Frederick News-Post - October 14, 1980
Leonard Faces Walk as Series Opens
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - The Philadelphia Phillies, their pitching staff weary with arm fatigue from the National League playoffs, named rookie Bob Walk Monday to pitch the opening game of the World Series Tuesday night and the Kansas City Royals figure that move can play right into their hands.
Walk's opponent will be righthander Dennis Leonard, a 20-game winner who also beat the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the AL championship series.
Walk will become the first rookie pitcher in 28 years to open the World Series. The last pitcher to do so was Joe Black of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who threw a complete game victory over the New York Yankees in 1952.
Walk proved to be a very valuable member of the Phillies' staff after being called up from the minors in the middle of the summer, but Royals coach Billy Connors, who tutored the youngster m the minors, said the tension of pitching in a World Series game could have an adverse effect on him
"WALK HAS all the tools," said Connors, a former minor league pitching instructor in the Phillies' organization. "He is more of a nervous kid. He might get rattled. I felt he was the best arm in the organization. He has the stuff to keep them in the game. But he is a nervous kid.
"He has a tendency to get wild to the point where he can't throw a strike. When we have a meeting I'll tell them what I know of Walk. He's a hyper type of kid. He can be a tough kid. He'll go after you. He won't let up. He'll give you his best stuff. It's a matter of him being able to keep his composure."
Walk, who posted an 11-7 record with a 4 56 earned run average during the regular season, did not pitch in the playoffs. In fact he has not pitched since Oct 2 when he went seven innings to beat the Chicago Cubs.
"I'm not disappointed at not pitching in the playoffs. There was never an opportunity for my talents to be used," he said. "They couldn't afford to start me and there really wasn't a place for me to relieve. I understood I had to do my job and I just pulled for the other guys."
WALK SAID he learned he was going to got the World Series assignment on Monday afternoon before the Phillies worked out at Veterans Stadium
"I don't think the layoff will bother me," said Walk "I'll be excited and that will take care of it."
Phillies' manager Dallas Green said there was no doubt in his mind that Walk could do the job.
"He ran into some trouble with his control and poise, but I have no qualms about starting him," said Green.
Green said lie would pitch 24-game winner Steve Carlton in Wednesday night's second game and Kansas City manager Jim Frey said he would go with 18-game winner Larry Gura to be followed by righthander Rich Gale in the third game at Kansas City on Friday.
Leonard admitted he knew very little about the Phillies, other than Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski are home run hitters.
"I THINK more of the Phillies as a power team but they only hit two more home runs than we did," said Leonard. "We pitched Reggie Jacklion pretty well in the playoffs and it will be the pitchers' duty to keep the ball in the park. I watched how Houston pitched to the Phillies during the playoffs and maybe we'll try and use some of their techniques."
The Royals, playing in the World Series for the first time, will have a distinct advantage because the designated hitter will be used this year.
"Hal McRae (the Royals designated hitter) is very important to our club," said Frey. "He drives in runs and he runs the bases very well. I know they are going to have an extra hitter but he (McRae) is an important part of our club "
In last year's World Series, Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver admitted that his not being able to use a designated hitter hurt his team against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The use of the designated hitter alternates each year.
Both teams seemed relaxed during Monday's workouts after emotional draining playoff series. The Royals admitted that beating the Yankees after three straight losses to them in playoff competition was really the highlight of their season no matter what happens in the World Series. And the Phillies felt very much the same way having reached the Series for the first time in 30 years and getting rid of the stigma that they can't perform under pressure.
"PEOPLE WHO have played in the World Series that I've talked to have said there is more pressure in the playoffs," said Royals' third baseman George Brett. "Win or lose the Kansas City fans are very happy. Maybe we can make them extremely happy after the World Series."
Brett also said he doubted the Royals' layoff after whipping the Yankees in straight games would have much an effect on the club. He also added that the Phillies' emotional victory over Houston wasn't necessarily a plus.
"People said we'd be at a disadvantage agianst the Yankees because we hadn't had to play a hard game in several months," said Brett.
"But we went out and beat them in three straight. I don't feel we'll let down now."
Some Fans Faint Waiting In Line To Buy Tickets
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Karen Giambi sat in a folding chair Monday bundled in an old blanket and holding the leash to a stranger's dog. She was waiting for her husband who was standing in line at Veteran's Stadium to buy World Series tickets.
"We came with coffee, sandwiches, the works," said Mrs. Giambi, 25, of Wilmington, Del. "The only reason I'm here— I'm not even going to the stinking game — is it's my mother's birthday tomorrow and it's going to be her birthday present. She loves the Phillies. She doesn't even know I'm here."
Police reported several dozen fainting spells, minor injuries and other incidents due to the crush of people queued up for tickets. The patience of many would-be customers — some of whom had arrived nearly 10 hours earlier — wore thin by the time windows opened at 1:45 a.m.
"Some passed out, some were intoxicated, many were knocked down," said police inspector Robert Miller.
"I'm guessing now at the number of injured, bat I'd ssy about 50. Some were taken to hospitals, and others were just removed from the area."
The Giambis arrived at the stadium shortly before 3 a.m. and joined thousands of other fans already there.
"You have to be crazy," Mrs. Giambi said. "I'd never do this again. Eyeing her four-legged companion, she added: "Some stranger handed me the leash of this huge dog and asked me if I was going to be here for a while. I said 'I think so, but you better keep an eye on me because as soon as my husband gets the tickets I'm going to leave.' I don't even know who he is."
The area surrounding the 66,000-seat stadium looked like a battleground, as hundreds of police tried to keep order and prevent injuries from the jostling crowd, which kept chanting, "We want tickets, we want tickets" while fighting to get closer to four ticket windows. Sales were limited to eight tickets to a customer. By noon, only about 200 ticket* to Game Seven remained to be sold.
Thousands of beer cans, coffee cups, torn blankets, sleeping bags and broken folding chain littered the area after the sea of humanity was gone.
Jerry Suarez, 18, Philadelphia, was one of those hurt and unable to buy a ticket.
"I got here shortly after 2 a.m. and the place was jammed with people," Suarez said. "All of a sudden there was a big wave of people rocking back and forth, acting hysterically and mad because the cops were trying to push them back and I fell down unconscious.
"It was lucky for me that my friend pulled me out and someone gave me first aid."
Scalping of tickets was conducted outside the ticket windows. The tickets that fans paid $15 each for were going for $30, $40 and $50 apiece. All of the tickets on sale Monday were in the upper bleachers of the huge stadium.