The Cubbies dropped below .500 on June 3 and plummeted so far that they finished dead last and narrowly missed losing 100 games. By the time their record was 38-52 manager Preston Gomez was shown the door. Things didn’t improve under nice guy Joey Amalfitano (26-46). There were few bright spots on the North Side of Chicago in 1980. Bill Buckner hit .324 and Bruce Sutter saved 28 with a 2.64 ERA. Other than that there wasn’t much to write home about. Pitching was 11th in a 12 team league. Hitting finished 10th. Power numbers were horrible too (7th). With slugger Dave Kingman injured for half the season their was a huge power outage up on Addison.
13 New Cards were created to finish off the set for league play.
My favorite new one is that of a smiling young Lee Smith. Before he would become the closer of the 80’s, Smith had to sit behind future HOF’er Bruce Sutter and earn his stripes. Many folks feel he should be in Cooperstown, while others think of him as a save collector. The jury is still out on that one. We couldn’t find a useable Cubs photo of Mike O’Berry, so I took his 1982 DR card photo and airbrushed his Red catcher’s gear blue. Love that sullen picture of Steve Macko. He has that, “I love day games while on a last place team” look on his face. The Cliff Johnson photo is interesting. You don’t see too many guys swinging a bat up against the brick wall and ivy backdrop.