1980 Leaders & Numbers

With subpar batting averages in 1978-79 that threatened to make him the next Dave Kingman, Mike Schmidt awoke and initiated a reign of supremacy among NL hitters. Lost in George Brett’s pursuit of .400 was that he became the first player since 1950 to average at least one RBI per game. Had it not been for Brett, Cecil Cooper—the majors’ biggest unsung talent since Vada Pinson—might have caught some rays in the national spotlight. It was a very good year for El Segundo High near Los Angeles; Brett and Scott McGregor were once teammates there. Steve Garvey managed to stay focused on baseball and collect 200 hits for the sixth time in seven years while his wife publicly bashed him. For the only time in his career, Reggie Jackson hit .300. (Actually, it was .2996.) Failing as a catcher, Dale Murphy finally became a success story after the Braves transitioned him to the outfield. Pitchers threw over 300 innings 40 times during the 1970s, but only once since—by Steve Carlton in 1980. Mike Norris, who’d seen it all since joining the A’s in 1975, became top dog on Billy Martin’s ironman staff. Steve Stone’s over-dependence on the curveball made him a sudden star in 1980—and a sudden flameout afterward, before a new life as Harry Caray’s even-tempered foil in the WGN booth. Jerry Reuss, winner of ten total games from 1978-79, found himself and threw the year’s only no-hitter. Rick Camp walked into Atlanta camp without a roster spot, and finished the year as the NL’s most effective closer.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1980
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 150 .286 548 104 157 25 8 48 121 79 10 2 12 5 6
2. Keith Hernandez St. Louis 159 .321 595 111 191 39 8 16 99 82 4 4 14 8 14
3. Andre Dawson Montreal 151 .308 577 96 178 41 7 17 87 37 7 6 34 9 9
4. Ken Griffey Cincinnati 146 .294 544 89 160 28 10 13 85 58 4 1 23 1 4
5. Ted Simmons St. Louis 145 .303 495 84 150 33 2 21 98 46 13 2 1 0 13
6. Jack Clark San Francisco 127 .284 437 77 124 20 8 22 82 61 13 2 2 5 12
7. Jose Cruz Houston 160 .302 612 79 185 29 7 11 91 47 13 0 36 11 11
8. Dale Murphy Atlanta 156 .281 569 98 160 27 2 33 89 50 9 1 9 6 8
9. Steve Garvey Los Angeles 163 .304 658 78 200 27 1 26 106 30 6 3 6 11 17
10. Cesar Cedeno Houston 137 .309 499 71 154 32 8 10 73 55 11 1 48 15 13
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1980
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. George Brett Kansas City 117 .390 449 87 175 33 9 24 118 42 16 1 15 6 11
2. Cecil Cooper Milwaukee 153 .352 622 96 219 33 4 25 122 24 15 2 17 6 16
3, Ben Ogilvie Milwaukee 156 .304 592 94 180 26 2 41 118 35 19 5 11 9 5
4. Rickey Henderson Oakland 158 .303 591 111 179 22 4 9 53 110 7 5 100 26 6
5. Reggie Jackson New York 143 .300 514 94 154 22 4 41 111 68 15 2 1 2 7
6. Willie Wilson Kansas City 161 .326 705 133 230 28 15 3 49 25 3 6 79 10 4
7. Robin Yount Milwaukee 143 .293 611 121 179 49 10 23 87 25 1 1 20 5 8
8. Eddie Murray Baltimore 158 .300 621 100 186 36 2 32 116 44 10 2 7 2 18
9. Al Bumbry Baltimore 160 .318 645 118 205 29 9 9 53 70 8 3 44 11 9
10. Al Olievr Texas 163 .319 656 96 209 43 9 19 117 30 9 5 5 7 14
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1980
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Jerry Reuss Los Angeles 2.51 18 6 .750 3 2 37 29 229.1 263 64 31 9 3 0 1 15 8 23
2. Steve Carlton Philadelphia 2.34 24 9 .727 0 0 38 38 304 364 79 78 12 17 2 7 14 16 14
3. Don Sutton Los Angeles 2.20 13 5 .722 1 0 32 31 212.1 255 52 42 5 0 2 1 24 6 9
4. Steve Rogers Montreal 2.98 16 11 .593 0 0 37 37 281 348 93 78 7 7 3 0 27 14 16
5. Vern Ruhle Houston 2.37 12 4 .750 0 0 28 22 159.1 199 42 28 1 0 3 2 14 6 19
6. Vida Blue San Francisco 2.97 14 10 .583 0 0 31 31 224 291 74 53 8 3 0 2 14 16 15
7. Jim Bibby Pittsburgh 3.32 19 6 .760 0 0 35 34 238.1 313 88 85 3 5 6 3 30 9 18
8. Joe Niekro Houston 3.55 20 12 .625 0 0 37 36 256 353 101 76 3 12 4 0 34 7 21
9. Frank Pastore Cincinnati 3.27 13 7 .650 0 0 27 27 184.2 236 67 39 3 0 0 1 15 8 10
10. Rick Camp Atlanta 1.91 6 4 .600 22 2 77 0 108.1 119 23 21 8 2 4 0 9 2 16
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1980
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Mike Norris Oakland 2.53 22 9 .710 0 0 33 33 284.1 311 80 81 2 9 6 4 16 12 20
2. Tommy John New York 3.43 22 9 .710 0 0 36 36 265.1 383 101 55 1 5 6 0 2 12 33
3. Rick Langford Oakland 3.26 19 12 .613 0 0 35 33 290 409 105 58 6 7 1 1 4 14 23
4. Rudy May New York 2.46 15 5 .750 3 2 41 17 175.1 217 48 37 2 9 0 1 8 6 12
5. Doug Corbett Minnesota 1.98 8 6 .571 23 7 73 0 136.1 133 30 34 8 3 1 0 5 2 17
6. Dan Quisenberry Kansas City 3.09 12 7 .632 33 3 75 0 128.1 171 44 12 15 1 1 0 6 3 18
7. Larry Gura Kansas City 2.95 18 10 .643 0 0 36 36 283.1 396 93 70 6 2 5 0 17 13 20
8. Scott McGregor Baltimore 3.32 20 8 .714 0 0 36 36 252 361 93 55 3 3 2 2 10 9 26
9. Steve Stone Baltimore 3.23 25 7 .781 0 0 37 37 250.2 339 90 98 3 7 6 0 18 16 20
10. Britt Burns Chicago 2.84 15 13 .536 0 0 34 32 238 307 75 61 2 1 4 4 19 12 14

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


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1980 Awards


NL MVP
Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia

AL MVP
George Brett, Kansas City


NL Cy Young Award
Steve Carlton, Philadelphia

AL Cy Young Award
Steve Stone, Baltimore


NL Rookie of the Year
Steve Howe, Los Angeles

AL Rookie of the Year
Joe Charboneau, Cleveland


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Phil Niekro, Atlanta
C Gary Carter, Montreal
1B Keith Hernandez, St. Louis
2B Doug Flynn, New York
3B Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia
SS Ozzie Smith, San Diego
OF Andre Dawson, Montreal
OF Garry Maddox, Philadelphia
OF Dave Winfield, San Diego


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Mike Norris, Oakland
C Jim Sundberg, Texas
1B Cecil Cooper, Milwaukee
2B Frank White, Kansas City
3B Buddy Bell, Texas
SS Alan Trammell, Detroit
OF Dwane Murphy, Oakland
OF Fred Lynn, Boston
OF Willie Wilson, Kansas City