TheBaseballPage.com

Series Wrapup

Story

After a one-year hiatus, the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals returned to the top of their respective divisions in 1980.  Kansas City breezed to the A.L. West title, while New York overcame a very strong Baltimore Orioles team to finish first in the East.

Coming off a tumultuous 1979 campaign during which they tragically lost their team captain Thurman Munson in a plane crash, the Yankees regrouped under new manager Dick Howser in 1980 to post a major-league best 103-59 record that left them three games ahead of the runner-up Baltimore Orioles.  An extremely well-balanced ball club, New York finished second in the American League with 820 runs scored, 189 home runs, and a team ERA of 3.58.

Tommy John and Ron Guidry anchored New York’s starting rotation.  John finished 22-9, with 16 complete games and six shutouts.  Guidry finished second on the club with 17 victories.  Rudy May excelled in his role as spot-starter/long reliever, posting a record of 15-5 and leading the league with a 2.46 ERA.  Meanwhile, bullpen ace Rich Gossage earned a third-place finish in the A.L. MVP balloting by leading the league with 33 saves, compiling a 2.27 ERA, and striking out 103 batters in 99 innings of work.  

Rick Cerone, Bob Watson, Willie Randolph, and Reggie Jackson paced New York on offense.  Taking over for the late Thurman Munson behind home plate, Cerone hit 14 homers, drove in 85 runs, and batted .277.  Watson led the club with a .307 batting average.  Randolph hit .294, scored 99 runs, topped the circuit with 119 walks, and placed second in the league with a .429 on-base percentage.  Jackson had his best year in pinstripes, leading the league with 41 home runs, knocking in 111 runs, scoring 94 others, and batting .300 for the only time in his career.  His outstanding performance earned him a second-place finish in the MVP voting. 

The Yankees needed to play as well as they did in order to capture the A.L. East title since the Orioles followed up their pennant-winning 1979 campaign with another outstanding year in which they won 100 games themselves.  Baltimore had two of the league's top pitchers in Steve Stone and Scott McGregor.  Stone earned A.L. Cy Young honors by finishing 25-7 with a 3.23 ERA.  McGregor compiled a 20-8 record and a 3.32 ERA.  Meanwhile, Eddie Murray and Al Bumbry led the Orioles on offense.  Murray batted .300, scored 100 runs, and placed among the league leaders with 32 home runs and 116 runs batted in.  Bumbry batted .318, scored 118 runs, collected 205 hits, and stole 44 bases.

Playing for the third-place Milwaukee Brewers, who finished 17 games off the pace, Cecil Cooper posted numbers that compared favorably to those of anyone else in the division.  The Brewer first baseman hit 25 home runs, scored 96 runs, topped the circuit with 122 runs batted in, and placed second in the league with a .352 batting average and 219 hits. 

Cooper’s exceptional mark of .352 likely would have been better appreciated had it not fallen 38 points short of the league-leading .390 figure George Brett compiled for the Western Division champion Kansas City Royals.  With Brett leading the way, Kansas City finished the campaign with a record of 97-65, 14 games in front of the second-place Oakland Athletics.

The Royals possessed solid pitching, a very strong lineup, and exceptional team speed.  Dennis Leonard and Larry Gura headed Kansas City’s starting rotation.  Leonard posted a record of 20-11, while Gura finished 18-10 with a 2.95 ERA, 283 innings pitched, and 16 complete games.  Dan Quisenberry anchored the K.C. bullpen, winning 12 games, tying Rich Gossage for the league lead with 33 saves, and appearing in a league-leading 75 games.

On offense, Kansas City topped the circuit with a .286 team batting average and 185 stolen bases.  Designated hitter Hal McRae batted .297 and knocked in 83 runs.  First baseman Willie Aikens hit 20 homers, drove in 98 runs, and batted .278.  Centerfielder Willie Wilson provided exceptional speed at the top of the batting order, hitting .326, stealing 79 bases, and leading the A.L. with 133 runs scored, 230 hits, and 15 triples. 

However, McRae, Aikens, and Wilson merely served as members of George Brett’s supporting cast.  The third baseman had a truly remarkable season in which he nearly became the first player in 39 years to hit .400.  Despite appearing in only 117 games, Brett hit 24 home runs, knocked in 118 runs, scored 87 others, and led the league with a .390 batting average, a .461 on-base percentage, and a .664 slugging average.  His phenomenal performance earned him A.L. MVP honors.

Brett continued his magnificent play in the ALCS, leading the Royals to a three-game sweep of the Yankees that helped remove some of the bitter taste that still remained from New York’s three straight playoff victories over Kansas City.  After winning the first two games at home, Kansas City entered the top of the seventh inning in Game Three trailing New York by a score of 2-1.  Stepping to the plate with two men out and two men on base, Brett deposited a Goose Gossage fastball into Yankee Stadium’s upper right-field deck, all but clinching Kansas City’s first league championship.  Nevertheless, ALCS MVP honors went to teammate Frank White, who batted .545, homered once, and drove in three runs.

The Royals subsequently came up short against Philadelphia in the World Series, dropping the Fall Classic in six games.  Brett again played well for Kansas City, batting .375, hitting a homer, and driving in three runs.  Amos Otis also performed at an extremely high level for the Royals, hitting three home runs, knocking in seven runs, and batting .478.  But White and Willie Wilson faltered.  White collected only two hits in 25 trips to the plate, for a batting average of .080.  Meanwhile, Wilson batted just .154 and established a new record for futility in Series play by striking out 12 times in his 26 plate appearances.

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• November 3 – An era ended for the Oakland Athletics when flamboyant owner Charlie Finley finalized his sale of the team to Walter A. Haas.

• November 25 – Yankee owner George Steinbrenner replaced manager Dick Howser with Gene Michael.  Howser lost his job even though he led the team to its best record in almost two decades.

• Cleveland’s Joe Charboneau (23 home runs, 87 RBIs, .289 batting average) earned A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• On August 25, Fergie Jenkins became the first major league player to be arrested on a drug-related charge.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Al Kaline, Duke Snider, Chuck Klein, and Tom Yawkey.

• Free agent Dave Winfield signed with the Yankees in December.

• Yankees coach Ellie Howard died.

• Oakland’s Rick Langford led the major leagues with 28 complete games, becoming in the process the last pitcher to post more than 25 complete games in a season.

• Oakland teammate Mike Norris finished 22-9 and placed second in the league with a 2.53 ERA, 24 complete games, and 284 innings pitched.

• Oakland’s Rickey Henderson batted .303, scored 111 runs, and led the league with 100 stolen bases.

• Oakland’s Tony Armas batted .279, hit 35 home runs, and knocked in 109 runs. 

• Milwaukee’s Ben Oglivie tied Reggie Jackson for the league lead with 41 home runs and placed second in the circuit with 118 runs batted in and 333 total bases.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BAL 2238 5585 805 1523 751 .230 258 29 156 111 38 2307 .349 .338 .721 158 46 42
BOS 2027 5603 757 1588 717 .254 297 36 162 79 48 2443 .347 .372 .736 151 50 40
CAL 2150 5443 698 1442 655 .253 236 32 106 91 63 2060 .361 .357 .719 141 49 71
CHA 2253 5444 587 1408 547 .231 255 38 91 68 54 2012 .328 .318 .660 142 51 67
CLE 2155 5470 738 1517 692 .254 221 40 89 118 58 2085 .356 .347 .703 165 74 60
DET 2169 5648 830 1543 767 .253 232 53 143 75 68 2310 .369 .375 .744 144 55 63
KCA 2146 5714 809 1633 766 .235 266 59 115 185 43 2362 .329 .323 .668 147 63 34
MIN 2168 5530 670 1468 634 .255 252 46 99 62 46 2109 .329 .366 .696 151 51 92
ML4 1991 5653 811 1555 774 .257 298 36 203 131 56 2534 .347 .409 .756 98 51 58
NYA 2187 5553 820 1484 772 .216 239 34 189 86 36 2358 .357 .358 .778 136 54 51
OAK 2031 5495 686 1424 635 .237 212 35 137 175 82 2117 .315 .334 .650 124 41 99
SEA 2221 5489 610 1359 564 .241 211 35 104 116 62 1952 .332 .345 .677 136 44 106
TEX 2338 5690 756 1616 720 .251 263 27 124 91 49 2305 .352 .334 .687 156 56 70
TOR 2214 5571 624 1398 580 .212 249 53 126 67 72 2131 .316 .310 .656 120 34 63

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BAL 352 100 62 1461 789 507 6131 1438 134 48.580 591 640 42 7 41 43 4
BOS 398 83 77 1440 696 481 6192 1557 129 83.210 703 767 30 3 43 28 6
CAL 428 65 95 1427 725 529 6256 1548 141 83.210 717 797 22 3 30 32 8
CHA 398 70 90 1437 724 563 6199 1434 108 58.830 625 722 32 5 42 48 12
CLE 385 79 81 1427 843 552 6221 1519 137 71.340 744 807 35 7 32 59 4
DET 373 84 78 1469 741 558 6335 1505 152 67.630 694 757 40 9 30 52 6
KCA 363 97 65 1457 614 465 6202 1496 129 66.950 623 694 37 8 42 35 1
MIN 374 77 84 1451 744 468 6142 1502 120 61.420 634 724 35 6 30 32 10
ML4 393 86 76 1449 575 420 6150 1530 137 64.140 601 682 48 12 30 33 6
NYA 372 103 59 1464 845 463 6143 1433 102 52.670 584 662 29 12 50 45 3
OAK 308 83 79 1472 769 521 6175 1347 142 76.390 571 642 94 8 13 51 8
SEA 399 59 103 1458 703 540 6330 1565 159 59.460 710 793 31 3 26 31 7
TEX 419 76 85 1452 890 519 6305 1561 119 89.210 652 752 35 4 25 58 5
TOR 448 67 95 1468 705 635 6369 1523 135 72.810 684 762 39 9 23 41 5

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BAL 2794 7481 5532 1844 105 .969 17520 93 67 0 11
BOS 2526 7560 5411 1984 165 .975 17293 107 45 0 6
CAL 2595 7338 5555 1622 161 .953 17140 147 41 0 10
CHA 2699 7529 5371 1954 204 .956 17227 124 58 0 13
CLE 2595 7302 5425 1748 129 .982 17133 124 56 0 10
DET 2679 7529 5563 1811 155 .966 17611 102 45 0 26
KCA 2636 7665 5649 1851 165 .977 17509 109 56 0 15
MIN 2699 7657 5441 2030 186 .959 17410 76 59 0 8
ML4 2488 7673 5579 1922 172 .978 17399 81 46 0 6
NYA 2746 7569 5519 1881 169 .950 17573 64 69 2.00 16
OAK 2463 7591 5763 1677 151 .983 17662 87 66 1.00 9
SEA 2678 7610 5469 1964 177 .950 17482 114 54 0 13
TEX 2801 7405 5370 1863 172 .958 17420 112 60 0 21
TOR 2662 7688 5539 1995 154 .975 17593 115 53 0 8

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Kansas City Royals 97 65 2288714 1 614
Oakland Athletics 83 79 842259 2 769
Minnesota Twins 77 84 769206 3 744
Texas Rangers 76 85 1198175 4 890
Chicago White Sox 70 90 1200365 5 724
California Angels 65 95 2297327 6 725
Seattle Mariners 59 103 836204 7 703

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
New York Yankees 103 59 2627417 1 845
Baltimore Orioles 100 62 1797438 2 789
Milwaukee Brewers 86 76 1857408 3 575
Detroit Tigers 84 78 1785293 4 741
Boston Red Sox 83 77 1956092 5 696
Cleveland Indians 79 81 1033827 6 843
Toronto Blue Jays 67 95 1400327 7 705

More From Around the Web

This day in baseball history

October 01

  • 2007

    The Colorado Rockies defeat the San Diego Padres 9 - 8 in 13 ...

  • 2006

    On October 1, 2006, in front of a record crowd at Angels Sta ...

  • 2006

    On October 1, 2006, Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins becomes ...

More Baseball History
Tagged:
1980 ALCS, 1980 World Series, Al Bumbry, American League, Amos Otis, Ben Oglivie, Bob Watson, Cecil Cooper, Charles Finley, Dan Quisenberry, Dave Winfield, Dennis Leonard, Dick Howser, Eddie Murray, Elston Howard, Fergie Jenkins, Frank White, Gene Michael, George Brett, George Steinbrenner, Hal McRae, Jim Rice, Joe Charboneau, Kansas City Royals, Larry Gura, Mike Norris, New York Yankees, Reggie Jackson, Rich Gossage, Rick Cerone, Rick Langford, Rickey Henderson, Ron Guidry, Rudy May, Scott McGregor, Steve Stone, Tommy John, Tony Armas, Willie Aikens, Willie Randolph, Willie Wilson

Comments

    Be respectful, keep it clean.
Login or register to post comments

Share US

Share |