This Date In Royals History-1980 Edition: September 15

The Royals had a day off as they returned home from their 10-game road trip to Cleveland and then the West Coast. Kansas City was preparing for a six-game homestand against division rivals California and Oakland. The Athletics lost in Texas, meaning the Royals needed just one win or one Oakland loss to clinch their fourth AL West title in five seasons. With 18 games remaining, of course there was little actual drama about the Royals’ chances.

The main drama was about when third baseman George Brett would return to the lineup. Brett had injured his hand swinging the bat in Cleveland and had missed eight straight games. With his average at .396, his chase for a .400 average wasn’t Brett’s only concern; he needed 55 more plate appearances to qualify for the American League batting title. Dr. William Benson examined Brett for 45 minutes and then told the Associated Press that Brett shouldn’t play until he was pain-free, which the doctor estimated could be four to six days. Dr. Benson identified the injury as resolving tendinitis in a wrist extensor.

The Royals had another player diagnosed with tendinitis, as starting pitcher Rich Gale had it in his shoulder. Gale had missed two starts with shoulder soreness, then lasted just three innings against Oakland on September 12. He was expected to miss at least one more start, although the Royals could certainly afford to be patient and let Gale’s shoulder rest.

1980 sports news: The Kansas City area, along with all of pro football, was shocked by the news that former Chiefs great Jim Tyrer, a left tackle on the franchise’s great teams of the 1960s and 1970s, had killed his wife and then shot himself in a murder-suicide at the family’s home in south Kansas City. Tyrer, who had retired following the 1974 season, had faced a series of struggling business ventures and many friends thought he was suffering from depression (certainly, given what we know now about CTE, a good possibility). Jim Tyrer was 41; Martha Tyrer was 40. They left behind four children, three of them still living at home.

Today’s birthdays: Gaylord Perry (1938), Paul Abbott (1967), Dennis Moeller (1967), Luke Hochevar (1983)

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