Frederick News - October 14, 1980
Computer Picks Kansas City
By The Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) — Kansas City is the team to beat in this year's World Series, according to the computer firm which correctly forecasts last year's league playoffs and world championship.
But David Cwi and Associates, of Baltimore, said its computer projection also had some advice for the Philadelphia Phillies, who meet the Royals in the best-of-seven series opening Tuesday night.
According to the computer, Oakland and Minnesota had good success against the Royals by scratching for runs — bunting, squeezing and sacrificing runners across.
If both teams rise equally to the occasion, then the computer expects it to be "Kansas City in six." But it has a further word for baseball fans: In a short series anything can happen, so don't bet on it
Don't Forget the Scrubs
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - It's that time again. October Madness. The Fall Classic. Or, in more fundamental terms, the World Series.
Time for Brett, Leonard, Schmidt, Carlton and company to join the Brocks and Stargells and Garveys and Koufaxes aad Reggies of the baseball world and shine like polished diamonds before a worldwide audience of worshipers.
Time, too, for the likes of Ginger Beaumont, Nippy Jones, Hal Smith, Clyde McCullough and Harry Bright players who would otherwise exist only as small entries in the Baseball Encyclopedia, to step up and play a major part in baseball lore.
That's one of the beauties about the Series. Be you superstar or superscrub, there's no escaping that spotlight Take Ginger Beaumont.
Clarence "Ginger" Beaumont hit .311 over a 12-year major league career. But nobody remembers him for that. What's important is that the very first batter in the very first World Series game in history was none other than Ginger Beaumont
It was Oct 1, 1903, and Beaumont's Pittsburgh Pirates teammates were taking on the American League champion Boston Pilgrims (now the Red Sox). Beaumont strode up to the plate, faced Boston's immortal Cy Young and flied out to center fielder Chick Stahl to officially inaugurate the Series.
See what we mean? Your last name doesn't have to be Jackson in order to make news in October.
It could be Jones. As in Vernal "Nippy" Jones, a journeyman first baseman who learned the true value of a freshly shined pair of shoes.
The New York Yankees had taken two of first three games on 1957 from the Milwaukee Braves. Now, Jones led off the bottom of the 10th inning of the fourth game after the Yankees bad taken a 5-4 lead and stood only three outs away from leading the Series, three games to one.
A Tommy Byrne pitch made Jones skip rope. Nippy argued that the ball hit him, but home plate umpire Augie Donatelli said no... until Jones produced the baseball, complete with a fresh smudge of black shoe polish. Donatelli waved Jones to first. Three batters later, Eddie Mathews smashed a home run for a 7-5 Milwaukee victory. Jones' shoe polish play was the turning point of the Series. The Braves won it in seven games.
The 1960 classic was another seven-game set won by the Pirates on Bill Mazeroski's Series-ending home run. But Hal Smith, who would not hit higher than .241 in his remaining four years in the majors, struck his own resounding blow just one inning before Mazeroski's.
The Pirates were trailing the Yankees 7-4 in the eighth inning of the deciding game. Singles by Dick Groat and Roberto Clemente each brought home one run, then came Smith's golden moment: a monsterous three-run homer off Jim Coates that put the Pirates in front 9-7 and sent old Forbes Field into a frenzy.
The Yankees tied the score in the ninth, setting up Mazeroski's homer. But had it not been for Hal Smith, the New Yorkers would have been popping the champagne in a winner's clubhouse.
Clyde McCullough was a winner of a different kind. A Chicago Cubs catcher of the early 1940s. McCullough missed the 1944 and 1945 seasons while in the service. He returned home in the fall of 1945, just as his teammates were wrapping up the National League pennant.
In a unique footnote to that final wartime season, McCullough sought, and received, permission to play in the World Series against Detroit. When he struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of the seventh game (won by the Tigers 9-3), McCullough became the first and only man to appear in a World Series game without having played in a single regular-season game.
Infielder Harry Bright found his way to five major league teams in an eightyear career, compiling a lifetime batting average of .255. He amassed a career-total 841 at bats, but one stands out far ahead of all the others.
Facing the Yankees in the first game of the 1963 classic, Los Angeles Dodgers fireballer Sandy Koufax needed just one more strikeout to break Carl Erskine's Series mark of 14. With two out in the ninth, up came Harry Bright to pinch hit for pitcher Steve Hamilton. Seconds later, Bright trudged back to the dugout, bat in band. Koufax had his 15th strikeout (a record that would be broken by Bob Gibson) and a 5-2 victory, setting the tone for a four-game Dodger sweep.
Several players have become baseball legends simply because of their domination of an entire Series, or even of one particular moment. Among them are Al Gionfriddo. Sandy Amoros, Dale Mitchell (the iast out in Don Larsen's perfect game). Floyd Sevens, Al Weis and Dusty Rhodes. Others are simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Consider the plight of Pete Kilduff, Otto Miller and Clarence Mitchell, a trio of Brooklyn Dodgers who found themselves the victims of the most devastating fielding play in Series history.
In the fifth game of the 1920 classic against Cleveland, Kilduff opened the fifth inning with a single and went to second on a single by Miller. Up stepped Mitchell, the Dodger pitcher, with an opportunity to pick up a few runs for his own cause.
With the runners moving, Mitchell hit a screaming liner to the right side. Indians second baseman Bill Wambsganss made a one-hand grab, stepped on second to double off Kilduff, then turned and saw the befuddled Miller standing just a few away. "Wamby" trotted over and tagged Miller out, completing the first and only unassisted triple play in World Series history
Thus inspired, the Indians went on to win the Series. It's in all the record books, along with the Brocks and Stargells and Garveys ... and Otto Millers.