Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - October 13, 1980
Is This The Year For The Phillies?
For the first time since 1973, the Phillies will open the National League baseball season without mild-mannered Danny Ozark at the helm. And for the first time since 1976, the Phillies will open the season as something other than defending Eastern Division champs.
Ozark has since relocated as third base coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but his memory lingers, even today, both in the hearts and minds of the Philadelphia players, fans, and press.
Under Ozark, the Phils were frequently criticized as a team of nonchalance and indifference. Ozark's bumbling, stumbling, low key demeanor only served to enhance such a reputation. It is one the Phillies have never lived down.
New manager Dallas Green promises things will be different in 1980. Loud, opinionated, gruff, Green's style is everything Ozark's wasn't. In guiding the Phils to a 19-11 mark during his interim reign last season, Green kicked dirt on umpires, openly criticized his players, and in general, made his voice heard from Philadelphia to Trenton. The players call him "Whispers."
Green himself has warned that a rough and tumble style is not to be confused with leadership. Despite his low profile approach, Ozark directed the Phils to Division titles for three straight seasons ('76-'77-'78). Green has stated the Phils have the talent to be playing in the World Series. It Is his job to get them there.
The big question then, is how? Position by position, man for man, the Phillies have boasted one of baseball's most imposing lineups over the past two years. The signing of free agent Pete Rose was supposed to provide the spark to put the Phils over the top. Instead, they finished a dismal fourth.
In 1980, the starting lineup will remain intact. Rose is back, even at age 38, to challenge for yet another National League batting crown. Shortstop Larry Bowa and second baseman Manny Trillo boast two of baseball's slickest gloves, while third baseman Mike Schmidt blasted 45 home runs last season. Greg Luzinski, slimmed down 22 pounds from last season, greyhound Garry Maddox, and rightfielder Bake McBride have all hit .300 or better during their major league careers. Bob Boone, underrated at catcher, has been an all-star for the past two seasons.
Green's biggest question will be the pitching. Steve Carlton won 18 games in 1979, but starters Nino Espinosa, Dick Ruthven, and Larry Christensen have been nagged by injury both this season and last.
In the bullpen, Doug Bird and Rawly Eastwick have been released to make room for newcomers Lerrln LaGrowe and Scott Munnlnghoff. But Green is still counting on veterans Tug McGraw and Ron Reed to handle most of the chores.
A new manager, a new image, a new beginning. This might be the season for the Phils to put it all together.
Pennant-Starved Fans Have Their First World Series In 30 Years
The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) - After 30 years, four division titles and five tense playoff games Philadelphia fans again have a National League pennant.
The Philadephia Phillies, who have won three previous division lilies but failed lo reach the World Series, finally opened the champagne after their 8-7 nail-biting. come-from-behind victory over the Housion Astros in 10 innings Sunday night.
And for R.R.M . "Ruly" Carpenter III, it was a moment to be savored.
"The real winners tonight are the Philly fans. They've waited a long time," the Phillies chairman of the board said during the locker room celebration.
The determined, battle-hardened Phillies rallied twice in the tension-packed game to finally beat the Astros on a pair of doubles by Del Unser and Garry Maddox that broke a 7-7 deadlock.
They host the American League titlehblder Kansas City Tuesday night.
The only previous World Series appearance by the Phillies was in 1950, but the club was wiped out in four straighi games by the New- York Yankees.
Since that time pennant-starved fans have endured up-and-down seasons similar to those of the Astro fans. In 1964 Philadelphia went into the final 12 games of the with a 6 1/2 game lead only to drop 10 games and tie for second place wiih St. Louis behind the Cincinnati Reds.
The Phillies first bounced back in 1976 but lost the pennant to Cincinnati. They did repeat performances in 1977 and 1978 only to lose the National League playoffs in both years to Los Angeles.
All the painful memories disappeared Sunday night when Astro third baseman Enos Cabell flied out to end the game.
"I've dreamed of this moment ever since I was 5-years-old. I swear to God." said Phillie shortstop Larry Bowa from the delirious, champagne-drenched locker room. "But most of all I'm happy, just really happy for the fans."
There were no fans to storm the field and contragulate the new winners although many of the more than 45,000 orange-clad spectators applauded and breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
Carpenter. whose father purchased the club in 1943, carried the Phillies since 1972 through their up-and-down seasons never waivering in his confidence of the players or their abilities.
"We had heart." he said. "These players and the fans have waited a long time for this moment. I'm glad we finally brought home a pennant."
Phillies Are In The World Series For The First Time In 30 Years
Maddox' clutch hit puts Phils in Series
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
HOUSTON —Thirty years since the Whiz Kids. Sixteen years since the Fizz Kids. And two. three and four years since the trauma dies of 1976.1977 and 1978. The Phillies are in the World Series.
It didn't come easy. Another extra inning game. another game over three hours.
But after the final out, after Enos Cabell flied out to center-fielder Gary Maddox to end the game, the past was forgotten.
It was sheer joy in every sense of the word. It was Philadelphia players, manager, coaches, owner, and general manager carrying Maddox off the field on their shoulders, with Maddox holding and pumping the ball over his head.
And it was Maddox, the guy who Dallas Green benched just a few short weeks ago. who came through with a game-winning hit, a two-out double in the top of the 10th inning, that ignited the most excting moment in the last 30 years of Philadelphia baseball, a come from behind 8-7 win over the Houston Astros.
With one out, Del Unser lined a double over firstbaseman Dave Bergman's head. Then, after Manny Trillo, the playoffs' Most Valuable Player, flied out to center field, Maddox stroked Frank LaCorte's first pitch into center field for the game winner.
"'When I went up there I was looking for a fastball,'' Maddox said. "Something I could handle. I just wanted to make contact."
Maddox was the hero, but not totally. He had to share top billing with 24 other guys. Guys like rookie pitcher Marty Bystrom, who was given the ball in the most pressure packed situation of his career. Guys like Greg Gross and Unser, who came off the bench and came through with big hits. Guys like Warren Brusstar, Larry Christenson, Ron Reed. Tug McGraw and Dick Ruthven. It was a total team effort.
The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Terry Puhl opened with a single, stole second and scored on Jose Cruz's two out double.
The Phils battled back and took a 2-1 lead in the second inning on a single by Trillo, Maddox's walk and Bob Boone's two out single to center field.
The lead held up until the sixth inning when Greg Luzinski's error and a Luis Pujols' RBI single knotted the score.
And all looked lost when the Astros tagged Christenson for three big runs in the seventh.
"But we knew it wasn't the end," Bowa said. "We knew we were going to do it. We failed three other times, but not this one. We didn't quit. I told Pete (Rose) I was going to get a hit. He said if I got on we were going to win."
Bowa opened the Phils' eighth with a single to center field off Nolan Ryan. Boone followed with a single off Ryan's glove.
Then, Gross placed a perfect bunt down the third base line for a base hit and the bases were loaded.
Rose followed and drew a walk, forcing in Bowa with run number three. Astros manager Bill Virdon went to the mound and replaced Ryan with Joe Sambito to face Bake McBride. Green sent up Keith Moreiand to hit for McBride.
Moreland grounded to second, forcing out Rose but Boone scored with the fourth run. Then, after Schmidt struck out. Del Unser tagged relief pitcher Ken Forsch for a single to right field, scoring Gross with the tying run. Trillo followed with a two-run triple and the Phils had a 7-5 lead.
The Astros, however, touched McGraw for two runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game.
Phils Refused To Give Up When They Got Down
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
HOUSTON—This is it. It may not last forever, but the Phillies are there. The unreachable goal is a reality. No more second best, no more frustration. This is it. the World Series.
The team that fought together, battled the manager together, were booed together, won it together.
Let no one say they didn't do it as a team together. And. they celebrated together.
They poured champagne, hollered, screamed, laughed and cried.
"Just an awesome feeling right now," Tug McGraw said. "It's a wonderful feeling. I'm glad we won. This is a release of all the emotion and frustration that has built up over 162 games. There is nothing bad right now. Everything is wonderful."
"Let's take it back to Philadelphia and Tuesday night." Mike Schmidt said. "I can't believe how many guys love each other right now. It's unbelievable the way this team came together in the dugout. Like we're all brothers, like we're all related."
"Let them say we don't have heart anymore." Greg Luzinski said. "I think we proved to the world that we don't have a quitter on this team."
"The real winners are the Philadelphia fans.' said owner R.uiy Carpenter. "We have waited so many years for this moment. I'm glad we finally brought home a pennant for them. No. I'm not concerned about our managing situation (Green calling it quits after the series). I'll worry abort that after the World Series. Right now I just want to savor the pennant."
"It was a team effort." said Gary Maddox, who drove in the winning run in the top of the 10th inning.
"We couldn't have done it any other way. This is what it's all about. I don't want to think about Kansas City yet. I just want to enjoy what we have right now.
"It's the fourth try and we finally got it. We never gave up. The guys on the bench wouldn't let us give up."
"I knew we were going to win it." Paul Owens said. " Even when we were down 5-2 I knew we were going to win. My wife. Marcel was crying and I was crying. But I knew we were going to win it and I told her not to worry. "
"This one (trip to World Series) will be extra special." Pete Rose said. "Because so many people appreciate it, especially the fans. Now we have to win it for them. The Sixers came close, the Flyers came close and now we have to win it for them."
"The World Series," Dallas Green yelled. "The World Series: Here we come!"
This is it.
Phillies Win The Pennant
Phils Fans Estatic Over Pennant
Phillies Fever is reaching new heights in the Bucks-Mont.
"You're talking to a fan who went crazy, chewing his fingernails all the way down to the knuckle," said George Nacarella of Perkasie in the wake of the Phillies' 8-7 victory over the Houston Astros Sunday night to clinch the National League championship.
"I was watching it upstairs, my son was watching downstairs, and I was screaming upstairs and he was screaming downstairs." Nacarella added. "They're going to go all the way now. I don't have any money on it, but they're going to go all the way."
The Phillies face the American League champions, the Kansas City Royals, Tuesday in the opening game of the World Series at Veterans Stadium, the team's first Series appearance since 1950, when they were swept in four straight games by the New York Yankees.
"It was absolutely wonderful," enthused Dr. Joshua Feldstein. president of Delaware Valley College and a Phillies fan since the 1940s.
"It was a rather extraordinary team effort, they just would not give in. I hope young people learned something from this: That you can win if you just don't give up," he said.
Assessing this year's team and the 1950 Phillies, Feldstein said that the players coming off the bench are better than the Whiz Kids' backups and that will make the difference against Kansas City.
Another die-hard Phillies fan, the Rev. Vito Carbone of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Doylestown, said he remembers the 1950 World Series clearly because "they gave us four days off from school while the games were on."
"This is an outstanding team this year and I'm really excited about their chances in the Series. I really have a good feeling about them. They're going all the way this time," he said.
"I don't think anyone thought they would do it." Francis N. Taylor, president of the Warrington Athletic Association during 1978 and 1979. said this morning with a gravelly voice acquired Sunday night after screaming and shouting with more than 100 people who watched the game at the H.A. Winston's restaurant in Warrington Mews Pavilion.
"You have to give the guys credit."' he said. "They persevered."
"I don't know what they did. but they did it." said Betty Spencer of Danboro. She said she found the tense playoff series difficult to watch. "I only watch it when I think they're going to win." she said. "I can't stand it when I think they're going to lose."
Winifred Troxel of Street Road. Hope, called the pennant victory "terrific." Since the last time the Phillies made it to the World Series, she said, her family has ailways had faithful Phillies' fans.
"Now we finally won and can enjoy it." she exclaimed, holding back a laugh.
Asked about individual performances, Mrs. Troxel said'. "Pete Rose is super."
Tina Manero, 18. of Sellersville, like some other fans, had to admit she had her doubts whether the Phillies could survive as they battled back from a 5-2 deficit Sunday.
"I'm glad we finally did it," she said. "I had hopes for them, but for awhile I didn't think they'd make it."
The Phillies won it in the top of the 10th inning when Del Unser doubled and scored on a double by Gary Maddox to break a 7-7 deadlock.
"I think it's the greatest. I think they're going all the way, and it's about time," said Sandy Schultz of Buckingham Township. She and her husband are proprietors of Larry N Sandy's Buckingham General Store.
Mrs. Schultz said she thinks Pete Rose should have won the Most Valuable Player award. "Every game, he was out there doing something spectacular," she said. "His heart and guts and feet were into this game, and I hope he's going to carry it into the Series."
She said she's so confident the Phillies will win the Series that she feels "very quiet and calm" about it.
"I think it's just fantastic," said Elaine Gray of Bedminster Township, who grew up in Philadelphia and recalled when her father used to take her to see the Phillies play when she was a child.
Meanwhile, several hundred fans began camping out around Veterans Stadium after the victory last night to wait for Series tickets to go on sale this morning.
Tickets went on sale at 6:45, rather than the originally planned 9 a.m., when the crowd at the Vet swelled to 3,000 by the early morning hours. Wrapped in blankets on a cool fall night, the fans cheered themselves warm waiting for the ticket booths to open.
Rampaging Royals May Be Tough To Stop
Milton Richman, UPI Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — They call him "Georgie Boy." and the Kansas City Royals' absolute faith and belief in him is such, they're totally convinced he'll lead them to the Promised Land before the next fortnight.
George Brett has that kind of capacity. He can make devout believers out of many others besides his own teammates.
With one swing of his bat against fireballer Goose Gossage, the most awesome pitcher in baseball, Brett pretty much took care of whatever doubters there might've been left.
His three-run thunderclap into the upper right field deck of Yankee Stadium in the seventh inning of Friday night's third playoff contest not only powered the Royals to their first American League pennant but strengthened the conviction among the beaten Yankees and many others that Kansas City has an excellent chance to go all the way in the World Series.
Nobody around today throws a baseball any harder than Gossage and nobody hits a baseball with more consistency and authority than George Brett.
"It was my best against his best and you saw tfte result for yourself." Gossage reduced their one-on-one confrontation to its simplest and most basic terms.
Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. who saw his team beat the Royals in three previous playoffs, hates to lose. Anytime he does, though, he's the first to give credit to those who beat him.
He congratulated Ewing Kauffman, the Royals' owner, and Jimmy Frey, their manager, after the Yankees' terminal 4-2 defeat, and told them both, "You're gonna kill those other guys."
I think George Steinbrenner hit the nail on the head. The way the Royals are going now, the way they're all fired up and the way Brett is hitting and Frank White is playing second base, I can't see anyone beating them. Not the Philadelphia Phillies, not the Yankees even if they played them again, not anyone.
The Royals seem to be starkissed now. They've somehow captured that intangible ingredient that enabled the Pirates to bowl over the Orioles in the final three games of last year's World Series, the Yankees to gather the momentum they needed for a world championship after they beat the Red Sox in their 1978 mini onegame playoff, and the Mets to upset the Orioles in the 1969 World Series.
It wouldn't surprise me if the Royals sweep the Phillies four in a row in the World Series. None of the Kansas City players are talking much about a sweep, but if it should come to pass, I don't think it would surprise them that much, either.
Primarily because of "Georgie Boy."
"If George Brett tells you he's gonna do something, don't ever doubt him," says Dennis Leonard, a 20-game winner with the Royals for the third time this year.
"Just before he went up to the plate in our first playoff game with the Yankees, he said to me and (pitching coach) Billy Connors, 'I'm gonna go up there now and hit a home run.' Darned if he didn't off (Ron) Davis. I'm never gonna doubt him. If he says he'll do it, then he'll do it"
Undeniably, Brett gets far more publicity than all the other Royals. That bothers him somewhat because he'd like to see fellows like Willie Wilson, Hal McRae. Darrell Porter, U.L. Washington, Frank White and all the pitchers get more than they do.
The unusual aspect about all this is that none of the Royals seem to begrudge Brett any of the attention he's getting. They feel he deserves all of it and more.
"We were pulling so hard for him to hit one out when he came up against Gossage in the seventh inning Friday night," says outfielder Clint Hurdle. "Dave Chalk and I were sitting next to each other on the bench and when George hit the ball into the upper deck, we were so happy and excited for him, we were the first ones out on the field. We felt like we had hit it. Nothing he does ever surprises us. We've seen him do it so many times before, we kind of expect it of him.'' Wilson feels pretty much the same way about Brett.
"When George hit that home run. I was so happy, I could've jumped clear to the moon," he says. "It was some kind of nice, and it was so fitting that he should be the one to hit it."
Brett, who hit three home runs in one game against the Yankees during the 1978 playoffs only to see the Royals lose that one, too, said Friday night's homer "made up for everything else."
Utility man Jamie Quirk was so excited over Brett's blow, he told newsmen who asked for his opinion that Brett "is the greatest ballplayer on this earth."
He told the same thing to Ewing Kauffman when the Royals' owner came by his locker.
"Give him whatever he wants." Quirk urged ecstatically. "He's worth it."
Kauffman doesn't deny that. But Brett, who makes nearly a million a year, isn't concerned with money. What he wants is one of those World Series rings, and I think he's going to get it.
Somber Astros Say They'll Be Pulling For Phils
The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) - Terry Puhl faced the wall and didn't want to talk about the Houston Astros 8-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth and deciding game of the National League baseball playoffs.
And, Art Howe sipped on a beer and stared at the floor and he didn't want to talk either.
Joe Morgan, a veteran with the Cincinnati Reds until joining the Houston club this year, walked around the dressing room and said over and over. "Hold your heads up. You have nothing to be ashamed of."
Morgan, a can of beer in his hand and dressed in a. T-shirt and a pair of green shorts, kept saying. "There will be another year."
For the Astros, this may have been the year. And they won the National League West in a playoff game with the Los Angeles Dodgers after tying for the division title.
They pushed the Phillies to the fifth game of a best-of-five game series. They were down by one run. they led by three runs, they were down by two runs, and they kept coming back.
But it all ended in the 10th inning when Philadelphia pushed across the deciding run.
The hit that won the game dropped a few inches in front of the outstretched glove of Puhl. He said, "I just didn't have a chance at it. The Phillies did their job."
"It was a satisfying season, an exciting series, but somebody had to lose."
Puhl said the Kansas City Royals may have more team speed than Philadelphia but, "You know we will all be pulling for our National League champions."
Joe Niekro, the knuckleball pitcher who carried Houston past Los Angeles in the deciding playoff game and pitched superbly for 10 innings in one of the victories against Philadelphia, said, "We scored a lot of runs, but we just couldn't hold them. Give them credit."
Bill Virdon, Astros manager, said, "This series has been outstanding. The Phillies played well and always came back at us and are deserving winners.
"You have to give them credit, but I have to credit our club too. We are better than a lot of people gave us credit for. My hat is off to the Astros. They never quit."
During the brief interview, Philadelphia's infielder Manny Trillo, named Most Valuable Player of the playoff series, came into the room briefly and Virdon said, "Congratulations. Manny."
Joe Sambito, Houston's ace relief pitcher, said of starter Nolan Ryan,"He just didn't get a break. He pitched so well and he kept us in the game and it just didn't go right for him."
Ryan was coasting until the eighth inning when a ball bounced off his glove, erasing what should have been or could have been a double play.
Philadelphia then loaded the bases and scored five runs.
Unser Opens Phils' Door To World Series
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
HOUSTON—Del Unser's been around a long time. For 13 years and with four different clubs, twice with the Phillies. Del Unser has been around. He's always dreamed of being on a contender, a World Series team, and Sunday night his life-long dream became a reality.
He made it happen. Unser tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI single to right field in the eighth inning, and set the stage for Gary Maddox's game winning RBI double in the 10th with a double over first base.
And Del Unser did it because he wasn't afraid to swallow his pride, because he wasn't afraid to ask for help when it was needed.
Unser had three other opportunities to play hero in the playoffs But three times he failed. He flied out with the winning run on base, and struck out two other times.
It wasn't because he couldn't do it—something was wrong with his swing.
So, prior to Sunday night's game. Unser went to coach Billy DeMars for help.
"I went to Kenny Bush (equipment manager; and asked if he brought along the batting tee," Unser said. "He said he had it. I asked Billy to come to the batting cage with me. We went down there (deep in the bowels of the Astrodome) where it was real quiet and where I could relax and think.
"We found out that I was trying to do too much with my body. So we worked on using my hands. And I got the stroke back, When I went up there the first time, he (Ken Forsch) threw me a fastball and I swung down and through it like I'm supposed to.
"The same thing happened in the 10th against LaCorte. I just waited, used my hands and swung down."
"What had happened to him isn't all that unsual." DeMars said.
"Guys try to press, wanting to hit .330 when they should be satisfied that they're hitting around .320 for the month of September, which he was. We would talk about it from time to time, but sometimes the harder you work the worse you get. You've got to be relaxed and concentrate on what you know you can do.
"So tonight, before the game, we went down to the cage and worked on it. He was relaxed and got his swing down. You know, it wasn't all that unusual. You see it happening, but you really don't think about it.
"But last night (Saturday), after he struck out in that game, he came to me and asked if I would work with him. He asked if we brought the batting tee along. We always do. So. we worked for about 20 minutes and he was back to where he should be.
"You know, he's one of the few guys who will get the tee out and work on it from time to time. He's not too proud to work when he feels he's not swinging right, or wants to make sure he keeps the grove where he has it."
If it wasn't for Paul Owens, Unser would have been watching this World Series on TV.
Two years ago, after the 1978 season, Unser, then with Montreal, became a free agent. But no one offered or tried to sign him. Unser finished the 1978 season hitting .196 with the Expos, mainly as a pinch-hitter.
Owens, at the time, was locking for left-hand pinch-hitters. Pete Rose had arrived and it assured that Richie Hebner would be traded for a starting pitcher.
Unser was claimed by the Phillies in the Febuary free agent re-entry draft, which meant Unser was free to sign with any club and the signing club didn't have to compensate Montreal with a June draft.
Unser was invited to spring training in 1979, but without a contract. "Paul called me and asked me to come down and workout with the team," Unser said, "but he didn't make any promises. It all had to do with if they traded Hebner and if I could show I could still hit major league pitching."
Hebner was traded in the middle of spring training for Nino Espinosa and Unser proved he could hit.
Last season, as a pinch-hitter. Unser hit .298 with the Phillies, including a record three consecutive pinch-hit home runs.
Sunday night he proved his worth again.
"Paul brought me back from the dead," said. "He took me, a .197 hitter at Montreal, and took a gamble. I told him I wouldn't let him down, I'd help get him to a World Series. I waited all my life for this opportunity."
Opportunity knocked and Unser opened the World Series door.