Thursday, December 30, 2010

1983 Detroit Tigers

Wait 'til next year Tiger fans. It is odd that I come to this team today, as Bill Lajoie, the GM that helped put this team and more importantly, the '84 team together passed away yesterday. The Tigers were almost there in 1983 and after some very big acquisitions in the off season between 1983 and 1984, the Tigers were ready to put together one of the most historic seasons in baseball. (I hope my homerism isn't showing through too much.)

Best Player: Lou Whitaker

Best Pitcher: Jack Morris

All-Stars: Aurelio Lopez, Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker

Rookie Card of the Year: Howard Johnson...Imagine an infield through the 80s with Whitaker/Trammell, Johnson at 3rd and a platoon of Evans/Bergman at first. This could've been one of the most solid ever for about a 5 year stretch. All the Tigers got for Johnson after the '84 season was Walt Terrell. I guess they did have to shore up the starting pitchers as there was little after Morris and Petry, but it was often reported Johnson was in Sparky's doghouse.

Other rookie cards: Larry Pashnick, Dave Rucker (first solo card, will be listed under Cardinals roster), Jerry Ujdur, Glenn Wilson

First Tigers cards: Doug Bair, Johnny Grubb

Most interesting non-Topps card: Howard Johnson...the rookie card of arguably the best third basemen in the later '80s/early '90s, appears in both the Fleer and Donruss sets.

Other notes: As per the practice of trying to match up the players with the organizations they saw the most playing time with in 1983, Wayne Krenchicki, Bob Molinaro, Julio Gonzalez, and Bill Nahorodny are placed on this checklist, even though they all appear on different teams. Krenchicki did play with the Reds in '83, but received more playing time with the Tigers. Molinaro also played with the Phillies, and is shown in a Phils uniform on a card in the traded set, so his regular Cubs card is placed here. I've probably talked more about Bob Molinaro on this blog than anybody else. But he had an odd career in that he bounced around alot, and his cards almost never line up with who he is actually playing with. Gonzalez and Nahorodny played only with the Tigers, but never had cards in the traded sets.

Another interesting card is Aurelio Lopez showing up in the traded set. Senor Smoke had been with the Tigers since the 1979 season. His playing time was down in 1982, but he still appeared in 41 innings. He would be an all-star in 1983, and his Topps card shows up in the traded set.

__ TO 285 C Lance Parrish DET
__ TO 225 1B Enos Cabell DET
__ TO 509 2B Lou Whitaker DET
__ TO 95 SS Alan Trammell DET
__ TO 119 3B Tom Brookens DET
__ TO 13 LF Larry Herndon DET
__ TO 727 CF Chet Lemon DET
__ TO 332 RF Glenn Wilson DET
__ TO 430 DH Kirk Gibson DET
__ TO 536 UT John Wockenfuss DET
__ TO 147 1B Rick Leach DET

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 65 SP Jack Morris DET
__ TO 638 SP Dan Petry DET
__ TO 457 SP Milt Wilcox DET

SP Juan Berenguer
__ TO 562 SP Dave Rozema DET

Relief Pitchers
__ TT 63 CL Aurelio Lopez DET
__ TT 5 RP Doug Bair DET

RP Howard Bailey

Other Players
__ TT 38 UT Johnny Grubb DET
__ TO 374 3B Wayne Krenchicki CIN

3B Marty Castillo
__ FL 332 3B Howard Johnson DET
__ TO 483 UT Lynn Jones DET
__ TO 613 1B Mike Ivie DET
__ TO 196 C Bill Fahey DET
__ TO 74 IF Julio Gonzalez STL

UT Mike Laga
__ TO 67 C Sal Butera MIN
__ DO 596 DH Bob Molinaro CHC
__ TO 616 PH Bill Nahorodny CLE

SP Glenn Abbott

RP Dave Gumpert
__ FL 338 SP Larry Pashnick DET
__ TO 174 SP Jerry Ujdur DET

RP John Martin
__ TO 588 RP Pat Underwood DET

SP Dave Rucker

RP Bob James

__ TO 666 MG Sparky Anderson DET

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

1983 Los Angeles Dodgers

Another solid Dodgers team that won the NL West division. In a rematch from both the 1977 and 1978 post seasons, the Phillies faced the Dodgers in the playoffs. Unfortunately for these Dodgers, unlike in '77 and '78, the Phillies won the NLCS. This was sort of a season in transition for the Dodgers as the long time infield of the '70s was gone, with the exception of Bill Russell at shortstop, as Steve Garvey left in '83 to go play for the Padres and Ron Cey left for the Cubs. A pitching staff was coming together that would lead them through the rest of the '80s.

Best player: Pedro Guerrero

Best pitcher: Bob Welch

All-Stars: Pedro Guerrero, Steve Sax, Fernando Valenzuela

Rookie Card of the Year: Candy Maldonado

Other rookie cards: Greg Brock, Alejandro Pena, Ricky Wright

First Dodger cards (other than rookies): Rafael Landestoy, Pat Zachry

Most interesting non-Topps card: Candy Maldonado
I also called this one the rookie card of the year for the Dodgers. It was either this card or Alejandro Pena's card in the Topps traded set. Both played until 1995 (Pena pitched in four games in 1996), neither one was ever an all-star, but both played very solid careers. Maldonado's rookie card was in both the regular Fleer and Donruss set for 1983. He would go on to play for the Giants, Indians, Blue Jays, Cubs, and Rangers before calling it a career, with his 1990 season with the Indians probably being his best season.

Other notes: Ron Roenicke was cut by the Dodgers in mid-July and was picked up by the Mariners after his release. He then finished out the season with the Mariners. He played in more games with the Dodgers, but had more plate appearances with the Mariners. Since I use plate appearances as the tie breaker in these cases, I will put Ron Roenicke's Topps card showing him as a Dodger in the Mariners checklist.

__ TO 555 C Steve Yeager LAD
__ TT 14 1B Greg Brock LAD
__ TO 245 2B Steve Sax LAD
__ TO 661 SS Bill Russell LAD
__ TO 425 3B Pedro Guerrero LAD
__ TO 220 LF Dusty Baker LAD
__ TO 376 CF Ken Landreaux LAD
__ TO 324 RF Mike Marshall LAD

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 40 SP Fernando Valenzuela LAD
__ TO 454 SP Bob Welch LAD
__ TO 90 SP Jerry Reuss LAD
__ TT 83 SP Alejandro Pena LAD
__ TO 775 SP Burt Hooton LAD

Relief Pitchers
__ TO 170 CL Steve Howe LAD
__ TO 477 RP Tom Niedenfuer LAD
__ TO 532 RP Dave Stewart LAD
__ TT 131 RP Pat Zachry LAD
__ FL 202 RP Joe Beckwith LAD

Other Players
__ TO 748 CF Derrel Thomas LAD
__ TO 63 RF Rick Monday LAD

C Jack Fimple

OF Ron Roenicke

SS Dave Anderson
__ FL 212 OF Candy Maldonado LAD
__ TT 59 UT Rafael Landestoy LAD

OF R.J. Reynolds
__ TT 75 1B Jose Morales LAD
__ TO 352 C Mike Scioscia LAD

C Gil Reyes

3B German Rivera

SP Sid Fernandez

1B Sid Bream

CF Cecil Espy

C Dave Sax

IF Alex Taveras

SP Rick Honeycutt

RP Orel Hershiser

RP Larry White
__ FL 226 RP Ricky Wright LAD

RP Rich Rodas

__ TO 306 MG Tom Lasorda LAD

Monday, December 27, 2010

1983 Chicago White Sox

This was the first White Sox team to make the post-season since 1959 and the team with the best record percentage wise since 1920. It would be their best team until winning the World Series in 2005 with a similar record. This was a very successful team that seemed to have a bright future, as it was led by many young pitchers and players. The blew the competition out of the water in 1983, winning the division by 20 games. Unfortunately, the White Sox wouldn't see the playoffs again until 1993 with a team led by Frank Thomas. Another interesting note is that Tony LaRussa was manager of this team and Jim Leyland was a coach, they would meet each other as opposing managers in the 2006 World Series.

Best Player: Carlton Fisk

Best Pitcher: LaMarr Hoyt
I gave this award to Hoyt, as he led the team in wins and innings pitched and won the actual AL Cy Young in 1983. But Richard Dotson led this team in ERA, providing 20 wins himself, and Floyd Bannister led the team in strikeouts. This was a very solid starting 3.

All-Stars: Ron Kittle

Rookie Card of the Year: Ron Kittle
This is a tough reward to decide on...basically it was between Greg Walker and Ron Kittle. Both were solid rookies, but were done by 1991. Ron Kittle was basically done as a full time player by 1986, and Greg Walker was done by 1987. Kittle started out brighter, but this 1983 season was his best. Greg Walker had solid seasons in 1985 and 1987. Since this is a baseball card blog, I will give this reward to Ron Kittle because once upon a time, his rookie card was actually sought after, not sure anybody ever cared about Greg Walker's card.

Part of the problem I am having with good quality pictures of Topps Traded cards, is that this is one of the few 80s sets that I own not a single card from. So I am stuck using autographed card photos I took from ebay.

Other rookie cards: Salome Barojas, Chico Escarrega (listed under retired players), Greg Walker

First White Sox cards (other than rookie cards): Floyd Bannister, Julio Cruz, Jerry Dybzinski, Jim Kern, Rudy Law, Vance Law, Sparky Lyle (listed under retired players), Dick Tidrow

Most-interesting non-Topps card: - well, there is one non-Topps card in this checklist, mop-up reliever Salome Barrojas. Not to interesting of a career, would be traded to the Mariners in the next season and finally appear in 6 games with the 1988 Phillies.

I thought a more interesting career for this team is Jerry Hairston. Hairston came up with the White Sox in 1973 and was traded to the Pirates in 1977, then sent to the Mexican League. He came back to the White Sox in 1981 and would be a solid bench player through 1987 with the White Sox. Even though he came back in 1981, his first card back wouldn't appear until the 1983 sets. His last card before? That would be in the 1976 Topps set. So Hairston went 6 seasons without appearing in a baseball card set, which may be some kind of record.

__ TO 20 C Carlton Fisk CHW
__ TO 72 1B Tom Paciorek CHW
__ TT 23 2B Julio Cruz CHW
__ TT 27 SS Jerry Dybzinski CHW
__ TO 98 3B Vance Law CHW
__ TT 55 LF Ron Kittle CHW
__ TO 514 CF Rudy Law CHW
__ TO 177 RF Harold Baines CHW
__ TO 310 DH Greg Luzinski CHW
__ TT 124 UT Greg Walker CHW

SS Scott Fletcher
__ TO 698 2B Tony Bernazard CHW

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 618 SP LaMarr Hoyt
__ TO 46 SP Richard Dotson CHW
__ TT 7 SP Floyd Bannister CHW
__ TO 541 SP Britt Burns CHW
__ TO 153 SP Jerry Koosman CHW

Relief Pitchers
__ TO 434 CL Dennis Lamp CHW
__ FL 230 RP Salome Barojas CHW
__ TT 112 RP Dick Tidrow CHW

Other Players
__ TO 669 1B Mike Squires CHW
__ TO 487 UT Jerry Hairston CHW
__ TO 124 C Marc Hill CHW

3B Lorenzo Gray

OF Dave Stegman

CF Rusty Kuntz

UT Chris Nyman
__ TO 758 3B Aurelio Rodriguez CHW

C Joel Skinner

UT Casey Parsons

2B Tim Hulett

UT Miguel Dilone

RP Juan Agosto
__ TO 278 RP Kevin Hickey CHW
__ TO 24 RP Steve Mura STL
__ OP 24 RP Steve Mura CHW

RP Guy Hoffman
__ TO 22 SP Randy Martz CHC

RP Al Jones
__ TO 772 RP Jim Kern CHW

Minor Leagues
__ TO 409 MN Marv Foley CHW

__ TO 216 MG Tony LaRussa CHW

Sunday, December 19, 2010

1983 Philadelphia Phillies

This was a very old team, as they were referred to as the "Wheeze Kids". This was the last hurrah for the late '70s, early '80s Phillies. This may also be considered the last chance for the Big Red Machine as Tony Perez and Joe Morgan were brought on board and joined Pete Rose. But this wasn't a typical old team that played strong early and coasted to the playoffs. They actually finished very strong to finish 6 games up in the division, and carried that momentum into the playoffs against the Dodgers. But their luck would run out after game 1 of the World Series.

Best Player: Mike Schmidt

Best Pitcher: John Denny

All-Stars: Mike Schmidt

Rookie Card of the Year: Len Matuszek; there wasn't much to choose from on this team as it was either Matuszek or Porfi Altamirano. Matuszek had an unremarkable career playing for the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Dodgers from 1981 - 1987. But he can tell his grandkids that he replaced Pete Rose at first base for the Phillies and that he was once traded for someone who comes up in Hall-of-Fame arguments (Al Oliver) and not be lying.

Other rookie cards: Porfi Altamirano

First Phillies cards (other than rookie cards): Pat Corrales, John Denny, Kiko Garcia, Von Hayes, Willie Hernandez, Al Holland, Joe Lefebvre, Bob Molinaro, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Dave Roberts (listed under retired players), Ozzie Virgil (solo card)

Most interesting non-Topps cards: There were no cards produced for other sets that didn't appear in the Topps sets.

Other Notes: Steve Comer and Larry Andersen both played only for the Phillies in 1983 but didn't have a Phillies card, so I am putting their cards showing them with other teams in this checklist.

__ TO 175 C Bo Diaz PHI
__ TO 100 1B Pete Rose PHI
__ TT 77 2B Joe Morgan PHI
__ TO 587 SS Ivan de Jesus PHI
__ TO 300 3B Mike Schmidt PHI
__ TO 780 LF Gary Matthews PHI
__ TO 615 CF Garry Maddox PHI
__ TT 40 RF Von Hayes PHI
__ TT 61 RF Joe Lefebvre PHI
__ TT 85 1B Tony Perez PHI
__ TO 279 OF Greg Gross PHI
__ TO 43 OF Bob Dernier PHI

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 211 SP John Denny PHI
__ TO 70 SP Steve Carlton PHI

SP Charles Hudson

SP Kevin Gross
__ TO 199 SP Marty Bystrom PHI

Relief Pitchers
__ TT 46 CL Al Holland PHI
__ TT 45 RP Willie Hernandez PHI
__ TO 728 RP Ron Reed PHI
__ TO 510 RP Tug McGraw PHI
__ TO 668 SP Larry Christenson PHI

Other Players
__ TO 383 C Ozzie Virgil PHI
__ TT 36 2B Kiko Garcia PHI
__ TO 357 1B Len Matuszek PHI
__ TT 72 2B Larry Milbourne PHI

2B Juan Samuel

OF Sixto Lezcano
__ TO 664 PH Bob Molinaro PHI

IF Steve Jeltz
__ TO 754 UT Bill Robinson PHI

RF Alejandro Sanchez
__ TO 252 SS Luis Aguayo PHI

CF Jeff Stone

C Darren Daulton

1B Tim Corcoran
__ TO 432 RP Porfi Altamirano PHI
__ TO 484 SP Dick Ruthven PHI
__ TO 459 RP Ed Farmer PHI
__ TO 234 RP Larry Andersen SEA

SP Tony Ghelfi
__ TO 564 RP Sid Monge PHI
__ TO 353 RP Steve Comer TEX

RP Don Carman

__ TO 637 MG Pat Corrales PHI

MG Paul Owens