This is the second in a series of decade-by-decade looks at the greatest double-play combinations of all time. If you haven't read the first one, you should go here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/411082-up-the-middle-the-top-10-double-play-combos-of-the-2000s
The 1980's were a decade of double plays. It started in 1980, when "The Bad News Bears: Double Play" was released, to little fanfare (it was much worse than the original). It finished as a decade featuring some of the greatest double play combinations in baseball history.
1.) These rankings are purely measurements of defensive prowess. Offensive ability is not taken into account. Apologizes to Roberto Alomar and Garry Templeton.
2.) Gold Gloves, as they can be pretty subjective, do not affect my decisions. Plus, during the 1980's, Ozzie Smith and Ryne Sandberg combined for 17 of them. It would just skew the argument unfairly.
3.) I'm measuring how both players performed together. Just because Frank White can win a Gold Glove, doesn't mean that the Royals could competently find a good second baseman.
4.) In my last article, the requirement for consideration was that the duo had to log multiple seasons in which both played manned the middle infield positions for at least one hundred games.
However, over the past decade we have been lucky enough not to have a strike. During the 1980's, however, the 1981 strike lessened the season from 162 games to 100. Instead of 100 games as the criteria, I used the appropriate ratio, which was approximately 62 percent of their team's games. So, any 1981 season in which the player played approximately 62 games is eligible for consideration.