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"It is the only team I've ever been a part of, where when you stepped onto the field you could see the fear in the other teams' eyes." - Alvin Davis, First Baseman
Top row, from left: John McDermott, Scott Tabor, Ron Sismondo, Russ Stephens, Alvin Davis, Phil Stephenson, Dave Weatherman. Middle row, from left: Ron Romanick, Dave Anderson, Alex Esquerra, Ed Amelung, Stan Holmes, Dave Hodgins, Don Heinkel, Ed Brennan, Kevin Dukes. Bottom row, from left: Tim Kelly, Ben Hines, Kevin Muno, Dean Rennicke, Kevin McReynolds, Leon Baham, Dave Meier, Harold Reynolds, Don Sneddon.
1980 Roster | Ben Hines • Don Sneddon | Ed Amelung • Dave Anderson • Leon Baham • Ed Brennan • Alvin Davis • Ed Detweiler • Kevin Dukes • Don Heinkel • Dave Hodgens • Stan Holmes • Marc Hummel • Tim Kelly • John McDermott • Kevin McReynolds • Dave Meier • Kevin Muno • Dean Rennicke • Harold Reynolds • Ron Romanick • Bill Scudder • Ron Sismondo • Russ Stephens • Phil Stephenson • Scott Tabor • Dave Weatherman | All-Time Roster • All-Time Lineups
1980: The Best There Ever Was?
Twenty-five years ago, the 1980 Goldpanners stormed to the championship of the 46th National Baseball Congress Tournament in Wichita, Kansas. In the process, they became the first club to win the “World Series of Summer Baseball” for the fifth time. It was the eighth straight trip to the national final game for the Goldpanners. A powerful offensive machine under the direction of manager Ben Hines, the Goldpanners finished the season with a team record .347 batting average and an equally impressive .573 slugging percentage.
Considered by many to be the best Goldpanners team -- and perhaps the best amateur team -- ever assembled. The number certainly support the idea, as does the still-fresh aura of complete domination which characterized the entire team. With 43 wins and 9 losses, the 1980 club finished with a team record .827 winning percentage.
Sophomore hitting sensation Alvin Davis of Arizona State paced the power-laden Goldpanner attack. With an even .400 batting average, Davis not only became one of only six Goldpanners to hit .400, he tied the team’s all-time batting streak record. Despite a nagging hand injury which forced Davis to miss 8 games during the streak, the 1984 A.L. Rookie of the Year winner collected base hits in 27 consecutive games, tying the streak Bob Boone established in 1966.
Davis had plenty of hitting support on the 1980 Goldpanners. NBC Tournament MVP Kevin McReynolds hit in the high .390s. McReynolds, a sophomore from Arkansas, was hitting .400 until his final two at-bats. Kevin would later advance to a career in Major League Baseball. His three-run homer powered the Padres to their Game Three 6-2 comeback victory against the Cubs in the League Championship Series in 1984.
The 1980 Goldpanners hit 82 home runs in 52 games with Stan Holmes and McReynolds sharing team leadership with 16 apiece. Ed Amelung crushed the ball in Wichita, hitting five homers in the NBC, finishing the season with 13. Four Goldpanners drove in more than one run per game. Homnes was the leader with an incredible 71 RBIs. He was followed by Davis and McReynolds with 57 each and Amelung at 53.
Alaska also had speed to burn with 106 thefts in 137 attempts. Utility infielder, and later Gold Glove second baseman in Seattle, Harold Reynolds, younger brother of both Goldpanners Larry and Don, led the way with 22 stolen bases. Designated hitter Phil Stephenson, a sophomore at Wichita State and later major leaguer, was second with 20.
For manager Ben Hines, it was his second national championship. In 1975, his Boulder, Colo. Collegians beat the Goldpanners in the title game. The Panner manager that year was Jim Dietz. In 1980, Dietz managed the Collegians, who almost made it to the finals, losing to Liberal in the semi-finals. Hines was also named NBC Manager of the Year.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AUDIO
John Sweeney, Broadcaster
26Mb WMA File
1980 PLAYERS WITH BASEBALL CARDS:
2005 Yearbook Bonus Card Set:
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ALL-TIME RECORDS AND MENTIONS:
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