Allentown Morning Call - July 18, 1980

Carlton strikes out 10 in 2-1 victory


HOUSTON ( AP) – Steve Carlton hurled a seven-hitter for his 15th victory and Bake McBride scored both Philadelphia runs as the Phillies trimmed Houston 2-1 last night, dropping the Astros out of first place in the National League West. 


Carlton, 28-9 lifetime against the Astros and 15-4 overall this season, finished with 10 strikeouts and three walks. 


He lost his shutout when Luis Pujols singled to open the ninth and Rafael Landestoy tripled with two outs. The loss left the Astros one-half game behind Los Angeles. The Dodgers beat Chicago 3-1 in an afternoon game.


McBride opened the scoring in the fourth inning when singled, stole second and came around on two wild pitches by Joe Niekro, 10-8. In the sixth. McBride singled again, stole second, advanced to third on Garry Maddox's hit and scored on Bob Boone's grounder.


 Leftfielder Jose Cruz, the Astros' leader in runs batted in with 52 and in batting at .308. left the game in the fourth inning after a collision with ' centerfielder Cesar Cedeno. Cruz had a bruised .leg and hip. 


The extent of the injury was not known.

Why is baseball a 9-inning game?


By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor


If it's a baseball question. Cliff Kachline has the answer. Most of the time, anyway. 


And for those infrequent "no answer," you can be sure that there is NO answer. If Kachline can't answer it, nobody can.


You see, Kachline is the historian (that's his official title, but he's more than that ) for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. 


The calls to Kachline's office are endless. Calls from fans, calls from media people, calls from baseball people. The nature of the game – baseball's a game of records – prompts question after question. 


Kachline, a Quakertown native who became a baseball bug when, as a 13-year-old, he lived near the park where the old Quakertown entry in the East Penn League played, says the calls to the Hall of Fame "are so abundant that we are going to have to start drawing the line in some fashion." 


It takes time and patience to answer the questions. Kachline has the patience, in fact, the harder the question, the better he likes it. But taking the time is another point. He's got countless other duties that range from assembling the artifacts for the museum to continuously come up with fresh ideas for it. 


What kind of questions does Kachline get? 


He says they range from trivia to "some pretty doggone interesting ones." 


Just the other day, Kachline got a call from someone in Harry Dalton's office. Dalton is the general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers.


"They wanted to know why nine innings for a baseball game," Kachline said. 


That's like asking why do they play 18 holes in golf; or why six points for a touchdown in football; or why two points for a field goal in basketball. Aren't those questions easily answered? 


Okay, why do they play nine innings in a baseball game? 


Here's a hint – Kachline can't answer it. Does that mean there is no answer? Perhaps, but Kachline, one who rarely says, "I don't know," has some theories. 


"When baseball first started," he explained, "21 runs was the game. The first team to score 21 runs was the winner. But in 1857, they adopted nine innings as the game rather than the 21 runs, using the rationale that there are nine players on each team, and, I suppose, in the 21-run game they found that it took two to three hours to play nine innings. I guess they thought that was enough time. 


"There is still another theory. The number nine is dividable by three, and with nine innings, every player would get at least three at-bats." 


So, you think it s easy? 


Another question that popped up in recent days, according to Kachline, came from a New York newspaperman. He wanted to know the origin of various baseball terms, specifically, the origin of fungo and the old saying, "a can of corn. '' 


Those were tough ones, too. The saying, "can of corn," means a high fly ball, an easy catch, or, as they would say today, "like a piece of cake." 


But the origin of the saying goes unanswered. 


As for the word fungo, Kachline says, "one reasoning is from an old game they used to play called, 'one go, two go, fungo.' I don't exactly know what kind of game it was, but we do know that they were hitting fungoes way back in 1899."


Such is life for Kachline. age 58 with 24 years at the Sporting News where he was in charge of dozen books and guides the publication used to print. Being the Hall of Fame's "answer man'" is only a small part of Kachline's job. He is also the man who researches baseball history, writes and edits stories for baseball programs, including the World Series program: updates the Hall of Fame's booklets and pamphlets: organizes a 1.200-member baseball research society, and does goodwill ambassador work for baseball. 


One of Kachline's "fresh ideas" is the Hall's Baseball Today Room. Kids today can relate to that. 


As the name applies, it is a collection of uniforms and other memorabilia from each of the 26 teams playing today. Why the update? 


"We have all the artifacts in Cooperstown on ancient baseball," Kachline said. "But why not get something on current baseball? We wound up with a room called Baseball Today. It was the first time we recorded the fact that there are 26 teams playing baseball today. About the only current thing we had on baseball at the time was a bat used by Cesar Gutierrez of the Tigers, who set a record with six hits in a game. There would be a ball or a cap from a no-hitter, but otherwise there was nothing current.


"Now, with material still coming in. we have a complete home uniform of each team, and each team has its own display case. There are some individual cases of some of today's current players. Pete Rose, Tom Seaver, Reggie Jackson and Nolan Ryan." 


Kachline is the first to extend an invitation to visit the Hall of Fame. "It's an experience." he says. 


In the meantime, however, don't call him with barroom trivia questions. As he said, "we got to draw the line somewhere."