The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
ISSUE THREE (11 April 2003)
Child's Play In A War Zone: Geraldine Hughes Reached Deep Into Her Impoverished Childhood to Create Belfast Blues
Diane Haithman, Los Angeles Times (16 February 2003)

The title of Geraldine Hughes' one-woman show, "Belfast Blues," refers both to the violent 30-year "troubles" in Northern Ireland and to the huge blue eyes of the young Geraldine, who watched it all as she came of age in the 1980s as a member of the oppressed Catholic minority.
"I had things to say, but I didn't have a voice," says Hughes, who at 32 is finally telling her story at the tiny, 35-seat Black Dahlia Theatre in L.A.
"It's one little girl's story, that's all it is," Hughes said in a recent conversation, her mobile face still dominated by lively "Belfast blues" beneath a mop of dark, loose curls. "I had one man tell me it reminded him of watching the kids who were in Vietnam; another man who called me was a child of Holocaust survivors. A story like this goes beyond color and religion and everything.
"It's just about a wee girl in a war, and it seems to be affecting people."
Steven Klein, producer of "Belfast Blues," says that of the approximately 30 people who have attended each performance, usually four or five hail from Ireland. "There's somebody with an Irish accent in the show every night," he says. The show's producers plan to take "Belfast Blues" to Ireland this summer for the West Belfast Festival, and are in negotiations for productions in Boston and New York.
In the first part of the show, Hughes recounts a bit of Irish luck that changed her life: She was 14 when American TV producers came to her neighborhood. Out of hundreds of hopefuls, they selected Hughes and three other Belfast youths with no acting experience to spend a summer in the U.S. to appear in the 1984 TV movie "Children in the Crossfire," directed by the late George Schaefer.
Among the producers of the film was Charles Haid, perhaps best known to TV audiences as Renko on "Hill Street Blues" and also a veteran TV, film and stage director.
The Hollywood connections made during that summer eventually became Hughes' escape from her poverty-stricken roots in Belfast. With the encouragement of Schaefer, Haid and Merrill Karpf, executive producer of "Children in the Crossfire," she moved to Los Angeles to earn a bachelor's degree from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television. Schaefer, Haid and Karpf paid her tuition, and Hughes worked to pay her living expenses.
Through another connection, Hughes landed one of her first jobs in Los Angeles as part-time nanny to the children of Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman....
"Belfast Blues," developed in collaboration with Kim Terrell and the Virtual Theatre Project, began as a one-act show that Hughes presented to an audience of friends at the Black Dahlia. But everyone who saw it said it didn't tell the whole story, including Haid, who asked to be part of the project after seeing it as an invited guest.
Haid became the show's director -- and more. "Charlie and I just worked like crazy over the holidays," Hughes says. "He has a room in the back of his house, and he said: 'You can have it.' And the way I work this stuff out is, I don't write it -- I physicalize it first, videotape it, and watch it and transcribe it from that. So I was there like a maniac in the back room of his house.
"Charlie really pushed me toward the why of the play, and so did my husband," Hughes says. "I was running away from that. [Haid] said: 'Come on, where's the guts? If you're going to have the guts to do it, you have to have the guts to tell people how you really felt.' "
The sunny-tempered Hughes is more apt to laugh than cry over her formative years in Ireland, but her blue eyes turn sober when she talks about the children of Northern Ireland. "I have a great understanding for people who grow up thinking that they want to fight, and that that's the only way," she says. "The monologue that I ended up with goes to different levels at different nights, but I am so exhausted by the end of it, because it's the absolute truth. The child who throws the brick will want to grow up and carry the gun, and shoot, and seek revenge...."
(c) 2003 The Times Mirror Company

Axl Rose
With his band Guns N'Roses, he was one of the biggest - and baddest - rockers on the planet. Now his new album is a decade late (and still not completed) and his tour has collapsed amid riots and no-shows. Is Axl Rose finished?
Nick Kent, The [London] Guardian (3 January 2003)

The crass, consumer- crazy 1980s have left behind a toxic wasteland of cultural debris for us all to steer around, but one of its most dismal legacies has to be the preponderance of fading superstars from that era who simply can't accept that their golden years are now behind them. The most obvious is Michael Jackson claiming to be the King of Pop, while his face, fanbase and personal fortune collapse before a largely indifferent world. But even he seems sane compared with Axl Rose, the politically incorrect Eminem of the 1980s, the tattoo-encrusted, kilt-wearing Liam Gallagher of La-La-Land.
Though he's done nothing of consequence for a decade, Rose has not been forgotten, not least by those who experienced his volatile mood swings. The Rolling Stones will never forget the afternoon in 1989 when Rose kept them waiting for three hours for the rehearsal of a Rose-Jagger duet. Nor will Courtney Love easily blank from her mind the 1992 MTV awards when Rose stuck his face directly in front of her husband Kurt Cobain and hissed: "Tell your bitch to shut up or I'll take you down to the pavement!"
The latter incident was sparked by a condescending remark Love had made to Rose's then-girlfriend, supermodel Stephanie Seymour. In 1991, Rose had fallen madly in love with Seymour and had become extremely attached to her three-year-old son Dylan, but in 1993 Seymour abruptly left Rose to marry multi-millionaire businessman Peter Brandt....
....A decade after it was first begun, [the never-ending forthcoming Guns N' Roses album] Chinese Democracy remains unfinished. More than $10m of studio costs, more than eight separate producers, more than 20 musicians involved in endless sessions - and still the wait goes on. Executives at Geffen/Interscope are tearing their hair out over the record's non-appearance, partly because it will be the first Guns N'Roses record with only one original member performing the songs: Axl Rose. Rose doesn't want to be anywhere near his old cohorts these days. "It wouldn't be healthy for me," he told Rolling Stone. Rose says Slash and Duff quit of their own volition in the late 1990s, but Slash and Duff maintain they were forced to leave because Rose had legal ownership of the Guns N'Roses name and had started treating them like his backing group....
.... The way Rose sees it, he's reinventing Guns N'Roses for the new millennium because the other guys simply weren't up to it. They laughed behind his back at his healthy lifestyle and new-age obsessions, drank and drugged too much in the rehearsal studio and were still content to jam on old Aerosmith riffs when Rose was trying to introduce them to DJ Shadow and Nine Inch Nails. Also, there's a multi-million dollar cheque waiting for him alone as soon as he hands the new record over.
Rose began his life on February 6 1962, his parents William and Sharon christening him William Bruce Rose....
He spent his teenage years in Lafayette, Indiana, an angsty reprobate and hardened juvenile delinquent. Then in 1982, he followed former schoolchum Jeff Isbell, later known as Izzy Stradlin, to Los Angeles and the pair bounced around the Hollywood club circuit for three years, before connecting with drummer Steven Adler, his guitarist Saul "Slash" Hudson and a Seattle-born bassist called Duff McKagan: Guns N'Roses were formed on June 6 1985. Immediately, the musical and human chemistry of the quintet proved itself a winner, but there was always violence at their shows, mostly sparked by the singer....
In the summer of 1986, Guns N'Roses signed to Geffen records with LA-based Englishman Alan Niven as manager. Niven recalls: "From the very beginning, my relationship with Axl was often strained. His failure to show for the very first gig after signing a management contract rather set the tone...."
From the outset, Niven had to confront band members who'd become addicted to hard drugs. "We used to basically kidnap them every now and then and take them to Hawaii to clean up. We'd call Slash and say, 'Interview tomorrow with Guitar Magazine, 12 midday.' He'd arrive at the office, we'd put him in a car, drive him to the airport and take him to the island. Steven Adler was the worst. He became quite tragic. I remember one time in San Francisco when Steven was rushed to hospital with an overdose. The road manager was literally running up the streets with him on his shoulders. Was Axl the less drug-addled of the five? Well, I'd say he was less unthinkingly habitual."
From 1988 to 1991, Guns N'Roses were the world's biggest, baddest and most talked-about rock band. Bad things tended to happen whenever they got together, but the negativity only made them more popular. In 1988, two fans were crushed to death as the group performed at a heavy metal festival in Donington. In 1989, Rose coerced the band into recording "One in a Million", a song that depicted homosexuals as immoral disease-spreaders and the entire Afro-American population as a bunch of gold-chain-wearing thieves.
Rose's new-found notoriety also unlocked an unshakable zeal within him to become all-powerful at the expense of his co-workers. Drummer Adler was sacked in 1990. (Adler later launched a lawsuit against the band, and Rose had to pony up a hefty $2.5m out-of-court settlement.) A year later, Rose forced the other members to dispense with manager Niven, whose replacement [was] a roadie named Doug Goldstein....
Stradlin also left in 1991, disgusted by his old friend's transformation into "full-scale Hollywood power-crazy asshole-dom". The group released two albums that year, Use Your Illusion I and II. But sessions had been long and often painful. Guitarist Slash remarked: "Axl always thinks a Guns N'Roses album is automatically a solo project for him."
These two albums sold 10m copies altogether, but it was over for Guns N'Roses as soon as Nirvana released Nevermind in the autumn of 1991. The Seattle trio quickly eclipsed Rose and his band. This was sweet revenge for Cobain, who'd been viciously running down Axl at Nirvana gigs....
Rose and his group toured until 1993, then finished The Spaghetti Incident, an album of punk covers. Rose's final track for it was "Look at Your Game Girl", a song written by criminal mastermind Charles Manson, accompanied by his gardener on acoustic guitar. It was a personal message to Stephanie Seymour. Then he locked himself away in his Malibu estate for the rest of the decade in a state of Howard Hughes-like invisibility.
Fast forward to the late autumn of 2002. The new Guns N'Roses are being unveiled to a mildly interested world as the final act on an MTV awards glitz-fest. True, there have been scattered live appearances over the past two years, but this three-song, live, globally televised performance was the real return of Axl Rose to the big ring of fame. Only everything is clearly not quite right when they finally appear. Slash's replacement is a bloke with a KFC bucket on his head and a face-mask. Stradlin's replacement is the session guitarist for 'NSync. And Rose's years as a Malibu hermit haven't improved his always precarious fashion sense: he lumbered around the stage, a ridiculous leather pork-pie hat partially covering his equally ridiculous red Rasta braids. But the biggest problem was the voice: it had lost its vibrant guttersnipe screech, the eerie sound that was the proverbial mating call for all pot-smoking teenagers in the late 1980s. Its power was diminished and much of the primal rage was gone, replaced by an uncertain desperation. Rose looked deeply frightened that night and his one new song was another terrible self-pitying dirge.
Meanwhile, Chinese Democracy is still not completed. The music is finished, but final vocals have yet to be recorded because the mood has not been right or because lyrics haven't yet been written. On a website, Rose advised fans they'd be better off waiting for the resurrection of Christ: "I hear the pay-off will be better."
In November, Rose and his new playmates committed themselves to a north American stadium tour. The first show was in Vancouver. The promoter phoned Rose at 7pm on the evening of his supposed performance and discovered that the singer was still in Los Angeles, having just boarded a plane. The concert was duly cancelled, which prompted several thousand ticket-holders to riot. Rose later issued a statement in which he blamed bad weather for a delayed flight. Then, in early December, Guns N'Roses were booked to play in Philadelphia. Tickets sold out - and exactly the same thing happened. Apparently Rose - who has yet to state his side of the story - preferred to watch a sporting event on his hotel TV. The result: the rest of the tour cancelled and every major US concert promoter determined he'll never work again.
What is this bizarre individual doing to himself? Alan Niven hazards a guess: "Maybe Axl requires hate to drive his muse. David Bowie once told him that this drove his creativity and the comment made a big impression on Axl." Rose, meanwhile, could face more criminal negligence charges in US courts for his recent no-shows - he was convicted, fined and put on probation in 1992 for "incitement to riot" after a concert in St Louis. Still, Axl should look on the bright side: a bit of jail-time might uncork that raging muse again, and finally put an end to one of the longest cases of writer's block in the history of popular music.
(c) 2003, Guardian Newspapers Ltd.

A Popple

Popular Eighties Toys Return as "Works of Art" for Celebrities and Charity
PRNewswire (13 November 2001)

What do Christina Ricci, Nicole Miller, Ananda Lewis and Melissa Joan Hart have in common? They are among a line-up of celebrities donating their time and creative talents to the Popples(TM) Pop Culture Charity Design Auction running November 15th through November 26th on, the world's online marketplace. Nine "one-of-a-kind" handmade Popples(TM) plush -- cuddly creatures from the 1980's that are making a comeback in toy stores this year -- were designed by today's most popular entertainers and fashion designers, and manufactured by Toymax Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Toymax International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TMAX). The celebrity- designed Popples will be sold at auction with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the STARBRIGHT Foundation, a non-profit organization chaired by Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf that serves seriously ill children. The auction features the chance for fans and collectors to bid on the unique Popples plush along with the original autographed designs created by each celebrity.
Celebrity participants include a mix of fashion designers, movie and television actresses, talk show hosts and musicians who fondly remember Popples from the 1980's. Each celebrity was provided with a blank Popples black and white line drawing, a box of colored pencils and an invitation to add extra flair by including a personal signature item. The nine celebrity designers have taken the time to color, customize, and in some cases, even "name" their own unique Popples. Each cuddly Popples pal has a celebrity signature printed on its left foot. Celebrity participants and their Popples designs include:
* Melissa Joan Hart's "Patriot Popple" shows its true patriotic spirit.This red, white and blue Popple is decorated in stars and stripes.
* Jessica Biel's "Star-Lite Popple" sports an array of purple and green stars with a tummy full of sunshine.
* Christina Ricci's "Subway Popple" celebrates the Big Apple! This snazzy Popple is all dressed up like a New York City subway map.
* Rachael Leigh Cook's "Hopper-Dopple Popple" shines with a bright yellow star on its tummy and colorful body.
* Nicole Miller's "Tiger Lili" Popple is decked out in tiger stripes and topped off with a felt and rhinestone applique flower on its tummy.
* Shoshanna Lonstein's Popple is ready for a picnic with a red gingham tummy and cherry patterned ears.
* Ananda Lewis' "Americana Popplerana" dons red, white and blue as a symbol of American pride.
* Tiffany's "Star" Popple is covered with stars, and features all the colors of the rainbow.
* Elisa Donovan's colorful design of green and blue touts an angel on its yellow tummy.
"STARBRIGHT truly appreciates the support of Toymax and all the celebrity designers, and we are delighted that they have come together to help make a difference in the lives of seriously ill children everywhere," said Nancy Hayes, Chief Executive Officer of the STARBRIGHT Foundation. "Each celebrity brings her own sense of style and imagination to this auction, and we are excited that toy fans across the country will be able to bid on the chance to own these very unique collectors items beginning on November 15th."
"The Popples Pop Culture Charity Design Auction is a terrific way for consumers to help make a real difference in the lives of seriously ill children during this year's holiday season. We are delighted with the celebrity response we have received to this project as it helps make a contribution to the STARBRIGHT Foundation possible," said Carmine Russo, Toymax Chief Operating Officer. "This auction has three essential elements - the participation of top celebrities, consumer anticipation and excitement for the return of Popples, and a renewed interest in everything eighties. These combined factors indicate that this auction has great potential to raise funds necessary to make a difference in the lives of those children who need it most."
To bid on the one-of-a-kind celebrity Popples collector's items, consumers can go to and look for the "Popples For Starbright" link.
About Popples:
This year, Toymax, under license from American Greetings (NYSE: AM), re- introduced Popples plush -- first extremely popular in the mid-eighties -- with an updated and fresh appeal. The Popples characters are adorable plush creatures who each have the ability to roll up into their pouches like balls, revealing only their heads. Each Popples character hides away in a cuddly ball shape and can "pop" out of its pouch to reveal a body, arms, legs and tail. First unveiled earlier this year at the American International Toy Fair, the newly designed Popples(TM) line from Toymax features bright colors and fun patterns as well as lights, sounds and interactivity.
About The STARBRIGHT Foundation:
The STARBRIGHT Foundation is a non-profit organization chaired by Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf that develops engaging media-based programs to empower seriously ill children to meet the psychological and social challenges that accompany prolonged illness. STARBRIGHT was founded on the premise that children who understand, manage and actively cope with their illness will live richer and more fulfilling lives. Collaborating with experts in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, STARBRIGHT creates programs that are educational and entertaining, and that demonstrate positive health outcomes. For more information on STARBRIGHT, visit the web site at or call 1-800-315-2580.
Toymax Inc. (, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toymax International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TMAX), is an award-winning children's consumer products company that creates, designs and markets innovative and technologically advanced toys and leisure products. Toymax(R) products promote fun and creative play and are available under several successful selling brands, including R.A.D.(TM) Robot, Mighty Mo's(TM) vehicles, Laser Challenge(TM) gear, Creepy Crawlers(R) Bug Maker(TM) and the TMX RC(TM) Dragonfly(TM) radio-controlled vehicle. The company is headquartered in Plainview, N.Y. and its products are available at retailers worldwide.
American Greetings is the world's largest publicly held creator, manufacturer and distributor of greeting cards and social expression products. Its staff of artists, designers and writers comprises one of the largest creative departments in the world and helps consumers "say it best" by supplying more than 15,000 greeting card designs to retail outlets in nearly every English-speaking country. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, American Greetings drives annual sales of more than $2.5 billion. For more information on the company, visit on the World Wide Web. (TM) designates trademark of (C) 2001 Those Characters From Cleveland, Inc. Used under license by Toymax Inc., Plainview NY 11803
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. The Company cautions readers that all forward-looking statements are necessarily speculative and accordingly undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which only speak as of the date made. Actual results may vary materially from those anticipated by the Company for a variety of reasons, including, without limitation, changes in retail sell- through of the Company's products, differences between bookings received from customers and actual orders received, changing consumer demand for its products, the dependence on a limited number of customers. The risks highlighted herein should not be assumed to be the only things that could affect the future performance of the Company or Popples(TM) products. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements, which may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated events. Readers are referred to the documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically, the most recent reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the registration statement filed pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933, which identify important risk factors.
(c) 2001 PR Newswire Association, Inc.

Critics Take on '80s Excess: The Cannes Film Festival in the 1980s
Roger Ebert, Variety (24 March 1997)

It was the last decade when you could still get away with something at Cannes. When the 1980s began, the theaters on the Rue d'Antibes were still booked around the clock with exploitation movies and even a little tardy porno that someone hoped to sell somehow, somewhere. By the end of the decade, exploitation and sex had gone to video, and there was a guy in the bowels of the new Palais who was selling cassettes by the pound.
The old Cannes was tamed during the decade. The buccaneers and hypemeisters who used to raise money for movies on the come were replaced by serious businessmen who made deals on rational terms. That was largely because the world market was definitively captured by Hollywood during the decade; majors, not minors and indies, were booking the world's cinemas, and in America the arthouses and owner-owned theaters were a threatened species. You no longer sold your movie to one guy at a time; you sold it to a distributor.
At the beginning of the decade, Ilya and Alexander Salkind's air force still thundered through the skies above the Croisette--so many planes towing so many Superman banners that you wondered if the key grip would get a banner, too. Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were the biggest spenders of the decade, filling the daily trades with dozens of pages of Cannon ads (some for movies made, some for movies planned, some for movies that existed only in their fondest dreams). Cannon rented ballrooms and beach restaurants night after night, wining and dining hundreds if not thousands at an incalculable cost. Menahem made anything seem possible: He returned from lunch one day waving a napkin from the Majestic on which he and Jean-Luc Godard had written a contract for a production of "King Lear," to star, among others, Woody Allen. "The napkin will be worth more than the movie," I predicted, and I was right; so few people saw "King Lear" that Quentin Tarantino was able to list it as an acting credit and almost get away with it.
Golan brooded that he was not accorded proper respect by the Cannes establishment. He opened a trig building in Los Angeles and declared himself a major, but by the end of the decade it was clear Cannon was overextended and failing, and with it went a certain spirit. The trades got smaller, the invitation lists grew more select, and people lost faith in the theory that you could announce a film at Cannes and get it financed and filmed on sheer bravado.
Independent American filmmakers had always found a welcome at Cannes, but a new generation, destined to bring U.S. indies to an unprecedented level of recognition, emerged in the 1980s. The breakthrough probably came with Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger Than Paradise" in 1984. Two years later, Spike Lee arrived with "She's Gotta Have It" and announced a new generation of gifted black filmmakers In 1989 Steven Soderbergh's "sex, lies, and videotape" won the Palme d'Or, and U.S. indies were on the map. The Cannon cousins were replaced by the Miramax brothers as the festival's leading dealmakers.
The new Palais was a area relief to everyone who actually tried to attend the films on regular basis, if not to the film sellers in the basement. The old Palais, with its 19th-century system of ticket books for the press, led to daily shoving matches; a man was pushed through a glass window during the queue for "1900." The new Palais had bigger theaters, superb projection and sound and a much improved crowd-control system; the gorillas in the tuxedos started acting like ushers instead of riot police. The Palais looked a little bleak when it opened; Billy "Silver Dollar" Baxter called it a cross between a parking garage and a machine-gun emplacement, and everyone else called it the Death Star or the Bunker. But it accumulated trees, decorations, more windows, and eventually the love of those who saw movies there.
The major prizes during the decade usually went to the saints of the art cinema; Wenders, Imamura, Kurosawa, Wajda, Costa-Gavras, Resnais, the Tavianis, Bresson, Tarkovsky, Kusturica, Pialat. But for me, the single most electrifying moment was the world premiere of Spielberg's "E.T." in 1982. Was this the best film of the decade at Cannes? Not even close; for me, that was "Do the Right Thing," in 1989. But "E.T." was an audience picture, a superb entertainment, and on that night at Cannes it worked beyond all calculation. The audience turned to Spielberg and cheered and cheered and cheered. The other great ovation was for James Stewart, who arrived for the revival of "The Glenn Miller Story" and inspired the largest outside crowd until Madonna in the '90s.
At the beginning of the decade, there were wheelers and dealers. Sam and Hilda Arkoff still gave their annual luncheon at the Hotel du Cap, and Lord Lew Grade still had his annual seances and product announcements. By the end of the decade, some of the craziness had seeped away. There was a sense that the movie business had consolidated, and was being run along saner but less colorful lines. At the beginning of the decade, the Majestic Bar and Le Petit Carlton were still places you went to for fun. By the end, everybody in them seemed to be talking about contracts. In 1990, there were far more American journalists covering Cannes than in 1980, but was the story as much fun? Where was Menahem, with his 40-page barrage of new projects? Where was the Salkind air force? We were left with small consolations: At least the leopard ladies still kept the faith.
(c) 1997 Cahners Publishing Co.

Mark Grace

1980s Rookie Scouting Reports on Former Players
Baseball Digest (September 2000)

Reports on promising major league rookies have been published in Baseball Digest since 1955. What follows are random selections from reports made in the 1980s which give readers an idea how some well-known players were rated as they approached the big time. These reports appeared in the March issue of the years listed....
Cal Ripken, Jr., 20, Orioles, 3B: Batted .276 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI in 144 games with Charlotte in Southern League in '80. Made 35 errors at SS and 2B
Report: "Is probably a year away from majors, but currently ranks as top prospect in system; son of Orioles' third base coach."
Dave Righetti, 22, Yankees, P: Had 6-10 record with Columbus in International League in 1980. Posted 139 strikeouts in league, but also most walks, 101.
Report: "Outstanding arm with above-average fastball and curve. Control will tell."
....Fernando Valenzuela, 20, Dodgers, P: With San Antonio in Texas League in '80 was 13-9 with 3.10 ERA. Led league in strikeouts with 162 in 174 IP.
Report: "Left-hander with outstanding screwball. Came up late in '80, pitching 10 scoreless innings for the Dodgers. With departure of Don Sutton, has shot as a starter."
Tim Raines, 21, Expos, 2B: Minor League Player of Year. Led American Assoc. in batting with .354 and stolen bases with 77.
Report" "Outstanding young prospect."
Wade Boggs, 23, Red Sox, IF: Led International League with .335 BA and 41 doubles in 137 games at Pawtucket.
Report. "Excellent minor league hitter. Has good chance as DH and infield reserve."
Tony Gwynn, 21, Padres, OF: Hit .331 at Walla Walla in Northwest League and .462 at Amarillo in Texas League in 1981.
Report. "Outstanding young prospect. Could jump to majors this year depending on spring training and trades."
.....Orel Hershiser, 24, Dodgers, P: Can start or relieve. Had best ERA, 3.71, on Albuquerque staff in PCL in '82.
Report: "Hard-throwing pitcher."
Darryl Strawberry, 20, Mets, OF: Led Texas League with 34 homers while hitting .283 with 97 RBI in 129 games with Jackson.
Report. "Outstanding potential. MVP of Texas League in '82. Can do it all. Chance to be star player."
Tony Fernandez, 21, Blue Jays, SS: Hit .300 at Syracuse with 35 stolen bases in 117 games.
Report: "Smooth fielder, strong arm, should stay with club this year. International League All-Star."
Dwight Gooden, 19, Mets, P: Led Carolina League in wins, 19, strikeouts, 300, and ERA, 2,50 while losing only four games.
Report: "Exceptionally poised pitcher with explosive fastball, sharp-breaking curve, good command and control."....
Jose Canseco, 21, A's, OF: In '85, combined for 36 HR and 127 RBI at Huntsville in Southern League and Tacoma in PCL; up briefly with Oakland in '85, hitting .302 in 29 games.
Report: "Awesome power and hitting potential; also has an excellent throwing arm. Just needs experience. An impact player."
Paul O'Neill, 22, Reds, OF: Hit .305 with 74 RBI at Denver (AA) in '85. Led league in hits with 155 and doubles, 32.
Report: "Contact hitter with good power potential. Outstanding arm. Needs reduction in Reds' outfield depth to have a chance to move up."
Andres Galarraga, 24, Expos, 1B: Hit .269 with 25 homers and 87 RBI at Indianapolis, and was American Association's Rookie of the Year.
Report: "Has good power. Could be Expos' regular first baseman in '86."
Mark McGwire, 23, A's, 3B: Hit .318 with 13 HR and 59 RBI in 78 games at Tacoma in PCL. A 6-5, 200 pounder with power and great arm. Hit HR over 440-foot marker in Detroit for Oakland in September.
Report: "Needs to improve contact, and defensive play at 3B after switching from 1B."
Tom Glavine, 20, Braves, P: Last year, was 11-6 with 3.41 ERA at Greenville in Southern League (AA) and 1-5 with 5.63 ERA at Richmond in International League (AAA).
Report: "Considered cant-miss. May need year in AAA. Has command of four pitches. Played hockey in high school, highly competitive. Has great control."
Greg Maddux, 21, Cubs, P: Was 4-3 at Pittsfield in Eastern League and 10-1 with 3.02 ERA at Iowa in American Association in 1986.
Report: "Very young with promising ability. Good fastball, curve and change. Has had great success at minor league level; very mature for age."
Dante Bichette, 24, Angels, OF: Hand injury limited him to 92 games last year at Edmonton in PCL where he hit .300 and played third base and outfield.
Report: "Organization is very high on him. Has a lot of power potential, and has a good arm."
.....Mark Grace, 23, Cubs, 1B: Hit .333 with league-leading 101 RBI for Pittsfield in Eastern League. Also led league first basemen in fielding with .995 percentage.
Report: "Great bat potential. Outstanding first baseman; MVP of Eastern League."
Matt Williams, 19, Giants, 3B: Hit .271 with 12 HR for Phoenix in the PCL where he played second, third, short, and outfield.
Report: "A lot of potential but needs experience. Expected to challenge for spot on major league roster in '89."
Randy Johnson, 26, Expos, P: At Indianapolis last year, he was 8-7 with 111 strikeouts in 113 innings pitched.
Report: "Power pitcher with capability to be big strikeout pitcher. Stands 6-10."
Sandy Alomar, Jr., 22, Padres, C: At Las Vegas in '88, hit .297 with 71 RBI in 93 games.
Report: "Tremendous throwing arm, and soft hands. Hard worker. Only question is with the bat."
(c) 2000 Century Publishing

The Eighties Club is not affiliated in any way with any of the publications from which these excerpts were derived, and does not profit in any way from the purchase of the complete articles. These excerpts are provided for educational purposes only.