1980's holdover, Greg Maddox, announced his retirement earlier this week, and it got me thinking about players that are still active that made their debut back in the 80's. With a bit of research done while wearing an ensemble of a pastel colored Ocean Pacific shirt with bodacious corduroy pants and gnarly LA Gear sneakers, with a finely groomed mustache and male-perm, watching Miami Vice, and listening to Duran Duran I was able to compile the following list...
(listed by year and team of debut)
Jamie Moyer/Chicago Cubs- lovingly referred to as Grand Pappy by WSBGM's, this 46 year old man is still logging nearly 200 innings a season (196+ ip in 8 straight seasons). Big #'s- 246 wins and numerous potential male enhancement endorsements. He's a free agent and is asking for a 2 year contract between $18-20 million. Last seen- digging up the pitching rubber at Citizen's Bank Park after the Phils won the World Series.
Tom Glavine/Atlanta Braves- this someday Hall-of-Famer was almost a hockey player. 2 Cy Youngs and 305 wins later, I'm pretty sure he chose the right profession. Glavine is unsigned and coming off of injury. He'll find work if he desires, but does he desire? Last seen- putting up identical numbers to his rookie season (2-4 with a 5.54 era in both '88 and '08...strange).
Randy Johnson/Montreal Expos- the "Big Unit", all 6 foot 10 inches of this ugly s.o.b. is just 5 wins shy of 300. Big #'s- 4789 k's, 1 dead bird, and 1 kick-ass mullet. Last seen- throwing dodgeballs at "odor" (odor=poor innocent people) in a RightGuard commercial.
Curt Schilling/Baltimore Orioles- Mr. Bloody Sock has a big pompous ego and isn't afraid to let everyone know it. If not for numerous injuries, he'd be a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer. Even so, his 216 wins and 3116 k's are hard to ignore...oh, and his 11-2 postseason record helps too. Last seen- feverishly typing away on his computer derogatory remarks about ex-teammate Manny Ramirez.
John Smoltz/Atlanta Braves- hard to believe Doyle Alexander brought the Braves Smoltz via Detroit. Proud owner of 210 wins, 154 saves, and 3011 k's, Smoltz finds himself in line for a date with Cooperstown (that's New York, not a chick) after he decides to retire. Of course, Tiger Woods claims that Smoltz is the best amateur golfer in the US, so he may remain in spikes even after retirement. Last seen- not being offered arbitration from Atlanta, and wondering is it worth coming back another season from yet another injury.
Tom Gordon/Kansas City Royals- "Flash", although not one of my favorites, has had a very "Smoltz" like career (138 wins, 158 saves), but that's not to say he's in the same class as Smoltz. Last seen- signing copies of Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
Gary Sheffield/Milwaukee Brewers- admitted steroid user and anti-Yankee, Shef has had himself a great career. The converted shortstop/thirdbaseman has bounced around both leagues, but has always delivered with stats and bad attitude. Big #'s- 2615 h, 499 hr, 1592 r, 1633 rbi, .292 avg, .910 ops. Last seen- in the trade bin after Dave Dombrowski gave him the boot.
Ken Griffey Jr./Seattle Mariners- "Kid" or "Junior" made wearing baseball caps backwards cool before any rapper did, and he put Seattle baseball on the map (what you thought Phil Bradley did?). Through the steroid era, Griffey never came under question, as his power is generated from one of the sweetest swings of all-time. Big #'s- 2680 h, 611 hr, 1612 r, 1772 rbi, .288 avg, .920 ops, 13 time All-Star, 10 time Gold Glove recipient. Last seen- posing for Nintendo Wii's new game Baseball DL- Rehab.
Kent Merker/Atlanta Braves- I nearly forgot about this longtime lefty reliever, but Merker was yet another Brave pitcher to start a fine career in the 80's. He's likely to retire, after only pitching in 15 games for the Reds last season after coming out of semi-retirement (missed 2007).
Kenny Rogers/Texas Rangers- "the Gambler" is one of those guys that doesn't have great numbers (4.27 era/1.40 whip), but manages to keep his team in the game enough to amass a buttload of wins (219). He'll likely be remembered for shoving a cameraman who got a little close, and for the mysterious "poo palm" of the 2006 playoffs. Last seen- drunk, fat, and out of breath at the Grand Ole Opry.
Rudy Seanez/Cleveland Indians- this man has been everywhere, seriously I think he's even pitched for Saskatchewan of the Northern Canadian League. Big #'s- averaged more than a strikeout per inning pitched for his career (566 ip/574 k). Last seen- beating the crap outta someone in an Ultimate Fighting tournament.
Omar Vizquel/Seattle Mariners- one of the slickest fielders the moder day game has ever seen. Often compared to "The Wizard" Ozzie Smith who is a Hall-of-Famer. Omar- 11 Gold Gloves/ Oz- 13, Omar- 2657 h, .273 avg, .693 ops/ Oz- 2460 h, .262 avg, .665 ops, Omar- 1361 r, 892 rbi, 385 sb/ Oz- 1257 r, 793 rbi, 580 sb...very similar. Last seen- still telling Jose Mesa he hates him in Omar! My Life On and Off the Field Volume II.