Baseball has been a favorite sport for a long time, and the 80s brought some fantastic players and more than just a couple of strong teams, as well as a strike and one nasty natural disaster.
Break out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks…were going back to look at some 80s baseball.
One of America’s favorite sports had many favorite teams make it to the World Series. Throughout 80s baseball, there was only one repeat winner, the L.A. Dodgers, who won it in 1981 and 1988.
Here’s how the rest of the decade unfolded: The Phillies won in 1980, the Cardinals in 1982, the Orioles in 1983, the Tigers in 1984, the Royals in 1985, the Mets in 1986, the Twins in 1987, and the Athletics in 1989.
Some of the biggest names in baseball during the 80s are still legendary. There were the hard-hitting tandem of Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire, otherwise known as the bash brothers. They were an integral part of the 1989 Oakland Athletics World Series team.
There was also Tommy Lasorda coaching the Dodgers to their two Championships. One unforgettable moment in all of baseball history was during the 1988 Series where Kirk Gibson, pinch-hitting with an injured leg, hit a walk-off home run to clinch it.
There was Rickey Henderson, the man of steal, who played for both the Athletics and the Yankees during the 80s, and had a different approach to his batting stance. He would squat down low, initially to see the ball better, but threw the pitcher off slightly by making a smaller strike zone – and there was no sacrifice in power.
There were plenty more big names in baseball; there was Robin Yount, Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripkin, Mike Schmidt, Eddie Murray, George Brett, Andre Dawson, Wade Boggs, Don Mattingly, Tim Raines, and Dwight Evans, among many others.
In 1981, there was a strike over money and free agent compensation. The players initially started the strike, but the owners were mostly to blame for it. The owners wanted to be paid for losing the free agents, and the players thought it defeated the purpose of free agency.
They eventually came to an agreement after missing seven weeks, which included 713 games and about $146 million of salaries and revenue – from both sides.
There was also an earthquake in 1989 before the third game of the World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. The Loma Prieta quake, by sheer coincidence of the timing, was also the first major earthquake broadcast live on television. This resulted in a 10-day suspension of play, the longest delay in World Series history.
More history was made when the Athletics swept the Giants to win the Series – the first World Series sweep since 1976.
Some legendary players of 80s baseball are still familiar names, either as a where are they now nostalgia or as coaches, owners, managers or announcers of the game. There were plenty of hall-of-famers and record breakers in this elite group.