Revisiting the 1980 AL Cy Young Award Race

From David Nathan at on March 19:

Mike Norris celebrates his 56th birthday on March 19. He was the runner-up for the 1980 Cy Young Award in which he and Baltimore starter Steve Stone compiled career years, but did he deserve to win the award?


Under Billyball, [manager Billy] Martin rarely used the bullpen, allowing all five starters to throw deep into games. Norris (22-9) along with Rick Langford (19-12), Matt Keough (16-13), Steve McCatty (14-14) and Brian Kingman (8-20) each pitched over 200 innings, and the quintet started an amazing 159 of 162 games with an utterly absurd 93 complete games. The A’s went from 54 wins to 83, finishing in second place, 14 games behind the Royals.


Steve Stone’s Orioles won 100 games and still finished three games behind the Yankees. They had a quartet of pitchers log over 220 IP, including Scott McGregor (20-8), Jim Palmer (16-10) and Mike Flanagan (16-13). Stone decided to go for broke that season, reportedly throwing curveballs half the time, finishing 25-7 with nine complete games. Stone reflected, “I knew it would ruin my arm, but one year of 25-7 is worth five of 15-15.”

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Originally published: March 19, 2011. Last Updated: March 19, 2011.