Sunday, January 25, 2015

1980 Kansas City Royals (1st): 97-65, 14Up

The Royals had their way with the West and won this thing in a cakewalk.  Before the summer hit they had served notice that they were the class of the division.  Manager Jim Frey did a masterful job keeping his team sharp and on edge despite the fact that they really didn't have much to play for.  The biggest excitement for the team was watching future HOF'er George Brett (.390-24-118) flirt with .400.  I'd have to bet that even Ted Williams was rooting for Brett to get over the .400 mark, because Brett was his type of player.  KC had 6 guys, including Brett who stole more than 10 bases.  No one struck out 100 times, so KC flat out exhausted opposing pitchers.  Even the bench was formidable.  27 year old Dan Quisenberry, who bounced around the minors for a long time, emerged as an All-Star closer saving 33 games and posting a 1-7 (3.09) record in 128 innings on the hill.  When he tired Marty Pattin (4-0, 3.64, 4SV) stepped up.  All 5 Royals starters had a winning record.  Dennis Leonard (20-11, 3.79) and Larry GUra (18-10, 2.94) were co-aces.  Paul Splittorff won 14 and Rich Gale won 13.  Fifth Starter Renie Martin (10-10, 4.39) was a winner as well.  The high point of the season had to be the ALCS sweep of the Evil Empire, which might not have avenged the 3 consecutive ALCS loses in the 70's, but it sure created euphoria as the Royals won their first pennant in the franchise's 12th season in existence.

Bob_Detherage_KCRDan_Quisenberry_KCRDave_Chalk_KCRGary_Christenson_KCRGerman_Barranca_KCRJeff_Twitty_KCRJim FreyJose_Cardenal_KCRKen_Brett_KCRKen_Phelps_KCRManny_Castillo_KCRMike_Jones_KCROnix_Concepcion_KCRRance_Mulliniks_KCRRawly_Eastwick_KCRRenie_Martin_KCRRusty_Torres_KCRWillie_Aikens_KCR

I had a lot of fun colorizing the Rawly Eastwick photo for his card.  That guy was sure well traveled after he had his great two seasons in Cincy.  That Omaha Bob Detherage card is scary.  He does look a little grim reaper-ish.  Tough to believe Rusty Torres story, but the witnesses didn’t lie.  I felt a bit of contempt for him and didn’t do more than a simple airbrush and color change for his headshot.  Ken Phelps looks a bit goofy in his photo.  Maybe he was looking into his crystal ball and couldn’t believe Steinbrenner would eventually trade Jay Buhner for him, just like Frank Costanza couldn’t believe it.

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