Allentown Morning Call - May 14, 1980

Suddenly, this city’s a place where champs play


By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor


The Flyers were on the Spectrum ice last night for the start of the Stanley Cup final. Not too shabby, right? 


The 76ers were out in Los Angeles last night preparing for Game 5 of the NBA final. Not too shabby, either. 


Goodness, the Phillies leave town and nobody notices. 


The City of Philadelphia, kicked around long enough, suddenly is a place where champions play.


Could the Flyers and the 76ers give Philadelphia a sweep of the winter games? Could they match the accomplishments of the Pirates and Steelers who stood the City of Pittsburgh on its ear with championships in baseball and football? 


Sure they could. And, lookout, if they would. 


The Flyers' celebrations after Stanley Cup victories in 1974 and 1975 still rank with the wildest ever seen on Broad Street. Two million fanatics, most of them decked out in the orange and black colors of the Flyers, packed Broad Street to cheer their heroes. 


The championship was something Philadelphians ached for for years. Great city, Philadelphia, win or lose. But it had its share of losers in the past, so this sudden surge of champions isn't going to pass without notice. 


The Flyers, most of the experts say, have the better chance of bringing home a championship. Never mind what happened last night. 


Why? "For the plain and simple reason," said one close NHL observer, "they are the best team in hockey. Sure, the Islanders are the hottest hockey team right now, but over the long haul, give me the best team. Philadelphia is the best." 


The NBA followers aren't saying that about the Sixers. Perhaps it is because of their inconsistency. Some of those inconsistencies have shown up much too often in the series against the Lakers. 


Especially in the rontcourt where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rules supreme.


While the Sixers and Lakers have a coast-to-coast appeal, the Flyers and the Islanders are strictly an all-East confrontation. Beautiful for folks around here who have watched both the Flyers and Islanders all season long. 


It's become a rivalry that is fast approaching the rivalries of the past, like the Yankees and Dodgers of old, or, for an update, like the Sixers and the Celtics. 


"I don't think the NHL can have a better matchup than the Flyers and the Islanders," the NHL observer said. "This will be a series in which anything can happen. Just look at what these two teams did against each other in the regular season. Not only did they split, but they did it with identical scores." 


Or, as Islander goalie Chico Resch said: "This thing is wide open. It couldn't be any more wide open. Whichever team loses won't be able to say it got beat by a better team. It will get beat by a hungrier team, or the team that gets the lucky bounce.”


The series is an appealing one, too, in that both are comparative newcomers to the NHL. Isn't the Stanley Cup normally reserved for Montreal, Toronto or Boston? 


The Flyers proved differently when they won the Cup in 1974 and 1975. They were the first, and only, so far, expansion team to win hockey's biggest prize. 


Are the newer Islanders going to add more proof? 


New Yorkers might be in the same boat that Philadelphians were in not too long ago. Okay, New Yorkers have the Yankees, but after that, what else? 


Funny how the Islanders are now the darlings of the New York crowd. Hard for New Yorkers to swallow because this is one team that doesn't play in Madison Square Garden. 


There is still another appeal in this series. Both are very physical teams, not brawlers, mind you, but slam-bang kind of teams that hockey fans love. 


"Philadelphia may still have the stigma of brawlers,” said the NHL observer. "That's a carryover from the '74 and '75 teams. They aren't the Broad Street Bullies anymore. Oh, they are physical, all right, but there is a difference. This is a smooth, but very tough Philadelphia team." 


One more piece of expertise from the NHL observer "This series is going to be decided in the four corners of the rink. Call it 'digging out the puck.”


For the moment, so much for the Flyers and Islanders and the Sixers and Lakers. There's more to come, of course. 


Just suppose Philadelphia has one, or two, championship teams. They'll have to alert the National Guard. Broad Street will never be the same. 


Yep, even wilder than '74 and '75 – if that's possible.

Horner gets 1st RBI in win over Phils


ATLANTA (AP) – "It was just a flare to right, but I'll take it," Bob Horner said last night after getting his first run batted in of the season in the Atlanta Braves' 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. 


"I hit some balls tonight better than that one. but I sure was pleased." he said. "I don't want to stand up there in the box and make outs. 


"You must remember that was only my 12th game and that's not that long,” he added.


Horner was making only his second start since being reinstated by the Braves after he refused to report when Atlanta optioned him to their Richmond farm in the International League three weeks ago. 


Doyle Alexander gained his first victory in three decisions and came on his sixth start. 


"Let's hope it's not six more before I get another one," he said. 


Horner's single was Atlanta's third straight hit off Randy Lerch, 0-5, in the second inning and scored pitcher Doyle Alexander, 1-2, who started the two-out rally with a single. The Braves added another run in the inning on Gary Matthews' RBI single.


Alexander, 1-2. had a three-hitter going into the eighth inning when he was chased after yielding a walk and a double to Pete Rose. Bake McBride then delivered a two-run single off reliever Rick Camp. 


Atlanta scored two unearned runs in the first. After Matthews reached second on an error by third baseman Mike Schmidt, the Braves followed with consecutive RBI doubles by Chris Chambliss and Jeff Burroughs.


Schmidt laced a bad-hop double past third to score Pete Rose with an unearned run for the Phillies in the first after Rose had reached on an error by Chambliss at first. 


In the eighth, the Braves scored three times. Chambliss tripled home a run and scored on an error on the play and Dale Murphy followed with a solo home run.