Almost a Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the 1980 Phillies

Overview

Being a Phillies fan has never been easy. The team has amassed the most losses of any professional sports franchise in history, as well as the longest losing streak and the most last-place finishes in the major leagues.

The year 1980 was redemption for a miserable, century-old legacy of losing. It was also the beginning of the end for a team that could have been among the very best in baseball throughout the decade. Between 1980 and 1983 the Philadelphia Phillies captured two ...

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Overview

Being a Phillies fan has never been easy. The team has amassed the most losses of any professional sports franchise in history, as well as the longest losing streak and the most last-place finishes in the major leagues.

The year 1980 was redemption for a miserable, century-old legacy of losing. It was also the beginning of the end for a team that could have been among the very best in baseball throughout the decade. Between 1980 and 1983 the Philadelphia Phillies captured two pennants and a world championship. Legends like Tug McGraw, Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, and Pete Rose led the collection of homegrown products, veteran castoffs, and fair-haired rookies. If they had won another World Series, the team not only would have distanced themselves from a history of losing but would have established a championship dynasty. It never happened.

The 1981 season was a watershed for both the Phillies and baseball. A players' strike led to a sixty-day work stoppage. The Phils, who had been in first place before the strike, were unable to regain their winning ways after play resumed. Labor relations between an increasingly powerful Players Association and inflexible owners became more acrimonious than ever before. Player salaries skyrocketed. Old loyalties were forgotten, and the notion of a homegrown team, like the 1980 Phillies, was a thing of the past.

Almost a Dynasty details the rise and fall of the 1980 World Champion Phillies. Based on personal interviews, newspaper accounts, and the keen insight of a veteran baseball writer, the book convincingly explains why a team that had regularly made the post-season in the mid- to late 1970s, only to lose in the playoffs, was finally able to win its first world championship.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Deftly done, unsparing, with neither apology nor alibi."—Bill Lyon, Philadelphia Inquirer

"If you know Philadelphia baseball and want to learn how a team was put together the old-fashioned way, Almost a Dynasty is a must read. Bill Kashatus has given us the definitive history of the 1980 Phillies."—Bob Boone, member of the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies

"Contrary to popular belief, it took more than Pete Rose's signing, Dallas Green's tirades, and a never-ending string of October miracles to transform the 1980 Phillies from underachievers to World Series paraders. And Bill Kashatus meticulously details it all."—Jayson Stark, ESPN

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812222456
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/8/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

William C. Kashatus is author of more than a dozen books, including the award-winning September Swoon: Richie Allen, the '64 Phillies, and Racial Integration.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction
Chapter 1: Legacy of Losing
Chapter 2: Down on the Farm
Chapter 3: The Vet
Chapter 4: Lefty
Chapter 5: "Yes We Can"
Chapter 6: Contenders
Chapter 7: Charlie Hustle Comes to Town
Chapter 8: "We, not I"
Chapter 9: Same 'Ol Schmidt
Chapter 10: Tugging at the Heart
Chapter 11: We Win!
Chapter 12: Dynasty Denied
Chapter 13: Wheeze Kids
Chapter 14: Organization Adrift
Conclusion

Appendices
A: What Happened to the 1980 Phillies
B: Individual Statistics for the 1980 Phillies
C: 1980 National League Championship Series Box Scores
D: 1980 World Series Box Scores
E: Team Standings, 1971-1989

Selected Bibliography

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