As part of a continuing series, every 25 cards or so, we take a brief look back at previous posts as if constructing a fantasy league team. In this case, we will be looking back at cards #352 through #378.
Glass half full:
Pretty solid lineup here. Great speed at the top of the lineup with Mumphrey and Whitaker. Cedeno was still a franchise-type player even if he is slightly past his peak in '80. Aikens is about to break out and Porter and Newman are coming off of All-Star seasons. Matthews is an excellent all around pick at this time as well.
Glass half empty:
Auerbach as the every day shortstop is a bit problematic due to a weak bat. Murcer will likely be platooning as at this point in his career he stopped being an everyday player. While Porter and Newman are coming off of All-Star seasons, they never duplicated their production in the same way as they did in 1979. Also Whitaker was still in the formative stages of his career in 1980, and it was by far not his best season.
Glass half full:
Youngblood is a super-sub that can play nearly everywhere. Allenson provides some relief behind the plate as does Gantner at several infield positions. Goodwin can spell both Murcer and Aikens at times.
Glass half empty:
Kennedy's best season was 1980 and it will unfortunately be spent on the bench in place of Whitaker. Not much power off the bench from this group.
Glass half full: Morris is the standout as he would be for the rest of the decade. His sidekick Petry is there to back him up and there are veteran arms to round out the rotation.
Glass half empty: If it was based on 1984 instead of 1980, the Morris-Petry tandem at the top of the rotation would be that much more formidable. Burris is decent as a number three, he will eat innings. Garland and Grimsley are both past their primes and spent most of 1980 on the disabled list.
Glass half full: Kern was a premier closer heading into 1980. McClure is a great pick as a setup man. Hassler also showed considerable effectiveness at times as did Dressler when used in relief.
Glass half empty: Like some of his teammates in this fantasy, Kern peaked out in 1979 and never had that type of season again. An argument can be made that Hassler was over the hill at this point and Moffitt's best days were similarly behind him. Dressler was inconsistent as a spot starter with a bad Mariners team.
OVERALL: A solid entry of players submitted here, with some that would stand out well into the decade. The lineup, with the exception of shortstop, has no immediate weakness with the bat, although fielding from the left side may be a concern. Great outfield that combines power and speed. The pitching staff, however, has a series of questions and is susceptible to injury. An untested manager is also a question. Depending on the division that this team would be placed in, it may have an outside chance to contend, if everyone stays healthy. Those are some really, really, big ifs.
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.