Ah, the 80’s. Spandex, AquaNet, Mtv, Alf, He-Man, Reagan. What a decade. With all of the amazing pop culture and political upheaval in the U.S. and the world alike, baseball was a shining beacon of hope in what felt like a hopeless period (see: The Cold War). With exciting pennant races, career milestones, and moments that transcended the sport itself, baseball in the 80’s was a sight to behold. And with this 3 DVD set, each of the 10 years of the magic decade are documented.
Baseball’s Seasons: The 1980’s condenses each year into 45 minute episodes, which may not seem like a lot of time, but the information is packed like a can of sardines. Highlights of pennant races, as well as single season accomplishments and lifetime achievements, are all prominently featured. For example, the 80’s featured 5 future Hall Of Fame pitchers winning their 300th career game, including Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton. The strikeout prowess of Nolan Ryan comes into focus, as Ryan becomes the first pitcher to record his 4000th and 5000th career strikeout in the decade. Ryan also threw his 5th career no-hitter. Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt each recorded their 500th career homerun. And Pete Rose became the all-time hits leader in Major League Baseball history, only to receive a lifetime ban for betting on baseball.
Other astounding achievements took place during the 80’s. Rickey Henderson steals an astonishing 130 bases in 1982, a single season mark that will likely never be topped. Henderson would later become the first player to ever record 20+ homeruns and 80+ stolen bases in a single season. One of Henderson’s teammates, Jose Canseco, would become the first player to hit 40+ homeruns and steal 40+ bases in a single season. And George Bell of the Toronto Blue Jays became the first player to hit 3 homeruns on Opening Day, in 1988.
Strange and entertaining events took place in MLB in the 80’s as well. During Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, an earthquake struck San Francisco, delaying the game 10 days. In June 1981 there was a player strike that wiped out 2 months of the season. Also on June 27, 1989, the Baltimore Orioles played the Toronto Blue Jays. Why was this game so important? It was the first time that 2 black managers opposed each other in a MLB game (Frank Robinson for Baltimore, Cito Gaston for Toronto). In 1986, rookie Boston Red Sox pitcher throws 20 strikeouts in a 9 inning game against the Seattle Mariners. There was also the legendary “Pin Tar game”, in which a homerun hit by Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett was ruled an out after discovering he had used too much pinetar on his bat. Mayhem ensued. And let’s not forget the playoff races.
In the 1987 World Series, the home team won all 7 games, a first in MLB. A controversial call at first base in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series led to the St. Louis Cardinals losing their cool and eventually the series. And then there were the playoffs in 1986, which some experts have called the greatest postseason in MLB history. The New York Mets and Houston Astros battled for 6 games, the Boston Red Sox and California Angels duked it out. The culmination was the World Series, where the never-say-die Mets battled the championship starved Red Sox in a 7 game classic that included the infamous “Buckner game”.
Baseball’s Seasons: The 1980’s is a must have set for any true baseball fan. With approximately 8 hours of nostalgia, this 3 DVD set will be great to view during the season or on a cold winter’s day when the longing for the upcoming season is too much too handle.