The All-80's Team - NL First Basemen

August 15, 2006 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Astroturf, powder blue uniforms, wearing batting helmets in the field to protect your jheri curl, hitting 25 homers and being considered a legitimate slugger, big-league hair, that horrible gum from packs of baseball cards.... who doesn't love baseball from the 80's? Over the next several weeks I will be looking at the best players of the decade as we assemble the TMS All-80's Team. We will start with the National League and then we'll tackle the American. To meet the criteria a player will have to have played in at least 4 seasons in the 1980's and they must have played the bulk of their games at a certain position during that time to qualify there. Included will be a poll on the left sidebar, so our faithful readers can weigh in on this great debate. But remember, we're focusing on a player's contributions in just the 1980's. What they did in the decades before and/or after are not being considered in this.

Last week we tackled the NL catchers. Gary Carter won the online poll and has been named the starting NL catcher to the TMS All-80's Team.


Bill Buckner
Chicago Cubs (1980-84)

Nickname: Billy Buck
All-Star: 1981
NL Leader: 1980 AVG (.324), 1981 Doubles (35), 1983 Doubles (38)

Notes: Most people only remember Buckner for that one unfortunate play (nevermind Bob Stanley with help from Calvin Schiraldi blew the lead prior to that and the Sox still managed to lose Game 7 even after that). What some people have forgotten is that Buckner was a gritty hard-nosed player that was pretty damn good back in his heyday with the Dodgers and Cubs. Billy Buck put up some solid numbers on the Northside in the early 80's. Buckner also had a first ballot moustache for the Baseball Hair Hall of Fame.

Jack Clark
San Francisco Giants (1980-84), St. Louis Cardinals (1985-87), San Diego Padres (1989)

Nickname: Jack the Ripper
All-Star: 1985, 1987
Silver Sluggers: 1985, 1987
Postseason: 1985 WS, 1987 NLCS
NL Leader: 1987 OBP (.459), 1987 SLG (.597), 1987 BB (136), 1989 BB (132)

Notes: Battling injuries his entire career, Jack Clark still put together some impressive numbers at the plate and had two huge seasons in St. Louis. Jack is an avid drag racing fan and also is the career home run leader among players with a unibrow.

Will Clark
San Francisco Giants (1986-89)

Nickname: The Thrill
All-Star: 1988-89
Silver Sluggers: 1989
Awards: NLCS MVP (1989)
Postseason: 1987 NLCS, 1989 WS
NL Leader: 1988 BB (100), 1988 RBI (109), 1989 Runs (104)

Notes: In the late 80's, Will's career took off in a hurry. In 1989 Will pounded the Cubs in the NLCS, winning MVP of that series. He then faced an Oakland team whose slugging duo of Canseco and McGwire were no match for him. It was as if their home runs were aided by some sort of performance enhancer. But what was it?

Glenn Davis
Houston Astros (1984-89)

All-Star: 1986, 1989
Silver Sluggers: 1986
Postseason: 1986 NLCS

Notes: Remember Glenn Davis? No? Yeah you do. Reach back into the recesses of your brain when you collected baseball cards. Glenn was the only guy that could be considered a slugging threat in Houston for the latter part of the decade.

Andres Galarraga
Montreal Expos (1985-89)

Nickname: Big Cat
All-Star: 1988
Gold Gloves: 1989
Silver Sluggers: 1988
NL Leader: 1988 Hits (184), 1988 Doubles (42)

Notes: Before his homer-crushing days in Colorado, Andres was a young phenom up in Quebec. Equally solid with his glove as he was at the plate, Galarraga won a Gold Glove in 1989. Nicknamed Big Cat for his amazing quickness covering first base despite his large frame.

Steve Garvey
Los Angeles Dodgers (1980-82), San Diego Padres (1983-87)

All-Star: 1980-81, 1984-85
Awards: Roberto Clemente Award (1981), Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (1984), NLCS MVP (1984)
Postseason: 1981 WS, 1984 WS
NL Leader: 1980 Hits (200)

Notes: While his prime was in the decade before, Garvey still had some great seasons in the '80s. After he retired, Steve pursued acting and has been seen in such memorable straight-to-video favorites as Sandlot 2 and Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero.

Keith Hernandez
St. Louis Cardinals (1980-83), New York Mets (1983-89)

Nickname: Mex
All-Star: 1980, 1984, 1986-87
Gold Gloves: 1980-88
Silver Sluggers: 1980, 1984
Postseason: 1982 WS, 1986 WS, 1988 NLCS
NL Leader: 1980 Runs (111), 1980 OBP (.408)

Notes: What didn't Keith do in the 80's? He won a slew of Gold Gloves. He won a World Series with two different teams, and he introduced young phenoms Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden to the joys of alcohol and cocaine. In 1987 he was wrongfully accused of spitting on Kramer and Newman (turns out it was Roger McDowell hiding in the bushes). Keith also loves all you gals out there, just stay out of the dugout.

Pete Rose
Philadelphia Phillies (1980-83), Montreal Expos (1984), Cincinnati Reds (1984-86)

Nickname: Charlie Hustle
All-Star: 1980-82, 1985
Silver Sluggers: 1981
Postseason: 1980 WS, 1981 NLDS, 1983 NLCS

Notes: Despite the humiliating end for him in the latter part of the decade, the early 80's were quite good to Pete. A World Series ring with the Phillies in 1980, eclipsing the all-time hits record, and being a part of 4 All-Star teams is enough to give Charlie Hustle a mention here. Pete was also the last player-manager in the majors.

Be sure and vote for your choice of NL First Basemen for the TMS All-80's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.