The 1980s had some exceptional talent that has taken their place in MLB history. Along with the talent that this decade has had, they have had some great MVP award winners as well. Some of the greatest players in MLB History were playing at their peak during the 1980s. These players put up some of the greatest numbers of their careers and for some of them, it was the start of their phenomenal careers.
MLB History: Roger Clemens
The starting pitcher for this team is Roger Clemens. During his 1986 season, Clemens was a force to be reckoned with. Every game he pitched, he was extremely dominant. Clemens took home the MVP in only his third year in the Major Leagues. In 1986, he posted a 24-4 record, a 2.48 ERA, and a total of 238 strikeouts. There wasn’t an aspect of his game that was flawed in 1986 and his MVP award shows it.
For the catcher, I had to make a special instance. There wasn’t anyone that played catcher that won an MVP in the 1980s. However, along with Carter’s great stats that he put up in 1980, he also finished second in MVP voting. This is why Carter is starting in this lineup. Carter had a great season with the Montreal Expos in the 1980 season. He finished with, .264 batting average, an on-base percentage of .331, and a slugging percentage of .486. Also, he hit a total of 29 home runs and 101 RBI’s that season. He also finished with a silver slugger and gold glove award, making a strong case for the 1980 MVP.
Starting at first is the power-hitting first baseman, Don Mattingly. In 1985, there wasn’t a single ball that he couldn’t over the wall. Mattingly drove in runs at an elite level in 1985, which helped him win the MVP award. In that season he hit, .324 batting average, an on-base percentage of .371, a slugging percentage of .567. Also, he had a total of 48 doubles, which is the second-most in his career, along with 35 home runs and 145 RBI’s. Mattingly also took home the gold glove, silver slugger, and was an All-Star that season.
Starting at second base is Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg was the only second baseman to win the award in the 1980s as he won it in 1984. The former Cub and Phillie played well enough to take home the award that season. His stats for this season were, a .314 batting average, .367 on-base percentage, a .520 slugging percentage with 19 home runs, 84 RBI’s, and 32 stolen bases. To complement his MVP season he was also an All-Star, gold glove winner, and a Silver Slugger award winner.
At the hot corner is Mike Schmidt. Schmidt is considered the greatest Philadelphia Phillies player and one of, if not the, best third baseman to ever play. Schmidt is a 3 time MVP and a World Series champion, however, some of his best stats came in the 1980 season. In this season, Schmidt was hitting, a .286 batting average, .380 slugging percentage, .624 slugging percentage, with 48 home runs and 121 RBI’s. Schmidt would also win the Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and be elected as an All-Star. He would then win an MVP the following season and continue his reign of dominance. The 1980s were when Schmidt showed he belonged in MLB History.
A shortstop is Brewers legend, Robin Yount. Yount was the definition of consistent during his entire career. Being a two-time MVP was just some of the thing achievements that made Yount’s career so special. In 1982, he won his first MVP with a stat line of, a batting average of .331, an on-base percentage of .379, and a slugging percentage of .578. In addition, he tallied a total of 210 hits, 29 home runs, and 114 RBI’s. In addition, Yount was an All-Star, Silver Slugger, and a Golden Glove winner during this impressive MVP season.
Canseco spent his career on multiple teams, however in 1988, Canseco put the league on notice for winning the MVP award while he was with the Oakland Athletics. He put up a .307 batting average, a .391 on-base percentage, and a .569 slugging percentage. Also, Canseco hit 42 home runs, 124 RBI’s, and stolen a total of 40 RBI’s. Canseco was also awarded an All-Star appearance and the Silver Slugger award for the 1988 campaign.
George A. Bell
He spent the majority of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, until finishing his career with the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. Bell was very dominant during the 1987 campaign. He finished with, a .308 batting average, .352 on-base percentage, and a .605 slugging percentage. Also, Bell put his power on display this season as he hit 47 home runs and 134 RBI’s. Bell was also awarded an All-Star appearance and a Silver Slugger award for his accomplished 1987 season.
Finishing out the lineup is outfielder, Kevin Mitchell. He was the type of player who bounced around the league throughout his career, playing for 8 different franchises. However, he really made his name known during his time with the San Francisco Giants. And it was with the Giants in 1989 that Mitchell earned the MVP award. During this season Mitchell hit, a .291 batting average, a .388 on-base percentage, and a .635 slugging percentage. Mitchell also hit 47 home runs and had 125 RBI’s in this season. Mitchell was also awarded an All-Star game appearance and a Silver Slugger award for his play during that season.
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