2nd year manager Tony LaRussa still hadn’t distinguished himself as the genius that he was eventually going to be. The Pale Hose were not only bad, but they didn’t even have a storyline to follow. Was it really 3 seasons ago when they captivated the city with their South Side Hit Men team ? The Sox were building via the draft and adding a lot of young pitching that needed to grow slowly. 21 year old Britt Burns (15-13, 2.84) logged over 200 innings and easily could have won 20 if his team scratched out more than just 1 or 2 runs every time he took the mound. Journeyman Ed Farmer pitched in 30 saves, which means he was very close to saving half their games. Rich Dotson, Steve Trout and La Marr Hoyt had their struggles, but also flashes of brilliance. Without a .300 hitter or 20 homer run guy in the lineup runs would come at a premium. Couple that with a severe lack of speed and it’s a wonder they won 70. Their saving grace was the fact that they could field. Mike Squires played first base like a shortstop. He also hit like one, which made it hard to put him in a corner infield spot. This team had 4 catcher, none of which could hit above .245. Change was coming on the south side, just not enough of it was evident in 1980.
21 new cards were created to complete the set.
My colorization of Todd Cruz fall short of my expectations. It would have been nice to have had color shots of him, Ricky Seilheimer and Nardi Contreras. I love adding Minnie Minoso to the card set. 1980 was another one of those years where he got a few AB’s in order to extend his “decades’ played in record”. Sad that he hasn’t gotten a lot of support for the HOF. During his prime he was a 4 1/2 tool player. It was very cool that the Sox allowed him to make cameo appearances in 1976 and again in 1980 to extend his record.