Reunions

There has been a lot of attention being paid to 30th anniversary of the 1986 New York Mets, especially with their reunion this weekend. In addition to being one of the best teams in baseball history, they are one of the most interesting. While I look forward to seeing the team on the field together once again, it will be on a somber note since Gary Carter, who succumbed to brain cancer four years ago, won’t be there to join them. Carter is the team’s lone Hall of Famer and is the only member of the 1986 Mets that is no longer with us.

This got me to thinking about how rare it is to have every member of a team survive multiple decades after they last took the field. So if you can get past the morbidity of this article, let’s take a look at which teams could have a reunion with all of their players still around to take the field.

Year Team # of Players WS Win
1978 San Diego Padres
38
84-78
1978 Seattle Mariners
34
56-104
1979 San Diego Padres
35
68-93
1980 Milwaukee Brewers
33
86-76
1980 Texas Rangers
41
76-85
1982 Milwaukee Brewers
33
95-67
1982 Texas Rangers
40
64-98
1983 Boston Red Sox
31
78-84
1983 Milwaukee Brewers
36
87-75
1983 Toronto Blue Jays
33
89-73

1978 San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners
The earliest teams with all of its players currently living are the 1978 Padres and Mariners. The Mariners were pretty dreadful, losing 104 games in their 2nd season of existence. The Padres (84-78, 11 GB), on the other hand, were just starting to acquire big names, thanks to the advent of free agency and Ray Kroc’s deep pockets. A reunion of the 1973 Padres would include Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Rollie Fingers and Gaylord Perry. Not to mention Gene Tenace, Randy Jones and Oscar Gamble, to name a few. But while the 1978 Padres had a number of big names, teams usually hold reunions for pennant or World Series winners.

Earliest Pennant winners with all currently living players

Year Team # of Players WS Win
1982 Milwaukee Brewers
33
N
1992 Atlanta Braves
41
N
1992 Toronto Blue Jays
40
Y
1993 Toronto Blue Jays
38
Y
1995 Cleveland Indians
41
N
1996 Atlanta Braves
42
N
1997 Cleveland Indians
46
N
1997 Florida Marlins
43
Y
1999 Atlanta Braves
44
N

Brewers manager Harvey Kuenn passed away in 1988, but every one of his “Wallbangers” has survived from the 1982 team. 2017 will be the 35th anniversary of their American League Pennant and it will be great to have every member be able to attend a possible reunion.

1 thought on “Reunions”

  1. INTERESTING article. I never would have thought to research something like that. In table one, change the heading of the last column to “Record” or something. The World Series Win was also interesting to see yea or nay in the second table.

Comments are closed.