Can You Name All These Famous MLB Players From the ’80s?

Gavin Thagard

Image: Wiki Commons by User Keith Allison on Flickr

About This Quiz

A strike-shortened season, an earthquake during the World Series, gambling accusations against an all-time great: The 1980s was a rough period for Major League Baseball as it tried to compete against rising viewership in other sports like basketball and football. However, there were a few bright spots, and it was the players who brought them about. Can you identify those players who kept fans tuned in? Here's your chance to find out. 

When you look at baseball in the 1980s, it's easy to dismiss the era as a transition period between the legends of the '70s and the sluggers of the '90s. One of the biggest reasons for this dismissal is because home runs were down, as players only hit over 40 home runs 13 times, the fewest of any decade since Babe Ruth was playing the game. If fans love anything, it's offensive production. 

But home runs aren't everything, and there were plenty of other milestones throughout the decade that are not as easy to dismiss. For example, pitching was at an all-time high, many future stars got their start while veterans called it quits and various records were broken left and right. 

Now, find out if you can identify the players who were part of these milestones by taking a swing at this quiz. 

Can you identify this player who spent the entire decade with the Milwaukee Brewers?

Robin Yount was only 18 years old when he made his MLB debut for the Milwaukee Brewers. The shortstop went on to set an MLB record by playing 243 games in the Majors before the age of 20.

What's the name of this player whose career started in the '60s but was still going strong when the '80s rolled around?

Reggie Jackson was one of the most confident players ever to take the field during his professional career. In fact, he once declared, after signing a contract with the New York Yankees, that "I didn't come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me."

Do recognize this player who took the league by storm when he debuted in 1984?

Dwight Gooden ended his rookie season with 17 wins, earning him the Rookie of the Year award. However, his second season in the league was even better, as he led MLB in wins with 24 and achieved a Triple Crown.

Are you familiar with this player who received the nickname "Mr. Padre" for his legendary career with the San Diego Padres?

Finishing his career with 3,141 hits, Tony Gwynn was a danger anytime he took the plate. He proved this over and over throughout the '80s, earning five of his eight National League batting championships throughout the decade.

Is this Hall of Famer a star you recognize for his play in the '80s?

Nicknamed "The Iron Man," Cal Ripken Jr. rarely missed a game throughout his 21-year career. In fact, his streak of 2,632 straight games started is an MLB record that may never be broken.

No player in the '80s could put on a show quite like this legend. Who is he?

No player loved the game of baseball more than Rickey Henderson, who was always willing to do the dirty work on the field. He was particularly effective on offense, where he holds MLB records for stolen bases and runs scored.

Few pitchers were as dominant as which one depicted in this image?

Though his career started in the '60s, Nolan Ryan achieved several milestones when the '80s came around. During the decade, the pitching legend threw his fifth no-hitter while also surpassing the all-time strikeout total held by Walter Johnson.

How familiar are you with this legend for the Kansas City Royals?

George Brett was a left-handed batter who became one of the greatest hitters in the game. He finished his career with 317 home runs, 3,154 hits and had a .305 batting average to accompany it.

Were you tuned into baseball when the Philadelphia legend shown here helped his team win a World Series?

In a decade where home runs were down, Mike Schmidt proved to be the exception. Throughout the decade, he led the National League in home runs five times, including a personal best of 48 in 1980.

Who is this pitcher, who twice achieved a Triple Crown?

Roger Clemens' Major League Baseball career began in 1984, but it didn't take him long to establish himself as one of the best pitchers in the game. In 1986, he won his first of seven Cy Young Awards while also making his first of 11 All-Star Games.

Can you name this former American League Rookie of the Year?

Anytime Rod Carew stepped to the plate, he put fear into the pitchers he faced. If his .328 batting average isn't proof enough, then his 3,053 hits and seven batting titles might drive home just how good he was.

Do you know this star who constantly came up just short in the MVP race?

Eddie Murray played more games at first base than any other player in the history of the game. He finished his career with 2,413 games at the position but added another 600 games as a designated hitter.

Are you able to identify this first baseman who was one of the best fielders in the game?

Keith Hernandez won his first World Series title in 1982 while playing with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals faced the Milwaukee Brewers in a competitive series that went all seven games with the Cardinals winning the final contest 6-3.

You would want which pitcher, depicted here, if you were trying to win a series in the playoffs?

While playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, Orel Hershiser had one of the best playoff runs in history. In the playoffs, he was named the MVP of both the National League Championship Series when the Dodgers defeated the New York Mets and the World Series when the Dodgers crushed the Oakland Athletics.

A recognized star on both offense and defense, which player is this?

Gary Clark came into the league with the fire and energy of a child, earning him the nickname "The Kid." He quickly gained the respect of his teammates, who recognized his work ethic and commitment to staying in shape.

Is this 15-time All-Star a player you're familiar with?

Playing shortstop, Ozzie Smith was as acrobatic at the position as he was athletic. By the time he retired, he held several records for shortstops including most assists, double plays and total chances accepted.

How well do you know this slugger, who was part of the 3,000 hits club?

With a .328 batting average, Wade Boggs proved his worth at the plate time and time again. He wasn't the greatest home run slugger, but considering he reached base over 80 percent of the time, he clearly wasn't a batter the pitchers wanted to face.

What's the name of this offensive star who had a knack for stealing bases?

Tim Raines had speed that shook the baseball world when he debuted in 1979. Two years later, he was leading the league in stolen bases, which he accomplished four straight years in a row.

Does this legendary closer have a familiar face?

Dennis Eckersley was a member of the Oakland Athletics team that won the final World Series of the 1980s. In a matchup called "Bay Bridge Series," because it featured two teams from the San Fransisco area, the Athletics swept the San Fransisco Giants in four games.

Did you watch baseball when this catcher was making a name for himself?

Playing 24 seasons in MLB, Carlton Fisk will forever be remembered as one of the greatest catchers in the history of baseball. Part of that has to do with his 2,226 games started behind home plate, an MLB record for a catcher.

This Yankees legend went into coaching once his career ended. Who is he?

Don Mattingly was named the manager of the Miami Marlins in 2016, where he eventually teamed up with another Yankees great, Derek Jeter. Jeter became part owner of the Marlins and was named chief executive officer in 2017, giving him oversight on Mattingly's position with the team.

Can you identify this power hitter who twice led the league in home runs?

Jose Canseco's 1988 season was one for the ages. On his way to winning the American League MVP, Canseco became the first player in MLB history to record at least 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases.

Which legendary batter is this?

Mark McGwire competed directly against Sammy Sosa as they both surpassed Roger Maris' 61 home runs total in a single season. McGwire finished with more home runs by knocking 70 balls out of the park.

Few players had the opportunity to win World Series on two different teams like which outfielder depicted here?

Prior to the 1984 World Series, Kirk Gibson and the Detroit Tigers faced the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS. With a stellar performance on both sides of the field, Gibson was named the MVP of the series, as the Tigers swept the Royals in three games.

Are you familiar with this All-Star caliber pitcher?

In his first full season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Fernando Valenzuela showed the world what kind of career laid ahead of him. After eight starts that season, Valenzuela was undefeated with five shutouts, launching what became known as "Fernandomania."

Which player, who finally called it quits after the 1986 season, is this ?

Pete Rose had a Hall of Fame career, and he put up an MLB record 4,256 hits. However, he may never actually enter the Hall of Fame because he gambled on games while he was a member of the Reds organization.

Do you recognize this baseball legend by his unique mustache?

Rollie Fingers had an insane fastball to go along with the mustache that made him immediately recognizable on the field. With both of these qualities on display, Fingers put on a show in the 1981 season, winning both the American League MVP and Cy Young Award.

This outfielder was one of the highest paid players in the '80s. What's his name?

Coming out of college, Dave Winfield was as talented an athlete as you would find. Before settling on Major League Baseball, Winfield was also drafted by the National Football League, National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association.

Is this star who had his number retired by the Atlanta Braves a player you're familiar with?

Dale Murphy won back to back NL MVP awards in 1982 and 1983 while playing for the Atlanta Braves. He went on to lead the National League in home runs in 1984 and 1985, putting together one of the best four year stretches in baseball.

Who is this defensive stud who played primarily for the Chicago Cubs?

Not one for talking, Ryne Sandberg let his play on the field speak for itself, and boy did it speak loudly. Sandberg finished his career as a ten-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove Award winner and won the National League MVP in 1984.

What's the name of this player who spent time with several teams across the league?

Statistically, Kevin Mitchell's 1989 season was as good as they come. That year, he proved to be the best offensive player at his position by winning the Silver Slugger Award after leading the National League in home runs and RBI.

How familiar are you with this player who made his MLB debut in 1982?

Willie McGee wasn't a home run threat, but that doesn't take much away from his batting ability, as he completed his career with a .295 batting average. That includes two years where he was named the National League batting champion.

You'd probably draft which slugger, shown here, if you needed more offensive production.

Jim Rice was a well-balanced offensive weapon. Where most players are either consistent hitters or home run threats, Rice could either send one out the park or strategically place it within the field of play.

Does this Hall-of-Famer have a face you recognize?

Kirby Puckett spent his entire MLB career with the Minnesota Twins, who drafted him with the third pick in the 1982 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 1984, where he had four hits in his first game.

Can you name this former World Series MVP for the Toronto Blue Jays?

Paul Monitor played all over the field during his MLB career. He started in the middle of the infield before serving stints in the outfield, at third base and as a designated hitter near the end of his career.

One of the best pitchers of the '80s, who is this five-time All-Star?

Jack Morris had one of the best seasons of his career during the strike-shortened season in 1981. Morris was not only the MLB wins leader when he recorded 14 victories, but he was also selected to his first All-Star Game.

Are you able to identify this player who was nicknamed "The Hawk" for his fielding skills?

Despite undergoing 12 knee surgeries throughout his career, Andrew Dawson always bounced back to form. By the end of his career, he had over 400 home runs, was selected to eight All-Star Games and earned a trip to the Hall of Fame.

Which all time great for the Boston Red Sox is this?

Carl Yastrzemski finished his career in the 1980s, but he was still going strong even as his career came to a close. He made two All-Star Games during the decade before finally retiring at the age of 44.

Do you know this right fielder who won a World Series with both teams from New York?

Darryl Strawberry won his first of four World Series in 1986 while playing for the New York Mets. He wouldn't win another title until he joined the New York Yankees, where he won three championships between 1996 and 1999.

What's the name of this player who contributed to four different teams throughout the '80s?

Fred Lynn put together one of his best performances in the 1982 ALCS. Playing all five games, Lynn finished the series with a .611 batting average and had five runs batted in. For his stellar play, he was awarded the ALCS MVP.

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