Hall of Champions: 1980
1980 World Series
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Kansas City Royals 1
Phillies win series 4 games to 2 (7-6, 6-4, 3-4 (10), 3-5, 4-3, 4-1).
The 1979 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1979 season, and the 76th edition of the World Series. It featured the National League (NL) champion Philadelphia Phillies (91-71) against the American League (AL) champion Kansas City Royals (97-65). The Phillies defeated the Royals in six games to secure their first World Series championship in franchise history. The Kansas City Royals became the second expansion team, and the first from the American League, to appear in the World Series.
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Tuesday, October 21, 1980
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While third baseman Mike Schmidt was the official MVP of the 1980 World Series, the Babe Ruth Award (another World Series MVP) was given to closer Tug McGraw.
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Phillie catcher Bob Boone's knees were so sore by the end of the World Series that he could barely make it to the mound after the final out was recorded.
- The Phillies seemed to have it all in 1980, including eventual Most Valuable Player, third-baseman Mike Schmidt (48 HR, 121 RBI, .286 BA) and Cy Young Award winner, lefty Steve Carlton (24–9, 2.34 ERA).
- Royals third-baseman George Brett flirted with the sacred .400 mark all summer with an average above .400 as late as September 19, before settling for a .390 batting average, with 24 homers and 118 RBI in 117 games.
- Prior to their victory in Game 1, the Phillies had not won a World Series game since Game 1 in 1915 against the Boston Red Sox, when Grover Cleveland Alexander had pitched a shutout.
- When Willie Wilson struck out against Tug McGraw to end the series, it was the 12th time Wilson struck out in this Series, setting a new World Series record.
©CCM Feb 24 2022
1980 NFL Season: Super Bowl XV
Oakland Raiders 27, Philadelphia Eagles 10
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana. Attendance 76.135.
1980 NFL Season: Super Bowl XV featured the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles (12-4) against the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders (11-5). The Raiders defeated the Eagles, becoming the first wild card playoff team to win a Super Bowl. The game was played five days after the Iran hostage crisis ended. The game was thus held under patriotic fervor, as the pregame ceremonies honored the end of the crisis.
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Sunday, January 25, 1981
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Raider quarterback Jim Plunkett (a Heisman Trophy winner in college) was named the Super Bowl MVP after completing 13 of 21 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 9 yards.
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Super Bowl XV was the climax of Jim Plunkett's revival as an NFL starting quarterback. Plunkett was signed by Oakland to be their backup quarterback, but thrust into the starting role after Dan Pastorini, a former high school rival, broke his leg.
- Oakland linebacker Rod Martin intercepted Philadelphia quarterback Ron Jaworski three times for a Super Bowl record. Oakland's defense dominated the end the game, forcing two turnovers on the Eagles' last 2 possessions of the game to prevent any comeback.
- Oakland's defense, anchored by defensive end John Matuszak, was punishing. Defensive back Lester Hayes led the league in interceptions (13) during the season, and was the league's Defensive Player of the Year.
- Eagles' quarterback Ron Jaworski finished the game with more completions (18) and yards (291) than Jim Plunkett, but completed just 18 of 38 attempts and was intercepted 3 times. Raider Cliff Branch's two touchdown catches tied a Super Bowl record.
- A key player on the Eagles offense was halfback Wilbert Montgomery, who was widely considered one of the top running backs in the NFL. The Eagles' defense had led the league in fewest points allowed during the regular season (222).
©CCM Feb 24 2022
1981 NBA Finals
Boston Celtics 102, Houston Rockets 91
Celtics win the series 4 games to 2 (98-95, 90-92, 94-71, 86-91, 109-80, 102-91).
The 1981 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1981 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the National Basketball Association 1980–81 season. The Boston Celtics (62-20) from the Eastern Conference were pitted against the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets (40-42). The Rockets were the surprise of the playoffs, led by rebounding champion Moses Malone, becoming just the second team in NBA history (after the Minneapolis Lakers in 1959) to make the Finals despite finishing the regular season with a losing record (40-42).
View all the Celtics cards from 1980 in the Gallery.
Thursday, May 14, 1981
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The Celtics swept the Chicago Bulls, defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games after trailing 3-1, and overmatched the Rockets in six games to win their first title of the Bird-Parish-McHale Era, and get a ring for 11-year veteran Nate Archibald.
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1980-81 was a relatively strange season. The reigning champion Lakers saw Magic Johnson go down with torn cartilage in his left knee, causing him to miss 45 games. The Lakers never really recovered, and fell in the first round to the Rockets.
- Finals MVP Cedric Maxwell led the Celtics in scoring in the Finals (17.7), and shouldered the load in Game 5, scoring 28 points and pulling down 15 rebounds and sparking several fast breaks.
- The Rockets' Moses Malone went a little too far with the trash talk prior to Game 5, saying, "I could get four guys off the street in Petersburg (Virginia, Malone's hometown) and beat them." This was all coach Bill Fitch would need to motivate his troops.
- The Celtics added the likes of Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale in '80-81, a trio that would come to be known as "The Big Three." M. L. Carr, Cedric Maxwell, and Nate Archibald were capable players off the bench.
- A shot by Larry Bird late in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of The Finals remains a staple that series and on the all-time NBA playoff highlight reel.
©CCM Feb 24 2022
1981 Stanley Cup Finals
New York Islanders 5, Minnesota North Stars 1
Islanders win the series 4 games to 1 (6-3, 6-3, 7-5, 4-2, 5-1).
The 1981 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1980–81 season, and the culmination of the 1981 Stanley Cup playoffs. The series featured the Minnesota North Stars (35-28-17), making their first Finals appearance, and the defending champion New York Islanders (48-18-14). The New York Islanders were the top regular season team and the top playoff team, led by superstar players Mike Bossy (68 g, 118 p), Bryan Trottier (31 g, 103 p), and Bob Borne (35 g, 76 p).
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Thursday, May 21, 1981
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Butch Goring won the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player in the playoffs. He scored 5 goals, added 2 assists, didn't take a penalty, and was +3 in the Cup Finals.
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Notable was the North Stars' sweep of the Boston Bruins; the two games the North Stars won in Boston Garden were the first games that the team had won in Boston, either regular season or playoff, since the team had joined the NHL in 1967.
- Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders became only the second man in NHL history to score 50 goals in his first 50 games in '80-81. Maurice Richard, the only other man to accomplish this feat, was on hand to congratulate Bossy.
- Topps used a stupid gimmick on their hockey cards that year. Player names were obscured by a black “scratch-off” puck that you had to remove with a coin in order to identify the player.
- The North Stars put away the Boston Bruins 3–0, the Buffalo Sabres 4–1 and the Calgary Flames 4–2 to advance to the Final. The Islanders dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3–0, the Edmonton Oilers 4–2, and the New York Rangers 4–0 to reach the Final.
- Dino Ciccarelli of the North Stars set a rookie record at the time, scoring twenty-one points (14 goals and seven assists) during the year's playoffs.
©CCM Feb 24 2022