Glass half full:Based on 1980 performance alone, this team has the potential to score some runs. Henrdrick was an All-Star, while Ken Singleton and Larry Parrish were at or near All-Star levels. Cowens was three years removed from an MVP-runner up season and Hebner was a consistent run producer. Lansford had shown glimpses of the form that he would show as a future batting champion. A nice middle of the order is on display.
Glass half empty: There is a lack of hitting up the middle, primarily up the middle. Despite being good glove men, Essian, Brohamer and especially Chappas have struggled at the plate. There is also little speed on this team so they would be waiting for the big hit as there isn't much to suggest an ability to sustain aggressiveness on the base paths.
Glass half full: The veteran presence of Hall of Famer McCovey alone makes this a formidable bench. Even at his advanced age, his bat needs to be respected. There is depth at catcher with Fosse and Davis in reserve. Wockenfuss can play several positions, including first, third, catcher and outfield.
Glass half empty: Not much infield depth here as there isn't anyone to pick up the slack at second or short. Also, a few of these players struggle at the plate so that limits their role off the bench.
Glass half full: There are some hard-throwers here, primarily Solomon and Jones. Medich put together a successful career, seven times winning 12 or more games in a season. Lerch and Beattie can take the ball every fifth day and provide solid innings.
Glass half empty: With the exception of Medich, none of these starters were given an extended opportunity to succeed in a starting role. Inconsistency has been an issue with Beattie, Jones and especially Lerch. When these pitchers are good they can be very good, unfortunately, the opposite can be true when they are not.
Glass half full: Romo would earn the closer role as he has the most experience (and success) in that role. D'Acquisto would likely be the set up man. All four have demonstrated an ability to pitch well in short and long relief.
Glass half empty: A lack of depth here as well. An injury would severely test the entire pitching staff since there are only nine pitchers. At times, there can be a propensity among this group to pitch poorly for extended periods.
OVERALL: If the name of the game is pitching, this group isn't as strong as some previous entries. There is a nice lineup here and a Hall of Famer in McCovey, who is in his final season. However, this squad lacks a ace pitcher and depth on the mound to be effective over the long haul. The lineup isn't enough to make up for its pitching deficiencies. I think that it would be fitting for Gene Mauch to manage this club as that it would be unlikely to win its division in any grouping that we would put together for the first 13 teams.
This blog is inspired by several influences; first, the other blogs dedicated to a single season of Topps sets and the folks at http://www.deanscards.com/, who provide a great resource of all years of cards (and from whom I stole the awesome header).
Mainly though, this blog is inspired by my Dad who during the summer of 1980, fully introduced me to the great game of baseball through these cards. Every one of these cards is somehow connected to a memory of that time.