Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

1980 Baseball Season

1980 Baseball Season Highlights

The 1980 baseball season was especially important to the people of Philadelphia, as the Phillies won their first World Series. Instrumental to this victory were stellar performances by Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton. Below, you will find the highlights from the 1980 baseball season:

  • Phils snag their first National League flag since 1950.
  • Kansas City wins its premier American League pennant.
  • Phils win dramatic five-game National League Championship Series over Houston, the last four games in extra innings.
  • Houston's Terry Puhl collects a National League record ten hits in League Championship play.
  • Yankees stunned in American League Championship Series, falling to Kansas City in three straight games.
  • Frank White is first winner of American League Championship Series MVP Award (Dusty Baker was the first National League winner in 1977).
  • Phils win the first World Series in club history in six games.
  • Royals Amos Otis and Willie Aikens each hit .400-plus in Series, but Mike Schmidt's key blows and Tug McGraw's relief work spark Phils.
  • Steve Carlton becomes first National League starting pitcher to win two Series games since Steve Blass in 1971.
  • Dodgers force playoff in National League West by sweeping Houston on season's final weekend; Astros win the playoff, though, 7-1.
  • George Brett is named 1980 American League MVP, as he hits .390 after flirting with .400 much of the season.
  • Brett also leads the American League in SA (.664) and OBP (.461) by wide margins.
  • Schmidt sets a major league record for third basemen with 48 home runs; he also leads the majors in homers and grabs the National League MVP.
  • Oriole Steve Stone wins 1980 American League Cy Young Award, as he leads the major league with 25 wins.
  • Steve Carlton wins 1980 National League Cy Young Award, as he wins 24 games.
  • On October 5, LA's Manny Mota collects the major league record 150th career pinch hit.
  • Orioles finish second in the American League East with 100 wins.
  • Mike Parrott of Seattle loses 16 straight games.
  • Houston pitching star J.R. Richard's career is ended by a stroke.
  • Major league attendance soars to record 43 million.
  • Cubs relief ace Bruce Sutter awarded staggering salary of $700,000 when he takes club to arbitration.
  • Yankees manager Dick Howser is fired after leading the club to 103 wins in first year with New York.
  • Padre Ozzie Smith sets a major league record for shortstops with 621 assists.
  • National League wins the All-Star Game 4-2 at LA.
  • Steve Howe of LA is named the National League Rookie of the Year.
  • Super Joe Charboneau of Cleveland is the American League ROTY.
  • Willie Wilson of Royals sets a new major league record with 705 at-bats.
  • Income from TV accounts for record 30 percent of game's $500 million in revenues.
  • The average player now makes about $185,000.
  • Kansas City is the first American League expansion team to win a pennant.
  • Jerry Reuss of LA no-hits the Giants on June 27.
  • In first year under Billy Martin, A's rise to second in the American League West and post 94 CGs, most in majors since 1946.
  • Bill Buckner leads the National League in BA (.324).
  • Cardinal Keith Hernandez tops the National League in runs (111), runs produced (194), and OBP (.410).
  • Willie Wilson leads the American League in hits (230) and runs (133), and ties in triples (15).
  • Brewer Cecil Cooper leads the American League in RBI (122) and total bases (335).
  • On August 25, Fergie Jenkins becomes the first major league player to be arrested on a drug-related charge.

See the next page for more highlights of the 1980 baseball season.

To learn more about baseball, see: