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MLB – 1980 – HBO Inside Baseball Special – Highlights Of 1980 MLB Season – With Barry Tompkins

The 1980 Major League Baseball season saw the Philadelphia Phillies win their first World Series Championship….as they defeated the Kansas City Royals in 6 games to win their first ever World Series Championship…..while major highlights during the 1980 MLB season were as follows:

January 9 – Al Kaline and Duke Snider are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America….as Kaline was the 10th player to be elected in his 1st year of eligibility….while Snider was making his 11th appearance on the ballot.

January 24 – The New York Mets are sold to a group headed by Nelson Doubleday, Jr. and Fred Wilpon for an estimated $21.1 million….which was, at the time, the highest amount ever paid for an American professional sports franchise.

May 23 – Texas Rangers pitcher Ferguson Jenkins wins his 250th game against the Oakland Athletics…..as Jenkins pitched a complete game for the Rangers….while striking out eight batters in the victory.

July 4 – Houston Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan strikes out César Gerónimo of the Cincinnati Reds….while becoming the 4th major league pitcher ever to reach 3,000 career strikeouts….as  Gerónimo was also Bob Gibson’s 3,000th career strikeout victim six years earlier.  Who would have thought that Ryan would continue on another 13 years of pitching to become MLB’s all time strikeout leader with 5,714….and eclipsing Randy Johnson’s 4875 for 2nd place….which is a mere 839 more than # 2 of all time.

July 6 – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton becomes the major leagues’ left-handed strikeout king….after fanning seven Cardinals in an 8–3 Phillies win to bring his career total to 2,836….which was held by Mickey Lolich with 2,832…..as Carlton would go on to amass a total of 4,136 and 4th all time….which was a measly 1578 K’s behind Nolan Ryan.

July 30 – Houston Astros pitcher J. R. Richard suffers a stroke during his first attempt to pitch since being hospitalized for tests weeks earlier….and would never pitch again.

September 20 – George Brett goes 0-for-4….which dropped his batting average below .400….which would not climb above .400 again….as he finished the season with a .390 batting average….which is the closest any player had come to a .400 batting average since Ted Williams in 1941….as only Tony Gwynn would come closer than that before the twentieth century ends.

October 5 and 6 – On October 3, the Los Angeles Dodgers had been down three games to the Houston Astros to tie for the National League West Division title. Needing a sweep of the Astros, the Dodgers complete just such a sweep on that Sunday….with each of the three wins coming by a single run. They would play a one-game playoff the next day, as Joe Niekro would win his twentieth game of the season to earn a win for the Astros, 7–1, clinching their first Division Title.

October 10 – In Game 3 of the 1980 ALCS….with the New York Yankees leading 2–1….as Kansas City Royals’ George Brett delivered a three-run home run off Yankees’ reliever Rich Gossage….which brought total revenge for the Royals, who won the pennant after being second best to the Yankees in the ALCS in 1976, 1977 and 1978. 

October 12 – The Philadelphia Phillies capture their first pennant since 1950 with a 10-inning, 8–7 win over the Houston Astros at the Astrodome in the fifth and final game of the 1980 NLCS….with three of the last four games being decided in extra innings. The Phillies, down by three runs to Nolan Ryan in the 8th inning, rally and go ahead on Garry Maddox’s double in the 10th inning.

October 21 – The Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series….which was their 1st world title in their 98-year history….after beating the Kansas City Royals, 4–1, in Game Six….as Steve Carlton earns the win….with the most memorable moment being Tug McGraw on the mound jumping for joy as he earns the save after loading the bases with no outs.  Another equally memorable moment comes with one out in the bottom of the 9th when Frank White’s pop-up is bobbled by Bob Boone, only to be tipped into the glove of Pete Rose.  Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt is named MVP after hitting .381 with two home runs and seven RBI….while KC’s Willie Wilson was the goatafter striking out a World Series record 12 times…including the final out of the Series with the bases loaded….and hitting only .154.  Of the original 16 Major League franchises from 1901, the Phillies are the last to win their first World Series.

November 3 – An era ends for the Oakland Athletics as the sale of the team is finalized. The flamboyant Charlie O. Finley sells the team to Walter A. Haas, ending his relationship with the team. So, as you can see by this video herewith…..the 1980 MLB season was “one for the ages”….and we at ImaSportsphile are overjoyed to have this “nugget of gold” video in our treasure chest of vintage memories.

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