That was the question facing the Calgary Cannons following their very successful first season in the Pacific Coast League. They put together a 71-70 record, losing in the league semi-finals to the eventual champion Vancouver Canadians.
The Cannons were going to have a lot of new faces heading into 1986, starting with their manager. Bill Plummer was replacing Bobby Floyd.
The Cannons were also challenged by their parent club, the Seattle Mariners, who were a young team trying to find the right mix of players to build around. Star infielder Danny Tartabull, who clubbed 40 home runs in 1985, would become an everyday player in the bigs. Also gone would be Darnell Coles, Al Chambers, Kevin King and Bob Stoddard.
The Cannons started the season strong, finishing second in their division in the first half with a 36-35 record. But they struggled to a last place 30-42 mark in the second half, failing to qualify for the playoffs. They were once again strong at the gates, drawing 288,197 fans into Foothills Stadium, good enough for second in the PCL behind the league champion Las Vegas Stars.
As for this ProCards set, it was pretty standard fare – white borders with typewriter-esque print of the player names, city and position. The Cannons logo features prominently near the bottom right corner. The players are in their usual poses at Foothills Stadium and it appears some of the photos were taken just before a game as fans had started to stream in towards their seats. There is nothing really exciting about the backs of the cards, as they are white with black printing of the vital facts and statistics about each player. Of note, it appears the Calgary Police Service is a sponsor, as each of the cards includes the CPS logo as well as a safety message, such as “it only takes 20 seconds to shoplift – but it destroys years of trust.”
Cannons’ faithful were rewarded for their trust in the team in 1987, as the club made it all the way to the league championship. We will get into that at another time. Until then, here’s a look at the 1986 ProCards set for the Calgary Cannons in our latest In The Cards.
And with that, another edition of In The Cards is in the binder … errr … books. We hope you enjoyed flipping through these cardboard collectibles. We invite you to leave a comment about the cards or maybe your favourite memories of the players you see.