A brief look back in team form at the last 25 player cards in the 1980 set (#221 through #246) as if constructing a fantasy league team.
Manager - Ken Boyer
1B - Lamar Johnson
2B - Rob Wilfong
SS - Alan Trammell
3B - Bill Stein
OF - Dave Winfield
OF - Andre Dawson
OF - Lou Piniella
C - Ron Hassey
DH - Dave Kingman
A very strong middle of the order featuring Trammell, Dawson, Winfield, Piniella and Kingman. Dawson and Winfield are both members of the Hall of Fame and Trammell is a borderline candidate. Kingman is a multi-time home runs champion and Piniella is a career .291 hitter. This group of five players won an MVP, two Rookie of the Year awards, 30 All-Star selections and 19 Gold Gloves. Hassey was a solid receiver with a long major league career and Johnson, Wilfong and Stein were starters for several seasons. If not the best lineup seen so far, this one is close.
Bench: Joe Cannon, Willie Montanez, Johnny Oates, LaRue Washington, Tim Foli, Marc Hill
Nice distribution of talent on the bench. Montanez provides some pop off the bench and Foli can play nearly every infield position if needed. Cannon provides speed for late inning pinch-running situations and Washington can play both infield and outfield with a decent glove. Oates and Hill are backup catchers to give Hassey a rest.
Can't really find much wrong with this rotation. Niekro is the unquestioned ace, fluttering his way to the Hall of Fame and 318 wins. He's followed by lefty control artist McGregor and then two fireballers, Barker and Bibby. With Niekro, McCatty could be used out of the bullpen if need be. An excellent rotation to take into battle over a long season.
Bullpen: Don Aase, Bob Sykes, Frank Riccelli, Vern Ruhle, Jerry Augustine
Aase would eventually become an All-Star closer, so he's the fireman here. Ruhle would start on most teams, but he's the swingman here and a good one at that. Three lefthanders close out the bullpen with Sykes, Riccelli and Augustine and you can never have too much lefthanded pitching. At least that's the theory.
Other Cards - Checklist #2
OVERALL: From top to bottom this team is the most solid so far. Three Hall of Famers and several other productive major leaguers with long and notable careers. No position is left unmanned and there is perfect distribution between the pitching staff and everyday players. A manager is even included as is a checklist. Can't imagine it getting any better than this group.
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