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The 10 most under-appreciated players of the 1980s: #8 Gary Redus

Posted by Andy
Gary Redus was a speedster who batted primarily leadoff during his career. Despite appearing in 13 different seasons, he topped 100 games played only 5 times. He was an average defender but was able to play all 3 outfield positions. In the 1980s, he stole 279 bases at a 81% success rate.

So, what was the deal? Why did a player with such good skills not get more playing time?

I suspect that Redus was the victim of the "Time Before OPS". He was a career .252 batter, a below average number and probably deemed unsuitable for a leadoff hitter. But his OBP was 90 points higher (.342) and his SLG was a decent .410. For the portion of his career in the 1980s, he had a .754 OPS and a 107 OPS+.

For all batters from 1982 to 1989, Redus ranked 104th in Runs Created but he was only 128th in plate appearances. From 1983 to 1989, he was one of 62 players to play in at least 90 games every season, but of that group he got the 5th fewest plate appearances despite posting the 38th-best OPS.

I think that Redus was hurt by being confused with Gary Pettis, a guy who also had a ton of speed but didn't ever post an OPS+ of 100 except in his 98-plate appearance cups of coffee at the start of his career.

The card is Redus' entry from the 1987 Topps Traded set. His regular cad from that year shows him in a Phillies' uniform prior to his trade during spring training of 1987 for Joe Cowley. As with many of the Topps Traded sets from the 1980s, the backs were printed on brighter stock.

Two notes about the copy on the back
  1. It's interesting that all 3 of Redus' daughters have first names ending in "-sha".
  2. Although the "On This Date" feature is kind of interesting, what's the significance of that particular date to this card? It's not like October 4th has anything in particular to do with Redus. The game in question was Oakland's last of the season after they had already wrapped up the division title. I guess I just don't get it...the title should really be "Random Game in History".

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