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1980 Amateur World Series

From BR Bullpen

The 1980 Amateur World Series was a mix of old and new. It was new in that it was the first Amateur World Series ever held in Asia, as it was played in Tokyo from August 22 through September 5. The old was a repeat MVP, Antonio Muñoz of Cuba, and Cuba's 8th straight title in the IBAF event. Servio Borges was the manager in all 8 of Cuba's titles during this run, a stretch likely never to be duplicated by any national team manager.

Flag of Australia Australia was 4-7 to tie for 7th and held their own against #4 USA and #5 Canada, losing to each by one run.

Flag of Canada Canada placed 5th at 6-5. Future Olympic players Rod Heisler and Barry Kuzminski were on the roster. Despite their fine record, Canada was blown out by the top teams - 15-1 to Cuba, 12-2 to Japan and 12-1 to the USA.

Flag of Colombia Colombia tied for 7th with a 4-7 mark. Eusebio Moreno led the competition with a .448 average as their brightest star.

Flag of Cuba Cuba won Gold easily, going 11-0 including such wipeouts as 23-1 over Puerto Rico and 25-0 over Colombia. Their closest games were 3-1 over Australia, 1-0 over Japan and 5-4 over the US (thanks to a key Lourdes Gourriel Sr. hit). Fernando Sanchez led the event with 21 hits, while Antonio Muñoz and Luis Casanova tied for the most homers (7). Muñoz had the first 3-homer game in Series history and also led the tourney with 19 RBI. Jose Aleman led in ERA (0.00) and was 2-0. Other key players were Gourriel (.452), Pedro Medina (.452) (neither Gourriel nor Medina had enough appearances to qualify for the batting title) and Alfonso Urquiola (.406) on offense and Braudilio Vinent (3-0, 1.38) on the mound.

Flag of Italy Italy placed 6th with a 5-6 record, including a 12-5 win over the USA. Steven Rum (.459/.615/.973, 6 HR, 15 R) was one of the tournament's top performers. Mike Romano went 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, getting over half their victories.

Flag of Japan Japan won Bronze, going 9-2 in front of the home fans. Their two losses were close, by one run to Cuba and by two runs to South Korea.

Flag of South Korea South Korea won Silver for the first time, with a 9-2 record, losing only to Cuba and to the US (by one run). Il-kwon Kim led the Series with 18 runs and also stole the most bases. Dong-won Choi led in strikeouts (43) while Sun-hee Lee led in wins (4) and innings pitched (40 1/3). Future Chicago White Sox coach Man-soo Lee and KBO career average leader Hyo-jo Jang on the roster as well.

Flag of Mexico Mexico tied for last at 1-10, beating the Netherlands by one run (7-6) for their lone victory. They lost four games by one run. Future major leaguer German Jimenez was on the team.

Flag of Netherlands Netherlands tied for last place with a 1-10 record. Their only win came against Puerto Rico, though they lost two other contests by a single run. Prominent names in retrospect include 19-year-old outfielder Marcel Joost (who was to be one of the greatest hitters in Dutch history) and Bart Volkerijk (the all-time Hoofdklasse win leader).

Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico tied for 7th at 4-7.

Flag of United States United States placed 4th at 8-3, with losses to Cuba, Japan and Italy. Stan Edmonds led the tourney with 6 doubles while Albert Romero had the most triples (3). The biggest name on the team was Frank Viola, a future major league star. Other major league-bound players included Scott Bradley, Stan Clarke, Curt Young and Lemmie Miller.

Flag of Venezuela Venezuela tied for 7th with a record of 4-7. They featured future major leaguer Gus Polidor.

Sources: A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman, Defunct IBAF site