1980 American League Championship Series
alcs = yes
year = 1980
Kansas City Royals(3)
champion_games = 97-65, .599, GA: 14
New York Yankees(0)
runnerup_games = 103-59, .636, GA: 3
October 8– October 10
MVP = Frank White (Kansas City)
television = ABC
Al Michaels, Billy Martin, and Jim Palmer
radio_network = CBS Radio
Ernie Harwelland Curt Gowdy
Steve Palermo, Joe Brinkman, Larry McCoy, Bill Haller, Ken Kaiser, George MaloneyThe by|1980 American League Championship Seriesfaced the 97-65 Kansas City Royalsagainst the team that had defeated them three straight years in the ALCS from 1976-1978, the 103-59 New York Yankees.
Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees
Kansas City wins the series, 3-0
October 8, 1980at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, MissouriLinescore
Larry Gura(1-0)|LP= Ron Guidry(0-1)|SV=
Rick Cerone(1), Lou Piniella(1)|HomeHR=George Brett (1)|
October 9, 1980at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, MissouriLinescore
Dennis Leonard(1-0)|LP= Rudy May(0-1)|SV= Dan Quisenberry(1)
Game 2 proved to be much more exciting. With the Royals clinging to a 3-2 lead, the Yankees threatened in the eighth.
Willie Randolphsingled, and with two outs Bob Watsonripped a liner to deep left field. Confident in Randolph's speed, Yankee third base coach Mike Ferrarodecided to wave Randolph home. Left fielder Willie Wilson overthrew his cutoff man, shortstop U L Washington, but third baseman George Brett made a heads-up play by backing up Washington. He then whirled and threw Randolph out at the plate. The Royals ended up winning by that 3-2 margin, and after the game Yankees owner George Steinbrennerwas furious at his third base coach.
October 10, 1980at Yankee Stadiumin New York, New YorkLinescore
Dan Quisenberry(1-0)|LP= Rich Gossage(0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=George Brett (2), Frank White (1)|HomeHR=|
With a 2-0 series lead, the Royals headed to
Yankee Stadiumfor Game 3. Holding on to a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning, pitcher Tommy Johngave up a two-out double to Willie Wilson. Yankee manager Dick Howserbrought in hard-throwing Goose Gossage, who gave up a single to U L Washington, bringing up Brett. Brett had wowed the majors during the year, flirting with batting .400 before finishing the year at .390.
Brett blasted a Gossage fastball into the upper deck, stunning the Yankee Stadium crowd. The Royals had a 4-2 lead with All-Star reliever
Dan Quisenberryon the mound. The Yankees mounted a major threat in the eighth, loading the bases with no one out. Quisenberry then got Rick Ceroneto line into a double play and the next batter to ground out to close out the inning. The ninth went one-two-three as the Royals and the long-suffering Kansas City baseball fans finally won the American League Pennant.
1980 ALCS (3-0):
Kansas City Royalsover New York YankeesLinescore
Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees
| Total Attendance: 141,819 Average Attendance: 47,273
Steinbrenner had wanted third base coach
Mike Ferrarofired immediately after the conclusion of Game 2 of the 1980 ALCS, because the Yankees had lost after Ferraro had waved Willie Randolphhome on a double by Bob Watsonwith two outs in the top of the eighth inning and the Yankees down 3-2. Randolph had been thrown out at home-plate by George Brett, prompting Steinbrenner to jump out of his seat and shout what appeared to be profanities on live national television. Yankees manager Dick Howserrefused Steinbrenner's demand.
Steinbrenner's behavior was reminiscent of that of
Oakland Asowner Charles O. Finleyduring the 1973 World Series. During Game 2 of the '73 Series, Finley attempted to "fire" second-baseman Mike Andrewsfor his two errors in extra innings that allowed the New York Metsto win the game, 10-7. Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhnintervened and fined Finley. Despite winning his second consecutive World Series as skipper of the A's, manager Dick Williams, fed up with Finley's constant meddling, announced his resignation minutes after the deciding seventh game.
After the Yankees were swept in three games after having beaten Kansas City in the ALCS in 1976, '77, and '78, Steinbrenner did not afford Howser the dignity of being permitted to resign. Instead, "The Boss" fired Howser shortly after the conclusion of the 1980 ALCS. Ironically, Howser would go on to win the
1985 World Seriesas manager of Kansas City. After losing the 1981 World Seriesto the Los Angeles Dodgers(whom they had beaten in consecutive World Series in the 1977 and 1978 after besting the Royals for the American League crown), the Yankees would not again appear in the Fall Classic until 1996 under veteran manager Joe Torre, who in 1980 was serving a thankless managerial apprenticeship with the Yankees' cross-borough rivals the Mets, trying to rebuild a franchise racked and nearly ruined under the regime of curmudgeonly general manager M. Donald Grant, the man who traded Mets' pitching stalwart Tom Seaverto the Reds.
A postscript to the Brett-Gossage matchup came three years later in a regular season game, in which would transpire the
Pine Tar Incident. On July 24, 1983, the two superstars faced each other again, and again Brett homered, this time in the ninth to give the Royals a 5-4 lead in the game. But after umpire Tim McClelland, upon the request of Yankees manager Billy Martin(then in his third stint as Yankees manager), inspected Brett's bat, the umpire discovered that pine tar had been applied above the area allowed by the rules. McClelland, shown a copy of the rules book by Martin, called Brett out. Brett charged out of the dugout in a rage, and Royals manager Dick Howser protested, but to no avail. The Yankees would end up winning 4-3.
American LeaguePresident Leland S. MacPhail, Jr. later ruled that the home run should stand, and all the players went back out onto the field at Yankee Stadium on August 18and played out the game with the runs put back on the board. The Royals ended up winning the game, but it was rather anticlimactic as neither team would come close to making it to the playoffs that year.
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