Card thoughts: The Red Sox were one year away from winning the pennant, and many of the same players played for them in 1985—just not as well. In 1985, the Red Sox went 81-81 to finish fifth in the AL East. The improvement in their pitching was the reason they got better so quickly (especially Roger Clemens, a non-factor in ’85).
The player: Dewey is discussed at great length in this post.
Rear guard: The Red Sox had a well rounded offense. Note that Jim Rice does not appear on the leader board anywhere, although he still had a solid season. Also note that Bill Buckner, despite playing on two bad ankles, led the team in steals (18 steals in the lowest number of steals leading a team in 1985).
On the pitching side, Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd was the ace, as both Bruce Hurst and Roger Clemens had yet to come into their own.