Annapolis Capital - October 13, 1980

Dallas Green Badgered Phils To Championship


The Associated Press


HOUSTON (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies finally did it Manager Dallas Green's way.


Green, who had ruffled his players' feathers throughout the season with demands to show more character, got it Sunday when the Phils refused to fold and finally beat the Houston Astros 8-7 in the fifth and deciding game of the National League championship series.


"I've badgered these guys ever since spring training that we need to show more character," Green said in a delirious Phils dressing room. "I don't know of any greater display of character than was shown by our team tonight. It was incredible."


The Astros, National League Western Division champions for the first time in their star-crossed 19-year history, had built a reputation all season for rally from the brink of defeat but the Phils stole their thunder in the finale.


"I saw stuff out there tonight that I couldn't believe," Phils slugger Mike Schmidt said in a champagne-drenched Phillie dressing room. "We had heart second to none. Both teams were digging for it. There was so much at stake. I can't believe we did it."


But they did, rallying twice in the tension- packed game to finally beat the Astros in the 10th inning on a pair of doubles by Del Unser and Garry Maddox that broke a 7-7 deadlock and sent the Phils into the World Series against Kansas City for the first time since 1950.


The Phils lost that series to the New York Yankees in four straight games but Maddox doesn't expect a repeat of the team's last World Series appearance.


"You can have a lot of talent on a team and still not win," Maddox assessed. "But this team has the talent and the ability to work together as a team to get the job done. That's what we did tonight and that's why we won."


Left fielder Greg Luzinski, champagne dripping from his hair, echoed the feeling of the entire team.


"Let them say we don't have heart anymore," Luzinski said. "I think we proved to the world that we don't have a quitter on this team."


Relief pitcher Tug McGraw, who appeared in each of the tense five games of the championship playoffs, said "There weren't any real losers on the field today. I'm just so proud to be a Philadelphia Phillie today. As you can see around you, the guys are loose with 162 games worth of emotion. All year long people have doubted us, but today we proved them all wrong.


"I'm just so proud to be a part of such a wonderful series. After watching these last five games,' it is easy to see that baseball is truly the American pasttime."

Phils Nip Astros, Join Royals In World Series


The Associated Press


HOUSTON (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies and the Kansas City Royals, disciples of that famous fable that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again, are 1980 World Series opponents.


The Phillies joined the Royals in ending years of frustration by winning their league pennant to reach the best-of-seven Senes, which starts in Philadelphia tomorrow mght.


Kansas City, an expansion team which had never won more than" its West Division, captured the American League pennant in a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees. It was a tougher road for the Phillies, who had to go the full five games before subduing the Houston Astros to win the National League flag.


Philadelphia fell behind two games to one, and came back to win the two final games, both in extra innings.


The Phillies closed out the West Division champion Astros, 8-7 in 10 innings Sunday night in the Astrodome, with Garry Maddox, once a playoff goat, doubling across the winning run.


Both the Phillies and Royals won their divisions in four of the last five years. The Royals lost three AL playoffs to the East champion Yankees. The Phillies were swept by Cincinnati in 1976, and lost 3-1 to Los Angeles in both 1977 and 1978.


While the Royals are making their first World Series appearance, the Phillies' history isn't much better. Philadelphia reached the Series just twice, in 1915 and 1950. They won just one game 65 years ago against the Boston Red Sox, and were swept in four by the Yankees in '50.


Their life has been frustration, especially in 1964, when they led the one-division league by 6-1/2 games with 12 to play and lost 10 straight to blow the pennant


The Phillies, who edged the Montreal Expos for this year's East Division title on the next-to-last day of the season, won the first game of the playoff at home in the series against the West-winning Astros.


They were the favorites to blow out the almost anonymous Astros, who had to beat the Dodgers in a one-game playoff to win the West. But after winning the opening game, the Phillies were taken to a major league record-setting four straight extra inning postseason games before heading for the champagne.


It was a series that featured weird plays, such as a triple play that became a double play after a 20 minute rhubarb, a Houston run cancelled because a runner left base before a sacrifice fly was caught, a ball that was trapped in right field and resulted in a rally-killing double play when the umpire ruled it had been caught.


All that happened in the fourth game. In the finale Sunday, the Astros scored three in the bottom of the seventh and the Phillies rallied for five in the eighth.


The Astros wouldn't quit. They scored two and tied it 7-7 in the eighth, and held on until Del Unser doubled and scored on Maddox's two-out double in the 10th.


For Maddox it was retribution. In 1978 at Los Angeles he dropped a routine line drive that gave the Dodgers the clinching NL playoff victory.


"I'd forgotten about that," said the happy Maddox in the madhouse that was the Phillies' dressing room.


A champagne bottle in his hand, a smile bas broad as the ocean on his face, Maddox said, "This more than makes up for that. It's the happiest day of my career."


Second baseman Manny Trillo was voted the Most Valuable Player of the playoff with 8 bits in 21 at bats for an average of .381, including a two-run triple in the eighth inning of the clinching game.


The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first inning behind fireballing Nolan Ryan on an RBI double by Jose Cruz. The Phillies came back with two in the second as Bob Boone ripped a two-run single.


Houston tied it in the sixth with the help of a two-base error and a pinch-hit single by Alan Ashby. When the Astros scored three in the seventh, it looked like the Phillies were done.


But the team many said lacked character refused to quit. They came back with five in the eighth to take a 7-5 lead. The Astros tied it with two in the eighth, but Dick Ruthven, a starting pitcher, came on in relief and retired six straight batters, while Unser and Maddox provided the winning run.


Phillies' manager Dallas Green, champagne dripping from his 6-foot, 5-inch frame and tears welling in his eyes, said of his team:


"I don't know if I'll live through this one. I badgered these guys about the necessity of character since spring training. I don't know any greater display of character than this team showed in the month of September, in clinching the division and in this series. They didn't quit. It was incredible."


Boone, the veteran catcher who with Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Trillo, Pete Rose and Bake McBride formed the core of this team, was in an emotional state.


Usually cool and verbal, Boone lay exhausted on a table, and the words came slowly.


"It was unbelievable. All the pent up emotions of all these years, it was all worth it. Ask the city (Philadelphia) about character on this one."


Bowa said this was something he dreamed of since he was 5 years old, and now that it was here he found it hard to believe.


Rose, a tower of strength and example of leadership by action, said the World Series would be fun. He observed that the playoffs, against guys he had competed against all season — friends, he called them — was.the real pressure.


Manager Bill Virdon of the Astros said the playoff "has been outstanding. It typified the two clubs that played in it. The Phillies played well and always came back at us. The Phillies are deserving winners. You have to give them credit.


"But I have to credit my club too We are better than a lot of people gave us credit for being. My hat is off to the Astros They never quit."


The Phillies drank to that, and everything else too.