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January 24 - The New York Mets are sold to a group headed by Nelson Doubleday, Jr. and Fred Wilpon for an estimated $21.1 million. It was, at the time, the highest amount ever paid for an American professional sports franchise.
February 12 - The Board of the Oakland Coliseum and the Oakland City Council both reject an attempt to buy out the remainder of the Oakland Athletics' lease to the stadium. This blocks an attempt to sell the team and a possible move to Denver.
March 12 - Slugger Chuck Klein and former Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Yawkey is the first club owner selected who never served as a player, manager or general manager.
Houston Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan strikes out César Gerónimo of the Cincinnati Reds, to become the fourth major league pitcher ever to reach 3,000 career strikeouts. Gerónimo was also Bob Gibson's 3,000th career strikeout victim six years earlier. Despite the milestone, Ryan allows six runs in 4.1 innings and Houston loses, 8-1.
George Brett goes 0-for-4 dropping his batting average below .400. It will not climb above .400 again, and he finishes the season with a .390 batting average, the closest any player had come to a .400 batting average since Ted Williams in 1941. Only Tony Gwynn will come closer than that before the twentieth century ends.
September 24 - The Atlanta Braves reach the 1,000,000 mark in attendance. It marks the first time that every National League team has drawn at least 1,000,000 fans for a season.
In a 17-1 rout of the Minnesota Twins, Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals becomes the first major league player ever to be credited with 700 at-bats in a single season, and ends the year with 705 at bats. He also sets the AL record for singles in a season with 184, eclipsing the mark Sam Rice set in 1925. Wilson also becomes only the second player in major league history to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate, matching the feat accomplished by Garry Templeton in 1979.
Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt hits a 2-run home run in the top of the 11th inning to give the Phillies a 6-4 win over the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium, clinching the National League East title. The home run is Schmidt's 48th of the season, breaking Eddie Mathews' single-season record for third basemen set in 1953.
October 5 and 6 - On October 3, the Los Angeles Dodgers had been down three games to the Houston Astros to tie for the National League West Division title. Needing a sweep of the Astros, the Dodgers complete just such a sweep on that Sunday; each of the wins by a single run. They would play a one-game playoff the next day, as Joe Niekro would win his twentieth game of the season to earn a win for the Astros, 7-1, clinching their first Division Title.
October 10 - In Game 3 of the 1980 ALCS, and with the New York Yankees leading 2-1, Kansas City Royals' George Brett delivered a three-run home run off Yankees' reliever Rich Gossage, and with it total revenge for the Royals, who won the pennant after being second best to the Yankees in the ALCS in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Kansas City won the pennant in Yankee Stadium.
October 12 - The Philadelphia Phillies capture their first pennant since 1950 with a 10-inning, 8-7 win over the Houston Astros at the Astrodome, in the fifth and final game of the 1980 NLCS. Three of the last four games were decided in extra innings. The Phillies, down by three runs to Nolan Ryan in the 8th inning, rally and go ahead on Garry Maddox's double in the 10th inning.
October 21 - The Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series, the first WS Championship in their 98-year history, by beating the Kansas City Royals, 4-1, in Game Six. Steve Carlton earns the win, though the most memorable moment may be Tug McGraw on the mound jumping for joy as he earns the save after loading the bases with no outs. Another equally memorable moment comes with one out in the bottom of the ninth when Frank White's pop-up is bobbled by Bob Boone, only to be tipped into the glove of Pete Rose. Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt is named MVP, hitting .381 with two home runs and seven RBI, while KC's Willie Wilson is the "goat", striking out a WS-record 12 times, including the final out of the Series with the bases loaded, and hitting only .154. Of the original 16 Major League franchises from 1901, the Phillies are the last to win their first World Series.
January 10 - Hughie Critz, 79, second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants who led NL in fielding four times and double plays three times
January 21 - Gene Rye, 73, outfielder for the 1931 Boston Red Sox
February 1 - Fred Walters, 67, catcher for the 1945 Boston Red Sox, and one of many players who only appeared in the majors during World War II
February 2 - Jack Rothrock, 74, center fielder for four different teams from 1925 to 1937, who led the victorious St. Louis Cardinals with six RBI in the 1934 World Series
March 1 - Emmett Ashford, 65, the major leagues' first black umpire, who worked in the American League from 1966 to 1970 and in the 1970 World Series
March 1 - Johnny Watwood, 74, center fielder who played from 1929 to 1939 for the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies
April 7 - Buck Canel, 74, Spanish-language broadcaster of 42 World Series, as well as many years of New York Yankees games
April 21 - Ray Dobens, 73, pitcher for the 1929 Boston Red Sox
April 21 - Joe Page, 62, All-Star relief pitcher for the New York Yankees who set single-season record with 27 saves in 1949, led AL in saves and appearances twice each
April 28 - Bob Porterfield, 56, All-Star pitcher who was named The Sporting News AL Pitcher of the Year in 1953 after a 22-10 season with the Senators
June 1 - Rube Marquard, 93, Hall of Fame pitcher who retired with 201 wins and the NL record for career strikeouts by a left-hander (1593); had 19 consecutive wins for the Giants in 1912 for a modern major league record
June 3 - Fred Lieb, 92, sportswriter who covered every World Series from 1911 to 1958
June 9 - Odell Hale, 71, infielder for the Cleveland Indians in the 1930s, who hit .300 three times and collected two 100-RBI seasons
July 4 - Jack Martin, 93, shortstop who played from 1912 to 1914 for the New York Highlanders, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies
July 23 - Wally Snell, 91, catcher for the 1913 Boston Red Sox, who later went on to a distinguished career as a college botany professor and athletic coach at Brown University for four decades
July 30 - Joe Lucey, 83, infielder/pitcher for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox between 1920 and 1925