Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1981 Baseball - Yankees

1981 New York Yankees

In 1980 39 Different players wore the uniform of the A.L East Division Champion New York Yankees (26 position players and 13 pitchers).  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.


29 Different player cards + "Yankees Rookies" of Tim Lollar, Bruce Robinson, and Dennis Werth for a total of 32 players (87%)

Player selection was very good.  All 3 of the Rookies saw time with the big club in 80.  Of the players not represented in the set, only Paul Blair played the most games (12) of the posisiton players.  Blair was singed on May 28 and released on July 1.  He would not appear in the majors after his last game of June 20.  All of pitchers had cards in the set, with Ed Figueroa as a Ranger and Jim Kaat as a Cardinal the only players not featured in a Yankee uniform, but they were both sold from the Yankees before the All-Star break.


31 Player cards, with 2 Reggie Jacksons (85%)

Fleer had all of the same players as Topps with the exception of Bruce Robinson.  Kaat and Figueroa are with the Cardinals and Rangers in the Fleer set also.


23 players, plus the manager, one coach (Yogi), and 2 additional Reggie Jacksons. Lets see if Donruss missed any major players. (64%)

A big time ommission is Rudy May, the 1980 AL ERA leader.   Fred Stanley is listed as a member of the A's, but the Yankee checklist has Larry Milbourne as a Yankee.  This is a reflection of 2 offseason aquisitions and is an indication that the Donruss set was finalized at a later date. Stanley was traded for Mike Morgan on 11/3/80 and Milbourne was received in a trade on 11/18/80.

Other players in Topps/Fleer and not Donruss are:  Aurelio Rodriguez (52 games), Brian Doyle (34), Johnny Oates (39), Tom Lollar (14), Mike Griffin (13), and Doug Bird (22).

Overall, Donruss gets the worst grade due to the omission of May.  I don't know why May was not included as he would pitch until 1983.  It must have been beasue they were not able to get a photo of him as he was in future Donruss sets.  Topps and Fleer are tied because they have the same basic players.  This is to be expceted with this being a) the Yankees, and b) the AL East Champions.

Player selection grade:  Topps - A; Fleer - A; Donruss - C

Rankings by Team


Yankees (87%)


Yankees (85%)


Yankees (64%)

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