A brief look back in team form at the last 25 player cards in the 1980 set (#110 through #136) as if constructing a fantasy league team:
Manager: Tony LaRussa
1B - Tony Perez
2B - Phil Garner
SS - Craig Reynolds
3B - Dave Rosello
OF - Fred Lynn
OF - Amos Otis
OF - Greg Luzinski
C - Biff Pocoroba
DH - Bill Buckner
Much like The Fourth 25, this team has a loaded middle of the order with Lynn, Perez, Buckner, Otis and Luzinski. All of them recognized as an All Star at some point, there is an MVP, two batting titles, a stolen base and RBI leader, and a Hall of Famer among these five. Garner and Reynolds were also multiple All-Star selections and solid major leaguers. Pocoroba was an All-Star too, but injury ridden. The only weakness is at third where Rosello gets the position by default. We could move Garner to third, but then there is no one at second. Or Rosello.
Bench: Jerry Turner, Gary Thomasson, Lynn Jones, Larry Cox, Juan Beniquez
A little heavy on outfielders in this group, there really isn't anyone to backup in the infield altough Thomasson and Beniquez could fill in there if really needed.
A solid group of veterans with a nice balance of righty-lefty. None of these guys were their team's "ace" per se, in fact, three of them led the league in losses. However, four of them had their moments as a second banana, two were All Stars and strong Cy Young candidates at one point. I would have put Dock Ellis in the rotation, but he didn't appear in a game in 1980. Lemanczyk gets the fifth spot but he can be interchangable with Mitchell.
Bullpen: Tom Burgmeier, Sparky Lyle, Sammy Stewart, Paul Mitchell, Dave Tomlin, Dock Ellis
Nice back end of the bullpen with All-Star Burgmeier the closer as he was in 1980. He is complimented by the righty-lefty setup work of Stewart and Lyle. Tomlin and Ellis can provide middle or long relief and Mitchell is an excellent swingman. Four of the guys on this staff were in their last season in 1980.
Other cards: Checklist #1
Overall: Another very good grouping of players. A strong lineup and solid bullpen are this team's obvious strengths. Future Hall of Famer Tony LaRussa as manager would get the most out of this pitching staff and he is an advantage as well. There's even a checklist! A deficiency at third base, along with concerns with bench depth and behind the plate prevent this team from being named the best so far. It is close though.
NEGRO BASEBALL LEGENDS- BIZ MACKEY
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