A brief look back in team form at the last 25 player cards in the 1980 set as if constructing a fantasy league team:
Manager - Jim Frey
Coach - Bill Virdon
I really, really wanted to give the nod to Virdon here simply because I was such an Astros fan that year. However, Frey made it further by winning a pennant, so he gets the nod as manager for this team.
1B - John Milner
2B - Doug Flynn
SS - Bill Russell
3B - Mike Ivie/John Stearns
OF - Ron LeFlore
OF - Al Bumbry
OF - Dave Collins
C - Gary Carter
DH - Ruppert Jones
Ted Sizemore, Larry Harlow, Joe Nolan, Bucky Dent, Eddy Putman
A solid daily lineup, with a Hall of Fame catcher (Carter) a Gold Glove winner in the infield (Flynn), and loads of speed in the outfield. There really isn't an everyday third baseman, but Ivie and Stearns both appeared their in their careers so they get the nod as a platoon. There are two former Rookies of the Year (Bumbry and Sizemore) and guys that have led the league in multiple categories. Good depth at all positions from the bench as well. Dent has to come off the bench with Russell at short, but that is not a bad problem to have. Carter (and maybe Jones) is the only real power threat here as this will be a 1980s St. Louis Cardinals-type team.
Sid Monge, Fred Howard, Rick Williams, Bob Owchinko, Bob Stanley, Gary Serum
Better balance in the pitching staff than the previous 25 cards. The four pitchers who make up the rotation are all intense competitors led by a Cy Young winner (Vuckovich). Stanley and Monge make up a solid righty-lefty closer combination and Stanley can effectively start if needed. The remainder of the staff can fill roles as needed and there is nice distribution between righties & lefties.
OVERALL: Much better grouping of players this time out and they make up a good team on paper. 36 All-Star appearances as a group and 18 of these players have seen post-season action. Even had two managers included this time through. The only omission is an everyday third baseman to complete the picture.
GIMMIE A DO-OVER: 1970 LOU PINIELLA
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