Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Orioles Team Sets From TJ

I got a nice surprise email the other day from TJ (better known as the Junior Junkie) saying he had picked up some vintage Orioles team sets and he wanted to know if I was interested in them.  I sure was, so TJ dropped them in the mail for me.  Included in the package was what appeared to be Oriole team sets from 1980, 1983 and 1987 Topps.  I have to double check to see if they are full team sets, but I do know that the 1983 'set' is missing the Cal Ripken card.  I'm pretty sure I have an extra lying around somewhere.

I chose to show Mike Flanagan from each year because I don't feel like I feature him enough on my blog. The 1980 'set' consists of 24 Orioles.  There's the Flanagan, an Orioles team card showing the team photo and a smaller (really small) photo showing Earl Weaver.  Other cards that TJ sent include: Tippy Martinez, Benny Ayala, Steve Stone, Lee May, Terry Crowley, Pat Kelly, Benny Ayala, John Lowenstein, Gary Roenicke, Ken Singleton, Al Bumbry, Doug DeCinces, Mark Belanger, Billy Smith, Kiko Garcia, Rich Dauer, Rick Dempsey, Don Stanhouse, Dave Skaggs, Tim Stoddard, Sammy Stewart, Denny Martinez and Scott McGregor.

The 1980 Orioles went on to have a record of 100-62 and finished SECOND in the AL East (3 games behind the Yankees).  The team featured three Hall of Famers (Murray, Palmer and Weaver).  Steve Stone's 25-7 record paired with a 3.23 ERA would land him the AL Cy Young award.
TJ included 24 1983 Topps Orioles.  Other guys include: Eddie Murray, Rick Dempsey, Scott McGregor, Tippy Martinez, Earl Weaver, Joe Nolan, Sammy Stewart, Storm Davis, Denny Martinez, 1982 Orioles Batting/Pitching Leaders- Murray/Palmer (Also with a team checklist!!), Jim Dwyer, Lenn Sakata, Terry Crowley, Benny Ayala, Al Bumbry, John Lowenstein, Dan Ford, Gary Roenicke, Rich Dauer, Glenn Gulliver, Floyd Rayford, Tim Stoddard and Jim Palmer.  According to the team checklist card, yes, the Ripken is the only one I'm missing here.

The 1983 Orioles finished the season 98-64, first in the AL East.  They would go on to win the World Series, their final one so far.  Cal Ripken would take home the AL MVP award in '83, beating out teammate Eddie Murray, while Rick Dempsey would take the World Series MVP.  The team featured four Hall of Famers - Ripken, Murray, Palmer and Weaver.
Finally, the 1987 set TJ sent consisted of 28 cards.  Along with the above Flanny, TJ sent: Tippy Martinez, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Rick Dempsey, Scott McGregor, Mike Boddicker, Earl Weaver (with team checklist on the back), Juan Beniquez, Orioles Leaders, Jackie Gutierrez, Juan Bonilla, Lee Lacy, Fred Lynn, Jim Dwyer, Mike Young, Jim Traber, John Shelby, Larry Sheets, Tom O'Malley, Nate Snell, Don Aase, John Stefero, Floyd Rayford, Rich Bordi, Brad Havens, Storm Davis and Ken Dixon.

The 1987 Orioles would go on to finish the season 67-95 (6th out of 7 in the AL East).  Earl Weaver had retired at the end of the 1986 season (but had a card in the '87 set) and was replaced by Cal Ripken, Sr.  The Orioles had two players who hit 30 or more homers that season - Eddie Murray (30) and Larry Sheets (31) with Cal hitting 27 and Fred Lynn hitting 23.  They had one batter finish with a +.300 batting average (Sheets with .316).  Bill Ripken would hit .308, but that was only over 58 games.

The Orioles pitching was pretty much horrendous that season, Mike Boddicker would end up leading the team with a 10-12 record and a 4.18 ERA.  Eric Bell (I've actually never heard of him) was second on the team with a 10-13 record.  His ERA, though, was 5.45.  Flanagan, at age 35, would go 3-6 with a 4.94 ERA.  They say the season is won and lost with pitching and it appears to me that Cal, Sr.'s hands were surely tied at the mound.  This team, although kind of terrible, still featured two eventual Hall of Famers (Murray and Ripken), two former MVPs (Ripken and Lynn), three former Rookies of the Year (Murray, Ripken, Lynn) and a former Cy Young Award winner (Flanny).

Thanks for the cards, TJ.  I might try to add some more Orioles team sets; maybe start a binder.  We'll see.

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