1980 American League Championship Series

The 1980 American League Championship Series featured the Kansas City Royals facing the team that had defeated them three straight years in the ALCS from 1976–78, the New York Yankees.

1980 American League Championship Series
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Kansas City Royals (3) Jim Frey 97–65, .599, GA: 14
New York Yankees (0) Dick Howser 103–59, .636, GA: 3
DatesOctober 8–10
MVPFrank White (Kansas City)
UmpiresSteve Palermo, Joe Brinkman, Larry McCoy, Bill Haller, Ken Kaiser, George Maloney
TV announcersAl Michaels, Billy Martin and Jim Palmer
Radio announcersErnie Harwell and Curt Gowdy


New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals

Kansas City won the series, 3–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 8 New York Yankees – 2, Kansas City Royals – 7 Royals Stadium 3:00 42,598[1] 
2 October 9 New York Yankees – 2, Kansas City Royals – 3 Royals Stadium 2:51 42,633[2] 
3 October 10 Kansas City Royals – 4, New York Yankees – 2 Yankee Stadium 2:59 56,588[3]

Game summaries

Game 1

Wednesday, October 8, 1980 2:00 pm (CT) at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 1
Kansas City 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 2 X 7 10 0
WP: Larry Gura (1–0)   LP: Ron Guidry (0–1)
Home runs:
NYY: Rick Cerone (1), Lou Piniella (1)
KC: George Brett (1)

The series opener saw the Yankees throw their ace, Ron Guidry, against the Royals' Larry Gura. In the top of the second, the Bronx Bombers jumped out to a 2–0 lead when Rick Cerone and Lou Piniella smacked back-to-back home runs. However, in the bottom of the inning, the Royals struck back. Amos Otis singled to center and stole second, and John Wathan walked. A wild pitch moved Otis to third and Wathan to second, and Frank White doubled both men home to tie the game.

The Royals moved ahead in the third, when George Brett walked and moved to third on a ground-rule double by Otis. A single by Willie Aikens plated both Brett and Otis, chasing Guidry from the game. Brett added a home run off Ron Davis in the seventh, and a Willie Wilson double off Tom Underwood in the eighth scored Darrell Porter and White to give Kansas City a 7–2 lead. The Yankees, meanwhile, could not score against Gura after the back-to-back home runs of the second inning, and the Royals' hurler went the distance as his team drew first blood in the series with a 7–2 victory.

Game 2

Thursday, October 9, 1980 7:15 pm (CT) at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 8 0
Kansas City 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 X 3 6 0
WP: Dennis Leonard (1–0)   LP: Rudy May (0–1)   Sv: Dan Quisenberry (1)
Home runs:
NYY: Graig Nettles (1)
KC: None

Game 2 proved to be much more exciting after the Royals blowout of Game 1. For this contest, the Yankees sent Rudy May to the hill to face the Royals' Dennis Leonard.

Kansas City opened the scoring in the bottom of the third, as Darrell Porter and Frank White reached base with consecutive singles. Willie Wilson followed with a triple to right to bring both runners in, and then scored himself on a double to center field by shortstop U L Washington. The Yankees came back with two in the fifth, with Graig Nettles hitting an inside-the-park home run and Willie Randolph lashing a double to right to score Bobby Brown.

The eighth inning, however, proved to be the most memorable inning of the game, with the Royals clinging to their 3–2 lead and the Yankees threatening. Willie Randolph singled, and with two outs Bob Watson ripped a liner to deep left field. Confident in Randolph's speed, Yankee third base coach Mike Ferraro decided to wave Randolph home. Left fielder Willie Wilson overthrew his cutoff man, 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. Television cameras panned the stands where Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner and General Manager Gene Michael were sitting. A furious Steinbrenner appeared to shout Ferraro's name as he turned to Michael.[4] The Royals ended up winning that game by a 3–2 margin and Steinbrenner continued to fume over the play.

Game 3

Friday, October 10, 1980 8:15 pm (ET) at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 4 12 1
New York 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 8 0
WP: Dan Quisenberry (1–0)   LP: Goose Gossage (0–1)
Home runs:
KC: Frank White (1), George Brett (2)
NYY: None

With a 2–0 series lead, the Royals headed to Yankee Stadium for Game 3. The Royals led 1-0 on Frank White's fifth-inning homer until the bottom of the sixth inning when Oscar Gamble hit a ground ball up the middle with Reggie Jackson on second. Eventual ALCS MVP Frank White ranged far to his right to field the ball, and knowing he could not throw out Gamble at first, attempted an off balance throw to third to hopefully catch Jackson rounding the bag. However, the throw by White, a multiple Gold Glove winner, was too high and Royals third baseman George Brett could not catch it. Jackson scored on the play and Gamble was given third base after the ball rolled into the dugout. Gamble later scored on a single by Rick Cerone and the Yankees gained a 2–1 advantage.

Holding on to a 2–1 lead in the seventh inning, pitcher Tommy John gave up a two-out double to Willie Wilson. Yankee manager Dick Howser brought in hard-throwing Goose Gossage, who gave up a single to U L Washington, bringing up George Brett. Brett had wowed the majors during the year, flirting with a .400 batting average, holding an average above .400 as late as September 19 before finishing the year at .390. Brett blasted a Gossage fastball into the upper deck, a three-run home run which stunned the Yankee Stadium crowd. The Royals had a 4–2 lead with All-Star reliever Dan Quisenberry on the mound.

The Yankees mounted a major threat in the eighth, loading the bases with no one out. Quisenberry then got Rick Cerone to 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, getting revenge on the team that had eliminated them for three straight years.

Composite box

1980 ALCS (3–0): Kansas City Royals over New York Yankees

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City Royals 0 2 5 0 1 0 4 2 0 14 28 1
New York Yankees 0 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 6 26 1
Total attendance: 141,819   Average attendance: 47,273


Dick Howser was fired shortly after the conclusion of the 1980 ALCS.[5][6] Ironically, Howser would go on to win the 1985 World Series as manager of Kansas City. After losing the 1981 World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers (whom they had beaten in consecutive World Series in 1977 and 1978 after besting the Royals for the American League crown), the Yankees would not again appear in the Fall Classic until winning in 1996 under veteran manager Joe Torre—in a coincidental twist, their best subsequent opportunity prior to 1996 was also during a strike-shortened season: when the 1994 season prematurely ended, the Yankees had the best record in the American League, which was also the second best in baseball.[7][8][9]

This would also be the last time the Yankees would be swept in a postseason series for 32 years.

Four men involved with the 1980 ALCS (Dick Howser, Bobby Murcer, Johnny Oates, and Dan Quisenberry) have died of brain cancer. (Tug McGraw and John Vukovich of the Philadelphia Phillies, who defeated the Royals in that year's World Series, also succumbed to the disease, as did Ken Brett, who pitched for Kansas City in the 1980–81 regular seasons.)


  1. ^ "1980 ALCS Game 1 – New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "1980 ALCS Game 2 – New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "1980 ALCS Game 3 – Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ Anderson, Dave (October 10, 1980). "Steinbrenner Criticizes His Third Base Coach". The New York Times. p. A28.
  5. ^ Chass, Murray (November 5, 1980). "Howser Weighing Decision on Future". The New York Times. p. A27.
  6. ^ "Howser quits as Yanks' manager". The Globe and Mail. Associated Press. November 22, 1980. p. S9.
  7. ^ Curry, Jack (September 15, 1994). "All the Magic Is Gone From the Yankees' Numbers". The New York Times. p. B11. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  8. ^ Curry, Jack (August 7, 1994). "Flashback to '81: Another Lead, Another Strike". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  9. ^ Kawakami, Tim (August 10, 1994). "'81, '94 Yankees Both Winners but Worlds Apart in Personality". The Los Angeles Times. p. C2. Those who followed the 1981 New York Yankees...can't help but notice potential similarities with this year's first-place Yankee club.

External links

2012 American League Championship Series

The 2012 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the New York Yankees against the Detroit Tigers for the American League pennant and the right to play in the 2012 World Series. The series, the 43rd in league history, began on Saturday, October 13 in New York and ended on Thursday, October 18 in Detroit. The Tigers swept the Yankees, winning the series 4–0. TBS televised all games in the United States. In global markets, MLB International broadcast the ALCS in its entirety, with long-time Baltimore Orioles announcer Gary Thorne and ESPN's Rick Sutcliffe calling the games.

This was the third postseason meeting between the Yankees and the Tigers, but the first in the ALCS. The Tigers previously beat the Yankees in the 2006 ALDS (3–1) and the 2011 ALDS (3–2). The last appearance for each team in the ALCS resulted in a loss to the Texas Rangers; the Yankees in the 2010 ALCS and the Tigers in the 2011 ALCS.

The Tigers would go on to lose in a sweep to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

2012 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 2012 throughout the world.

Bob Watson

Robert José Watson (born April 10, 1946) is an American former professional baseball player and sports executive.

Watson was a first baseman and left fielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves from 1966 to 1984. Watson was credited with scoring the millionth run in baseball history, although this was later found to be incorrect. Watson coached baseball after retiring as a player. After a return to the Yankees serving as general manager, the team won the 1996 World Series. He served as MLB's vice president in charge of discipline and vice president of rules and on-field operations until 2010.

Jim Frey

James Gottfried Frey (born May 26, 1931 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former manager and coach in Major League Baseball. He led the Kansas City Royals to their first American League championship in 1980, in his first year with the team. In the World Series, they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, who won their first World Series championship.

Larry Gura

Lawrence Cyril Gura (; born November 26, 1947 in Joliet, Illinois) is a left-handed former pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1970 to 1985. He won a national championship at Arizona State University and spent 16 years in the Major Leagues. He played for the Chicago Cubs (1970–1973, 1985) of the National League, and the New York Yankees (1974–1975) and Kansas City Royals (1976–1985), both of the American League. He was inducted into the inaugural Joliet Hall of Fame in Joliet, Illinois.

He was elected to the American League All-Star team in 1980 when he had his finest season, finishing with an 18–10 record and a 2.95 ERA. Gura won in double figures for seven consecutive seasons for the Royals (1978–1984) compiling 99 wins over that span. He particularly pestered his former team, the Yankees, against whom he went 11–6 in the regular season as a Royal. Gura was 3–0 against them in both 1979 and 1980, with five complete games, and tossed another complete-game victory against the Bronx Bombers in the 1980 American League Championship Series.

Gura was named Royals pitcher of the year two times.

Gura was the Royals' starting pitcher for Games 2 and 5 of the 1980 World Series.

He finished with a 126–97 career record, 24 saves and an earned run average of 3.76. Gura was also an exceptional fielding pitcher, committing only 7 errors in 483 total chances for a career .986 fielding percentage.

He won 18 games in a season twice including the 1980 season. He ranks in the Royals all time top 10 in games started (219), innings pitched (1,701.1) and though not a dominant strikeout artist, he still struck out 633 batters in a Royal uniform.

Mike Ferraro

Michael Dennis Ferraro (born August 18, 1944 in Kingston, New York) is an American former Major League Baseball third baseman. He played for the New York Yankees (1966; 1968), Seattle Pilots (1969), and the Milwaukee Brewers (1972). Ferraro threw and batted right-handed, stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg).

Paul Splittorff

Paul William Splittorff, Jr. (; October 8, 1946 – May 25, 2011) was a Major League Baseball starting pitcher who spent his entire career with the Kansas City Royals. Listed at 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), Splittorff batted and threw left-handed.

Willie Aikens

Willie Mays Aikens (born October 14, 1954) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman. He had established himself as one of the top sluggers in the game before drugs derailed his career. In 1994, Aikens was sentenced to twenty years in prison on four counts of crack cocaine distribution and one count of use of a firearm during drug trafficking. He was released on June 4, 2008, after changes in federal drug laws, and is sometimes cited as an example of the results of mandatory minimum sentencing in drug-related crimes.

Willie Wilson (baseball)

Willie James Wilson (born July 9, 1955) is a former professional baseball player. He played nineteen seasons in Major League Baseball for the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, and Chicago Cubs. He was an outfielder known for his speed and ability as an effective leadoff hitter. Wilson's career total of 668 stolen bases currently ranks him in 12th place all-time among major leaguers.

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