Friday, June 12, 2020

More of the 1980 Donruss Set that Never Was

Rookies, Team Cards, Managers, and Award Winners

"Super" Joe Charboneau was the beer-drinking, softball-playing Rookie of the Year for the Cleveland Indians in 1980. His career was cut short by an injury sustained the following strike-shortened season. In 1980 he played 131 games and hit .289 with 23 homers and 87 RBIs. He only played 70 more games in his career (1981 & 82). He batted .211 with 6 homers and 27 RBIs. 

Steve Howe was the 1980 Rookie of the Year and an All Star Reliever in 1982. But he was plagued by substance abuse. He was suspended 7 times for drug policy violations, including the entire 1984 season. He was given a "Lifetime Ban" in 1992 which was overturned on appeal. He died in 2006 when he crashed his car. There was methamphetamine in hes system. 

As for the design, I used just base cards with the Rated Rookies logo that we came to recognize on Donruss cards.  Donruss didn't begin making "Rated Rookie" cards until the 1984 set.  Even then it wasn't the iconic logo that I am using on this imaginary set.  In 1984 it was a banner that was similar to the team name design that year.

For the team cards, I didn't stray far from the base. Simply went horizontal and dropped one of the pennants.

In 1980 the Angels were coming off a year in which the won the AL West division. It was their first post season appearance in team history. Although the loss of Nolan Ryan had to hurt, falling to 6th place 30 games under .500? 

The 1980 Braves were in their 3rd season under Booby Cox. After two last place finishes, the 1980 Braves would end the season one game over .500 and finish 4th. It wouldn't be enough to save him. By the end of 1981 Cox would be gone. He would, of course, return in 1990 for 21 more years managing the Braves.

Speaking of managers.  Donruss tended to just put managers on base cards.  I went a different way because I think the coaches can be interesting, too.

Particularly on this Mariners card.  Darrell Johnson was the manager of the 1975 Pennant winning Red Sox. He was named first manager of the expansion Mariners. But his coaching staff! Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski.  All-Star shortstop, 1962 MVP, perennial stolen base leader and future  Mariners skipper, Maury Wills. The speedy All-Star outfielder Vada Pinson and veteran pitching coach of the Swingin' A's, Wes Stock.

The 1980 Expos also had ties to the Swingin' A's with Dick Williams at the helm. Their coaching staff included future Expos manager Felipe Alou. Norm Sherry was a coach under Williams for the Angels in 1976 and took over as manager after Williams was fired. Galen Cisco was a veteran pitcher and pitching coach. Ozzie Virgil Sr. broke the color barrier as a player for the 1958 Detroit Tigers. He went 5 for 5 in his first home game for the Tigers.

One of the things that Donruss did right from the start was make Award Winner cards. In my last post you can see the 1981 Brett MVP card and the 1981 Carlton Cy Young card.  So in this imaginary set from 1980, I included a card of the NL Co-MVPs from 1979, Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell.

As usual, I am taking request for cards based on this design. So if there are any players or even subsets you'd like to see in a future post, leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Love everything here, especially the manager/coach cards.