This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: May 29

The Royals had a day off as they traveled home from a six-game road trip on the West Coast. After a 4-2 trip, Kansas City had the AL West lead by 1 ½ games over, coincidentally, their next opponent–the Chicago White Sox.

Off the field, there was some good news for the team as well as some select players. First, the team announced Darrell Porter would start catching again. After leaving the team during spring training to check into rehab for his substance abuse problems, Porter had served as DH since his return to the lineup in early May while working to build up his throwing strength. Porter was hitting .304/.348/.456 in 20 games so far, so his bat was obviously ready to go.

In general baseball news, the first All-Star vote totals were announced for the American League. George Brett was the only Royal to lead his position, with a healthy 114,000 or so lead on New York’s Graig Nettles. Porter, despite all the time he had missed, was in second place at catcher, about 75,000 votes behind Boston’s Carlton Fisk. At second base, Frank White found himself in second place, roughly 50,000 votes behind California’s Bobby Grich. Former Royal Freddie Patek led at shortstop, one of three Angels to lead their position (first baseman Rod Carew was the other). The outfield leaders were Boston’s Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, joined by Reggie Jackson of the Yankees.

In national news, the government’s Composite Index of Leading Indicators for the economy dropped a record 4.8 percent in April, a strong sign of an impending recession. It was the seventh drop in 12 months and third in a row.

Today’s birthdays: None.

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