Baseball – 1980

Baseball in 1980

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January 9Al Kaline and Duke Snider are elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. 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 24Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon head a group of investors which purchases the New York Mets for a reported $21.1 million‚ the highest price paid to date for a ML baseball franchise. Doubleday‚ whose publishing company supplied 80 percent of the purchase price‚ will serve as chairman of the board‚ while Wilpon‚ a former teammate of Sandy Koufax‘s at Brooklyn’s Lafayette High School‚ will be president and chief operating officer.
January 28Henry Aaron refuses an award from Commissioner Bowie Kuhn honoring him for hitting his 715th home run. Aaron charges that baseball’s treatment of retired Negro League ballplayers falls far short of what is needed.
January 31Joe Morgan‚ a 2-time NL MVP for the Cincinnati Reds‚ signs as a free agent with the Houston Astros‚ his first team.


February 12The AL’s offer to buy out the remaining 8 years of the Oakland A’s lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires‚ effectively blocking the sale of the club from Charlie Finley to oil man Marvin Davis. Davis had planned to move the club to Denver‚ but the Oakland Coliseum Board‚ backed by the city council‚ refused the league’s $4 million offer.
February 15The San Diego Padres trade 41-year-old pitcher Gaylord Perry and a pair of minor leaguers to the Texas Rangers for 1B Willie Montanez.
February 16Brewers coach Harvey Kuenn has his right leg amputated below the knee after 4 operations to remove a blood clot.
February 17While taping separate interviews at KNBC-TV studios in Burbank‚ CA‚ Giants coach Jim Lefebvre and Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda trade punches after a brief argument‚ leaving Lasorda with a bloody lip. Lefebvre had been a Dodger coach in 1979 until he was fired by Lasorda.
February 20Just 4 months after being fired by the Yankees for the 2nd time‚ Billy Martin signs a 2-year contract to manage the Oakland A’s.


March 6Brewers manager George Bamberger suffers a heart attack at the club’s Sun City‚ AZ‚ training camp. Coach Buck Rodgers is named interim manager for Bamberger‚ who will undergo quintuple coronary bypass surgery on March 26th and will not return to the dugout until June 6th.
March 8Rangers owner Brad Corbett agrees to sell the club to a group of investors headed by Fort Worth businessman Eddie Chiles.

While waiting for the team bus outside his hotel during the Cleveland Indians 3-game exhibition series against the Mexico City Reds‚ a crazed fan wielding a ballpoint pen stabs rookie OF Joe Charboneau. The pen penetrates one inch and strikes a rib‚ sidelining Charboneau for 4 days‚ but he will recover to win the AL Rookie of the Year award.
March 10The National Labor Relations Board rules in favor of the umpires’ union in its dispute with the National League. The union had demanded that the NL release its umpire evaluations‚ particularly those of the “scabs” who were retained after filling in for striking umpires in 1979.
March 12Slugger Chuck Klein and former 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.
March 31The Expos trade 1B-OF Rusty Staub to the Rangers for IF Chris Smith and OF LaRue Washington.


April 1After failing to come up with a new collective bargaining agreement with the owners‚ the Executive Board of the Players’ Association votes unanimously to cancel the 92 remaining exhibition games and to strike on May 22nd if a deal has not been reached by then. During spring training‚ the players had voted 971-1 in favor of a strike. The lone dissenter was Kansas City’s Jerry Terrell‚ who voted no for religious reasons.
April 9The Reds Tom Seaver is scratched from his Opening Day start against the Braves because of the flu‚ and his replacement‚ Frank Pastore‚ tosses a 3-hit shutout. Braves P Phil Niekro is on the short end of the 9-0 decision. George Foster knocks a 2-run double off Niekro in the first inning‚ and receives credit for the first game-winning RBI‚ a newly created ML stat that will survive till the end of the 1988 season.

Seattle’s Ted Cox has the AL’s first game-winning ribbie when he hits a 2-run double off Toronto’s Dave Lemancyck in the 3rd inning as the M’s take a 4-2. The Mariners win 8-6‚ the victory going to Mike Parrott who pitches 6 1/3 innings. Parrott will on the DL for 3 weeks in May after getting hit in the groin by a line drive. He will hobble to the end of the year with a 1-16 record and today’s win will be his lone ML victory of 1980. For the second season in a row‚ Toronto’s John Mayberry opens with 4 hits‚ including 2 home runs. The Blue Jays dropped their Opener last year as well.
April 10In front of a crowd of 53‚313‚ Sixto Lezcano hits 2 homers-a 2-run shot in the 4th-off Dennis Eckersley-and a grand slam with 2 outs in the 9th inning‚ to give Milwaukee a 9-5 win over Boston and Dick Drago. Lezcano also opened the 1978 season with a grand slam‚ the only player to do it twice in Openers. The game features 7 homers‚ including Carl Yastrzemski and Butch Hobson going deep in the 9th off Slaton.

At Arlington Stadium‚ Jon Matlack and the Yankees Ron Guidry both pitch shutout ball for 9 innings before being lifted. In the 12th‚ Goose Gossage relieves with Mickey Rivers on 3rd and Richie Zisk at the plate. His first pitch is wild allowing Rivers to score the game’s only run. Gossage also lost the ’78 Opener when Zisk took him deep in the 9th. Each team manages just 4 hits in the contest with Bob Watson and Bob Sundberg each collecting three of them.

The Orioles win their season opener‚ 5-3‚ over the White Sox. Jim Palmer outpitches Steve Trout.

Minnesota outlasts Oakland‚ 9-7‚ in 12 innings. Rick Sofield hits his first ML homer‚ a 3-run shot in the 12th‚ and Roy Smalley adds another in the frame-both off Steve McCatty. Sofield has 3 hits and 3 runs in the game but will end his ML career in 1981 with a .207 average. He’ll switch to football and become the starting quarterback for the University of South Carolina in 1983.
April 11Giants 3B Darrell Evans makes 3 errors in the 7th inning of a 5-3 loss to the Padres. This ties the NL record for errors by a 3B in one inning.
April 12In his first game in the NL since 1971‚ Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan hits his first career home run‚ a 3-run shot off the Dodgers Don Sutton. Ryan leaves the game with a 5-4 lead‚ but Los Angeles wins 6-5 in 17 innings.

Milwaukee bombs the Red Sox‚ 18-1‚ as they score 9 runs in the second inning. Eight of the runs come on two grand slams‚ Cecil Cooper‘s knocking out starter Mike Torrez and Don Money ringing his up against Chuck Rainey. This is the 4th time in ML history that 2 grand slams have been hit in one inning.

The Mad Hungarian Al Hrabosky has got to be really steamed as he serves up a 2-out‚ 2-strike‚ 2-run gopher to the Reds Davey Concepcion. The Reds win‚ 4-3 over the Braves in Atlanta.
April 13In his first ML start‚ Cincinnati’s Charlie Leibrandt shuts out the Braves‚ 5-0‚ at Riverfront.

The Majors see the first Q battery in history‚ when KC reliever Dan Quisenberry‚ with Jamie Quirk behind the plate‚ faces the Tigers. The Tigers win‚ 3-2.
April 14The Reds trip the Giants‚ 6-5 when Dave Collins rips a bases loaded triple in the bottom of the 9th.
April 15Before a crowd of 50‚244‚ the Orioles’ biggest Opening Day crowd‚ Jim Palmer stops the Royals 12-2.

The White Sox edge the Yankees‚ 4-3‚ in 14 innings‚ scoring the unearned run off Jim Kaat. Wrothan is the winner with 4.2 innings of work. The 2 teams strand 25 base runners.
April 16Oakland’s Matt Keough matches last season’s victory total with his 2nd win in as many starts‚ 6-1 over Seattle. Keough was 2-17 in 1979.
April 17The Reds beat the Braves‚ 4-1 for their 8th win in a row‚ a club record for a start.

Rick Bosetti breaks up a scoreless pitching duel between Paul Mirabella and Larry Sorenson by htting a game-ending homer in the 9th off Sorenson. Toronto wins‚ 1-0 over Milwaukee.
April 18The winless Braves shut out the undefeated Reds‚ 5-0‚ behind Rick Matula‘s 5-hitter. Cincinnati had opened the season with 8 consecutive wins‚ the best start in club history.
April 19Houston’s J. R. Richard fires a one-hitter against the Dodgers‚ striking out 12 in a 2-0 victory. Reggie Smith‘s infield roller in the 4th inning is LA’s lone hit.
April 20In a 6-1 win over California‚ Oakland’s Rickey Henderson steals home.

At Detroit‚ Milt Wilcox fires a one-hit‚ 8-0‚ shutout over the Kansas City RoyalsJerry Martin‘s single is the only KC hit. Vida Blue takes the loss.
April 21George Foster has a HR and 4 singles to lead the visiting Reds to a 6-5 win over the Astros.
April 22In a classic Wrigley Field slugfest‚ the Cubs beat the Cardinals 16-12 on Barry Foote‘s 2-out grand slam in the bottom of the 9th. Foote drives in 8 runs overall with 4 hits and 2 home runs‚ and teammate Ivan DeJesus hits for the cycle to help Chicago rally from a 12-5 deficit.
April 23Angels P Bruce Kison settles for a one-hitter when Minnesota’s Ken Landreaux rips a double with one out in the 9th inning of California’s 17-0 romp. It is the 2nd time in a year that Kison has lost a no-hitter with one out in the 9th. For Landreaux‚ the hit marks the beginning of a 31-game hitting streak. The loser today is Terry Felton.
April 25Larry Parrish belts 3 home runs and drives in all 7 of the Expos’ runs in an 11-inning 8-7 loss to the Braves.

Making his first appearance in Minnesota since his fight with a marshmallow salesman there last fall‚ A’s manager Billy Martin has to be restrained by umpires from attacking a fan who was pelting him with marshmallows during the Twins’ 10-3 victory.
April 26Steve Carlton of the Phillies sets the modern NL record with his 6th career one-hitter‚ a 7-0 shutout of former team the Cardinals. Carlton will go 6-0 against St. Louis this year‚ the last pitcher this century to win 6 games in a season against one team.
April 27The Twins score 10 runs in the first inning on their way to a 20-11 thrashing of the A’s. Minnesota starter Geoff Zahn can’t hold the 10-0 lead‚ allowing 8 runs in 41?3 innings‚ and Doug Corbett picks up the win in relief.
April 29The Brewers smash 7 home runs in a 14-1 rout of the Indians. Ben Oglivie and Sal Bando lead the way with 2 apiece.
April 30Kansas City’s Larry Gura pitches a one-hitter against the Blue Jays for his 3rd shutout in 5 starts‚ surrendering only a 7th-inning double to Damaso Garcia. Losing pitcher Jesse Jefferson holds the Royals hitless for 6 2?3 innings in the 3-0 loss.

J. R. Richard tops Reds vet Tom Seaver‚ 5-1‚ to move Houston into 1st place. Richard will lose his next 3 starts.


May 1Pittsburgh’s Bill “Mad Dog” Madlock is fined $5‚000 and suspended 15 games by NL president Chub Feeney for poking umpire Jerry Crawford in the face with his glove after being called out on strikes with the bases loaded. Madlock appeals and remains in uniform‚ but finally withdraws the appeal and begins serving the suspension on June 6th‚ after disgruntled NL umpires threaten to eject him from every game he tries to play in.

Pete Falcone ties the modern ML record by striking out the first 6 batters of the game‚ but his Mets lose to the Phillies 2-1. Falcone finishes with 8 strikeouts in 7 innings.
May 2Paced by Lenny Randle‘s double and homer in the inning‚ the Cubs score 8 runs in the 12th to beat the Reds‚ 12-4. Bruce Sutter picks up the easy win over Tom Hume.
May 3Rangers pitcher Ferguson Jenkins defeats the Orioles 3-2 to become only the 4th pitcher to win 100 games in each league. He won 149 games for the Phillies and Cubs before joining the AL in 1974. The other 3 pitchers are Bunning‚ Gaylord Perry‚ and Cy Young.

In a 3-2 win over Montreal‚ Giants 1B Willie McCovey hits his 521st and final career home run off Scott Sanderson‚ tying him with Ted Williams on the all-time list. He will retire on June 6th.

In a 5-3 win over Detroit‚ two Oakland runners successfully steal home. Wayne Gross and Dwayne Murphy are the thieves. Murphy will steal home again May 28.
May 4Royals catcher Darrell Porter‚ returning to the starting lineup after spending 6 weeks in alcohol and drug rehabilitation‚ drives in 3 runs in Kansas City’s 5-3 win over Boston.

Toronto’s Otto Velez ties an AL record with 4 home runs in a doubleheader sweep of Cleveland at Exhibition Park. The Jays win 9-8 and 7-2. Velez homers 3 times in the opener‚ including a grand slam in the first inning and a game winner in the bottom of the 10th‚ and finishes the day with 10 RBI. Otto’s clouts come with the bases empty‚ one on‚ two on and the slam.

White Sox 1B Mike Squires catches the final inning of an 11-1 loss to the Brewers‚ becoming the first lefthander to catch in the majors since Dale Long in 1958.

At Riverfront Stadium‚ Junior Kennedy‘s grand slam gives the Reds a 5-4 win over the Cubs.
May 6At Shea the Reds take a 7-0 lead in the 3rd inning‚ only to see the Mets tie the game at 10-10. In the 14th. Harry Spillman hits a -2 run double and the Reds escape with a 12-10 victory.
May 7Kansas City collects 9 consecutive hits (one shy of the AL record set by Boston in 1901) in an 8-run 4th inning‚ and goes on to defeat Texas 12-5.
May 11In a 7-3 win over the Reds‚ Philadelphia’s Pete Rose‚ 39-years old‚ steals 2B‚ 3B‚ and home in one inning. It is the fifth time since 1928 that this has been accomplished: The last National Leaguer to pull this feat was Jackie Robinson in 1954. Dusty Baker will do it in 1984.
May 13Ray Knight breaks out of an 0-for-15 slump by homering twice in the 5th inning of a 15-4 win over the Mets. He is the first Red ever to hit 2 home runs in one inning.

Fred Lynn hits for the cycle as the Red Sox beat the Twins‚ 10-5.
May 14The Royals pitching staff issues 14 walks in a 16-3 loss to the Yankees‚ as the Yanks outhit KC by one‚ 12-11. Reliever Larry Christenson is the main culprit‚ walking 7 batters in just 12?3 innings. Infielder Jerry Terrell makes his 2nd career pitching appearance‚ pitching the last inning and giving up no runs and a walk.
May 15In Cincinnati‚ Ray Knight has two homers‚ including a grand slam‚ as the Reds whip the Mets‚ 15-4.
May 23Five hours after the midnight deadline passes‚ the players and owners avert a strike by announcing a new 4-year basic agreement. The new deal raises the minimum salary from $21‚000 to $30‚000 and increases the clubs’ contributions to the players’ pension fund‚ but the major issue of free-agent compensation remains unresolved.

Ferguson Jenkins of the Rangers wins his 250th career game‚ a 3-1 two-hitter versus Oakland.
May 24The Reds Frank Pastore shuts out the Expos‚ 2-0‚ on 2 hits.
May 27In the 3rd inning at Riverfront Stadium‚ Don Sutton serves up consecutive homers to Ken Griffey‚ George Foster‚ and Dan Driessen. The homer outage is good for 5 runs in the Reds 6-1 win over the Dodgers.

In a trade that helps both teams‚ the Tigers send Jason Thompson to California for Al Cowens.
May 28In Oakland’s 6-3 win over Kansas City‚ Dwayne Murphy and Rickey Henderson steal home in the first inning‚ tying a ML record. It was last done in the AL by Minnesota‚ May 18‚ 1969: In the NL the last time was the Cardinals‚ September 19‚ 1925.
May 29Dodger Bob Welch faces the minimum 27 batters in a 3-0 one-hitter near-perfect game against the Braves. The lone Atlanta base runner is Larvell Blanks‚ who singles in the 4th inning and is erased on a double play.

Johnny Bench hits 3 home runs off Randy Jones in Cincinnati’s 5-3 win over San Diego. It is the 3rd 3-HR game of his career.
May 30John Hiller‚ 37‚ who recovered from a 1971 heart attack to become one of baseball’s best relievers‚ retires. His 545 games pitched are the most in Tiger history. The Tigers hit 5 HRs in trouncing California 12-1.
May 31Ken Landreaux goes 0-for-4 in Minnesota’s 11-1 loss to the Orioles Scott McGregor‚ ending his hitting streak at 31 consecutive games. It is the longest streak in the AL since Dom DiMaggio‘s 34-game streak in 1949.

The Boston Red Sox hit 6 home runs-4 in the 4th inning‚ including 3 in succession (Tony Perez‚ Carlton Fisk‚ Butch Hobson)-but lose to the Brewers 19-8.


June 1The Cleveland Indians tie a ML record with 4 sacrifice flies (Ron Hassey‚ Dave Rosello‚ Gary Alexander‚ and Dell Alston) in an 8-7 loss to the Mariners. Seattle adds one more‚ tying the 2-team single-game record of 5.
June 3Oakland makes it close when Dave Revering‚ Mitchell Page‚ and Tony Armas all homer in the 9th inning against Cleveland‚ but the Indians hold on for a 6-4 win.

The New York Mets select 18-year-old Darryl Strawberry from Los Angeles’s Crenshaw High School with the first pick in the annual June free-agent draft. The Blue Jays then pick SS Garry Harris. Lefty Ken Dayley (Braves) is the 3rd pick‚ pitcher Mike King (A’s) 4th‚ Jeff Pyburn (Padres) 5th‚ and Darnell Coles (M’s) 6th. The Reds pick Danny Tartabull on the 3rd round and Eric Davis on the 8th. On the 16th round‚ the Twins take Jim Eisenreich while the Red Sox pick Oil Can Boyd. On the 4th round of the secondary phase draft on June 5‚ the Rangers find gold with Tom Henke.
June 4The Yankees‚ with no picks in rounds one and two‚ select 18-year-old Billy Cannon Jr. with their 3rd round pick. After protests from at least 2 other teams‚ Bowie Kuhn rules that all the teams but the Yankees had been misled by a telegram sent by Bill Cannon‚ Sr.‚ saying his son was going to play football. A special draft (excluding the Yanks) in August is won by the Indians‚ who offer the young gun $275‚000. But Cannon elects to play football at Texas A&M.; Following in the footsteps of his Heisman dad‚ Cannon will be the number 1 pick of the Cowboys in 1984‚ but a neck injury curtails his career.
June 6Minnesota’s Geoff Zahn one-hits the Blue Jays 5-0‚ allowing only a John Mayberry single with 2 out in the 7th.

Cardinals manager Ken Boyer is fired between games of a doubleheader loss to the Expos; he will be replaced the following day by Whitey Herzog‚ who led the Kansas City Royals to 3 consecutive AL West titles from 1976-78. St. Louis has the worst record in the major leagues (18-34).

On “Welcome back‚ Bambi” Night in Milwaukee‚ the Brewers give their manager George Bamberger an 8-4 win over the Tigers. Bamberger suffered a heart attack in spring training and coach Buck Rodgers managed the team for the first 46 games. Bambi will retire on September 7 and Rodgers will again take over. Milwaukee is in 2nd place‚ 3 1/2 games in back of New York.
June 7Yankee pitcher Tommy John post his 200th victory‚ a two-hit‚ 1-0 win over Seattle.
June 9At Cincinnati‚ three rain delays and a 4-run 9th for the Reds adds up to a 6-6 tie with the Padres. The game is called at 2:30 a.m.
June 11Houston’s J. R. Richard pitches his 3rd consecutive shutout‚ winning 3-0 versus the Cubs.

In a 7-4 win over the Phillies‚ San Francisco rookie Rich Murray hits his 1st ML HR‚ off Randy Lerch. Rich will hit 3 more and‚ combined with his brother Eddie’s career total of 504‚ will place them number two on the list of brother combos. Five Murray brothers play pro ball.
June 12Mike Easler hits for the cycle to lead Pittsburgh to a 10-6 win over Cincinnati.

Former Brewers outfielder Danny Thomas‚ 29‚ hangs himself in a jail cell in Mobile‚ Alabama. Thomas‚ who was charged with raping a 12-year-old girl less than two weeks ago‚ played for Milwaukee in 1976 and 1977 and‚ in 1979‚ played in the short-lived Inter-American League.
June 13Pete Rose goes 4-for-5 to move past Honus Wagner into 5th place on the all-time hit list with 3‚431. Philadelphia starts the game with 7 consecutive hits-5 off starter and loser Randy Jones-and goes on to beat San Diego 9-6. Dick Ruthvan is the winner.

Vida Blue pitches the Giants to a 3-1 win over the Mets‚ and Milt May hits franchise homer # 9‚000 for the Giants. Monte Ward hit homer #1 in 1883‚ and #8‚000 was hit by Bobby Bonds on September 4‚ 1971.
June 14At Wrigley‚ the Cubs play 2. In an Old Timers ceremony‚ the 1945 Tigers top the 1945 Cubs‚ 4-1‚ in a two-inning “replay” of their World Series. In the regular game‚ the Cubs beat the Braves‚ 10-5.
June 15Cleveland’s Jorge Orta goes 6-for-6 (5 singles and a double) in a 14-5 rout of the Twins‚ tying the AL record for hits in a 9-inning game.
June 17Complaining of arm tiredness‚ Houston’s J. R. Richard exits after pitching 5 innings against the Cubs. He is the winner‚ 7-1‚ over the Cubs but he will not pitch for 11 days.
June 20Leonard Smith‚ the man who killed Angels outfielder Lyman Bostock with a shotgun blast on September 23‚ 1978‚ but was later acquitted of the crime by reason of insanity‚ is released from Logansport State Hospital and allowed to return to his home in Gary‚ IN‚ because psychiatrists say he is no longer mentally ill.

5 foot 4 inch Fred Patek‚ one of the smallest players of his era‚ hits 3 home runs and a double in California’s 20-2 rout of the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Patek will end the year with 5 homers.

White Sox reliever Ed Farmer swears he will take criminal action against Detroit’s Al Cowens following an on-field brawl in Chicago. Cowens hit a grounder to SS‚ and then charged the mound instead of running to 1B. The action stemmed from an incident a year earlier when a Farmer pitch shattered Cowens’ jaw. AL prexy Lee MacPhail will suspend Cowens for 7 games. The Tigers win 5-3 in 11 innings.
June 22Claudell Washington hits his first 3 NL home runs to lead the Mets to a 9-6 win at Los Angeles and snap a 7-game losing streak.
June 25Five Cleveland pitchers issue 14 walks‚ including 5 with the bases loaded‚ in a 13-3 loss to Detroit.

Ray Knight collects 5 ribbies to pace the Reds to a 15-3 whipping of the Astros.
June 26Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voids the Yankees’ drafting of highly touted high school shortstop Billy Cannon‚ Jr. Four teams had complained that Billy Cannon‚ Sr.‚ college football’s Heisman Trophy winner in 1959‚ misled them with telegrams saying that his son would go to college‚ in the hopes that he would then be drafted by the Yankees. In a special draft‚ the Indians will pick Cannon but he chooses to attend Texas A & M instead. The young Cannon will be drafted number one by the Dallas Cowboys in 1984.
June 27The Dodgers Jerry Reuss pitches an 8-0 no-hitter against the Giants at Candlestick Park. Reuss‚ who strikes out only 2 but doesn’t walk a batter‚ is deprived of a perfect game when SS Bill Russell throws wildly to 1B on Jack Clark‘s easy grounder in the first inning.
June 28J. R. Richard again leaves after just 3 /13 innings against Cincinnati in an 8-5 loss. In 16 starts‚ the Houston star has now left early 3 times with a sore back‚ 3 times with a sore shoulder‚ and 3 times with a weak forearm.


July 2Chicago’s Ross Baumgarten allows only a 7th-inning single to Rod Carew en route to a one-hit 1-0 shutout of the Angels. Baumgarten will finish the season 2-12.
July 3The ML’s largest crowd in 7 years (73‚096) watches Wayne Garland 2-hit the Yankees 7-0 at Cleveland Stadium.

Ken Landreaux ties the modern ML record with 3 triples in Minnesota’s 10-3 win over Texas. Doug Flynn will match it also in a month.

Danny Thomas‚ 29‚ hangs himself in jail in Mobile while awaiting trial on charges of raping a 12-year-old. Thomas‚ who played with the Brewers in 1976-77‚ announced in spring training of ’77 that he was a convert to the World Wide Church of God and would not play on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons.
July 4Nolan Ryan fans the Reds Cesar Geronimo to become the 4th pitcher ever to reach 3‚000 career strikeouts. Ironically‚ Geronimo was also Bob Gibson‘s 3‚000th career strikeout victim 6 years earlier. Despite the milestone‚ Ryan allows 6 runs in 4 1?3 innings and Houston loses‚ 8-1.

George Hendrick hits a game-ending homer in the 10th off Kevin Saucier of the Phils to give the Cards a 1-0 win.
July 5Reds pitcher Bruce Berenyi makes his ML debut and the Astros welcome him with a 6-run first inning. Mario Soto relieves and pitches 8 2/3 inning of shutout ball‚ allowing just 3 hits. The Reds rally to win‚ 8-6.
July 6Steve Carlton (14-4) becomes the major leagues’ lefthanded strikeout king‚ fanning 7 Cardinals in an 8-3 Phillies win to bring his career total to 2‚836. Mickey Lolich had held the record with 2‚832.

Ed Halicki junks his way to a 2-0 Angels win over the Brewers‚ giving up an infield single in the 1st and a bloop double in the 9th.

Cub relief pitchers hold the Pirates hitless for 12.2 innings but it goes for naught in a 5-4 20 inning loss. Cliff Johnson’s 2-out homer in the 9th off Blyleven tied it for Chicago‚ but Omar Moreno‘s RBI single in the 20th is the game winner. Jim Bibby (11-1) takes the win with 3 scoreless innings pitched‚ but loses a probably start in the AS game.
July 8At Dodger Stadium.‚ the 51st All-Star game features J.R. Richard (10-4) and Steve Stone (12-3) are starters‚ with Richard going just two innings because of various back and shoulder problems he’s been having. The NL battles back to wins its 9th consecutive All-Star Game 4-2‚ pinning the loss on Dodger defector Tommie Johns. Reds outfielder Ken Griffey goes 2-for-3 with a solo HR to win the game’s MVP Award.
July 11The Dodgers sell knuckleballer Charlie Hough to the Rangers for an undisclosed sum. Hough played every year of the 70’s with the Dodgers‚ and will play every year of the 80’s with the Rangers. He is the only player in history to play back to back decades with two teams.
July 14After fanning the side in the 2nd inning‚ J. R. Richard leaves after retiring the 1st batter in the 4th. The Houston pitcher complained of nausea‚ and the next day‚ Houston will place him on the 21-day DL. The Astros lose today‚ 2-0‚ to Atlanta’s Phil Niekro.
July 15In an 11-7 Reds win over Montreal‚ Johnny Bench belts homer #314 as a catcher‚ and #347 overall. The round tripper comes off David Palmer.
July 16Despite much speculation that he is simply malingering‚ the Astros place star pitcher J. R. Richard on the 21-day disabled list with a mystery arm problem. The 6 foot 8 inch righthander is 10-4 with a 1.89 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 114 innings‚ but has removed himself from 10 games this year complaining of fatigue and a “dead arm.” On July 23rd‚ Richard will check into a hospital for a series of physical and psychological tests to determine the cause of his “erratic” behavior.

The California Supreme Court rules that Ted Giannoulas‚ better known as the man inside the San Diego Chicken suit‚ can appear publicly in chicken suits similar to the one that brought him fame‚ but not bearing the call letters of San Diego’s KGB radio station. The station had fired Giannoulas when he began appearing publicly in the suit without permission‚ and claimed it had all rights to the costume‚ which was first used as a promotional device in 1975.
July 18For the second time in 2 weeks a player breaks up a scoreless game in the 10th with a game-ending homer. It is Boston’s Dave Stapleton’s turn today as he homers off Minnesota’s Roger Erickson to give starter Mike Torrez the win.
July 22Atlanta’s Bob Horner belts 2 home runs in a 7-5 win over the Expos‚ giving him 15 homers in his last 23 games and 13 in the month of July‚ just 2 short of the ML record shared by Hank Greenberg‚ Joe DiMaggio‚ and Joe Adcock. Horner will hit one more home run in July‚ and finish the season with a career-high 35.
July 24Hours after signing a new 5-year contract that will boost his salary to $1 million per year‚ Kansas City’s George Brett goes 2-for-4 in a 12-4 win over Chicago to raise his batting average to .379. The Royals lead 2nd-place Texas by 11 games in the AL West.
July 25The Cubs fire manager Preston Gomez and replace him with Joey Amalfitano. Chicago is 38-52‚ last in the NL East.

In the first game of a doubleheader split with the Braves‚ Mike Schmidt hits his 25th and 26th home runs of the season to pass Del Ennis as the Phillies’ all-time HR leader with 261. The Phils win‚ 5-4‚ then fall‚ 3-0‚ to Tommy Boggs.
July 26Orioles’ ace Steve Stone tops Mike Caldwell and the Brewers‚ 4-1‚ for his 14th straight win.
July 27The Cubs and Dodgers battle for 12-innings before the Dodgers prevail‚ 3-2. Rudy Law singles‚ steals 2B‚ advances to 3B on the overthrow‚ and scores on a sac fly. There are no walks in the game‚ a NL record for an extra inning contest.
July 28At Montreal‚ the Expos beat the Reds‚ 5-4‚ with Fred Norman getting the win over Mario Soto. Ron LeFlore of the Expos steals his 62nd base in the 7th inning and the Montreal scoreboard notes that the first SB was 115 years earlier. As LeFlore stands off base reading the message‚ he is tagged out.
July 30Attempting to throw for the first time since being hospitalized for tests last week‚ J. R. Richard suffers a stroke and is rushed to Houston’s Methodist Hospital for emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening blood clot in his neck. He will never pitch in the major leagues again.
July 31The Rangers beat the Orioles 7-4‚ snapping pitcher Steve Stone‘s 14-game winning streak. Stone is 2 shy of the AL record of 16 consecutive wins.


August 3Al Kaline‚ Duke Snider‚ Chuck Klein‚ and Tom Yawkey are inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown‚ NY.

In a 6-4 win over Texas‚ Boston’s Tom Burgmeier finishes the last inning in RF. He’s the first Red Sox pitcher to play a position since Mike Ryba caught in 3 games in 1942.
August 4The Seattle Mariners fire manager Darrell Johnson and replace him with Maury Wills‚ who becomes the 3rd black manager in ML history. Seattle had lost 9 games in a row and 20 of 24 since the All-Star break.

The Reds score 8 runs in the 7th enroute to a 11-2 win over the San Diego Padres.
August 5Expos manager Dick Williams wins his 1‚000th career game 11-5 over the Mets‚ at Olympic Stadium. He is 3rd in wins among active managers behind Gene Mauch and Earl Weaver. The Expos overcome the offense of Doug Flynn‚ who ties the modern ML record with 3 triples. It was last done in the NL by Ernie Banks‚ in 1966.
August 10Steve McCatty becomes the 4th A’s starter to pitch a 14-inning complete game this season‚ losing 2-1 to Seattle despite pitching a 6-hitter. Teammates Matt Keough (on May 17th)‚ Mike Norris (June 11th)‚ and Rick Langford (July 20th) have also pitched 14-inning complete games for manager Billy Martin‚ who will later be widely criticized for ruining their arms through overwork.
August 11Reggie Jackson hits his 400th career home run‚ off Chicago’s Britt Burns‚ in the 3rd inning of a 3-1 Yankees victory. It’s Reggie 31st homer of the year.
August 12Tiger Stadium is packed with 48‚361 fans to see Mark Fidrych‘s return to the big leagues‚ a 5-4 loss to the Red Sox. The 1976 AL Rookie of the Year will go 2-3 with a 5.73 ERA in what will be his final attempt to come back from injury‚ and his last ML season.
August 13The Yankees trade righty Ken Clay and a player to be named later to the Rangers for 41-year-old pitcher Gaylord Perry.
August 15Oakland’s Rick Langford (13-9) defeats the Mariners 11-3 for his 17th consecutive complete game‚ the most in the majors since Robin Roberts‘ 20 in a row in 1953.
August 17George Brett goes 4-for-4 with 5 RBI in an 8-3 Kansas City win‚ raising his batting average to .401 and extending his hitting streak to 29 consecutive games.

Al Oliver belts 4 home runs-one in the opener and 3 in the nightcap-as the Rangers sweep a doubleheader from the Tigers‚ 9-3 and 12-6. He is the 2nd AL player to hit 4 home runs in a doubleheader this season. Al also adds a double and triple in the opener and his 21 extra bases for the two games is a record.
August 18In a game called after 6 1/2 innings because of rain‚ the Cardinals defeat the Reds‚ 10-1‚ behind Ken Forsch. Forsch helps in the 5th‚ getting all 3 outs on grounders back to him. Ted Simmons is 4-for-4 with 4 runs and a pair of homers‚ including one in the Cards’ 8-run 2nd inning. Keith Smith provides little help in the frame making all 3 outs‚ hitting into a 4-6-3 DP‚ and then 8 men later ending the inning with a strikeout.
August 19Jon Matlack holds George Brett hitless‚ snapping his hitting streak at 30 consecutive games‚ but Kansas City rallies for 3 runs in the 9th to beat Texas 4-3. Brett batted .467 during the streak and knocked in 42 runs.

Baltimore’s Steve Stone becomes the first 20-game winner in the major leagues this season‚ holding the Angels hitless for 7 1?3 innings on the way to a 5-2 victory.

In New York’s 3-1 win at Seattle‚ Bob Watson is 3-for-3 including a homer and a double‚ the latter off the left CF speaker at the Dome in the 2nd inning. It’s is retrieved by 3B Stein.
August 20Cleveland’s Dan Spillner‚ who entered the game with a 5.45 ERA‚ is 2 outs from a no-hitter when White Sox rookie Leo Sutherland singles. Spillner settles for a 3-0 one-hitter.

Pittsburgh’s Omar Moreno steals his 70th base of the season‚ becoming the first player this century with 3 consecutive 70-steal seasons. The fleet outfielder swiped 71 in 1978‚ 77 in 1979‚ and will finish 1980 with a career-high 96. Pittsburgh loses to Houston‚ 5-1.

George Brett pushes his average to .406 with a 3-for-3 outing in a 5-3 win over Texas.

Tom Brookens‚ the Tigers’ number-8 hitter‚ goes 5-for-5 with a triple and a home run and also starts a triple play in an 8-6 win over Milwaukee.

The Giants beat the Mets‚ 2-1‚ but lose Jack Clark for a month after a Mark Bombeck pitch breaks a bone in his left hand.
August 21Rob Wilfong’s 1st inning single is the only hit off Jack Morris. The Tiger ace beats the Twins‚ 4-2.
August 22Admitting that he can no longer compete financially in baseball’s inflated economy‚ colorful owner Bill Veeck agrees to sell the Chicago White Sox to Youngstown‚ Ohio‚ shopping-mall magnate Eddie DeBartolo‚ Sr. for a reported $20 million. The sale will fall through‚ however‚ when AL owners twice fail to give Veeck the 10 votes needed for approval.
August 23A’s owner Charlie Finley sells the club for $12.7 million to the Haas family of San Francisco‚ owners of the Levi Strauss clothing empire‚ thus keeping the team in Oakland.
August 24Twins manager Gene Mauch resigns following a 3-2 loss to the Tigers. He will be replaced by John Goryl.

Nolan Ryan holds the Cubs to 2 hits in 9 innings to give the Astros their 10th straight victory‚ 2-1‚ winning over Bill Caudill. Jose Cruz homers. During the streak‚ the Houston bull pen has thrown 37 2/3 shut out innings.
August 25At Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium‚ Rangers P Ferguson Jenkins is arrested for possession of illegal drugs after customs officials discover an estimated $500 worth of cocaine‚ marijuana‚ and hashish in his suitcase. The arrest stuns the entire country‚ where Jenkins‚ a Canadian citizen‚ is considered a national hero.
August 26In an 8-6 Padres win over the Mets‚ there are 10 intentional walks handed out‚ one shy of a record set in 1956.
August 27Phillies Steve Carlton (20-7) becomes the first NL pitcher to win 20 games this season‚ combining with Tug McGraw to beat the Dodgers‚ 4-3. Carlton will win an NL-high 24 games‚ while pitching 304 innings‚ the last ML pitcher to throw more than 300 innings in a season.

Pitcher and coach Hub Kittle becomes the oldest man to play in an organized baseball game when he starts for Springfield (American Association) against Iowa at the age of 63 years and 6 months. Kittle retires the side in the first inning‚ then tosses one pitch to retire a batter in the 2nd frame before exiting.
August 29The Cardinals promote manager Whitey Herzog to general manager‚ replacing John Claiborne‚ who was fired on August 18th. Red Schoendienst will serve as interim field manager‚ but on October 24th the Cardinals announce that Herzog will return as manager in 1981 while retaining his GM duties.

Behind George Foster‘s 6 RBIs‚ the Reds overcome a 5-0 deficit to beat the Pirates 8-7 in Pittsburgh.
August 30Houston veteran Vern Ruhle improves his record to 8-3 by shutting out the Cubs.
August 31In Cleveland‚ Reliever Ed Farmer picks up two saves as the White Sox sweep a doubleheader from the Indians. Chicago rallies for 8 runs in the last 2 innings of the opener to win‚ 10-8‚ then does it again in the nitecap score 4 in the last 2 innings to win‚ 8-7.


September 1Tigers OF Al Cowens and White Sox reliever Ed Farmer publicly end their long-running feud by shaking hands at home plate prior to Chicago’s 11-3 win at Tiger Stadium. The feud began in 1979 when Farmer broke Cowens’ jaw with a pitch‚ and flared again this June 20th when Cowens hit a ground ball off Farmer and attacked the pitcher instead of running to 1B. Cowens was suspended for 7 games and a warrant was issued for his arrest in Illinois‚ forcing him to skip last week’s Tigers-White Sox series in Chicago. Farmer agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a handshake‚ and the 2 players brought out the lineup cards before today’s game.
September 5Insisting his decision is not health-related‚ George Bamberger announces that he will step down as the Brewers manager following tomorrow’s game against Texas. He will be replaced by Buck Rodgers.
September 6Houston sweeps 2 from the Cardinals‚ winning 9-5 and 6-4‚ to move 2 games behind LA‚ the NL West leaders. Jose Cruz wins the 2nd game with a grand slam.
September 7The Oakland A’s pitch their ML-record 78th complete game of the season as Steve McCatty beats the Orioles 5-2.
September 8Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends Ferguson Jenkins indefinitely as a result of his August 25th drug arrest in Toronto. On September 22nd‚ the suspension will be overturned by arbitrator Raymond Goetz‚ the first time ever a commissioner’s decision is overruled by an arbitrator.
September 9Reds fireballer Mario Soto strikes out 15 Braves in a 7-1 Reds win in Atlanta.
September 10Expos 21-year-old P Bill Gullickson strikes out 18 Cubs in a 4-2 win at Olympic Stadium‚ setting a ML record for rookies and falling one short of the all-time record for strikeouts in a 9-inning game. The win keeps Montreal one-half game ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East.

Houston moves into a 1st place tie with the Dodgers in the NL West by beating Los Angeles‚ 6-5.

The Phillies Marty Bystrom makes his first ML start and beats the Mets‚ 5-0.
September 11In a 6-5 win over the Cubs‚ Montreal’s Ron LeFlore steals his 91st base of the season and Rodney Scott steals his 58th‚ breaking the ML record for stolen bases by teammates in one season. Lou Brock and Bake McBride set the record with the 1974 Cardinals.

Houston takes over sole possession of 1st place from the Dodgers in the NL West by again beating Los Angeles‚ 6-5.
September 13At Boston‚ the Yankees keep their hold on 1st place with a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox‚ scoring all their runs in the 4th. Tommy John wins his 21st. Willie Randolph helps in the 6th with a neat 4-2 double play‚ stepping on 2B for a force and throwing home to catch Jim Rice.
September 14Eddie Murray hits 3 HRs‚ but Baltimore loses to Toronto 4-3 in 13 innings to fall 5 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East.

In a 10-7 win over the Cubs‚ Lee Mazzilli homers to break a drought for Mets. (as noted by Tom Ruane) It is the 1st homer in 175.2 innings going back to August 26 when Claudell Washington homered. This will be the longest drought for the rest of the century. The Mets also had droughts of 134.1 inning (4/15-5/3) and 117.1 inning (5/6- 5/24).
September 17After surrendering a 2-run home run to Rusty Staub‚ Rick Langford is removed with 2 outs in the 9th inning of Oakland’s 6-4 win over Texas‚ ending his consecutive complete-game streak at 22.

The Royals become the first team to clinch a division title‚ as Dennis Leonard shuts out the Angels 5-0 in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Reds Mario Soto stops Houston‚ 7-0‚ beating Joe Niekro‚ who gives up a grand slam to Ray Knight. Houston and Los Angeles are tied for 1st (82-62) with 17 games left on the schedule.
September 18Willie Wilson steals 2B and 3B in the 2nd inning of Kansas City’s 5-2 win over the Angels‚ giving him an AL-record 28 consecutive stolen bases without being caught. Ron LeFlore had set the previous record in 1978.

At Milwaukee‚ the Twins lose 9-8 to the Brewers‚ wasting Gary Ward‘s hitting for the cycle.
September 19The Reds light up Jerry Reuss (17-6) for 8 runs in 2 innings‚ en route to a 10-7 win over the Dodgers. Reuss serves up a grand slam to Johnny Bench‚ the 9th slam off him this year‚ a NL record. Garvey and Cey solo for the Dodgers.
September 20George Brett goes 0-for-4 in a 9-0 loss to the A’s dropping his average below .400 for good. He is now hitting .396 and will finish the season at .390.

California’s Tony Armas does it all hitting 2 doubles‚ 2 HRs to drive in 5 RBIs in a 6-4 win over Texas. Armas also has an intentional walk‚ and steals 3rd.
September 22The Phillies move back into first place in the NL East with a 3-2 10-inning win over the Cardinals. Montreal drops to 2nd place by a half-game by losing to Pittsburgh. The Phils Steve Carlton and the Birds Pete Vuckovich each pitch 9 innings of 2-run ball‚ but Lefty gets the win when Keith Moreland knocks in Larry Bowa in the 10th. For Carlton (22-8) it is his 6th win of the year against St. Louis.
September 24The Braves‚ with 24‚897 watching‚ beat the Astros 4-2 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium‚ pushing the Braves over the one million attendance mark for the season. The 11 other NL teams have already reached that milestone‚ making this the first season ever in which all the teams in one league have done so.
September 25San Diego’s Jerry Mumphrey steals his 50th base of the season in a 5-3 loss to the Reds‚ making the Padres the first team in major-league history to have 3 players with 50 steals in the same season-Mumphrey‚ Ozzie Smith‚ and Gene Richards.

In a 6-4 loss to the White Sox‚ Oakland’s Brian Kingman (7-20) loses his 20th game. Kingman will finish 8-20‚ the last 20-game loser of the century and the first to pitch for a winning team (Oakland will be 79-82) since Dolf Luque.
September 29In the race for the NL East title‚ the Phillies remain one-half game behind Montreal by scoring 3 times in the bottom of the 15th inning to beat the Cubs 6-5. Earlier in the day‚ the Expos defeated the Cardinals 5-2 on pinch hitter John Tamargo’s 3-run home run in the bottom of the 9th.
September 30A’s OF Rickey Henderson sets the AL single-season stolen base record with his 97th in a 5-1 win over the White Sox‚ breaking Ty Cobb‘s record of 96 set in 1915. Henderson will finish the season with 100 stolen bases.

After Seattle goes ahead 6-5 in the 14th‚ George Brett hits a 3-run homer‚ his 24th‚ to give Kansas City the 7-5 victory. Brett will finish the season with 24 homers and 22 strikeouts: only Barry Bonds in 2004 will have fewer strikeouts than homers (minimum 10 homers) since 1959. The loss goes to Mike Parrott (1-15) while Quissenberry (12-7) nails the win. The aply named Rick Honeycutt will earn an ejection in the 3rd inning for cutting the ball.

The smallest crowd in Shea Stadium history (1‚754) watches the Mets beat the Pirates 3-2.

In a 12-9 Cleveland win over the Yankees‚ the Tribe’s Ron Hassey has a double and HR in the 8-run 2nd inning. There are 4 homers in the game‚ including Reggie Jackson‘s 38th.

Dodger rookie Fernando Valenzuela wins his first ML game‚ beating the Giants‚ 4-1. Pedro Guerrero has a HR.


October 1Steve Carlton fires a two hitter and the Phils beat the Cubs‚ 5-0. Mike Vail‘s leadoff single in the 8th is the first hit off Carlton. Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski hit back-to-back homers in the 6th‚ off Dennis Lamp‚ as the Phils remain a half-game out of first place.

The first place Expos top the Cards‚ 8-0‚ as Steve Palmer strikes out 10 in the win.

Batting 9th‚ Milwaukee’s Charlie Moore hits for the cycle to lead the Brewers to a 10-7 win over the Angels.

In a battle of also rans‚ the Reds top the Padres‚ 2-1‚ when George Foster hits a 2-run homer in the 9th with no outs. Tom Seaver goes 8 innings‚ allowing 3 hits‚ 2 to Ozzie Smith. Smith finishes with 4 assists in the game and 4 in the next 3 games will set a ML record with 621 for the season‚ topping Glenn Wright‘s 1924 mark of 601.

Don Zimmer is fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox. Johnny Pesky will finish the season as interim manager. He’ll go 1-4.
October 2The Phillies move into a first-place tie with the Expos by beating Chicago 4-2. The 2 clubs will close out the season with 3 games in Montreal starting tomorrow.
October 3In Los Angeles‚ Houston opens a final 3-game series to determine the winner in the NL West. The Dodgers‚ behind by 3 games‚ tie the opening game 2-2 in the 9th‚ and win it in the 10th on a Joe Ferguson solo HR.
October 4Mike Schmidt’s 2-run home run in the top of the 11th inning gives Philadelphia a 6-4 win over Montreal‚ clinching the NL East title for the Phillies. The home run is Schmidt’s 48th of the season‚ breaking Eddie Mathews‘s single-season record for 3B set in 1953.

The Yankees clinch their 4th AL East title in 5 seasons‚ beating Detroit 5-2 in the first game of a doubleheader. Reggie Jackson hits his 41st home run of the season and will share the AL home run crown with Milwaukee’s Ben Oglivie.

In a 17-1 rout of the Twins‚ Kansas City’s Willie Wilson becomes the first ML player ever to be credited with 700 at-bats in one season. Wilson will post 705 at bats‚ the highest this century. 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 2nd player in history to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate‚ matching the feat accomplished by Garry Templeton in 1979. The loss ends Minnesota’s club-record 12-game winning streak.

The Dodgers break a 1-1 tie on a 4th inning HR from Steve Garvey to beat the Astros 2-1. Loser Nolan Ryan goes 11-10‚ while Jerry Reuss wins his 18th. Houston now leads by 1 game with 1 to play.

LaMarr Hoyt (9-3) of the White Sox stops California‚ 4-2‚ but the big attraction is DH Minnie Minoso‚ 57 (or 54‚ according to his autobiography). Facing Frank Tanana for the 2nd time in 5 years‚ Minnie goes 0-for-2. Minoso’s appearance‚ thanks to Bill Veeck‚ puts him with Nick Altrock as a 5-decade man in the ML. His next appearance will be for another Veeck team‚ St. Paul‚ in 1993.

Boston collects 22 hits but still loses to visiting Toronto‚ 7-6 in 17 innings. The Jays have 17 hits‚ including a game-tying 9th inning 2-run HR by Lloyd Moseby‚ off Bob Stanley. Stanley also gives up the game-winning hit to Dane Iorg in the 17th.
October 5Capping an improbable comeback‚ the Dodgers beat the Astros for the 3rd day in a row to force a one-game playoff for the NL West title. Ron Cey hits a 2-run HR in the 8th to win the game 4-3. Los Angeles trailed Houston by 3 games with 3 games left in the season‚ and won all 3 by a single run.

On the final day of the regular season‚ Seattle’s Mike Parrott surrenders an RBI double to the Rangers Johnny Grubb in the bottom of the 9th to lose 3-2. The loss is Parrott’s 16th in a row since winning on Opening Day.

John Castino‘s lead off single is the only hit for the Twins‚ who lose 4-0 to KC’s Paul Splittorff. Rich Gale finishes for KC.

Jerry Coleman is fired as manager of the last-place San Diego Padres. He will return to the club’s broadcasting booth‚ where he had spent the previous 8 seasons‚ and will be replaced by former Senators slugger Frank Howard.
October 6The Astros finally win‚ whipping the Dodgers 7-1 in a one-game playoff at Dodger Stadium. Art Howe drives in 4 runs with a HR and 2 singles and Joe Niekro wins his 20th game of the season to put Houston in the post-season for the first time since entering the major leagues in 1962.
October 7Phillies stars shine in the NLCS opener. Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw hold the Astros to one run‚ and Greg Luzinski cracks a 2-run homer. Final score is 3-1.
October 8Knotted in the 10th inning‚ Houston explodes for 4 runs. Philley gets one back‚ but it’s not enough as they lose 7-4.

Kansas City coasts in the first ALCS game‚ downing post-season rivals the Yankees 7-2.
October 9KC wins again‚ but this time they have to tag out Yankee Willie Randolph at the plate to end the game 3-2.
October 10A scoreless pitchers’ duel in Houston ends in the bottom of the 11th inning on Joe Morgan’s leadoff triple and Denny Walling‘s sacrifice ?y. Houston is up 2 games to one‚ but the win is costly as Cesar Cedeno injures an ankle.

George Brett puts Kansas City into its first World Series by belting a 3-run HR off the Yankees Rich Gossage in the 7th inning‚ giving the Royals a 4-2 win and a 3-game sweep of the LCS. It’s sweet revenge for 3 ALCS losses to the Bombers.
October 11In one of the most exciting and controversial games in playoff history‚ the Phillies tie the NLCS at 2 games apiece with a 10-inning 5-3 win over the Astros. In the 4th inning‚ Houston is deprived of an apparent triple play when the umpires rule that pitcher Vern Ruhle had trapped Garry Maddox‘s soft line drive. In the 6th‚ Houston loses a run when Gary Woods leaves the base early on Luis Pujol’s would-be sacrifice ?y.
October 12The Phillies capture their first NL title since 1950 with a 10-inning 8-7 win over the Astros in the 5th and final game of the NLCS. Each of the last 4 games was decided in extra innings. The Phils‚ down by 3 runs to Nolan Ryan in the 8th‚ rally‚ winning on Garry Maddox‘s double in the 10th.
October 14Philadelphia pitcher Bob Walk becomes the first rookie to start a World Series opener since Joe Black in 1952‚ and the Phillies rally from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Royals 7-6. Kansas City’s Willie Aikens hits a pair of homers‚ becoming only the 3rd player to do so in his first WS game. Bake McBride homers for the Phils.
October 15George Brett is forced out of game 2 of the World Series in the 6th inning with a severe case of hemorrhoids‚ and Philadelphia wins 6-4 to take a 2-0 lead. Brett will undergo surgery tomorrow and return for game 3. Mike Schmidt‘s RBI keys a 4-run rally in the 8th off ace Dan Quisenberry.
October 17Willie Aikens cracks his 1st ML triple drives in Willie Wilson in the 10th inning to give the Royals a 4-3 win in game 3 of the World Series. Quissenberry‚ with 2 1/3 innings of relief work‚ is the winner over McGraw. The Phils still lead the series‚ 2-1.

The Reds trade P Jay Howell to the Cubs for C Mike O’Berry. Howell will play 15 seasons while O’Berry will not ripen with the 6 teams he backstops for.
October 18Willie Aikens slugs 2 more home runs to lead the Royals to a 5-3 win and even the World Series at 2-2.
October 19A 9th-inning rally for 2 runs against Dan Quisenberry gives game 5 to the Phils by a 4-3 margin. Del Unser hits a pinch double in the frame to drive in Schmidt with the tying run and Manny Trillo then delivers a single for the game-winner.
October 21The Phillies win the first World Championship in their 98-year history by beating the Royals 4-1 in game 6 of the World Series. Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt is named MVP‚ hitting .381 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI‚ while KC’s Willie Wilson is the goat‚ striking out a record 12 times (including the final out of the series with the bases loaded) and hitting only .154.
October 26In a shocking announcement‚ Astros owner John McMullen fires president and GM Tal Smith‚ replacing him with Al Rosen‚ former GM of the Yankees. Smith will soon be named ML Executive of the Year. The move prompts a rebellion among the Astros 20 limited owners (who together own over 60 percent of the club)‚ and on November 24th McMullen will give up his sole authority to run the club‚ accepting a position on the club’s newly formed executive committee instead.

Ralph Houk‚ who managed the Yankees and Tigers for 16 years before retiring in 1978‚ is named manager of the Red Sox.


November 4Steve Carlton joins Sandy Koufax‚ Tom Seaver‚ and Jim Palmer as the only pitchers to win 3 Cy Young Awards‚ garnering 23 of 24 first-place votes to take NL honors. Carlton was 24-9 with a 2.34 ERA and led the NL with 286 strikeouts.

Forty-year-old Sadaharu Oh‚ professional baseball’s all-time home run king with 868 in 22 seasons in Japan‚ retires.
November 6Mariners GM Lou Gorman‚ who had been with the club since its inception‚ resigns to become vice president of the New York Mets.
November 12Baltimore’s Steve Stone‚ who led the AL in wins with a 25-7 record‚ edges Oakland’s Mike Norris for the AL Cy Young Award.

Don Zimmer is named manager of the Texas Rangers‚ becoming the 10th manager in the club’s 9-year history.
November 14Free-agent OF Claudell Washington signs a 5-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.
November 18Despite having missed 45 games with injuries‚ George Brett is named AL MVP. The 27-year-old third sacker’s .390 average was the highest in the ML since Ted Williams‘ .406 in 1941. He added 24 home runs and 118 RBI to lead Kansas City to its first AL pennant.

The Yankees trade C Brad Gulden and cash to Seattle for infielder Larry Milbourne and a player to be named. That player will turn out to be Gulden‚ who Seattle will ship back to the Yanks on May 18‚ 1981.
November 21Ending weeks of speculation that he would be fired despite having led the Yankees to 103 wins last season‚ manager Dick Howser “resigns” and is immediately replaced by GM Gene Michael.
November 26Mike Schmidt is a unanimous choice as NL MVP. The slugging 3B hit .286 with career highs of 48 home runs and 121 RBI.

Outfielder Ron LeFlore‚ who hit .257 with 97 stolen bases for the Expos last season‚ signs as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox.


December 1Dodgers pitcher Steve Howe wins the NL Rookie of the Year Award‚ edging the Expos Bill Gullickson and the Phillies Lonnie Smith. Howe was 7-9 with a 2.65 ERA and 17 saves.
December 3Don Sutton‚ 35‚ the winningest pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers‘ history‚ signs a 4-year contract with the Houston Astros. Sutton was 13-5 in 1980 with a league-leading 2.21 ERA.

Indians outfielder “Super Joe” Charboneau‚ who hit .289 with 23 HR and 87 RBI‚ is named AL Rookie of the Year.
December 8The Cardinals and Padres complete the first major trade at the annual winter meetings in Dallas‚ TX. Reliever Rollie Fingers‚ who won 11 games and saved 23 for San Diego in 1980‚ and 24-year-old catcher Terry Kennedy‚ who hit .254 for St. Louis‚ are the key components in the 11-player swap.
December 9Giants manager Dave Bristol is fired.

The Cubs trade reliever Bruce Sutter‚ the 1979 NL Cy Young Award winner‚ to the Cardinals for 3B Ken Reitz‚ OF-1B Leon Durham‚ and a player to be named.

The Pirates trade P Bert Blyleven and C Manny Sanguillen to the Indians for P Bob Owchinko‚ P Victor Cruz‚ C Gary Alexander‚ and minor league P Rafael Vasquez.
December 10The Red Sox trade SS Rick Burleson and 3B Butch Hobson to the Angels for 3B Carney Lansford‚ CF Rick Miller‚ and P Mark Clear.
December 12The Cardinals make their 3rd major trade‚ sending the recently acquired P Rollie Fingers‚ C Ted Simmons‚ and P Pete Vuckovich to the Brewers in exchange for P Lary Sorensen‚ OF Sixto Lezcano‚ and minor leaguers OF David Green and P Dave LaPoint. Fingers and Vuckovich will win the AL Cy Young Award for the Brewers in 1981 and 1982‚ respectively.
December 13The Cubs send Mike Vail to the Reds in exchange for Hector Cruz.
December 15Outfielder Dave Winfield becomes the highest-paid player in baseball when he signs a 10-year‚ $15 million contract with the New York Yankees.
December 18Ferguson Jenkins is convicted on cocaine possession charges in a Canadian court‚ but has the verdict immediately erased by Judge Gerald Young because of his years of “exemplary” conduct.
December 23The Orioles sign free agent OF Jim Dwyer.