Neither one I would consider a full time player though, just that there was no one who played a majority of games at first.

    Catcher was like a 3 way platoon between Rick Sweet, Bud Bulling, and Jim Essian. Sweet played the most innings, so I put him as the starter.

    Doing this project, I noticed bad teams have the most changeover from year to year and much larger rosters with more platoon players. Probably a way to find some playing time to audition players to rebuild the team. A good team is largely set at most positions, so they aren't trying to play the kids to see who will stick.

  5. Another interesting thing with this team...Steve Stroughter was in his first and only season in the majors and appeared in the Topps Traded set. He only got 51 plate appearances.

    This is odd in this era, as most players had to wait until at least a year after they appeared in the majors before they got their own card. There were only 6 players on the '82 Mariners who had less plate appearances for the season. Thing was, he wasn't even a hot prospect..he was 30 when he made his debut. So who knows why he got a card and the 5 starters who all had at least a cup of coffee in previous seasons didn't get into that traded set.

  6. Caudill definitely had the better season over Bannister, but I just noticed you didn't say much about Banny so I thought I'd add it :-)

    And yeah, that's weird that 5 of their starters didn't have cards