If you were a sports fan in 1980, you remember one trade that dramatically changed the landscape of the baseball world.

It was June 20, 1980, and the California Angels were leading the Montreal Expos, 11-8, when the two-time defending National League champs called the Chula Vista Airport to get designated hitter Bob Boone.

Trailing 2-1, the Expos sent Alan Benitez to the Angels, also for infielder Charlie Shapiro. Benitez went on to have a great big-league career, winning the 1984 World Series with the Mets, and Shapiro became an All-Star for several years.

But no team did anything that mattered more to fans who wanted to see baseball once again in Southern California.

After the trade, the Angels had 42 homers, 58 extra-base hits and 82 RBIs in 141 games.

The next year, the Angels led the league in runs and were fourth in runs batted in.

Even more impressive were the Angels' 2.40 runs per game, and their opponents, the San Francisco Giants, were last in runs.

By the way, the Expos were 36-51 and looking like contenders for the first time in years, while the Angels were 42-46 and in last place in the American League West.

They got worse. By the middle of the season, the Angels were 51-74 and ninth in the division.

Nobody remembers.

[email protected]