Allentown Morning Call - June 22, 1980

The Phillies are now having problems on first West Coast trip=


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Darrell Evans drove in three runs and Jack Clark continued his hot hitting with a double to trigger a three-run fifth Inning which led the San Francisco Giants to a 9-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday. The defeat was the third straight for the Phils as their record on their first West Coast trip fell to 3-3. 


The Giants stroked four consecutive hits off Randy Lerch. 2-9, as they broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth. Clark's hit was his second double of the game and his 11th hit in four games.


Ed Whitson, 5-7, who had an RBI single in San Francisco's four-run eighth inning, allowed seven hits, three by Greg Gross, as the Giants won their fourth straight game and their ninth in the last 12. Evans doubled for two runs in the eighth. 


In the fifth inning. Clark moved to third on Rich Murray's infield single and scored on Jim Wohlford's single to right. Joe Strain then doubled to left, scoring two runs. Strain was 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles in the game. 


The Phillies scored a run in the second on singles by Del Unser, Gross and Manny Trillo, and scored again the fifth when Trillo came home from second on a wild pitch that bounded 50 feet away from home plate. 


Evans drove in the Giants' first run with a bunt single in the third and Mike Sadek gave San Francisco a 2-1 lead in fourth with a sacrifice fly. Pete Rose had an RBI double for the Phils in the ninth.

Phils could become part of history – ‘One win from Steve, 3-day reprieve’


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


It has become almost a "fait accompli" that the Phillies do not have good enough starting pitching to win the Eastern Division and certainly not the pennant this season. Personally, I agree with that assessment, though I agree with it only when manager Dallas Green, who is 6-5 and 225 pounds, is not within earshot. 


But Green keeps insisting the Phillies do have enough and he has several historical precedents on his side. Though good starting pitching has been the most important ingredient of many (perhaps most) champions during this century, there have been several examples of teams winning championships with starting pitching that could be considered shakier than the Phillies'. 


The most obvious, and certainly the most poetic example, is the Boston Braves of 1948 who won the National League pennant with only Johnny Sain and Warren Spahn as capable starting pitchers. (You've all heard the ditty so I won't go into it.)


But the surprising thing about '48 was that even Spahn didn't have a great year. He was 15-12 with a 3.71 ERA while Sain was 24-15 with a 2.60 ERA. The other starters that year were Vern Bickford, who had a decent rookie season (11-5, 3.27), Charles "Red" Barrett, a lifetime .500 pitcher who was 7-8 that season, and the unmemorable Bill "Ninety-Six" Voiselle, who was also mediocre with a 13-13 mark and a 3.63 ERA. One suspects the National League wasn't loaded with offense that year and the Braves did fall to the Indians 4-2 in the series.


As with most clubs in that situation, the Braves did everything possible to get something out of a fifth starter, and they picked up 37-year-old Nels Potter who contributed a few wins late in the season. And rookie Bobby Hogue and Clyde Shoun helped out in the bullpen. 


The 1967 Boston Red Sox did not have a good starting staff, either, and it's anyone's guess where they would've finished without Jim Lonborg, who went 22-9 with a 3.16 ERA. Beset by injuries, Lonborg never won more than 14 games in one season the rest of his career. 


After Lonborg, it was scramble city. The Bosox got Gary Bell from Cleveland and he went 12-8 with a 3.31 ERA in 29 games. Dave Morehead, no relation to former Phillie non-immortal, Seth Morehead, started nine games and went 5-4. Jerry Stephenson and Gary Wadlewski, a rookie, also got some work and Darrell Brandon (5-11), Jose Santiago (12-4, 3.59) and Lee Stange (8-10, 2.77) were used as starters and relievers. Ken Brett was a rookie that season and saw only two innings of action. 


A classic case of a winning team that scrambled for starting pitching was the Dodgers of 1952 who, as was their wont, lost to the Yankees in the series. But it was amazing they got as far as they did.


The rotation consisted of Carl Erskine, Schoolboy Roe (today's trivia question – what was Roe's real first name?) Billy Loes and Ben Wade, but 11 different pitchers started games for the Dodgers that season. No starter won more than 14 games Erskine was the top winner at 14-6 although Roe was 11-2, following up an incredible 22-3 year in 1951, when the Dodgers didn't win the pennant. 


But Brooklyn did have Joe Black coming out of the bullpen and he had as good a season of relief as you'll find in modern times. He was the top winner on the staff that year at 15-4 and his ERA was 2.15. And it didn't hurt, either, that possibly no starting eight in the history of baseball was better offensively and defensively with Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Billy Cox, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Andy Palfko and Carl Furillo. 


The Dodger pennant-winners of '53 were almost the same, with the addition of rookie Johnny Podres to the staff. Podres had a rough first season with a 9-4 record and a 4.23 ERA and even Black slipped to a 6-3 mark and a 5.33 ERA. But Erskine (20-6, 3.54 and Roe 11-3, 4.36 kept finding ways to win… though not in the series which the Damn Yankees again won. 


Probably the most publicized recent example of a team winning despite its starting pitching was Cincinnati in the mid-'70s. In 1975, the Reds won the National League pennant with a starting rotation of Jack Billingh, Don Gullett, Gary Nolan and Fred die Norman. The first three all won games that year (Gullett, who was probably one of the best pitchers in baseball at that time, was 15-4 but it was obviously more the offense of Rose, Morgan, Bench, Foster, et al, that won the flag. 


What is often overlooked, however, is that Boston, which won the American League pennant that year, probably had a worse staff. Bill Lee was 17-9 with a 3.95 ERA. Luis Tiant was 18-14, 4.02. Rick Wise was 19-12, 3.95. Reggie Cleveland was 13-9, 4.42. The pitching was so shaky that the Bosox had to trade for Roger Moret who had some surprising success in spot starts, finishing with a 14-3 record and a 3.60 ERA. 


The lesson here is that good pitching isn't always the key…  and it is most certainly not the key to fan enjoyment. Despite the dearth of big-name pitchers, the Reds and the Red Sox played one of the most memorable World Series of modern times that year.


Any optimists out there say the Phillies could become a part of baseball history in that way? How does, "One win from Steve and a three-day reprieve" sound?

Happy second birthday, ABE


ABE’s Got The Answers


ABE nearly forgot his second birthday. After a hectic whirlwind tour of the southern section of the Keystone state, the wizard of quiz nearly didn't make it back to the Lehigh Valley. 


It wasn't until he stopped in at one of his favorite watering holes that he was reminded he was 104 columns old. Jim Stephanous, owner of "The Garrison" on Bethlehem's New Street, presented ABE with a cake decorated "Happy Second Birthday ABE." 


The band and bar goers broke into the traditional song and the cake was cut and passed out to the patrons. First time ABE had beer and birthday cake – at the same time.


The Sultan of Stats wasn't exactly weaned from the bottle – he just switched. 


During the year, ABE again baffled Lehigh Valley triviots with his second annual trivia quiz. Even Doc Zog, a trivia wizard himself, had trouble with ABE's quiz. 


ABE got himself in hot water over Howard Cosell. Some readers took offense to a statement that ABC's honcho was a man whose self-created image as an orator extraordinaire is as false as the hair on his head. ABE also came under attack for his knock at Phil "Holy Cow it's the Money Store" Rizutto." 


The American Fisherman ABE is not. During an expedition off the coast of Sea Isle City ABE got a strike, but his cigarette burned the line and he lost his catch. Moments later, his two companions hauled in three fish and a mess of line. ABE got partial credit for a weakfish. 


The Pick a Manager get a check really two tickets to the Phillies' home opener drew great response as ABE polled his readers to find a new Philadelphia field general. Most wanted Dallas Green. 


ABE even got a chance to ta lk to the Pope, who listed his all-time football and baseball teams with players such as Preacher Rowe, Haven Moses and Hi Church.


ABE even suggested the Lehigh Valley as an alternate site for the Summer Olympics. What's wrong with holding the bicycling events on Route 22? PennDOT has the highway closed half the time anyway. 


ABE is miffed that he only got one note of congratulation on his second year. Shel the Soothsayer, a regular contributor to ABE's weekly works of wit and wisdom, called – collect, of course with the following congratulations "I can't believe that already you're going to be entering the Terrible Twos. 


"Seems like only yesterday that I gazed into my crystal ball the black one with three holes in it and Brunswick written on the side and gave you my first prediction. Here's another prediction You'll make it to three if you avoid sunlight, fast women and any further criticisms of Howard Cosell." 


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ABE, what was the only year that there was a Triple Crown winner in both the American and National Leagues if there was one, and what player won the batting title and had it taken away from him? 

K.N., Hellertown 


Chuck Klein of the Phillies and Jimmie Foxx of the A's each won the triple titles in 1933. Foxx had 48 homers, 163 RBI and a .356 average. Klein hit .368 with 28 homers and 120 RBI. The only man to be stripped of a batting title was Taffy Wright. Before a 1951 rule change that set 400 times at bat to qualify for the batting crown, a player had to appear in 100 games. 


In '38, Wright appeared in exactly 100 contests and hit .350. But the league claimed that under the existing rule, Wright had not come to bat enough times and the title was handed to Foxx. 


Ted Williams appeared to have won the batting title in 1954, but he did not qualify because he only batted 386 times.


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ABE got into a discussion last week about the affable Philadelphia broadcaster Richie Ashburn. The subject was the number of home runs he hit. As near as ABE can figure, Whitey smacked 22 homers in his 15-year career. His high was four in 1951 with the Phils. Not known for his power, must of Ashburn's round-tripper were on the inside the park variety.


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ABE, this question is bugging lots of people, especially a certain Conrail yardmaster. I would appreciate it if you could answer it. What years were the Boston club (National League) called the Bees? 

Joe Destalo, Bethlehem 


The Boston franchise was first known as the Red Stockings, then the Reds, the Red Caps, the Beaneaters, the Nationals, the Doves, the Rustlers, the Braves, the Bees and again the Braves. It wasn't until 1912 that they first became known as the Braves. 


A syndicate headed by John Quinn took over the Braves in 1936. He never had a cellar dwelling club, but neither did he have a first division outfit. He thought that changing the club's nickname to Bees would help, but it didn't and in 1941 they were the Braves again. 


Send your question to ABE, Sports, the Sunday Call-Chronicle, 6th and Linden streets, Allentown, Pa. 18105..

Cheers & Jeers


Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor: 


Too often these days, people are quick to criticize professional athletes for no reason at all. A member of the Philadelphia Phillies has cured us of that habit. In fact, he's gained our praises. 


On May 24 after the Phillies-Houston game, our van wouldn't start. Stranded in the parking lot, we found another car willing to jump the battery, but none of us new how to use the cables. 


"Bake" McBride was walking through the lot and was kind enough to help us. Afterwards, he signed autographs, too. 


Although none of us were big fans of his at the time, we certainly are now. Maybe if more people saw this side of a "superstar," they would go a little easier with the cuts and digs.



Cathy Bowers 

Hellertown, Pa. 

Lois, Sue and Sheree Hunt 

Bethlehem, Pa. 


Dear Editor: The May 30th edition of your paper had an article regarding the sabbatical leave Bruce Trotter is taking from his coaching duties at Dieruff High. 


To me, and many other readers the article gave the impression that Bruce would be spending the year helping his brother-in-law in his lucrative pace making business and reaping great rewards for this. Bruce's brother-in-law has been paralyzed since last May due to a tragic accident and Bruce will be taking the year to work with him in a strenuous rehabilitation program, giving him physical and moral support, along with helping in his business any way he can. To do this, Bruce and his family will have to make many sacrifices and will do so willingly. 


I think the best way to describe Bruce would be, that should he be asked, "Are you your brother's he would undoubtedly answer, "l am." 



Judy Guss 


Allentown, Pa.