10/21/1980 - Phillies end 98-year drought
With a strikeout from Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, the Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Kansas City Royals in the sixth game of the World Series. Philadelphia was led by superstars such as Pete Rose (who was playing in his second of five seasons with the team), Steve Carlton (the N.L. Cy Young winner), and third baseman Mike Schmidt. The series had been headlined by the meeting of George Brett and Mike Schmidt -- the best two third basemen in the game and the players who won the A.L. and N.L. MVP's. In the end it was Schmidt who got the upper hand, as he hit a crucial game-winning hit in Game 5 and was named the series MVP.
"I told them in spring training they could win," said Phillies manager Dallas Green. "It took us a while to get our act together. We had some sinking spells and I would cry in my beer. But we got out of it and came back fighting."
For the Phillies, the victory broke what was then the longest championship drought in American sports. Since their inception in 1883, back when they were the Philadelphia Quakers, the team had never won the title and had only managed a pair of World Series appearances. But at long last, on try number three, the Phillies were able to break their 98-year losing streak, sending the city of Philadelphia into a frenzy. As soon as the final out was recorded, more than 500 policemen in riot gear swarmed the field as a safety precaution.