1980s All-Decade Team

The 1980s was a decade where speed and pitching ruled. It wasn’t just Rickey Henderson, Vince Coleman, and Tim Raines. Ron LeFlore and Omar Moreno stole 90 plus bases in a season. Eric Davis swiped 80 and Dave Collins, Willie Wilson, Rudy Law, Juan Samuel, and Alan Wiggins all stole 70 or more in a season. “Small ball” ruled the day highlighted by Whitey Herzog‘s NL Pennant winning Cardinals in 1985 when they stole 314 bases as a team including five players stealing at least 31. Plenty of players brought power to the plate as well led by Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt.

Of the 16 players who have recorded 3,000 strikeouts seven of them recorded number 3,000 during the 1980s: Nolan Ryan (July 4, 1980), Tom Seaver (April 18, 1981), Steve Carlton (April 29, 1981), Ferguson Jenkins (May 25, 1982), Don Sutton (June 24, 1983), Phil Niekro (July 4, 1984), Bert Blyleven (August 1, 1986). Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton set themselves apart on July 12, 1985 and August 5, 1986, respectively, by becoming the first two players to record 4,000 strikeouts. Ryan widened the gap even further when he recorded his 5,000 K on August 22, 1989. Five players joined the 300-win club: Gaylord Perry (May 6, 1982), Steve Carlton (September 23, 1983), Tom Seaver (August 4, 1985), Phil Niekro (October 6, 1985), and Don Sutton (June 18, 1986).

Only Rod Carew collected hit number 3,000 and only Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt joined the 500 home run club. While only three hitters’s joined baseball immortals during the decade that doesn’t mean the decade lacked for quality offensive seasons. The list below is our position by position rundown of the best players at each position during the 1980s.

  • Catcher, Gary Carter


  • Gary Carter Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    44.7 1,312 4,793 625 1,265 219 19 207 800 11 18 505 540 .264 .335 .447 .782

    • First Base, Don Mattingly


    • Don Mattingly Batting Statistics
      WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
      33.2 1,015 4,022 615 1,300 272 15 164 717 8 7 314 238 .323 .368 .521 .889

4 comments

  • John Candelaria.. honorable mention,, lol… there are about 100 pitchers in the ’80s more deserving of mention … Jack Morris, Fernando Valenzuela, Bert Blyleven, Dave Stieb, Bob Welch, Ron Guidry, Bruce Hurst, John tudor, Frank Viola, Charlie Hough, Frank Tanana, Mark Langston, Dan Petry, Rick Sutcliff, Dave Stewart, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Mario Soto, Mike Scott, Teddy Higuera, Tommy John, Dave Stewart, Rick Reuschel, Bill Gullickson, Steve Rogers, John Denny, Eric Show, Rick Rhoden, Tom Browning, the Niekros, …. and many, many more

    Like

  • John Candelaria won 97 games in the 1980s with an ERA+ of 110. Enough said.

    You should read about a player named Dan Quisenberry, he is not only far more deserving than Dan Plesac, but he was better than Eckersley and the other relievers on the list in THE 1980s.

    With due respect, these teams would make better sense if you picked a left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. You have two right fielders here and a left fielder. You may want to look up Andre Dawson and Dale Murphy.

    Like

  • Jack Morris and Lance Parrish. Both should be recognized with Morris on First Team and Parrish on Second Team. The Tigers won more games than anyone not named the New York Yankees. Morris had more wins and innings pitched, amidst other stats he led or was top 3 or 5. He pitched late into games which is why his ERA is high. Gary Carter wins first place, no doubt. But, Fisk? Before Parrish? Go look at stats, and then explain how Fisk was better defensively. Detroit won 2 divisions, and a world series. If the wild card was around, they are in the playoffs at least 4 more times. Morris and Parrish a big reason why. Your wrong, sorry

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.