Friday, March 23, 2018

1990 Donruss Best of the NL: Cubs Team Set

We continue our chosen task of showing the entirety of the 1990 Donruss Best of the National League set. We're going through it team by team, in no particular order, and we stop this week in Chicago, home of the Cubs.
Ryne Sandberg.
Shawon Dunston.
To start things off, we have this middle infield combo, Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg and shortstop Shawon Dunston.  I'll say what I always say about Sandberg -- he's the one that got away from the Phillies.  The late 80s was a rough time to be a Phillies fan, and having Sandberg around would have made it much better.  Dunston was popular for a time, and was a two-time All-Star around the time of this set, in 1988 and 1990.
Jerome Walton.
Mark Grace.
Jerome Walton was the 1989 NL Rookie of the Year, and Mark Grace placed second for RoY in 1988 (behind Chris Sabo of the Reds).  Walton didn't do so well afterwards, with career totals of 423 hits, 132 RBI, and a .269 average over 10 seasons.  Grace had a solid career with 2445 hits, 1146 RBI, and a .303 average, but I guess that's sub-Hall-of-Fame, as he only earned 4.1% in his one time on the ballot, in 2009.
Lloyd McClendon.
Joe Girardi.
I vaguely remember Lloyd McClendon as a player.  He played with the Reds, Cubs, and Pirates from 1987-1994, with career numbers similar to Walton's.  I know him better as a manager, with the Pirates from 2001-2005 and the Mariners in 2014 and 2015.  Just about the same goes for Joe Girardi -- I have a vague memory of him as a player, and know him better as a manager.  Of course, he's well-known as a manager, having managed the Yankees for many years, including for their 2009 World Series win over the Phillies.
Dwight Smith.
Andre Dawson.
I don't remember Dwight Smith, who played in the majors from 1989 through 1996 for the Cubs, Angels, Orioles, and Braves.  Smith has a career .275 batting average with 46 home runs, 226 RBI, and 497 hits.  And the there's Andre Dawson.  I feel like I post about Andre Dawson over and over, and I don't have much to say other than he was awesome.
Mitch Williams.
Greg Maddux.
Moving on to the pitchers, we start with Mitch Williams.  I would say Williams is reviled in the Philly area for giving up Joe Carter's home run to end the 1993 World Series.  I think the Phillies that year had a strategy of paying more attention to their offense than to their pitching, and hoping it would work out.  It almost did.  Then there's Greg Maddux, one of the all-time greats.  Maddux was just getting underway at this point, and hadn't won any of his eventual four Cy Young awards.  In 1990 he went 15-15, which I'm sure was a letdown after his 19-12 season in 1989 and his 18-8 season in 1988.
Les Lancaster.
Mike Bielecki.
We wrap up with two more pitchers, Les Lancaster and Mike Bielecki.  Lancaster pitched for the Cubs from 1987 through 1991, then with the Tigers in 1992, and with the Cardinals in 1993 before retiring.  He had career numbers of 41-28 with a 4.05 ERA, 22 saves, and 408 strikeouts in 323 games.  Bielecki had a long-ish career in the majors, from 1984 to 1997, starting with the Pirates, then with the Cubs, Braves, Indians, and Angels.  He pitched in 347 games in the majors, with 178 starts, earning a career 70-73 record with a 4.18 ERA.

That's it for this week.  Thanks for reading!  Next week, let's take a look at the Cardinals.


  1. Dwight Smith was the ROY runner-up in 1989. Lost to his teammate Walton. Had a higher WAR and comparable others numbers but didn't play as much.