The Phillies won their first championship ever, the last of the original teams to make it. They’d actually been a good team for a while, finishing first three of the previous four years, but managing only two total postseason wins. They beat the Royals convincingly 4-2.in a battle of two of the best third basemen who ever lived.
This whole season was a clusterfish. A midseason strike wiped out about 40% of the games, and MLB decided to split the season into halves, pre-and post strike, with an extra round of playoffs between the first and second-half leaders in each division. One result was that the teams with the best records in each NL division (Reds and Cardinals) didn’t make the post-season, since they finished second in each half. It ended up with the Dodgers (second over the full year in the NL West) defeating the Yankees (fourth(!) in the AL East) 4-2, after the Yankees took a 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals, led by Joaquin Andujar and the Smiths (Ozzie and Lonnie) defeat Harvey’s Wallbangers 4-3, in the Brewers’ one and only Series appearance. This is a solid Cardinals team, managed by Whitey Herzog; we’ll be seeing more of them. The Brewers were a one-year wonder, not making it back to the post-season for over 20 years.
The Orioles defeat the Phillies 4-1, in their mutual last gasp. Both franchises fell into the second division and stayed there for years.
Sparky Anderson managed a classic Whitaker-Trammel Tigers team to a 4-1 victory over the Padres (their first appearance.) My brother had just moved to Michigan, so his new team won a Series that first year while mine hadn’t won one in my lifetime.
The Royals edged the Cards 4-3 in a battle of teams built around pitching, defense, and speed. The Series is best remembered (by Cardinals fan, at least) by a blown call in game 6 that helped the Royals come back in a game that might have been the Cardinals’ clinching victory. This was the Royals’ first and only championship.
The Mets beat the Red Sox 4-3, in a series famous for the ball that went between Buckner’s legs. I was living in Vermont at the time; the next day felt as if everyone had lost a family member.
Minnesota over St Louis 4-3. The Twins, who hadn’t even been a .500 team for 10 years, snuck into the postseason with 85 wins, then took the ALCS and WS, winning all their home games and one road game. (They had been 56-25 in their trash bag of a stadium.) The Twins lineup, with Lombardozzi, Gagne, Gaetti, and Hrbek, was a typographical error waiting to happen.
The Dodgers beat the A’s 4-1. The 104-win A’s, led by Dave Henderson, and Jose Canseco, seemed fearsome, but the tone of the series was set by
and the A’s never recovered.
The earthquake series. The delay between games 2 and 3 allowed the A’s to start their best two pitchers twice, and that helped them sweep the Giants.
The only team to appear in three World Series in the 80s was the Cardinals, who went 1-2. The Dodgers were 2-0, the Phillies, A’s and Royals 1-1. The other 9 slots went to teams who appeared only once.