Allentown Morning Call - June 4, 1980
Ott’s clutch hit beats Phils
PITTSBURGH (AP) Even at 5-foot-10 and 1-for-4 at the plate, catcher Ed Ott casts a long shadow in Pirate Manager Chuck Tanner's eyes.
"He's strong, he's capable, he's tough, he has no Tanner said after Ott stroked a bases-loaded single to break a tie and give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-3 ninth-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies last night.
"There's no tougher one than Ed Ott. I don't care how big they come or how small they are," Tanner said.
There were two outs and three men oh when Ott stepped to the plate with the score tied at 3-3 in the ninth.
"I just love pressure," Ott said, smiling. "I really enjoy getting those kind of hits against Philadelphia," said the Philadelphia area native. "Nobody knows how grateful I am."
As he faced Philadelphia reliever Tug McGraw, Ott was 0-for-3. "So?" he said. "Tug made a mistake and I took advantage of it."
McGraw, 0-2, who stopped a Pirate threat in the eighth, had little to say after the game. "There's really nothing to say. What can you say?" McGraw asked before standing up from his locker stool, screaming his frustration, and walking into the shower.
Vance Law singled and Willie Stargell and Bill Madlock were walked prior to Ott's big hit.
Grant Jackson, 5-1, the fourth Pirate pitcher, picked up the victory.
In the first, Bake McBride doubled with one out and scored on Mike Schmidt's 18th homer of the season, off Eddie Solomon, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phils scored again in the third when Greg Luzinski tripled to score Schmidt, who had walked.
The Pirates scored twice in the sixth when Law reached on a bloop single, moved to third on Dave Parker's double and scored on Stargell's single. Mike Easler's RBI doubled scored Parker, but McGraw relieved Phillies starter Dick Ruthven to end the threat.
Stargell tied the game 3-3 with a solo homer to open the Pirates eighth off McGraw.
In the wake of last week's bench-clearing brawl in Philadelphia, umpires warned both squads that no warning would be given before ejections in case of brushback pitches. But a round of boos was the only consequence when Ruthven hit Madlock in the upper arm with a man on in the second inning.
These kids are making dad proud
By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor
On a rainy day, while the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates are killing time with gin games, hearts or Scrabble, Dale Berra and Vance Law could play, "Can You Top This."
DALE BERRA: "My dad (Yogi Berra) played for the most famous team of all, the New York Yankees."
VANCE LAW: "Oh, yeah (with laughter), did he ever tell you about the 1960 World Series?"
DALE BERRA: 'Yeah, he said that was a fluke.”
VANCE LAW: "Well, think what you want, but my dad (Vernon Law) won two games in that World Series. And his team beat those great Yankees.
DALE BERRA: "Big deal. My dad holds World Series records for games, at bats, hits, singles, consecutive errorless games and hitting a grand slam."
VANCE LAW: “My dad was the Cy Young winner in 1960."
DALE BERRA: "My dad was a most valuable player, not once, but three times. He made the All-Star team 15 times.”
VANCfc LAW: "Okay, Dale, you win. Your dad was a helluva player, nice guy, too."
DALE BERRA: "Thanks, Vance, your dad made his mark, too. Let's just say we're lucky guys whose fathers just happened to be better than average major league players."
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Yogi Berra and Vernon Law, heroes of another era. It doesn't seem like 20 years ago that these two faced each other in one of the wildest World Series ever played.
The Pirates won that one, four games to three. Remember Bill Mazeroski's home run in the ninth inning of Game No. 7?
Strange as it may seem, both the senior Berra and the senior Law are still in baseball. Berra coaches with the Yankees and Law coaches in Japan.
Enter their offsprings:
Both Dale Berra and Vance Law are infielders with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both 'are utility players, getting a chance because of some injuries to the regulars.
The kids – both of them – are making their dads proud.
First, a look at young Law. Monday night, he picked up a pair hits in Pittsburgh's 9-3 win. The kid-was impressive enough to be Rich Ashburn 's postgame interview.
Last week, Law was called in from Portland after an injury to Tim Foli. Foli is expected to be out for another 10 days or so.
Law, who is 23 years old, has a Cinderella-type story behind his rise in baseball. In the June 1978 free agent draft, he was the Pirates' selection on the 39th round. Most clubs had stopped making selections by then.
However, Murray Cook, the Pirates' farm director, said the club took Law as a favor to his father. "We owed Vernon Law's son an opportunity. So far, he has paid off for us.”
Law went to Salem in 1978 and hit .319 in 60 games. He jumped to Portland last year and hit .310 in 131 games. This season, he was hitting .339 after 48 games. He was called "the best player in the Pacific Coast League."
They say young Law is very much like his dad. He has his father's easy-going temperament, but he's a fierce competitor on the field.
Dale Berra is the more famous of the tvo, mainly because of his dad's more heralded accomplishments. Another fact is that Dale has been up with the Pirates before.
Young Berra split his time last year between Portland and Pittsburgh. In 56 games with the minor league team, Dale hit .325 and rapped six home runs.
With the champion Pirates, he saw service in 44 games and hit .211. He was a valuable utility player through the stretch.
Young Berra stormed into the spotlight last Sunday. He collected three hits, including a grand slam as Pittsburgh beat the Mets 13-3.
In 49 at-bats this spring; Berra is hitting .349. "He's hitting the ball as well as anybody on our team," said Manager Chuck Tanner.
Berra came up for the first time in 1977, at the age of 20, and hit just .175 in 40 at bats. Last year, he started with the Pirates, but was sent back to the minors when the Pirates landed Bill Madlock from the Giants.
With a player like Madlock in front of him, Berra knew his fate, but kept fighting himself. "I wouldn't play for a week and a half and I'd get in and say to myself, 'how the heck am I supposed to do the job?"
Young Berra's getting the job done right now, but what happens when the regulars return? "I don't even want to think about that," he says.