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THE GREAT TREASURE CHEST OF AMERICAN SPORTS HISTORY

TheSportsNotebook.com has published over 1,200 articles covering individual team seasons that start in the 1970s, go through the 1980s, into the early 1990s and beyond. The Downloads Page is where these articles are organized by team and era, into a series of free sports ebooks that tap into the great treasure that is modern American sports lore.

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THE RED SOX IN THE 70s

The Red Sox from 1968 through 1980. Read about Yaz, Jim Rice, Freddie Lynn, El Tiante and more. Boston pursued their World Series dreams in a fashion that was always entertaining and explosive, even if they did master the art of the heartbreak.

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THE YANKEE RENAISSANCE

The Yankees from 1976 through 1981. After over a decade of irrelevance, New York came roaring back in 1976. They won four American League pennants and two World Series titles. The trio of Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin always kept everyone on their toes. Graig Nettles and the late Thurman Munson anchored the lineup in an era of Yankee success. 

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DODGER BLUE

The Dodgers of 1977 through 1988. Tommy Lasorda became the Dodger manager in 1977 and promptly won two consecutive pennants. It was the start of a terrific 13-year run in Los Angeles  that included six division titles, four National League pennants, two World Series crowns and some of the most iconic moments in baseball history. 

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PHILLIES REVIVAL

The Phillies from 1976 through 1983. Baseball came roaring back in Philadelphia with a great era headlined by Hall of Fame third baseman Michael Jack Schmidt. The Phils won the NL East five times. They won the greatest LCS ever played in 1980, en route to a World Series title, and they won another National League pennant in 1983. 

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A ROYAL DECADE

The Royals from 1976 through 1985. The arrival of George Brett was the key to the greatest ten-year run in Kansas City’s franchise history. The Royals dominated the old AL West, winning it six times. They won two American League pennants. And their run to the 1985 World Series title  that fulfilled the era, remains a great testament to perseverance.

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YANKEE RENAISSANCE

YANKEES: 1976-81

By Yankee standards, they were on hard times in the mid-1970s, over a decade since their last championship. George Steinbrenner bought the team and hired Billy Martin as his manager. 1976 was their first run together and the Yankees returned to prominence. Over the next six years, New York won five AL East titles, four American League pennants and two World Series crowns. There were iconic home runs off the bats of Chris Chambliss, Reggie Jackson and Bucky Dent. There was outstanding pitching, rivalries new and old, and quite a few managerial changes. Read about all six seasons.

BOSTON'S AGONY

RED SOX: 1968-80

After the Boston Red Sox miracle pennant run of 1967, great things—and a long-sought World Series title—were expected. For the ensuing decade-plus, the Red Sox produced good teams and great players. There was franchise icon Carl Yastrzemski, future Hall of Famer Jim Rice, the electric Fred Lynn and the dynamic Reggie Smith. There were good pitchers, like clutch Luis Tiant and colorful Bill Lee. They played in one of the greatest World Series of all time and delivered one of the sport’s magical moments. But there was never the ultimate prize. Read about all 13 drama-filled seasons.

PHILLIES REVIVAL

PHILLIES: 1976-83

The late 1970s and early 1980s were a great time to be a Philadelphia Phillies fan. From 1976 through 1983, the franchise won five NL East titles, two National League pennants and a World Series crown. These Phils had Hall of Fame players in third baseman Mike Schmidt and left handed ace Steve Carlton. They had scrappiness in Larry Bowa, defensive wizardry in Garry Maddox, consistency from Gary Mathews and color from Tug McGraw. Read about the pennant races, the postseason battles, the high moments, low moments and everything in between of all eight seasons.

DODGER BLUE

DODGERS: 1977-88

For two decades of Los Angeles Dodgers history they were defined by manager Tom Lasorda. The Hall of Fame skipper“bled Dodger Blue” by his own proud admission. The Dodgers won games, pennants and championships and this compilation captures his best era, from 1977 to 1988. You’ll read about six NL West titles, four National League pennants and two World Series titles. The compilation includes epics like Game 3 of the 1977 NLCS, to the comebacks of 1981 to the magical October that went down in 1988. Download it today.

A ROYAL DECADE

ROYALS: 1976-85

Over a ten-year stretch, the Royals won six division crowns, two American League pennants and one World Series. They played incredible postseason series They weren’t always—or even usually—on the winning side, but the moments were electric. KC had pitchers like workhorse Dennis Leonard, crafty Paul Splitorff, a young Bret Saberhagen and submarine-style closer Dan Quisenberry. The lineup had reliable Hal McRae, underrated Amos Otis and the greatest player in franchise history, third baseman George Brett. Their final triumph over adversity in 1985 remains one of baseball’s great moments. Read about all ten seasons.

MILWAUKEE SIX-PACK

BREWERS: 1978-83

The six years from 1978-83 were great ones for baseball in Milwaukee. The Brewers produced a potent offense that drew nationwide attention. They produced MVPs and Cy Young award winners. Future Hall of Fame players Robin Yount and Paul Molitor led their lineup. They made the playoffs twice, the Word Series in 1982 and played some of the most epic games baseball has ever seen in the process. And they were fun. From colorful characters like Gorman Thomas and Pete Vuckovich to reliable statesmen like Cecil Cooper, the Brew Crew had it all. Read about all six seasons.

THE WHITEYBALL CARDINALS

ST. LOUIS IN THE 1980s

After a slow decade in the 1970s, the St. Louis Cardinals hired Whitey Herzog to restore their franchise to greatness. It didn’t take the Cardinals long to start painting the town red again. St. Louis won three National League pennants and a World Series under Herzog in the 1980s. It was the era of Willie McGee, Ozzie Smith, Tommy Herr and Vince Coleman. It was a time for George Hendrick, Jack Clark, Joaquin Andujar, John Tudor and Bruce Sutter. And of course there was the irascible Whitey, orchestrating it all. Read about their best seasons.

SHEA IT'S SO

METS: 1984-90

It was the greatest era for the New York Mets. They won a World Series, two division titles and finished second in the NL East five other times–all of which would have been playoff seasons by the wild-card standards of today. It was the time of Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling, of Darryl Strawberry and Lenny Dykstra, Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez, all with Davey Johnson orchestrating from the dugout. And with the New York Yankees going through a relative dry spell, it was the Mets who owned the Big Apple. Read about all seven seasons.

MOTOR CITY REVIVAL

THE 1978-88 TIGERS

In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Detroit Tigers brought in a slew of young players that transformed a franchise that had been in a lull. Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Jack Morris, Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson broke in. Sparky Anderson was brought in to manage. And for eleven years, the Tigers were a consistent contender and their 1984 World Series champion was one of baseball’s all-time best. Read how these rising stars—along with names like Chet Lemon, Darrell Evans, Dan Petry and a whole lot more left a lasting impact on major league baseball.

BLUE JAY DYNASTY

TORONTO FROM 1983-93

After six years of building, the expansion Toronto Blue Jays jumped onto the national radar in 1983. For the next eleven years there was no more consistent contender in baseball. They had the game’s most dynamic outfield. They had reliable pitching. They had a steady farm system. They had great management. Over a nine-year stretch, they won three AL East titles and contended every other year. What they didn’t have was a World Series title. That was rectified in 1992 and a dynasty was solidified with a 1993 repeat. Read about these splendid 11 seasons.

OAKLAND'S BASH BROTHERS

THE 1988-92 A'S

For five years, the Oakland A’s where the focal point of baseball. Led by Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, the notorious Bash Brothers, the A’s could outmuscle opponents. And there was plenty of help. From arms like Dave Stewart and Dennis Eckersley to bats like Rickey Henderson and Carney Lansford to Tony LaRussa in the dugout overseeing it all, the A’s racked up wins and pennants. They won four AL West titles. They dominated in their three ALCS triumphs. And they won the World Series in 1989. Read about Oakland’s five seasons in the spotlight.

RED SOX RENEWAL

1985-91 AT FENWAY PARK

After several years of re-tooling, the Boston Red Sox returned to prominence in the second part of the 1980s. They had one of the game’s best pure contact hitters in Wade Boggs. Dwight Evans and Jim Rice were holdovers from the contending teams of the 1970s. And when the Red Sox found an ace for the rotation in Roger Clemens they were ready to win again. Boston won AL East titles in 1986, 1988 and 1990. The ’86 team is legendary for their ALCS triumph and World Series heartbreak. The entire seven-year era is chronicled here.

49ERS: TEAM OF THE EIGHTIES

49ERS: 1981-89

With Joe Montana at quarterback and Bill Walsh calling the plays, the San Francisco 49ers mastered the “West Coast offense” of short precision passing. In this compilation you’ll read about their surprise 1981 run to a Super Bowl title and an iconic playoff win that got them there. Their 1984 championship run was one of history’s underrated great teams. Then read on as Montana starts to struggle with injuries and playoff disappointment. His career seemingly teetering, Montana responds by winning two more Super Bowl titles to end the 1980s and end any debate over who the decade’s best team was.

DITKA'S BEARS

BEARS: 1984-91

The era of Mike Ditka was a great one to be in Chicago and if you came of age in the 1980s, you saw the Bears as the powerhouse of the old NFC Central. Ditka had a Hall of Fame inside linebacker in Mike Singletary, one of the greatest running backs of all time with Walter Payton and these Bear teams included colorful characters like Jim McMahon, Gary Fencik and Dan Hampton. They played hard, hit hard and in one glorious year, won it all. Read about the eight best years of the Ditka era.

THE GIBBS GLORY YEARS

REDSKINS: 1981-92

The glory years of pro football in the nation’s capital was the first term of Joe Gibbs, from 1981-92. Inheriting a team that had gone 6-10, Gibbs went to four Super Bowls and won three titles. What’s more, each championship was with a different quarterback. The Gibbs’ Redskins got their identity from a great offensive line, Hall of Fame players like Darrell Green and Art Monk, physical running backs and above all from their brilliant head coach. Read about each game in all twelve seasons.

BIG BLUE WRECKING CREW

GIANTS: 1984-90

New York had never made the playoffs since the birth of the Super Bowl era. In 1981, the Giants drafted an outside linebacker named Lawrence Taylor. “LT” did nothing short of changing the way football was played. And he changed the culture of the New York Giants. By 1984, Bill Parcells was settled in as coach and the Giants became a playoff perennial. Over seven seasons, they made the playoffs five times and won two Super Bowls. Read about the prologue year of 1981, and then six more seasons that capped off the era of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew.

ELWAY'S 1st RUN

BRONCOS: 1983-92

John Elway’s Hall of Fame run as quarterback of the Denver Broncos has two distinctive eras. He got his rings at the end of his career in the late 1990s. But Elway built his legend in the first ten seasons, 1983-92, by routinely carrying undermanned rosters into Super Bowls and building a reputation as a man who could deliver in the clutch. This collection includes those three Super Bowl trips, his MVP season and great battles in what was usually a competitive AFC West. Read about the nine best seasons in Part One of the John Elway Story.

DAWG POUND DAYS

BROWNS: 1985-89

The 1980s Cleveland Browns were the modern high point for a franchise that hasn’t enjoyed much success in the Super Bowl era. In the 1980s, Cleveland consistently got close and gave its proud city real hope. It starts in 1980 with MVP quarterback Brian Sipe and The Cardiac Kids. The narrative resumes in 1985 when hometown boy Bernie Kosar came home to play quarterback. For the next five years, the Browns were in the playoffs and a legit Super Bowl contender. Read about how “The Dawg Pound” rocked, Cleveland won big games…and still came up just short.

FAVRE'S PACKERS

PACKERS: 1992-2007

It had been a long quarter-century in Wisconsin since the Vince Lombardi glory years ended in 1967. A new management team of general manager Ron Wolf and head coach Mike Holmgren came on board in 1992. And when they found their quarterback, a 23-year-old named Brett Favre, they were on their way. Favre was with the Packers from 1992-2007. He won three straight MVP awards and the Super Bowl in 1996. He captivated an entire nation with his homespun style and his aggressive—and at times reckless–play. Brett Favre was worth watching. Read about his 16 seasons in Green Bay.

MARTY'S CHIEFS

CHIEFS: 1989-98

The Kansas City Chiefs had been an irrelevant franchise for nearly twenty years. Marty Schottenheimer, having made Cleveland a winner in the late 1980s, now came to Kansas City. Marty built the Chiefs around one of the game’s great outside linebackers, the late Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, and a punishing running game. They overcame what was often pedestrian quarterback play with intelligent play and a good system. They become synonymous with overachievement and with getting their hearts broken in January. Marty’s nine best seasons, seven of which culminated in playoff appearances, are chronicled here.

THE OVER THE HILL GANG

REDSKINS: 1971-77

George Allen took over a franchise that had been losing for nearly twenty years. Allen had no tolerance for rookies and began trading off draft picks and younger players for experienced veterans. These Redskins became known as The Over The Hill Gang and they immediately started winning. Allen went to the playoffs his first year and made the Super Bowl by his second. He made Larry Brown an MVP running back, oversaw the last great stands of veteran quarterbacks Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer and had colorful rivalries with the powers of the NFC. Read about all seven seasons.

THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS

VIKINGS: 1967-78

It was the time when Bud Grant built an expansion franchise into a team that went to four Super Bowls. It was the time of Fran Tarkenton and John Gilliam. It was the time Chuck Foreman, Mick Tingelhoff and Ron Yary. But above all, it was the time of a defensive front called The Purple People Eaters. They were Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and, for most of the years, Gary Larsen. They lived by a simple motto—meet at the quarterback. Read about the twelve seasons when the Vikings were the NFC’s best.

THE STEEL CURTAIN

1972-79 IN PITTSBURGH

In 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers were a franchise that had never been relevant. The next eight seasons changed all that. With one of the great defenses of all time, the Steelers ripped off a run of eight playoff berths, six AFC Championship Game trips and four Super Bowl trophies. They were not only dominant, but they changed the complete arc of their franchise history. Read all about eight seasons, including the development of Terry Bradshaw, the rise of Franco Harris and, above all, the emergence of a physically imposing defense that left a permanent legacy.