An often-overlooked outstanding natural hitter, Lansford was the Angels Rookie of the Year in 1978, third in the overall AL vote. Traded to Boston in December 1980, in 1981 Lansford became the first righthanded hitter since 1970 to lead the AL in hitting (.336). He went to Oakland in December 1982 in a deal for Tony Armas. A superb fielder despite a lack of range, Carney appeared headed to first base until the emergence of Mark McGwire. Slowed by wrist and ankle injuries in 1983 and a broken right wrist in 1985, the streaky Lansford was healthy over the next four years and was usually the leadoff or number-two hitter. He stole a career-high 29 bases in 1988 and was second in the AL with a .336 batting average as Oakland won AL pennants both years. A quietly intense player, Lansford became recognized as a team leader on the Athletics.
Carney’s younger brother Jody Lansford played 25 games for the Padres in 1982-83.