The Phillies, the Royals and the 1980 Baseball Season That Almost Wasn’t


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About the Book

A lot happened in baseball in 1980. After being stabbed with a penknife in Mexico during spring training, the Indians’ “Super Joe” Charboneau captured Cleveland’s heart—and Rookie of the Year. Nolan Ryan became baseball’s first Million Dollar Man, Reggie Jackson twice found himself looking down the wrong end of a gun, and George Brett posted the highest single-season batting average since 1941. The Phillies and Expos battled up to the season’s final weekend while the Dodgers tilted against the Astros in a one-game playoff for the division title. In the American League, Brett led Kansas City past the mighty Yankees and into the Series, where slugger Mike Schmidt and the Phillies awaited. This book covers it all.

About the Author(s)

J. Daniel has spent more than 20 years working in sports television. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and works for Indiana University.

Bibliographic Details

J. Daniel

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7088-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3398-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Spring Training: Dollars, Dallas and Dissension 11
2. April: Richard, RBIs and Rockin’ Robin 32
3. May: Fear, Fights and Fergie 48
4. June: Richard, Reggie and Reuss 65
5. July: Stretch, Strikeouts and a Stroke 80
6. August: Streaks, Suspensions and Spittle 100
7. September: Rookies, Royals and Racism 124
8. October: Bitterness, Bashing and Breakthroughs 141
9. The Postseason: Goose, Garry and Georges 161
Epilogue 189
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 203
Index 205

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Well researched and entertaining…Daniel provides a behind-the-scenes story that transforms a straightforward historical account into an extremely detailed yet quick-moving read for die-hard baseball fans…recommended”—Choice

• “Great teams in baseball are never really forgotten, but this book brings one of them to life. There are memories on these pages that will remind you just how great this team was, bringing back the joy and smiles of an era and a team we’ve sadly overlooked. These Phillies were, perhaps, the first great modern team, built through both the draft, trades, and free agency. Daniel has weaved together a reminder and a lesson worth reading.”—Will Carroll, author of The Juice

• “Daniel does a masterful job of bringing back all the fun and drama of the 1980 season, along with insight into the men who made it memorable. Well written and entertaining, this is a great read for any baseball fan.”—Doug Wilson, author of The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych

• “1980s baseball is the next wave of baseball research and writing. Jon Daniel’s Phinally! is a fun look back at the teams and players that made that year, and the decade to come, such a joy for baseball fans.”—Jeff Katz, author, Split Season: 1981—Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo and the Strike that Saved Baseball

• “Phinally! brings back fond memories of a special season. A must for anyone’s bucket list of reading.”—Larry Shenk, vice president of public relations, Phillies, 1964–2007

• “Phinally! is a must read for fans, Gen-X’ers, and those nostalgic for the era of polyester uniforms, This Week In Baseball, and astroturf.”—Bijan Bayne, author, Elgin Baylor: The Man Who Changed Basketball

•“J. Daniel pulls off some baseball time travel in Phinally!, adeptly guiding readers through the beanball fights, salary squabbles , and the truly epic hardball moments of an amazing season.”—Joe Cox, author of The Immaculate Inning: Unassisted Triple Plays, 40/40 Seasons, and the Stories Behind Baseball’s Rarest Feats

• “Phinally! covers the 80s like the infield tarp!”—Jerry Reuss

• “In Phinally! The Phillies, the Royals and the 1980 Baseball Season That Almost Wasn’t, J. Daniel makes me glad the season was—and that he wrote a book about it. A fun season and a fun read.”—Chris Lamb, author, Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography

• “A meticulously researched and totally engrossing book about the 1980 baseball season. J. Daniel covers it all—the teams, the pennant races, the complete cast of characters, the big games, the brawls, the triumphs and tragedies—right down to the final strike. A great read for both longtime baseball fans and newer fans interested in the history of the game.”—Bill Gutman, author of The Giants Win the Pennant! The Giants Win the Pennant!

• “The title may allude to the 1980 World Series champion Phillies, but Jonathan Daniel also does a superb job of bringing the reader back to the riveting Summer of Brett, the Resurgence of Reggie and the Yankees, and The Earl of Baltimore’s epic argument with Bill Haller. Tirelessly and meticulously researched, this is an important book about an extraordinary season.”—Erik Sherman, New York Times best-selling author

• “As the nation left the grim ’70s behind and woke up to Morning in America, the 1980 World Series foreshadowed the anxiety, hope, and can-do spirit of the new decade. Jonathan Daniel transports us to those spill-your-Cracker Jacks moments when you leap out of the bleachers to cheer—and reminds us that there are great sports stories to be told in every team, in every market.”—Dean Karayanis, host, The History Author Show