The 1980 National League Championship Series was played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros from October 7 to 12. Philadelphia won the series three games to two to advance to the World Series, eventually defeating the Kansas City Royals for their first World Championship. The 1980 NLCS is widely regarded as one of the most exciting postseason series in baseball history. The last four games went into extra innings; Game 1, the only one that went 9 innings, ended in a 3–1 Philadelphia victory.
|1980 National League Championship Series|
|MVP||Manny Trillo (Philadelphia)|
|Umpires||Bob Engel, Terry Tata, Bruce Froemming, Doug Harvey, Ed Vargo, Jerry Crawford|
KRIV-TV (Astros' broadcast)
WPHL-TV (Phillies' broadcast)
|TV announcers||ABC: Keith Jackson, Don Drysdale and Howard Cosell|
KRIV-TV: Gene Elston, Dewayne Staats, and Larry Dierker
WPHL-TV: Harry Kalas, Andy Musser, Richie Ashburn, and Tim McCarver
|Radio announcers||Jack Buck and Jerry Coleman|
Ramón Avilés, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Warren Brusstar, Marty Bystrom, Steve Carlton, Larry Christenson, Greg Gross, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, Bake McBride, Tug McGraw, Keith Moreland, Dickie Noles, Ron Reed, Pete Rose, Dick Ruthven, Kevin Saucier, Mike Schmidt, Lonnie Smith, Manny Trillo, Del Unser, George Vukovich.
Joaquín Andújar, Alan Ashby, Dave Bergman, Bruce Bochy, Enos Cabell, César Cedeño, José Cruz, Ken Forsch, Danny Heep, Art Howe, Frank LaCorte, Rafael Landestoy, Jeffrey Leonard, Joe Morgan, Joe Niekro, Terry Puhl, Luis Pujols, Craig Reynolds, Vern Ruhle, Nolan Ryan, Joe Sambito, Dave Smith, Denny Walling, Gary Woods.
Philadelphia won the series, 3–2.
|1||October 7||Houston Astros – 1, Philadelphia Phillies – 3||Veterans Stadium||2:35||65,277|
|2||October 8||Houston Astros – 7, Philadelphia Phillies – 4 (10 innings)||Veterans Stadium||3:34||65,476|
|3||October 10||Philadelphia Phillies – 0, Houston Astros – 1 (11 innings)||Astrodome||3:22||44,443|
|4||October 11||Philadelphia Phillies – 5, Houston Astros – 3 (10 innings)||Astrodome||3:55||44,952|
|5||October 12||Philadelphia Phillies – 8, Houston Astros – 7 (10 innings)||Astrodome||3:38||44,802|
|WP: Steve Carlton (1–0) LP: Ken Forsch (0–1) Sv: Tug McGraw (1)|
PHI: Greg Luzinski (1)
Game 1 was the most ordinary contest of the series. Starters Ken Forsch and Steve Carlton dueled for the first five innings, with only one run scored by Houston in the third on an RBI single by Gary Woods. Philadelphia's Greg Luzinski essentially decided the game in the sixth when he homered after Pete Rose had singled. This was the only home run of the entire series. The Phillies added another run in the seventh on a run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Greg Gross. Tug McGraw relieved Carlton at the start of the eighth and allowed only a walk over the last two innings for the save. Despite pitching fairly well in a complete game effort, Forsch took the loss.
The Astros arrived in Philadelphia only hours before the first pitch after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in a one-game playoff the previous afternoon to win the Western Division championship. It was the fourth consecutive game in Los Angeles for the club, as the Dodgers swept Houston in the final three games of the regular season to force the playoff.
This was the first home postseason win for the Phillies since the 1915 World Series.
|WP: Frank LaCorte (1–0) LP: Ron Reed (0–1) Sv: Joaquín Andújar (1)|
Houston evened the series in Game 2, a seesaw contest that would prove typical of the series as a whole. Houston opened the scoring in the third when Terry Puhl singled home Craig Reynolds after a sacrifice bunt by Nolan Ryan. The Phillies took the lead with two runs in the fourth on RBIs from Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox. Houston evened the score in the seventh when Ryan walked and was doubled home by Puhl, and went ahead in the eighth after Joe Morgan doubled and scored on a single by José Cruz.
After loading the bases in the seventh but failing to score, the Phillies got a run in the eighth to tie the game 3–3 when Maddox singled home pinch-runner Lonnie Smith. The Astros went 1-2-3 in the ninth but the Phillies loaded the bases with one out in their half of the inning on singles by Bake McBride, Mike Schmidt and Smith. But Manny Trillo, who would eventually win the series MVP award, struck out and Maddox fouled out to end the threat.
The tenth inning turned disastrous for the Phillies as Houston used three hits to score four runs, with an RBI single by Cruz, a run-scoring groundout by César Cedeño, and a two-run triple by Dave Bergman. The Phillies got an unearned run in the bottom of the inning on an error by Reynolds at shortstop. But Astros reliever Joaquín Andújar came in and held on for the save to tie the series at 1-1.
|WP: Dave Smith (1–0) LP: Tug McGraw (0–1)|
Houston's Astrodome was always known as a pitcher's park, and the domed stadium lived up to its reputation when the series moved there for Game 3. The two teams' pitching staffs combined to yield only thirteen hits and one run in the game's eleven innings. Houston's Joe Niekro pitched ten strong innings but missed out on what would have been a win, while Phillies closer Tug McGraw took the loss. Both teams did get men to third on a few occasions: Houston in the first and fourth and Philadelphia in the third. But the staffs held firm until the bottom of the eleventh. Joe Morgan led off the inning for the Astros with a triple to right. After two intentional walks Denny Walling hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the game's only run and give Houston the victory. The Astros were now just one win away from the franchise's first-ever appearance in the World Series.
|WP: Warren Brusstar (1–0) LP: Joe Sambito (0–1) Sv: Tug McGraw (2)|
In what was by now a familiar pattern, Game 4 turned into a back-and-forth contest that wasn't decided until extra innings.
The fourth inning of this game was especially eventful. In the top, Bake McBride and Manny Trillo opened with back-to-back singles off Vern Ruhle. Garry Maddox then hit a low liner back to the mound that Ruhle reached down and appeared to catch (replays were inconclusive). At first, plate umpire Doug Harvey signaled "no catch", but then when Ruhle threw to first baseman Art Howe to either double off Trillo or retire Maddox (according to the call), Harvey called time to confer with the other umpires. Ed Vargo and Bob Engel concurred that Ruhle caught the ball, and Harvey changed his ruling. Howe, seeing McBride at third base, then ran down and touched second for an apparent triple play and the Astros left the field as the inning was apparently over. Phillies manager Dallas Green and the Phillie infielders (especially Pete Rose) heatedly protested that Ruhle trapped the ball. Harvey allowed McBride to return to second, determining that his original ruling of "no catch" caused McBride to run to third. (Trillo was out, of course, having been doubled off first in the normal flow of the play). Astros manager Bill Virdon protested the decision to declare only two outs and McBride on second, but to no avail. The umpires then consulted with National League President Chub Feeney, who was seated in the first row behind home plate, and Feeney agreed with the ruling. Green and the Phillies then resumed their heated disagreement, and both the Phillies and the Astros decided to play the game under protest. After a total of 20 minutes worth of arguing from both sides, Larry Bowa grounded out for the third out of the inning.
The bottom of the fourth featured two fielding gaffes by Phillie left fielder Lonnie Smith as the Astros got their first run. Enos Cabell doubled to left on what appeared to be a catchable fly ball. Smith mistakenly turned to face the left field wall as if the ball would carom, but the ball instead dropped on the warning track a few feet away from him. After Joe Morgan grounded Cabell to third, Gary Woods walked. Howe then hit a fly ball to left that Smith caught as both runners tagged. As Smith attempted to throw home to retire Cabell, the ball slipped from his hand and Cabell scored. Woods reached second and attempted to advance to third on the miscue, but Smith recovered the ball and threw him out on a close play as the Astros protested once again.
The Astros got another run in the fifth as Luis Pujols tripled and scored on a single by Rafael Landestoy. In what would prove to be critical failings, the Astros loaded the bases in both the sixth and seventh but couldn't add to their lead. In the sixth, a run for the Astros was taken off the board when Woods left third base too early on a sacrifice fly attempt and the Phillies successfully appealed.
The Phillies took advantage by going ahead with three runs in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Greg Gross and Smith opened the inning with singles off Ruhle and Rose singled in Gross. Smith advanced to third and Rose to second on the throw to third. Mike Schmidt then beat out a grounder up the middle, scoring Smith to tie it and moving Rose to third. After McBride struck out, Trillo hit a sinking line drive that Jeffrey Leonard made a shoestring catch on and Rose tagged and scored the go-ahead run. However, on yet another "catch/no catch" controversy, Schmidt was doubled off first (ending the inning), thinking Leonard trapped the ball.
The Astros didn't go quietly and leveled the score in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Terry Puhl. But the tenth was ruinous for Houston. With two out and the score tied at 3-3, the Phillies' Greg Luzinski entered as a pinch hitter and doubled home Rose with the go-ahead run on a close play at the plate, with Rose running over Astros catcher Bruce Bochy. Manny Trillo then singled home Luzinski with an insurance tally. The Astros went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the tenth, and the series was tied. This was Luzinski's second game-winning hit in the Championship Series, coming after a subpar regular season for the slugger.
Game 4 of the series was a Saturday afternoon affair that ran into the early evening of October 11. A NCAA football game between the University of Houston and Texas A&M had been scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. Rather than move the game to a different day or to another stadium, the schools elected to play the game at the Astrodome as scheduled. The conversion of the Astrodome from baseball to football took several hours and the football game did not kick off until 11:33 p.m. The game ended at 2:41 a.m. with the Houston Cougars taking a 17–13 victory over Texas A&M. The Astrodome crew then began work on converting the Dome back to a baseball setup for Game 5 of the NLCS.
|WP: Dick Ruthven (1–0) LP: Frank LaCorte (1–1)|
Game 5 capped the series in fitting fashion, with seemingly endless surprises and excitement. The Astros jumped to an early lead in the first on a run-scoring double by José Cruz. Philadelphia bounced back to take the lead on a two-run single by Bob Boone in the second. The Astros saw Luis Pujols and Enos Cabell thrown out at the plate in the second and fifth, but finally broke through to tie the game at 2 on an unearned run in the sixth, due to an error by Philadelphia's LF Greg Luzinski.
Houston took what seemed like a solid 5–2 lead in the seventh on an RBI single by Denny Walling, a wild pitch from Phillies reliever Larry Christenson, and a run-scoring triple by Art Howe. A three-run deficit in the eighth inning against Nolan Ryan seemed insurmountable. But the Phillies would not die. They loaded the bases with nobody out on three straight singles, including an infield hit by Bob Boone and a bunt single by Greg Gross. Two runs came in on a walk to Pete Rose and a ground-out by Keith Moreland. An RBI single by Del Unser tied the game at 5, and then series MVP Manny Trillo put the Phillies ahead with a two-run triple.
The Astros promptly came back to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, with Rafael Landestoy and José Cruz each singling in a run. Neither team scored in the ninth, but the Phillies got doubles from Unser and Garry Maddox in the tenth to take an 8–7 lead. Philadelphia's Dick Ruthven retired the Astros in order in the bottom of the tenth the last out being a soft liner to Maddox, and the Phillies had won their first pennant since 1950, while the Astros had to wait 25 years before they would make a World Series appearance. Philadelphia went on to defeat the Kansas City Royals four games to two in the World Series.
|Total attendance: 264,950 Average attendance: 52,990|
Alan Dean Ashby (born July 8, 1951) is an American former professional baseball player and current radio and television sports commentator. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and Houston Astros between 1973 and 1989. He was the catcher for two Astros teams that won division pennants. After retiring as a player, Ashby was a manager in the Texas-Louisiana League and has held several jobs in broadcasting, including his most recent job as the lead color commentator for the Houston Astros.Extra innings
Extra innings is the extension of a baseball or softball game in order to break a tie.
Ordinarily, a baseball game consists of nine innings (in softball and high school baseball games there are typically seven innings; in Little League Baseball, six), each of which is divided into halves: the visiting team bats first, after which the home team takes its turn at bat. However, if the score remains tied at the end of the regulation number of complete innings, the rules provide that "play shall continue until (1) the visiting team has scored more total runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning; or (2) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning." (Since the home team bats second, condition (2) implies that the visiting team will not have the opportunity to score more runs before the end of the inning).
The rules of the game, including the batting order, availability of substitute players and pitchers, etc., remain intact in extra innings. Managers must display caution to avoid exhausting all their substitute players during regular innings, in case the game reaches extensive extra innings. The rules call for a forfeiture if a team is unable to field a full team of nine players.Frank LaCorte
Frank Joseph LaCorte (born October 13, 1951) is an American former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1975–1984 for the Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, and California Angels. A right-hander, he stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 180 pounds (82 kg).Greg Gross
Gregory Eugene Gross (born August 1, 1952), is an American former professional baseball outfielder / pinch hitter, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, and Philadelphia Phillies, from 1973–1989. He was previously the Phillies’ hitting coach and is currently a coach for the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate.
Gross is perhaps best remembered for his clutch pinch hitting abilities, particularly during the Phillies’ 1980 World Championship run. He holds the team’s record in career pinch hits, with 117. Gross also ranks fifth on MLB’s all-time list in career pinch hits, with 143.Greg Luzinski
Gregory Michael "The Bull" Luzinski (born November 22, 1950) is an American former professional baseball player, who played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.
Luzinski was a left fielder who spent the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies (1970–80), and retired as a member of the Chicago White Sox (1981–84).Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division, having moved to the division in 2013 after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League (NL). The Astros have played their home games at Minute Maid Park since 2000.The Astros were established as the Houston Colt .45s and entered the National League as an expansion team in 1962 along with the New York Mets. The current name—reflecting Houston's role as the control center of the U.S. crewed space program—was adopted three years later, when they moved into the Astrodome, the first domed sports stadium, and the so-called "eighth wonder of the world."
The Astros played in the NL from 1962 to 2012, first in the West Division from 1969 to 1993, followed by the Central Division from 1994 to 2012. The team was reclassified to the AL West from 2013 onward. While a member of the NL, the Houston Astros played in one World Series in 2005, losing in four games to the Chicago White Sox. In 2017, they became the first franchise in MLB history to have won a pennant in both the NL and the AL, when they defeated the New York Yankees in the ALCS. They won the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning four games to three, earning the team, and the state of Texas, its first World Series title.Joaquín Andújar
Joaquín Andújar (Spanish: [xoaˈkin anˈduxaɾ]; December 21, 1952 – September 8, 2015) was a Dominican professional baseball pitcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, and Oakland Athletics from 1976 through 1988. Andújar was a four-time MLB All-Star and a Gold Glove Award winner.Keith Jackson
Keith Max Jackson (October 18, 1928 – January 12, 2018) was an American sports commentator, journalist, author and radio personality, known for his career with ABC Sports (1966–2006). While he covered a variety of sports over his career, he is best known for his coverage of college football from 1952 until 2006, and his distinctive voice, "a throwback voice, deep and operatic. A voice that was to college football what Edward R. Murrow's was to war. It was the voice of ultimate authority in his profession."Luis Pujols
Luis Bienvenido Pujols Toribio (born November 18, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball catcher and manager. Though he batted just .193 over his career, he managed to put together a nine-year career as a back-up catcher thanks to his exceptional defensive abilities. He is the cousin of Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols.Manny Trillo
Jesús Manuel Marcano Trillo (born December 25, 1950), also nicknamed "Indio", is a Venezuelan former professional baseball second baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Oakland Athletics (1973–1974), Chicago Cubs (1975–1978, 1986–1988), Philadelphia Phillies ((1979–1982), Cleveland Indians (1983), Montreal Expos (1983), San Francisco Giants (1984–1985), and Cincinnati Reds (1989). A four-time All-Star, he was the Phillies' starting second baseman when the franchise won its first-ever World Series Championship in 1980. He was known as one of the best fielding second basemen of his era, with a strong throwing arm.Mike Schmidt
Michael Jack Schmidt (born September 27, 1949) is an American former professional baseball third baseman who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies. Schmidt was a twelve-time All-Star and a three-time winner of the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player award (MVP), and he was known for his combination of power hitting and strong defense. As a hitter, he compiled 548 home runs and 1,595 runs batted in (RBIs), and led the NL in home runs eight times and in RBIs four times. As a fielder, Schmidt won the National League Gold Glove Award for third basemen ten times. Schmidt was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 and is often considered the greatest third baseman in baseball history.Having an unusual batting stance, Schmidt turned his back somewhat toward the pitcher and rocked his rear end back-and-forth while waiting for a pitch. By standing far back in the batter's box, he made it almost impossible to jam him by pitching inside. Schmidt was one of the best athletes of his era; teammate Pete Rose once said, "To have his body, I'd trade him mine and my wife's, and I'd throw in some cash."Ron Reed
Ronald Lee Reed (born November 2, 1942) is a former two sport star who spent two seasons as a forward in the National Basketball Association before spending nearly two decades as a Major League Baseball pitcher.Sports-related curses
A sports-related curse is a superstitious belief in the effective action of some power or evil, that is used to explain the failures or misfortunes of specific sports teams, players, or even cities. Teams, players, and cities often cite a "curse" for many negative things, such as their inability to win a sports championship, or unexpected injuries.Tug McGraw
Frank Edwin "Tug" McGraw, Jr. (August 30, 1944 – January 5, 2004) was an American professional baseball relief pitcher and the father of Country music singer and actor Tim McGraw. As a Major League Baseball (MLB) player, Tug McGraw is often remembered for coining the phrase, "Ya Gotta Believe", which became a popular rallying cry for the New York Mets teams of the mid-60s and early 70s, and for recording the final out, via a strikeout of the Kansas City Royals' Willie Wilson, in the 1980 World Series, thereby bringing the Philadelphia Phillies their first world championship. He was the last active big league player to have played under legendary manager Casey Stengel.Vern Ruhle
Vernon Gerald Ruhle (January 25, 1951 – January 20, 2007), was an American professional baseball right-handed pitcher and coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB), primarily for the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros for thirteen seasons, from 1974 to 1986.
|American League teams|
|National League teams|