1979 MLB Season: Six Key Contenders & The October Battles
The 1979 MLB season was marked by a return to form from teams that dominated the early part of the decade, along with one newcomer.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds had all won multiple division titles and at least one World Series title in the period covering 1970-76. All three continued to field good teams in the ensuing three years, but had been displaced by others in their division. In 1979, they returned to the October stage. They were joined by a new team. The California Angels made their first postseason trip ever with an AL West title.
The exciting races were in the National League and two other newcomers nearly made their own first postseason appearances. The Montreal Expos and Houston Astros delivered stiff challenges to both the Pirates and Reds respectively and those races went to the final weekend of the season.
Baltimore and Pittsburgh had to win close games in the LCS, but both the Orioles and Pirates maintained control of their respective series from the outset. For the second time in a decade, these blue-collar cities just five hours apart met in the World Series. It would prove to be a memorable one, as Pittsburgh rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to ultimately win it, thanks to the extraordinary clutch run of Willie “Pops” Stargell.
Nine different articles, covering the six key contenders and all three postseason series–the ALCS & NLCS and World Series–are brought together into a single cohesive download that tells the story of the 1979 MLB season through the eyes of its best teams.
Modest editing has been done to eliminate obvious redundancies. The critical late-season battles, particularly in the National League are told from the perspective of whichever team was the subject of the article, so you can see how it looked from both sides.
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