No city has ever won the Grand Slam of Professional Sports—that is to win the Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, and World Series & Super Bowl in the same year. But the city of Philadelphia made a spirited run at it in 1980, putting a team into the championship round in all four sports, and for none was the success longer in coming than for the 1980 Phillies.
The Flyers were the most recent champion, having won consecutive Stanley Cups in 1974-75 and they made it back to the Finals before losing to the New York Islanders. Hockey was just part of the excitement of spring in Philly—the 76ers made the NBA Finals for the second time in four years, though they too came up short of a title.
Fortunately, by the time that game was played, the good people of Philadelphia knew they would have at least one championship in the bag. The Phillies had not won the World Series since 1915 and had recent frustration, in the form of National League Championship Series each year from 1976-78.
The 1980 Phils didn’t always make it look easy—in fact they never did—but they only added to the charm and the legend as they won arguably greatest League Championship Series ever played against the Houston Astros and then dispatched the Kansas City Royals to finally get the long-sought World Series ring and ensure that 1980 in Philadelphia sports wouldn’t be remembered for an 0-for-4 in championship rounds, but for being one of the great displays any city has ever put on.
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