Allentown Morning Call - July 2, 1980

Phils cut Expos’ margin as Lerch gets 11-inning victory


MONTREAL (AP) – Pete Rose drove in Greg Gross with an 11th inning single and the Philadelphia Phillies added another run on an error by third baseman Larry Parrish to defeat the Montreal Expos 5-4 last night. 


Gross had reached first on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a single by pinch-hitter Bob Boone against reliever Woodie Fryman, 1-3. Gross came home on Rose's single and Boone raced to third, then scored when catcher Gary Carter's throw got past Parrish. 


Randy Lerch, 3-10, scattered lO hits over the first 10 innings to record the first victory by a lefthander against Montreal since April 27, snapping a string of 14 losses. He was relieved in the 11th by Lerrin LaGrow, who gave up a leadoff homer to Warren Cromartie but held on for his third save of the season.


The Expos, whose National League East lead slipped to one game over the Phillies, grabbed a 2-0 lead against Lerch. Andre Dawson hit his 10th home run of the season in the first inning and Montreal got another run in the third when Ron LeFlore singled, stole second, continued to third on a throwing error by first baseman Pete Rose and scored on Rodney Scott's sacrifice fly. 


Montreal starter Scott Sanderson, who had tossed a two-hit shutout against the Phillies last Thursday, was tagged for seven hits over the first four innings and knocked from the mound after a five-hit barrage in the fifth allowed Philadelphia to tie the score 2-2. Mike Schmidt and Garry Maddox had run-scoring singles for the Phils. 


Keith Moreland, who had hit a grand slam against the Expos Monday night, homered off reliever Elias Sosa to give the Phils a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth. But Montreal tied it in the bottom half of the inning when Dawson singled. Carter doubled and Cromartie hit a sacrifice fly.

Babe. Cobb, Hornsby, Casey; Joe Bird remembers them all


By George Gamard, Special to The Morning Call


Joe Bird began his baseball career in 1921 as a catcher with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. A long time ago. So long that Hall of Famer Home Run Baker was known to Bird simply as. "Uncle Frank." 


Joe was just 18 years old then, fresh out of Mount Saint Joseph's High School in Baltimore where he had lettered in three sports. He was 5-9, sturdily built and had a gleam in his eye that told people he meant business. His voice was. and is, loud and gruff and so was his style of play. 


Mickey Cochrane, another Hall of Famer and a longtime friend of Joe's said of Bird. "He's a switch-hitter deluxe." 


Today, Joe Bird, 77, surrounds himself with the memories of his baseball past. The den at his home in Hellertown, where the former Allentown College baseball coach has lived the last 24 years, is filled with pictures and mementos of baseball's greatest including Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby and Jimmy Foxx. 


It's a pity Bird's pictures can't talk, but then again he doesn't need them. He hasn't lost his voice and he never tires of talking about the greats and near greats he met in his 34 years of organized ball. 


Above the couch in his living room hangs a picture of a full-bellied oldtimer, his body twisted like a pretzel, his eyes staring up into the bleachers. The inscription reads, "To my good friend. Joe Bird, from Babe Ruth. " 


Bird played against the Babe in an exhibition game in Columbus, Ohio, and Joe can still see Ruth standing at the plate. "He had that funny way of cocking his wrists, laying the bat down a little bit lower before the ball was thrown," Joe said in a recent interview. "It was kind of a timing device he used before he sent the ball out of the park." 


Columbus was part of the International League, a minor league system in which Bird bounced around until he signed as a catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1931. He caught for the Pirates for one year, then moved on to the Eastern Shore League, where he spent the remainder of his playing career. He even played the 1936 season with the Allentown Buffaloes. 


"We played at the Fairgrounds back then," he said. "Allentown was a good baseball town, but the dadburn depression came along and the team broke up in July."


In 1944. Bird was player-manager of Trenton in the Inter-State League and was replaced in midseason by Walter Alston, who went on to manage the Dodgers for 20 years. In '49. Bird coached a Nashville. Tenn.. team to the Southern League pennant and a victory over the Texas League winner for the Dixie Championship. He eventually ended his association with pro ball as a scout for the Philadelphia A s (1959) and finally, the Houston Astros.


From there, he went on to become head coach at Allentown College and stayed until 1978 when he retired. 


Since then, he's had a lot of time to sit back and take a good, hard look at professional baseball as it's played today. He doesn't like what he sees. 


"I don't watch too much baseball on TV." he said. "It bores me. The game started going downhill in the early '60s. Too many prima donnas, too much talk and not enough baseball. You wouldn't have seen us playing a nine-inning game for three hours in my day. We would have gotten in two games and been ready to play a third. But then, we didn't have to wait for the commercials to end." 


The word "Superstar" positively galls him.


"They call Reggie Jackson a superstar, but his lifetime average isn't even .300. (Jackson was a .271 lifetime hitter going into this season.) Take a look at Ty Cobb's lifetime average (.367 ) and tell me who the superstar is." 


Bird, admittedly, is obsessed with Cobb. 


"Ty Cobb was the greatest." he said, grabbing a bat and assuming a batting stance. "They called Ruth the greatest, but he couldn't do it all like Cobb could. He couldn't steal bases as well and he couldn't bunt as well, either." 


Bird is excited, talking in quick bursts. It's as if Cobb were sitting beside him. Joe pauses only to spray some tobacco juice into an old Cam-bell s soup can behind the chair. (I gave up chewing for six months and the dentist had to clean my teeth for the first time. I figured I better start chewing again, so I did.")  


He demonstrates Cobb's batting grip, with his hands far apart. 


"I was more a singles hitter so I naturally took to a guy like Cobb," he said. "But what I liked most about him was his fighting spirit. Why, he was so mean that even his own players hated him. 


"There was a big catcher named (Charles "Boss") Schmidt on the Detroit ball club who beat Cobb up six days in a row. When Cobb came into the locker room on the seventh day and challenged him to another fight, Schmidt told him to get lost. He was tired of fighting with him. If Cobb couldn't beat you, he'd tire you out. 


"And the pitchers hated him. too. When a pitcher threw the ball at his head, he would grab the ball out of the catcher's glove and throw it right back at the mound. Sometimes, he would lay a drag bunt down the first baseline so the pitcher would have to cover the bag. When he did. Mr. Cobb would spike him for all he was worth.”


"Ted Williams, said Bird, was another cocky player. "But he could back it up. believe me." Joe said. "I caught behind him in spring training once and he was so quick that he darn near took the ball out of my glove with his bat. " 


Another acquaintance of Bird's was quicker with his mouth than his bat.


"Casey Stengel was a crazy man." Bird said, laughing. "He was always talking, agitating and waving his arms around like a maniac trying to stir things up. He wasn't a great player, but he did the most with what he had and that's all you can ask of a player. He was one heck of a manager, too. but he couldn"t hold a candle to Joe McCarthy. McCarthy was the greatest manager ever. You'll never see another like him. 


"We probably won't see another Rogers Hornsby. either. Hornsby was a strange guy. He had a phobia about his eyes. There was nothing wrong with them as far as I know, but he wouldn't even go to the movies for fear that it would hurt his eyes." 


Bird believes that much of the fighting spirit has gone out of baseball and he has no time for free agents and their lawyers. 


"If I Philadelphia outfielder) Garry Maddox would have come into Mr. (Branch_ Rickey's office with one of those agents they have nowadays, he and his agent would have been thrown outta' there with a couple of chairs wrapped around their necks." 


Not that the players didn't have large egos in Bird's day. Cobb was not exactly the shy type. 


"When an ump would try to throw Cobb out of a game. Cobb would turn to him and say. Do you see those people in the stands? Who do you suppose they came to see? They came to see me, that's who. So, if you're gonna kick me out of the game, you might as well ask 10.000 fans to leave with me.'" 


Bird was booted out of his share of games when he coached at Allentown College. It was. in fact, a yearly tradition, one which he cherished. "It used to boil up in me all year and sooner or later. I knew that I would be kicked out of a game, but the umps tried to do it in a hurry. They knew old Joe knew what he was talking about and they were just trying to spare themselves any more embarrassment than was necessary. " 


Bird was tough on his players. One of his favorite sayings was. "If you can't take a little constructive criticism then you sure as hell don't want to play for me." 


He pointed to the pictures on the wall. "If all these fellas cried just because of a little constructive criticism, then they wouldn't have been much of anything. That's what it's all about. You gotta' be tough." 


Bird is still tough. He didn't give up jogging until he was 75 and he still looks like he could catch the first game of a doubleheader. And maybe the second, too. 


A picture of a scrappy young catcher from Baltimore hangs modestly in the corner of the den.


surrounded by baseball's greats. The man in the picture is smiling. 


Obviously, he is happy to be a part of it all.

Schmidt, Bench, Kingman, Parker join 4 Dodgers as all-stars


NEW YORK (AP) – Dodger fans will have plenty of chances to root for the home team at baseball's All-Star Game in Los Angeles next Tuesday night. Four Dodgers – second baseman Dave Lopes, shortstop Bill Russell, first baseman Steve Garvey and outfielder Reggie Smith – have been named to the National League's starting lineup. 


"Obviously, we have some outstanding players on this team and the fans have shown it by the way they have backed their club." said Tommy Lasorda, who manages the Dodgers but will surrender the dugout helm to Pittsburgh's Chuck Tanner for the 51st All-Star contest. 


The rest of the National League starters, elected in fan balloting as announced yesterday by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn: Catcher Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds, third baseman Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies and outfielders Dave Parker of Pittsburgh and Dave Kingman of the Chicago Cubs. 


It isn't likely that Tanner will name St. Louis shortstop Garry Templeton to the squad. Templeton, who last year said. "If I ain't startin', I ain't de-partin'." for the game, said yesterday he would decline the invitation if Tanner offers it. 


Templeton finished 500,000 votes behind Russell in the voting for shortstop, labelled the balloting "a joke" and said "I just want the days off." Tanner said he would take Templeton's views into consideration but added he would do all he could to convince Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons to become part of the NL squad. 


"I demand that he be on the team," said the manager. Simmons, who started last year but finished third this year, replied he would decide later whether he would accept. 


There was no question in Lopes' mind after the Los Angeles second baseman earned the most votes in the majors 3,862,403. "I'll be there," he. said. "I'm gratified that many people put the time into voting. It's nice to know you're that popular." 


Many of the Dodgers were that popular. Twelve NL players received two million votes or more, and seven of them play for Los Angeles: Lopes led them all with his total ; Garvey got 3,009,005: Ron Cey got 2,320,959; Smith, 2,283,416; Russell, 2,123,488; Steve Yeager received 2,119,196 to finish second to Bench among catcher, and Dusty Baker who finished fourth in the outfield voting got 2,108,727.


Garvey, aside from being the only other National Leaguer to amass three million votes, beat out both of the circuit's co-Most Valuable Players in earning the start. Willie Stargell of the Pirates finished second with 1,872,434 while Keith Hernandez of the Cardinals was next with 1,517,081. 


Lopes was nearly 2½ million votes ahead of Pittsburgh's Phil Garner in the second base voting; Cey 's total left some 370,000 short of Schmidt at third; Russell trimmed Cincinatti's Dave Concepcion in the shortstop balloting by some 285,000. and Kingman collected just 25,000 more votes than Baker to take the third outfield starting spot.

Is that a star or an onus hanging over Tom Lasorda’s head?


By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor


So, you think that's a star hanging ovr the head of Tom Lasorda? 


I mean, with four of his Dodgers starting for the National League All-Star team, Lasorda's floating on clouds. The ego trip gets bigger when you consider that the game will be played in Dodger Stadium. 


By now, Lasorda must have stacks of congratulatory messages. Signed by all the Hollywood biggies – Frank Sinatra, Don Rickles and others we see from time to time when the TV cameras focus on a Dodger Stadium crowd. 


"Nice going. Tom, we'll see you next Tuesday. Should be a great night for the Dodgers." 


Lasorda loves this kind of thing. He'll enjoy it more since he'll be in the stands right with his Hollywood pals. He'll do the hob-nobbing and Chuck Tanner will do the managing. Party night in the Stadium Club. 


Lasorda proudly observed the final balloting. "Obviously," he said, "we have some outstanding players on this team (the Dodgers ) and the fans have shown it by the way they have backed their club." 


So much for the star hanging over Lasorda s head. 


The star could be an onus, if you look at the picture realistically. Suppose this star-studded Dodger team comes up empty-handed in the race for the National League championship? 


There goes the star. Strange thing about professional sports. The blame rarely falls on the players. The managers take it all. Ever hear of player getting fired when his team doesn t win the pennant? 


The Astros might be for real. At the moment, they have a two-game lead on the Dodgers. Cincinnati isn't dead, either, in the Western Division. 


Today's hero, tomorrow's goat. You wonder how many of those Los Angeles votes will be cast for Lasorda if the Dodgers fail in the pennant race. 


Last year, the Phils had five players in the National League lineup and you know what happened to Danny Ozark.


It would be a shame to see Lasorda go the route of Ozark. If there is a manager who lives and dies for the organization for which he works, it is Lasorda. You heard those "Dodger blue" stories a hundred times. 


Obviously, as Lasorda says, the talent is there. And Lasorda seems to be pulling the right strings. But a breakdown somewhere along the way isn't going to help. 


So, as the season heads toward the halfway mark, let's let Lasorda bask in the limelight with the rest of the Hollywod stars. Let him start to worry in September, if there is. indeed, a cause to get worried. 


Meanwhile, there is some restlessness among some of the players. But that's nothing new. 


With some of the walking wounded voted to the starting lineup, there are going to be openings. Some of the backups aren't happy about taking their places. 


Then, there are others like Gary Templeton who flatly says he won't show if he's picked as an alternate. He feels that if he wasn't voted in, he'd rather have the days off. the only real holiday of the long season. 


Of course, there are the fans who are restless as well. A vote of any kind never seems to satisfy everyone. 


The Phillies fans are miffed because Manny Trillo didn't make the starting lineup. And Cardinal fans are miffed because George Hendrick was bypassed. 


Surely, both of these players will be picked by Tanner. So will others who belong but didn't make it. 


Mike Schmidt was the only Phillie to make the team and what a shame it would have been had he been left out. Schmidt has generated excitement all around the league with his home-run hitting power. He doesn't do a bad job defensively, either. 


The Phils will undoubtedly have Steve Carlton in the game. too. In fact, chances are very good that he'll start if it doesn't interfer with Dallas Green's plans. 


Reggie Smith is an interesting selection. He's the real veteran on the team – age 35. While he never made the National League All-Star team. Smith was a six-time choice when he played in the American League. 


Smith, who many forget was the center-fielder for the 1967 American League champion Red Sox. is currently the second best hitter in the National League with a .328 average.


He's been a big weapon for the Dodgers ever since he arrived on the West Coast.

All-Star Roster


NEW YORK (AP) - Final results of the fan balloting for the 1980 National League All-Star team, which will face the American League Tuesday, July 8 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles: 



1, Johnny Bench, Cincinnati, 2,179,169; 2, Steve Yeager, Los Angeles, 2,119,196; 3, Ted Simmons, St.Louis, 1,933,596; 4, Gary Carter, Montreal, 1,690,351; 5, Ed Off, Pittsburgh, 741,692; 6, Bob Boone, Philadelphia, 688,195; 7, Barry Foote, Chicago, 312,601; 8, John Stearns, New York, 297,249. 


First Base 

1, Steve Garvey, Los Angeles, 3,009,005; 2, Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh, 1,872,434; 3, Keith Hernandez, St.Louis, 1,517,081; 4, Pete Rose, Philadelphia, 1,399,133; 5, Chris Chambliss, Atlanta, 667,911; 6, Dan Driessen, Cincinnati, 550,147; 7, Bill Buckner, Chicago, 544,252; 8, LeeMazzilli, New York, 470,331. 


Second Base 

1, Davey Lopes, Los Angeles, 3,862,403; 2, Phil Garner, Pittsburgh, 1,448,510; 3, Rodney Scott, Montreal, 1,356,689; 4, Dave Cash, San Diego, 1,120,660; 5, Manny Trillo, Philadelphia, 834,676; 6, Ken Oberkfell, San Diego, 703,870; 7, Doug Flynn, New York, 408,900; 8, Rennie Stennett, San Francisco, 405,855. 


Third Base 

1, Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia, 2,693,037; 2, Ron Cey, Los Angeles, 2,320,959; 3, Larry Parrish, Montreal, 1,500,513; 4, Bill Madlock, Pittsburgh, 1,188,184; 5, Ray Knight, Cincinnati, 949,759; 6, Ken Reitz, St. Louis, 941,877; 7, Enos Cabell, Houston, 272,008; 8, Darrell Evans, San Francisco, 238,597. 



1, Bill Russell, Los Angeles, 2,123,488; 2, Dave Concepcion, Cincinnati, 1,838,779; 3, Garry Templeton, St. Louis, 1,658,984; 4, Larry Bowa, Philadelphia, 1,236,600; 5, Ozzie Smith, San Diego, 1,219,120; 6, Tim Foli, Pittsburgh, 938,775; 7, Frank Taveras, New York, 619,224; Ivan DeJesus, Chicago, 531,700.




1, Dave Parker, Pittsburgh, 2,896,643; 2, Reggie Smith, Los Angeles, 2,283,416; 3, Dave Kingman, Chicago, 2,133,252; 4, Dusty Baker, Los Angeles, 2,108,727; 5, Greg Luzinski, Philadelphia, 2,063,068; 6, Ron LeFlore, Montreal, 1,709,130; 7, George Foster, Cincinnati, 1,681,542; 8, Dave Winfield, San Diego, 1,681,043; 9, Ellis Valentine, Montreal, 1,323,633; 10, Andre Dawson, Montreal, 1,272,700; 11, George Hendrick, St. Louis, 939,622; 12, Bobby Bonds, St. Louis, 873,638; 13, Omar Moreno, Pittsburgh, 872,359; 14, Ken Griffey, Cincinnati, 836,491; 15, Bake Mc-Bride, Philadelphia, 811,173; 16, Garry Maddox, Philadelphia, 788,451.