1980 in baseball
Major League Baseball
|League Championship Series ABC||World Series NBC|
|West||Kansas City Royals||3|
|East||New York Yankees||1|
|AL||Kansas City Royals||2|
- Amateur World Series: Cuba
- College World Series: Arizona
- Japan Series: Hiroshima Toyo Carp over Kintetsu Buffaloes (4–3)
- Big League World Series: Buena Park, California
- Little League World Series: Long Kuong, Hua Lian, Taiwan
- Senior League World Series: Pingtung, Taiwan
Awards and honors
- Baseball Hall of Fame
- Most Valuable Player
- Cy Young Award
- Rookie of the Year
- Woman Executive of the Year (major or minor league): Frances Crockett, Charlotte Orioles, Southern League
- Gold Glove Award
MLB statistical leaders
|American League||National League|
|AVG||George Brett||.390||Bill Buckner||.324|
|HR||Reggie Jackson & Ben Oglivie||41||Mike Schmidt||48|
|RBI||Cecil Cooper||122||Mike Schmidt||121|
|Wins||Steve Stone||25||Steve Carlton||24|
|ERA||Rudy May||2.46||Don Sutton||2.20|
Major league baseball final standings
- January 9 – Al Kaline and Duke Snider are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Kaline is the 10th player to be elected in his first year of eligibility, while Snider is 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. It was, at the time, the highest amount ever paid for an American professional sports franchise.
- March 8 – Rookie Joe Charboneau of the Cleveland Indians is attacked outside a Mexico City hotel. A fan seeking his autograph stabs him in the chest with a pen. Charboneau misses the start of the year, but goes on to bat .289, hitting 23 home runs, while driving in 87 RBI in 131 games. He will be elected American League Rookie of the Year.
- March 12 – Slugger Chuck Klein and former Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Yawkey is the first club owner selected who never served as a player, manager or general manager.
- April 10 – Right Fielder Sixto Lezcano blasts a grand slam home run for the Milwaukee Brewers against the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day in the bottom of the 9th Inning to win the game, making him the first player to accomplish this feat in two straight years. Lezcano also hit a grand slam two years prior on Opening Day.
- April 12 – Newly acquired Nolan Ryan makes his first National League start since 1971 for the Houston Astros and belts his first career home run, a three-run shot, in the fourth inning off Don Sutton of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ryan, however, only lasts six innings and the Dodgers win the game 6-5 in 17 innings at the Astrodome.
- April 22 – In a classic slugfest at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 16–12, on an two-out grand slam by Barry Foote off reliever Mark Littell in the bottom of the ninth inning. Foote drove in eight runs overall with four hits and two homers, while teammate Iván de Jesús went 5-for-6 and hit for the cycle to help Chicago rally from an early 12–5 deficit.
- May 3 – Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants hits what will be the last of his 521 career home runs, off Scott Sanderson of the Montreal Expos, in the fourth inning of the Giants' 3-2 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. McCovey becomes the second player, after Ted Williams (who also retired with 521 career home runs), to hit a home run in four different decades.
- May 23 – Texas Rangers pitcher Ferguson Jenkins wins his 250th game against the Oakland Athletics. Jenkins pitched a complete game for the Rangers, striking out eight batters in the victory.
- May 29 – At San Diego Stadium, Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds breaks Yogi Berra's all-time record for home runs by a catcher. He hits two home runs off Randy Jones in the Reds' 5-3 victory over the San Diego Padres; the first comes in the second inning and gives him 336 on his career and 306 as a catcher, breaking a tie he had shared with Berra.
- June 20 – California Angels shortstop Freddie Patek hits three home runs and collects seven RBIs in the Angels' 20–2 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
- June 27 – At Candlestick Park, Jerry Reuss of the Los Angeles Dodgers no-hits the San Francisco Giants 8-0. A Bill Russell error on Jack Clark's first-inning ground ball is the only baserunner Reuss allows.
- July 3 – Minnesota Twins outfielder Ken Landreaux ties an American League record in hitting three triples during a win over the Texas Rangers. Earlier this season, Landreaux set the Twins club record with a 31-game hitting streak, a record that still stands thirty-five years later.
- July 4
- Houston Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan strikes out César Gerónimo of the Cincinnati Reds, to become the fourth major league pitcher ever to reach 3,000 career strikeouts. Gerónimo was also Bob Gibson's 3,000th career strikeout victim six years earlier. Despite the milestone, Ryan allows six runs in 4.1 innings and Houston loses, 8–1.
- During the first-ever fireworks night hosted at Shea Stadium, Montreal Expos Rookie Bill Gullickson sailed a pitch over New York Mets first baseman Mike Jorgensen's head in the second game of a doubleheader. Jorgensen did not appreciate this as he had been the victim of one of the worst beanball injuries in baseball history the previous season with the Texas Rangers, and motioned toward Gullickson his disapproval. Mets catcher John Stearns, who was not even in the line-up for this game, charged out of the dugout and welcomed Gullickson to the majors by slamming him to the ground.
- July 6 – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton becomes the major leagues' left-handed strikeout king, fanning seven Cardinals in an 8–3 Phillies win to bring his career total to 2,836. Mickey Lolich had held the record with 2,832.
- July 8 – At Dodger Stadium, the National League battles back to win its ninth consecutive All-Star Game over the American League, 4–2. Ken Griffey goes 2-for-3 with a solo home run to win the MVP honors.
- July 30 – Houston Astros pitcher J. R. Richard suffers a stroke during his first attempt to pitch since being hospitalized for tests weeks earlier. He would not play again.
- August 5 - Chicago Cubs rookie shortstop Steve Macko suffers a bad bruise in a collision with the Pittsburgh Pirates' Bill Madlock in the first game of a doubleheader. A hurting Macko drives in a run with a double, is pinch-run for by Rick Reuschel, and never plays another game in the majors. Doctors examining Macko diagnose him with testicular cancer, and Macko would pass away in November of 1981.
- August 27 – The Philadelphia Phillies' Steve Carlton becomes the first National League pitcher to win twenty games this season, combining with Tug McGraw to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4–3. Carlton will win a National League-high 24 games, while pitching 304 innings, the last MLB pitcher to throw more than 300 innings in a season.
- September 10 – Bill Gullickson strikes out 18, the most by a major league rookie pitcher, as the Montréal Expos beat the Chicago Cubs 4–2.
- September 18 – Gary Ward hit for the cycle in a 9-8 Minnesota Twins loss to Milwaukee. He did it in only the 14th game of his career, which still stands as the major league record for fewest games played before first hitting for the cycle.
- September 20 – George Brett goes 0-for-4 dropping his batting average below .400. It will not climb above .400 again, and he finishes the season with a .390 batting average, the closest any player had come to a .400 batting average since Ted Williams in 1941. Only Tony Gwynn will come closer than that before the 20th century ends.
- September 24 – The Atlanta Braves reach the 1,000,000 mark in attendance. It marks the first time that every National League team has drawn at least 1,000,000 fans for a season.
- October 4 – In a 17–1 rout of the Minnesota Twins, Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals becomes the first major league player ever to be credited with 700 at-bats in a single season, and ends the year with 705 at bats. He also sets the AL record for singles in a season with 184, eclipsing the mark Sam Rice set in 1925. Wilson also becomes only the second player in major league history to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate, matching the feat accomplished by Garry Templeton in 1979.
- October 4 – Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt hits a 2-run home run in the top of the 11th inning to give the Phillies a 6–4 win over the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium, clinching the National League East title. The home run is Schmidt's 48th of the season, breaking Eddie Mathews' single-season record for third basemen set in 1953.
- October 5 – 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 today; each of the wins by a single run. They will play a one-game playoff tomorrow.
- October 6 – After suffering through the three game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers the last three days, Joe Niekro wins his twentieth game of the season to earn a win for the Houston Astros, 7–1, in a one-game playoff. It is the Astros' first Division Title.
- October 9 – The Kansas City Royals win Game 2 of the 1980 ALCS 3-2, but the game is remembered for the top of the eighth inning. With Willie Randolph on first with two outs, Bob Watson lines a double to left. Yankee third base coach Mike Ferraro waves Randolph home, and the Royals gun him down at the plate. With a national television audience looking on, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner is shown in the stands on ABC game cameras shouting Ferraro's name at general manager Gene Michael. Steinbrenner ordered Yankee manager Dick Howser to fire Ferraro on the spot right after the game, but Howser refused.
- October 10 – In Game 3 of the 1980 ALCS, and with the New York Yankees leading 2–1, Kansas City Royals' George Brett delivered a three-run home run off Yankees' reliever Rich Gossage, and with it total revenge for the Royals, who won the pennant after being second best to the Yankees in the ALCS in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Kansas City won the pennant in, of all places, Yankee Stadium. After the game, Dick Howser resigns as Yankee manager over the events in Game 2 involving Mike Ferraro as described above.
- 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 NL Championship Series. Each of the last four games was 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, the first WS Championship in their 98-year history, by beating the Kansas City Royals, 4–1, in Game Six. Steve Carlton earns the win, though the most memorable moment may be 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 ninth 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, hitting .381 with two home runs and seven RBI, while KC's Willie Wilson is the "goat", striking out a WS-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.
- November 4 – Sadaharu Oh announces his retirement as a player from Japanese baseball. His 868 documented career home runs remain an unapproached world record among professional baseball players.
- November 12:
- November 25 – Gene Michael becomes the 25th manager in New York Yankees history, replacing a fired Dick Howser, who led the team to the American League East title with a 103–59 mark.
- November 26 – Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt, who hit .286 with career highs of 48 home runs and 121 RBI, is a unanimous choice as National League Most Valuable Player.
- December 1 – Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Steve Howe wins the National League Rookie of the Year Award, edging Montréal Expos starting pitcher Bill Gullickson and outfielder Lonnie Smith of the Philadelphia Phillies. Howe posted a 7–9 record with a 2.65 ERA and 17 saves.
- December 9 – The Chicago Cubs send relief pitcher Bruce Sutter to their arch-rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in exchange for first baseman Leon Durham. Sutter will go on to save many more games for the Cardinals, while Durham's critical error in Game 5 of the 1984 NLCS will doom the Cubs.
- December 12 – The St. Louis Cardinals trade future Hall of Fame closer Rollie Fingers, All star catcher Ted Simmons and pitcher Pete Vuckovich to the Milwaukee Brewers for pitchers Dave LaPoint and Lary Sorensen and outfielders David Green and Sixto Lezcano.
- January 3 – Brad Salmon
- January 10 – Matt Roney
- January 12 – Bobby Crosby
- January 15 – JD Closser
- January 15 – Matt Holliday
- January 16 – Brooks Conrad
- January 16 – Albert Pujols
- January 17 – T. J. Bohn
- January 17 – Mike Rabelo
- January 20 – Franklyn Germán
- January 20 – Luis Martínez
- January 25 – Phil Stockman
- January 26 – Brandon Medders
- January 26 – Antonio Pérez
- February 1 – Héctor Luna
- February 3 – Skip Schumaker
- February 4 – Steve Schmoll
- February 4 – Doug Slaten
- February 7 – Brad Hennessey
- February 10 – César Izturis
- February 11 – Matt Lindstrom
- February 12 – Adam Stern
- February 13 – Drew Henson
- February 15 – Don Kelly
- February 18 – Walter Young
- February 20 – Ryan Langerhans
- February 22 – Ramón Nivar
- February 26 – Gary Majewski
- February 27 – John Hattig
- April 3 – Justin Christian
- April 7 – Vinny Rottino
- April 9 – Ryan O'Malley
- April 11 – Mark Teixeira
- April 12 – Danny García
- April 13 – Joselo Díaz
- April 14 – John Van Benschoten
- April 15 – Yoel Hernández
- April 17 – Max St. Pierre
- April 20 – Chris Duffy
- April 21 – Jeff Keppinger
- April 22 – Carlos Hernández
- April 25 – Mike Rouse
- April 25 – Kazuhito Tadano
- April 26 – Mike Wood
- April 29 – Kelly Shoppach
- April 30 – Mark Saccomanno
- May 5 – Chad Bentz
- May 8 – Jason Davis
- May 10 – Craig Brazell
- May 11 – Roy Corcoran
- May 12 – Felipe López
- May 15 – Josh Beckett
- May 18 – Juan Domínguez
- May 18 – Luis Terrero
- May 20 – Austin Kearns
- May 22 – Ruddy Lugo
- May 22 – Chad Tracy
- May 24 – Justin Hampson
- May 25 – Scott Hairston
- May 26 – Sean Barker
- May 29 – Cha Seung Baek
- June 3 – Tjerk Smeets
- June 6 – Matt Belisle
- June 9 – Mike Fontenot
- June 10 – Jeff Bennett
- June 11 – Yhency Brazobán
- June 16 – Dewon Brazelton
- June 18 – Tommy Watkins
- June 21 – Sendy Rleal
- June 22 – Luis Maza
- June 24 – Doug Bernier
- June 26 – Chris Shelton
- June 27 – Luis Rodríguez
- June 30 – Todd Linden
- July 1 – Nelson Cruz
- July 2 – Nyjer Morgan
- July 2 – Jermaine Van Buren
- July 3 – John Koronka
- July 7 – John Buck
- July 10 – Jesse Foppert
- July 12 – Brad Eldred
- July 15 – Reggie Abercrombie
- July 15 – Jung Bong
- July 15 – Chris Denorfia
- July 15 – Nick Neugebauer
- July 17 – Justin Knoedler
- July 21 – Kyuji Fujikawa
- July 21 – CC Sabathia
- July 23 – Dallas McPherson
- July 25 – Santiago Casilla
- July 25 – Shawn Riggans
- July 26 – Jason Botts
- July 27 – Félix Díaz
- July 29 – Ryan Braun
- July 30 – Edwin Moreno
- August 6 – Mark Ripperger
- August 8 – Craig Breslow
- August 8 – Jack Cassel
- August 11 – Kurt Birkins
- August 13 – Jonah Bayliss
- August 15 – Mel Stocker
- August 16 – Ryan Hanigan
- August 16 – Ben Kozlowski
- August 17 – Brett Myers
- August 17 – Michael O'Connor
- August 17 – Jeff Ridgway
- August 17 – Chris Waters
- August 18 – Jason Perry
- August 19 – Lance Cormier
- August 23 – Denny Bautista
- August 23 – Marcus McBeth
- August 23 – Pat Strange
- August 24 – Kevin Correia
- August 25 – Neal Musser
- August 26 – Brendan Harris
- August 28 – T. J. Beam
- August 28 – Ryan Madson
- August 30 – Russ Adams
- August 30 – Roberto Hernández
- September 4 – Pat Neshek
- September 7 – Mark Prior
- September 9 – Todd Coffey
- September 11 – Matt DeSalvo
- September 12 – Sean Burroughs
- September 12 – Maicer Izturis
- September 12 – Kevin Richardson
- September 13 – Daisuke Matsuzaka
- September 17 – Danny Haren
- September 19 – Ryan Roberts
- September 19 – Ray Sadler
- September 23 – Mike Gosling
- September 24 – Levale Speigner
- September 28 – Chris Demaria
- September 28 – Francisco Rosario
- September 29 – Miguel Asencio
- September 29 – Dewon Day
- September 30 – Bryan Bullington
- October 1 – Chad Orvella
- October 9 – Mark McLemore
- October 10 – Noah Lowry
- October 18 – Shane Komine
- October 19 – José Bautista
- October 19 – Rajai Davis
- October 20 – José Veras
- October 21 – Troy Cate
- October 21 – Jon Coutlangus
- October 23 – Pedro Liriano
- October 25 – Clint Nageotte
- October 27 – Kelvin Jiménez
- October 30 – Mike Jacobs
- October 30 – Laynce Nix
- November 6 – Mike Thompson
- November 8 – Víctor Marte
- November 14 – Sean Tracey
- November 18 – C. J. Wilson
- November 21 – Hank Blalock
- November 22 – Jonny Gomes
- November 23 – Jonathan Papelbon
- November 24 – Jeff Salazar
- November 25 – Nick Swisher
- November 29 – Brian Wolfe
- November 30 – Shane Victorino
- December 2 – Eric Reed
- December 4 – Gustavo Chacín
- December 6 – Ehren Wassermann
- December 9 – Fred Lewis
- December 11 – Joe Blanton
- December 16 – Josh Hall
- December 17 – Dale Thayer
- December 20 – Luke Carlin
- December 21 – Royce Ring
- December 22 – Reid Gorecki
- December 23 – Cody Ross
- December 27 – Jason Repko
- December 31 – Jesse Carlson
- January 6 – June Gilmore, 57, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
- January 10 – Hughie Critz, 79, second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants who led NL in fielding four times and double plays three times.
- January 21 – Gene Rye, 73, outfielder for the 1931 Boston Red Sox.
- February 1 – Fred Walters, 67, catcher for the 1945 Boston Red Sox, and one of many players who only appeared in the majors during World War II.
- February 2 – Jack Rothrock, 74, center fielder for four different teams from 1925 to 1937, who led the victorious St. Louis Cardinals with six RBI in the 1934 World Series.
- March 1 – Emmett Ashford, 65, the major leagues' first black umpire, who worked in the American League from 1966 to 1970 and in the 1970 World Series.
- March 1 – Johnny Watwood, 74, center fielder who played from 1929 to 1939 for the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies.
- March 3 – Jerry Priddy, 60, second baseman who played from 1941 to 1953 for the New York Yankees, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers.
- April 7 – Buck Canel, 74, Spanish-language broadcaster of 42 World Series, as well as many years of New York Yankees games.
- April 21 – Ray Dobens, 73, pitcher for the 1929 Boston Red Sox.
- April 21 – Joe Page, 62, All-Star relief pitcher for the New York Yankees who set single-season record with 27 saves in 1949, led AL in saves and appearances twice each.
- April 28 – Bob Porterfield, 56, All-Star pitcher who was named The Sporting News AL Pitcher of the Year in 1953 after a 22–10 season with the Senators.
- May 16 – Cap Peterson, 37, outfielder who played from 1962 to 1969 for the San Francisco Giants, Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians.
- June 1 – Rube Marquard, 93, Hall of Fame pitcher who retired with 201 wins and the NL record for career strikeouts by a left-hander (1593); had 19 consecutive wins for the Giants in 1912 for a modern major league record.
- June 3 – Fred Lieb, 92, sportswriter who covered every World Series from 1911 to 1958.
- June 9 – Odell Hale, 71, infielder for the Cleveland Indians in the 1930s, who hit .300 three times and collected two 100-RBI seasons.
- June 12 – Dan Thomas, 29, outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1976 to 1977.
- July 4 – Jack Martin, 93, shortstop who played from 1912 to 1914 for the New York Highlanders, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
- July 23 – Wally Snell, 91, catcher for the 1913 Boston Red Sox, who later went on to a distinguished career as a college botany professor and athletic coach at Brown University for four decades.
- July 30 – Joe Lucey, 83, infielder/pitcher for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox between 1920 and 1925.
- August 4 – Lefty Jamerson, 80, pitcher for the 1924 Boston Red Sox.
- August 27 – John Wilson, 77, pitched briefly for the Red Sox from 1927 to 1928.
- September 18 – Fredda Acker, 54, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player, who was named Mrs. America in 1947.
- September 24 – Ernie Shore, 89, pitcher who relieved Babe Ruth with a man on first in a 1917 game and proceeded to retire the runner and all 26 remaining batters.
- October 1 – Pat Veltman, 74, utility player best known for his 1928 season, where his only hit was a triple.
- November 29 – Bill Dunlap, 71, outfielder for the Boston Braves from 1929 to 1930.
- December 4 – Georgette Vincent, 52. who pitched for two All-American Girls Professional Baseball League champion teams spanning 1951–1952.
- December 5 – Don Padgett, 69, backup catcher/outfielder who hit .288 in 699 games with the Cardinals, Dodgers, Braves and Phillies from 1937 to 1948.
- December 14 – Elston Howard, 51, nine-time All-Star catcher for the New York Yankees who was that team's first black player and the AL's 1963 MVP; later a coach.
- December 31 – Bob Shawkey, 90, pitcher who had four 20-win seasons for the Yankees, later was coach at Dartmouth.