More 1980 Baseball Season Headlines
Below are more headlines from the 1980 baseball season, including Don Sutton's great year and memorable moments from postseason play.
Bill Buckner Wins the 1980 National League Bat Title
Bill Buckner will go down in the books as one of the game's great underrated hitters. In 1980, Billy Bucks opened his third decade in the majors by winning the National League batting title with a .324 mark and tying for second in doubles (41). For the second time in eight consecutive seasons, he reached double figures in home runs (ten). Also quite a fielder, he set a major league record for assists by a first baseman (184) in 1983.
Don Sutton: The Right Stuff
By the time he left the Dodger organization at the conclusion of the 1980 season -- a year in which he went 13-5 with a 2.21 ERA (best in the National League) and just 6.92 hits allowed per game (second-fewest in the loop) -- Don Sutton had set nearly every Los Angeles franchise pitching record. Yet the righty is still considered the third or fourth best pitcher in franchise history. He nevertheless won 230 games over 15 years for the Blue, pitching in three World Series.
Jerry Reuss on the Rebound
Dodger lefty Jerry Reuss was named Sporting News National League Comeback Player of the Year in 1980, winning 18 games while losing only six with an excellent 2.52 ERA. In 1980, Reuss won eight more games and lost ten fewer games than he had posted for the two previous seasons combined. Rolls finished second in the voting for the 1980 National League Cy Young Award. Though a journeyman who never won 20 games in a season, Reuss would go on to win 200-plus games in his career.
Dale Murphy Hits 33 HRs
Dale Murphy finally moved out from behind home plate to assume his rightful place in the Braves outfield in 1980. The defensive switch also helped his offensive production, as Murphy tallied 89 RBI while batting .281. His 33 homers, 98 runs scored, and .510 slugging average all finished in third place in the National League that year.
Amos Otis Finishes With a Bang
Kansas City veteran Amos Otis saved his best for last in 1980 as he enjoyed a superb World Series. Not only did he hit a home run in his first Series at-bat, he also racked up a .478 average for the six-game tournament. Leading all fall classic players with 11 hits, Otis blasted three homers and seven RBI during the affair.
Tug McGraw Saves Two in National League Championship Series
Tug McGraw saved the dramatic ten-inning Phillie victory in game four of the 1980 National League Championship Series. The lefty was particularly happy about this save, his second of the playoff series, as he had been tagged with the previous night's 1-0 loss. McGraw loved the limelight, and it wasn't a coincidence that three of his best seasons came on pennant-winning teams: the 1969 Mets, the 1973 Mets, and the 1980 Phillies.
George Brett Royal in the 1980 World Series
George Brett continued burning up the basepaths throughout the 1980 regular season and into the fall classic. The Royals third baseman racked up a .375 average in the 1980 World Series, tallying nine hits and three RBI.
Manny Mota Shines in Finale
Dodger coach and pinch hitter extraordinaire Manny Mota retired in 1980 as baseball's all-time pinch-hit leader with 150. His .315 career batting average is the best mark among Los Angeles batters with 1,800 or more at-bats, and his lifetime pinch-hitting average is .297.
Mike Schmidt Carries the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies ended 97 years of frustration in 1980 as they beat out the Royals in six games to capture their first World Championship. Mike Schmidt was the 1980 World Series hero with a .381 batting average and seven RBI. Schmidt collected a pair of homers in that fall classic: one dinger tied up game three in the fifth inning; the other sparked the Phillies in game five.
Schmidt was brilliant in 1980, leading the league in homers (48), RBI (121), and slugging (.624). Only in the playoffs, in which he hit .208, did he fail to produce.
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