A brief look back in team form at the last 25 player cards in the 1980 set (#274 through #299) as if constructing a fantasy league team.
Manager - Darrell Johnson
1B - Steve Garvey
2B - Rob Andrews
SS - Tom Veryzer
3B - Dale Berra
OF - Dale Murphy
OF - John Lowenstein
OF - Steve Henderson
C - John Ellis
DH - Don Baylor
Let's look at this glass half full: Garvey, Murphy and Baylor are three solid players in the middle of the order. Four MVP awards, 18 All-Star appearances and 9 Gold Gloves between them. Ellis and Lowenstein provide power and Henderson is a good contact hitter.
Now the half empty: Not one Hall of Famer in the lineup. Ellis, Lowenstein and Henderson at best were part-time players. The middle of the lineup is exceptionally weak and Berra was mainly a shortstop with limited third base experience.
Bench: Rick Bosetti, Paul Blair, Larry Murray, Charlie Spikes, Bruce Bochy, Dave Rader, Jim Spencer, Tim Johnson
Spencer and Blair are defensive specialists, but they are behind Garvey and Murphy who don't need one. There is catching depth with Rader and Bochy, but a solid third baseman would have been more helpful. Spikes and Bosetti could have earned the nod over Lowenstein, or platoon with him. Murphy provides speed off the bench and Johnson infield depth. With this group, however, quantity does not necessarily mean quality.
Only four needed here as these pitchers eat innings, led by Hall of Famer Perry. Koosman made a career out of being an exceptional second banana. Gura was a solid performer for many years as was Holtzman. These guys are used to finishing what they started, so not much need for bullpen support.
Bullpen: Darold Knowles, Randy Scarbery, Elias Sosa, Dave Rozema
Turns out a strong rotation will be needed as the bullpen depth is a little thin. Knowles was solid in his day, but was at the end of the road in 1980. Sosa would likely be the #1 man coming out of the pen. Rozema and Scarbery can provide both setup and long relief assistance when needed.
OVERALL: Manager Darrell Johnson didn't survive 1980 with the Mariners and I suspect that he wouldn't have done all that better with this group of players either. Despite some excellent individual talent as a unit, this offering has some fairly significant holes. After peaking with an excellent Ninth Team a couple of squads ago, we have been sliding as we approach the 300s.
One-card wonders: Update 6
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