1981 Cleveland Indians
The 1980 Indians were one of two AL East teams that finished below .500, but they were only two games below. The 1980 season saw hope on the horizon with a fine ROY showing by Joe Charboneau and Andre Thorton coming back from injury (he missed all of 1980 with a knee injury). The sad thing is, the AL East was strong and it would take a lot to crack into the top 5 in that division. Celveland had a small roster, with only 33 different players suiting up (20 position players and 13 pitchers). the fact is that if you put all 3 sets together you would have cards of 31 of the 33 playes, with only Don Cllins the only one who I do not remember ever having a card. Lets see each of the card companies did in featuring cards of the players. Any players shown with other teams will count in the team % as they are considered checklisted.
24 Different player cards + 1 of the 3 "Future Stars" Sany Wihtol was the only one who played on the big club in 1980 + Cliff Johsnon (traded to Cubs in June) + Ron Pruitt (traded to White Sox in June) - Anrdre Thornton (DNP in 1980) - Eric Wilkins (Last ML action in 1979) for a total of 27 players. (82%)
I understand having a card of Thornton as he was agruably their best player, but the Wilkins card baffles me. I guess they needed someone to fill out the quota of tribers. No Mike Stanton, who appeared in 51 games, or Dave Rosello (71 games)
21 Player cards +Johnson (67%)
Respectable job of player selection. they did miss out on Alan Bannister, Bo Diaz, Dave Rosello, John Denny and Dell Alston. Most of these players were semi-regulars, appearing in 52-76 games for the posistion players and 16 for Denny.
20 players + Manageri + Johnson + Thornton + Bob Owchinko. Note on Owchinko, his team reads Pirates reflecting the trade of 12/9/80 that brought Bert Blyleven and Manny Sanguillen to Cleveland. None of the other players involved had their team name changed. (67%)
Not bad for Donruss with the only major omissions being Brohamer, Dan Spillner and Mike Stanton. Spillner was granted Free Agency in October and signed with Cleveland on 12/8/10, one day before the above trade. It is possible that Donruss removed the card from production and replaced it with another player thinking that Spillner would not be resigned.
As noted earlier, if you combine all 3 sets you get 31 of the 33 players and Andre Thornton. One of the missing is Andres Mora who had a card in a previous Topps set. I do not remember Don Collins.
Player selection grade: Topps - B; Fleer - B; Donruss - B
Rankings by Team
Red Sox (76%)
Red Sox (54%)
Red Sox (59%)