Kansas City Star - October 14, 1980

‘Don’t call us, we’ll call Ewing’:  Royals besieged with futile requests for tickets


By Barbara Whitaker, Staff Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Mrs. Begona Flores flew from Caracas Venezuela to Kansas City to see the World Series She should have called first.


Finding a ticket to the hallowed event — as Mrs. Flores her sister and brother-in-law quickly found out — is about as hard as finding an unlocked door at Fort Knox.


Unlike many of the hundreds of others who have come to Royals Stadium or jammed the switchboard since the Royals humiliated the Yankees, Mrs. Flores is taking it rather well.


“If I travel all the way here I know we take a lot of chances,” she said. “But I don’t lose hope.”


Apparently, thousands of other fans have also kept the faith. The switchboard at Royals Stadium was jammed Monday. Almost all the callers were seeking tickets. All 17 lines were full for almost an hour beginning about 8 a.m. and calls were coming in two and three at a time for the rest of the day.


It was not the local crowd that had questions. The calls were from Canada, Mexico, Washington, Las Vegas, New Orleans. Callers were ready to step on the next flight to Kansas City if the opportunity to watch just one game of baseball was available.


“Most of the people who are calling now are from out of town — especially Philadelphia,” said Mrs. Donna Ivanko, one of two switchboard operators at the stadium. “They want to know what we’re doing with all those tickets.”


Many callers don’t realize that all the ball clubs handle their tickets in different ways. Most find it hard to believe that Kansas City's tickets were gone before they even knew if they would be in the series, said Mrs. Kris Brownfield, the other operator at the stadium.


Of primary concern to a majority of callers are 5,000 general admission tickets which are usually sold before each home game. This is not done for the playoffs or the series.


“Can you imagine the lines? They'd be stringing from here to St. Louis," Mrs. Ivanko said, shaking her head as she looked up from her phone lines.


There are some stubborn souls who refuse to accept the fact that the tickets are gone and think they have the inside on where the tickets were distributed. “We know Houston had an allotment in case they won. What did you do with their tickets?"


"They say they'll pay top price for tickets," Mrs. Brownfield said. “We just tell ’em we don’t handle that kind of request."


‘Top price' for a ticket to the series these days in Kansas City will probably mean at least $100, and talk has it that the going price may be well above that. Kansas City police said today they’ve had reports of ticket prices of $200 apiece and up.


But most of the people who can't get any tickets don’t get too upset.


Mrs. Flores is waiting for her husband, a journalist with the Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo, to arrive, and she’s still hoping for a chance to purchase tickets.


For them, the long flight from Caracas to Kansas City was easy. But they're finding it harder to do anything more than watch the games on television from the downtown Travelodge, just a few miles from the stadium.

Big cars, fancy clothes?  Royals have simpler needs


By Diane Stafford, Star Business & Financial Writer


In her heart of hearts, Janet Hurdle wants a Mercedes. The Royals made it to the World Series this year, and that could mean as much as $40,000 extra for each player. But that doesn’t mean Clint and Janet Hurdle are ready to sign a check on the showroom floor.


"Some of the older players are talking investments, but the younger players are just like any other couple starting out,” Mrs. Hurdle said. “We want a new car, but really we’ll need to use the money on our house. We bought furniture on time.


"I just got my dining room table a couple of months ago and we’ve been in the house for 1½ years. It was really embarrassing to always tell our friends that they had to eat off their laps.”


For those contemplating investments, however, members of Kansas City’s investment community have myriad thoughts on what to do with the money, and they are sharing those ideas today on Page 7C.


Meanwhile, the players’ postseason windfall — which will not be computed precisely until after the World Series — has certainly not been the driving force behind the Royals' achievements this year. In fact some players and players' wives contacted Monday in Philadelphia claimed they hadn’t even considered the financial rewards.


“We haven’t even thought about it,” said pitcher Paul Splitorff. “We haven’t even discussed it yet. We are in the process of building a condominium in Fort Myers, Fla., so maybe (the winnings) will be a down payment on that. Hopefully, I’ll have to worry about it in a really big way.”


Splittorff and other Royals said their agents and financial advisers will be the ones who will guide their investment decisions. Only one of the Royals families contacted Monday talked about an investment any more complicated than residential real estate or a fancy car. In fact, most seemed blase about the extra bucks.


The extra money for the Royals and Philadelphia Phillies players and coaches — which also filters down to some staff members on both teams — comes from a complicated formula:


The players’ pool comes from 60 percent of the gate receipts in the first three games of both league championship series and from 60 percent of the receipts in the first four games of the World Series. The totals from all three events are added together, and the players’ pool is broken down among top-ranking teams.


Thirty-six percent of the players’ pool goes to the team that wins the World Series; 27 percent goes to the loser. Twenty-five percent is split between the two league championship losers (12½ percent each this year to the Yankees and the Astros); 9½ percent is split four ways among the teams that finished in second-place in each division, and 2½ percent is split among the four third-place teams.


In 1978, when the Royals were last edged out by the Yankees in the American League championship, each Royals player received $11,298.83. The highest individual bonuses ever received by World Series winners went to the Yankees, who earned $31,236.99 each that year.


Because the formula is based on gate receipts and because Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia seats 64,976 — nearly 20,000 more than the Houston Astrodome — the players may receive more money even if they lose in Philadelphia than they would have received by winning in Houston.


But conversations with the Royals’ families made it apparent that money is running a distant second to the prestige and pride of making it to the World Series.


“We haven’t thought that far We re just trying to enjoy the World Series,” said Belva Otis, wife of outfielder Amos Otis.


Her thoughts were echoed by Gladys White, wife of the Royals' second baseman:


“We haven't really talked about the money yet. Frank has an agent who will help us decide. I really doubt we’ll splurge. We still have rooms to wallpaper and things like that. We’re really not thinking about a big new car; I mean you can only drive one car at a time.”


Hal and Johncynca McRae may take the tiniest little splurge — maybe a brief vacation to Disney World or someplace else relatively near their Bradenton, Fla., home.


“But no whims, no way,” said Mrs. McRae. “We have an agent in Florida who handles all our investments so that when Hal ’s not playing any more we’ll have something."


Mrs. Nancy Wathan said that she and her husband John have always been conscious that baseball players have a relatively short-lived career. “We need to invest wisely now to be able to live normal lives in the future, but we don’t have any exact plans yet for the money,” she said.


Maybe — just maybe — Mrs. Wathan said, the family will sell its houses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in Blue Springs and build a “nice one” in the Kansas City area. "We’ve talked about moving to K.C. permanently, but that's just one of our thoughts,” Mrs. Wathan said. "I dan definitely say there’s no Mercedes or Rolls Royce for us."


Janie and Dan Quisenberry have very solid, middle-class plans for the Fireman-of-the-Year’s share in the winnings: “We’ve been looking for a house in the Kansas City area,” Mrs. Quisenberry said. "This will mean it’s easier for us to buy. We’ve been married four years but we’ve moved around so much that we've never had a chance to get settled. We need a house, furniture… the works.”

Balls and strikes replace talk of profit and loss


By Richard M. Johnson, Star Labor Writer


No sense going into work tomorrow. The place will be empty. In body they’ll be there but in spirit Kansas City is taking the week off. Earthly toil waxes insignificant with the Royals playing for the baseball championship of the universe.


When Samuel Johnson said, "We moment would all be idle if we could,” he knew human nature. But he had no idea to what lengths a society could go in avoiding work when its heroes were involved in something called a World Series.


The boss lingers over lunch to talk baseball. The best salesmen and accountants are running betting pools. Assembly line workers think of beer pretzels and tonight’s game. Even trivia specialists are not so boring, for the moment.


“We'd never admit that we didn’t put in our full eight hours,” an executive at one area business says. But right now, Ebenezer Scrooge cares more about the World Series than a few more bucks or the sweat on his workers’ brows.


This week, Kansas City plays. Productivity schmoductivity.


“Well, what do you think? Will they’ll do it?" Another of thousands of World Series gab sessions starts. “Yeah they can win it if they’ll just…” And the co-workers move on to the pitching batting and — of all things — momentum of Philadelphia and Kansas City.


“Do you know that Philadelphia has not had a winning World Series team since the A's took it in 1930?” a veteran asks a novice baseball fan at the next desk.


“The A’s?” And so it goes.


If anyone in Kansas City is working, he’s hiding it.


Employees of banks, utilities and federal agencies got an early start on the festivities by taking Monday off for Columbus Day. That gave workers exhausted from last week’s tongue-waggling wagering and late-night playoff viewing a chance to rest up for more intense endeavors this week.


Workers and excutives abandoned offices and plants in droves last Wednesday afternoon and headed for Royals Stadium or their television sets. Some took vacation time or personal days. Others just took off. Those who couldn’t escape brought the game to the office and huddled around TVs and radios for part of the day.


The World Series will offer only evening and weekend games, so this week most fans won’t be able to get paid while listening to the games. But no one will miss the action. Workers on evening or weekend shifts will find employers willing to wink at radios or TVs during The Series.


Even if tuning in is forbidden, workers can be secretive. Radio earphones were invented for such occasions. In one Johnson County office Wednesday, the workers’ effort was more heroic: One clerical worker manned the TV set while another signaled from across the room to warn when the boss was coming. The duo fine-tuned the volume so clerks could hear the first playoff game as it was played, but their supervisor couldn’t. They got away with it.


At the big Bendix plant on Bannister Road, World Series scores will be announced regularly over the PA system to keep evening-shift workers from being distracted by the suspense. For security reasons, the firm is one of the few that doesn’t allow radios or TVs on the job.


At Marion Laboratories, chairman Ewing Kauffman’s role as owner of the Royals makes baseball enthusiasm de rigueur. On an unofficial “blue day,” many employees wore royal blue to work Thursday, after the Royals' won their first playoff game. Now that they’re in the series: much more of the same.


At Southwestern Bell the series actually will generate more work — for operators at least. In the hour following the Royals’ playoff victory last week, long-distance calls placed with operators surged 100 percent. Hie phone company will have extra operators standing by this week to handle the long-distance gloating of Kansas City baseball fans.

Superman?  Brett, Schmidt fitted for cape


By Joe McGuff, Sports Editer


PHILADELPHIA – Johnny Bench has not been in a World Series since 1976. Reggie Jackson has lost his hold on October. Willie Stargell is at home in Pittsburgh.


The old order of heroes is fading, and the nation will be looking for a new superman when the World Series between the Royals and the Phillies opens tonight at 7:35.


“There’s no Big Red Machine,” said Mike Schmidt, the Phillies’ power-hitting third baseman. “There’s no New York media hype or Los Angeles media hype. You don’t have Jackson or Bench or (Steve) Garvey.”


Schmidt could turn out to be the man with the magic in his bat this October. He had his finest season for the Phillies. He batted .286, led the majors in home runs with 48 and runs-batted-in with 121.


Or it could be his rival at third base, George Brett. As outstanding as Schmidt was, Brett was better. Brett hit .390, the highest average in the last 39 years. He batted officially only 449 times, but he hit 24 home runs and drove in 118 runs.


Like Jackson before him, October seems to bring out the best in Brett. He hit a home run in the eighth inning of the fifth game in the 1976 American League playoffs, tying the Yankees. He hit three home runs in one game in 1978. Last Friday, he propelled the Royals into the World Series by hitting a 3-run homer that defeated the Yankees 4-2 in the third and deciding playoff game.


This season Brett has established himself as the dominant player in baseball. If there was any doubt, it was removed Monday when the Royals and Phillies worked out at Veterans Stadium. Brett was the player everyone was talking about.


“He’s got to be the premier hitter," the Phillies’ Pete Rose said. “I guess I wouldn't be criticized if I said he's the best hitter in baseball, but Rod Carew might get mad at me.”


Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson, working as a commentator for the Series, picked up the theme of Brett’s greatness.


"The guy’s incredible,” said Anderson. “He hits according to the game situation, but he has power. The difference between him and a lot of stars is that he’s not mouthing off all the time. He’s a tough-nosed kid. It’s so great to see a guy like him come along. You lose the guys like Mantle and Mays and you need someone to replace them."


Not only has Brett wrested October away from Jackson, but last Saturday he replaced him on the front of a New York tabloid that likes to run pictures of stars doing the disco scene.


“I didn’t get in until 7,” Brett said, laughing. “You always ask yourself how you would react in that kind of a situation, and I found out. The only thing I regret is we didn't get to fly back to Kansas City and share it with the fans….”


Although he was pressured for interviews Monday, Brett was a man enjoying himself. He stuck his thumbs in his waistband, made jokes and laughed a lot.


“Aside from all his ability, the thing I appreciate most about George is his emotion,” Manager Jim Frey said. “He is excited and thrilled about what has happened. A lot of good players are afraid to show emotion."


As evenly matched as the Royals and Phillies appear to be, Brett could be the difference, just as Stargell was last year and Jackson was before him.


The Phillies, of course, hope to supply the successor to Jackson and Stargell. Their man most likely to fill this role is Schmidt.


Schmidt drove in only one run in the 5-game National League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, batting .206.


“I would like to have a better Series than Brett, and he would like to have a better Series than me,” Schmidt said. “If everyone defeats his guy, then we’re going to win.


“George Brett is obviously the best pure hitter in the game today. With a man on second and two out, you might want Brett up. But if you’re two runs down and there are two on, you might want me.


“I'm just glad I’m not watching George do his interviews and get his hits on TV. I didn’t feel like I was getting into the flow as a hitter in the playoffs.”


Like Brett, Schmidt does not attempt to hide his emotions about the World Series.


“This is a time of my life I’ll never forget,” he said. “There's no way I can go out on that field and be emotionally drained despite what happened (four straight extra-inning games) with Houston."


Schmidt's most exciting moment this season came in Montreal when he hit a home run that enabled the Phillies to clinch the National League East championship. In the eighth inning Sunday at Houston, Schmidt looked at a third strike with the bases loaded.


“I drank champagne both times,” Schmidt said, "but the first time I felt like I did something to make the team win, and there was just a little different taste in that champagne.”

Series lacks tradition, little else


By Joe McGuff, Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – The atmosphere for the opening game of the World Series tonight at Veterans Stadium is a bit subdued, although perhaps the condition can be cured by a brushback pitch or the first hard slide at second.


To begin with, the two cities involved have little in common other than Kansas City once stole a baseball team from Philadelphia. The statute of limitations has run out on the crime, and a large number of Philadelphians have grown to adulthood without any great concern about the Athletics leaving town.


Another problem is that neither the Royals nor the Phillies know much about playing in a World Series, and it may take them a few days to get the hang of it. Kansas City never has played in a Series, and the Phillies have done so only twice.


After winning the first game of the 1915 World Series from the Red Sox, the Phillies lost the next four games, three by 2-1 scores.


The 1950 Phillies lost to the Yankees in four games, so the Phillies will seek their first Series victory in 65 years tonight.


Although this particular World Series is short on tradition, those familiar with the teams say it could be close and unusually interesting. Among those who hold this view is Jose Cardenal, a reserve outfielder for the Royals who played for the Phillies in 1978 and part of 1979.


“They (the Phils) have a great club," said Cardenal. "They have power, speed and defense. I think the only weakness I can see now is that they played a hard series in Houston and used every pitcher.


“They have good starters and a good bullpen. We have four good starters and a good bullpen. This can be a great Series…’’


Tom Ferrick, Royals scout who has been following the Phillies, also sees a highly competitive World Series.


“They’re pretty well balanced,” Ferrick said. “They have a touch of everything. Any time you’ve got a guy like (Steve) Carlton, you’re in good shape. They’ve got enough depth in their bullpen.


“You have to have a lot of respect for them. I’d like to see us score some more runs than we did against the Yankees. I think it's a pretty good matchup. I think they’re a little more relaxed since they got on top of the mountain.”


Some Royals said if the Phillies did not play better baseball than they did in the playoffs, they would lose. Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt concurred.


“We’re going to have to hit the ball out and we have to get some hits we didn’t get at times against Houston,” said Schmidt.


In many respects the teams are amazingly similar. Both have outstanding defenses. The Royals have a little more speed. They stole 185 bases compared with 140 for the Phils, and Kansas City had only 43 runners thrown out compared with 62 for the Phillies. Philadelphia does not have anyone who can match Willie Wilson as a base-stealing threat. Lonnie Smith led the Phillies with 33 stolen bases. Wilson had 79.


The Phillies are known as a power club, but they hit only 117 home runs — and their park favors power hitters. The Royals, with a large home park, hit 115 homers in 1980.


Carlton is the best pitcher on either staff, but the Royals may have a slight advantage in starting depth. Each team has one outstanding man in the bullpen, Tug McGraw for the Phils and Dan Quisenberry for the Royals.


The choice here is the Royals in six games. Kansas City appears to have more versatility in its offense and will benefit from the strain that Houston put on the Philadelphia pitching staff during the playoffs.


The opening game will be unusually important. Dennis Leonard is the Royals’ best pitcher at this point, and he will be facing rookie Bob Walk. If the Royals lose the opener, their pitching advantage will be negated.


Pete Rose claims the Phillies have come together in the last eight weeks. The Royals are relaxed and confident. Although the Phillies have won clutch games late in the season, beating the Yankees in three games has removed any self doubts the Royals might have had.

Cry of ‘don’t fence me in’ may be fitting for Royals


By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – One by one, the Royals trotted to the floor of Veterans Stadium. One by one, they looked left, then right, then dead ahead. Almost to a man, the Royals drooled in anticipation.


“About the only one who couldn’t hit one out of here," said the Royals’ Amos Otis, “is Jim Frey.”


Royals Stadium measures 330 feet down either line. Foul lines at Veterans Stadium run the same distance. In Kansas City the center-field fence stands 410 feet from home plate. In Philadelphia it’s 408.


But in the power alleys in left-center and right-center field, Veterans Stadium measures 371 feet compared with 386 feet at Royals Stadium.


“People talk about our ballclub as being a ballclub that runs,” said Royals' Manager Frey as he looked ahead to the 7:35 start tonight of the 1980 World Series between his Kansas City club and the Phillies of Dallas Green. “I don’t think most people around the country realize that we play in a real tough park to hit home runs. Especially the first couple of months, the bail doesn't carry at all And then from the middle of the summer on, the wind is a factor.


“When we play on the road, I feel like we’ve got four or five guys that can hit a home run. The ball flies out of here a lot more than it does out of Royals Stadium. I think we've got some guys that can reach the seats here.”


The Phillies carry a reputation for power plus. Third baseman Mike Schmidt hit 48 home runs in 1980, leading the major leagues. Left fielder Greg Luzinski hit 39 homers in 1977 and 35 in 1978, but injuries helped drop Luzinski’s totals to 18 homers last year and 19 this season.


The Royals actually hit only two fewer homers — 115 to 117 — than the Phillies did this year.


“It's a cozy park," said the Royals’ Hal McRae, who hit 14 homers this season, third-best total for Kansas City. George Brett led the way with 24 homers, and Willie Aikens had 20. Clint Hurdle and Otis each hit 10.


“You still have to hit the ball well here,” said McRae, who played at Veterans Stadium as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. “But it's not like our ballpark where you’ve really got to get into one.”


Brett and Darrell Porter salivated right along with their teammates as they gazed into the power alleys. But Brett and Porter also issued warnings.


“I hope it doesn’t change anybody’s style,” Brett said. “We’re very successful with the style we've had all year long. I hope everybody on the team doesn't try to go up there and hit home runs. That’ll hurt us.”


Said Porter: “We’ve got some guys that can reach those fences. But it's dangerous when you try to do that. I think everybody is a much better hitter and more capable of hitting home runs when you just try to hit the ball up the middle.


“The ball carries good here everywhere, so the deal is to not try to pull. You don’t have to."


Someone quite aware of that fact is Dennis Leonard, Royals’ pitcher who will start opposite Phillies’ rookie Bob Walk in game one. Leonard led the American League in homers allowed with 30. Walk seems aptly named, having issued 71 bases on balls in 151 innings during the regular season.


“I gave up 33 (home runs) a few years ago and I was third in the league," Leonard said. "I cut back three and I lead the league. What's the deal?


“Really, I’m not going to change my style,” Leonard said. “I’ve been pretty successful with it so far. I’m not going to screw it up now. Schmidt can hit that outside pitch real good if you consistently throw him that. If you get that ball up and out over the plate and you consistently throw it up and out over the plate, he’ll get you.”

Rose is insisting Phillies have momentum on their side


By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Pete Rose believes the Philadelphia Phillies are on a roll with hot dice.


Sure, the Royals won the American League pennant with a 3-game sweep of the New York Yankees. Sure, the Philadelphia Phillies had to fight through four extra-inning games before knocking off the Houston Astros for the National League title.


But said Rose, “I’d rather be where we are than where Kansas City is. I believe in momentum, and when you have it you want to play every day.


“Montreal had a day off before the final series of the season, and we didn't. They came out and their bats were flat. We seemed to have momentum (the Phillies won the National League East by beating the Expos two straight).’’


Ah, yes, a bit of psychology? One of those intangibles, perhaps that supposedly provides an emotional edge.


“Psychology is for people that don’t believe in themselves," said the Royals’ Hal McRae.


There were a lot of words thrown around Veterans Stadium during Monday workouts as the Royals and Phillies prepared for game one of the World Series at 7:35 tonight.


Clint Hurdle, who will start in right field tonight for Kansas City, dispensed his share.


“Heartland of America,” said Hurdle. “They think a bunch of farmers are coming at ’em. A bunch of cowboys. We’re playing for milk and ice cream and everything that’s right.


“We know what’s going on here. It’s nice to come to the ‘big city.’”


“The big guys against the little guys, with the Royals cast in the role of the trod upon, the poor little waifs. The Royals revel in the image.


“The fans, the atmosphere playing in the Far East,” said Hurdle, his smile broadening. “They’ve got a lot of big names. I’m sure if you run down the names of their lineup, a lot more people are going to know them than the Kansas City Royals.


“It's like playing the Yankees of the National League. We’ve been underdogs the whole way. We love that.”


The Royals may be the underdogs in terms of image, but when it comes to on-the-field skills, most Las Vegas oddsmakers favor Kansas City.


The 1980 World Series is a pairing of teams who have, at long last, curbed their frustrations. Or at least most of them. The Royals won the American League playoffs in 1976, 1977 and 1978, but are making their first appearance in the Series. The Phillies reached the playoffs in the same years, but are playing in their first Series since 1950.


The residents of each city have taken turns at going batty over playoff victories. Words of pomposity and of praise have been exchanged.


The stage is set.


WORLD SERIES NOTES – Royals’ relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry doesn't view the World Series as a showcase for his talents. “It never was my goal to be on TV,” he said. “I’d just as soon have the camera on my wife.” Speaking of Janie Quisenberry, her husband is awfully glad to have her on hand in Philadelphia. “I think if she wasn’t here I’d feel the pressure more. I get lonely on the road,” said Quisenberry. "I need somebody to hug."… Pete Rose on George Brett: “I only know what I read. He’s playing in a hitter’s ballpark. But anytime you hit .390… well, I don’t believe any hitter in the National League can hit that high. We’ve got too many good young pitchers.”… The father of Commissioner Bowie Kuhn died Monday in Florida, and the commissioner will miss the first two games of the Series…. The 1980 Series will be the first in which all games will be played on artificial turf.

Frenzied Phillies’ fans have waited 30 years for another pennant winner


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Late on a Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1, 1950, Dick Sisler hit a 3-run homer, launching the Philadelphia Phillies into what would be a disastrous World Series against the New York Yankees.


That was the last time the National League team has driven this town into the frenzy that has gripped it the past two days.


As the Phils start the best-of-seven series against the Royals at 7:35 tonight, there are many who recall the Phillies’ pennant victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers 30 years ago, and the subsequent 4-game series sweep by the New York Yankees.


“Oh, the Whiz Kids. They captured everybody’s attention in 1948-49-50,” said Dave Zinkoff, 69, former public-address announcer at Shibe Park.


“When they beat the Dodgers, I hit the ceiling four of five times. I jumped higher than Wilt Chamberlain ever did. Everybody hoped they’d come out with a game or two and make it competitive," Zinkoff said.


“I remember the day they clinched the National League title," said former Mayor James Tate.


"I remember listening to it on the radio in my backyard. I didn’t have a TV in those days," said Tate, who at the time was a 40-year-old real estate assessor. "We had heard the Phillies were going to come home by plane and me and my 5-year-old son went into the backyard and waved our Phillies hats at the plane that went over that we thought the team was on.”


Ray Kelly, a former sportswriter for The Bulletin newspaper, was covering the American League Philadelphia Athletics at the time.


“There was no doubt about the excitement in the city. But there was also no question that it was a 2-team city and had divided loyalties,” Kelly said.


Thacher Longstreth, president of the Chamber of Commerce, who in 1950 was a 29-year-old advertising salesman for Life magazine, said, "I was really an A’s fan at the time, because you must remember that when I was 10 years old in 1930 the A’s were world champs and the Phillies were world chumps.


“But it was a time when the city was beginning to notice the Phillies. I remember that in 1950 there was an air of enormous enthusiasm that has only been matched when the Flyers won the Stanley Cup," Longstreth said referring to the National Hockey League champions of 1974 and 1975.


"The story was the biggest thing town then," said Jack Steck, then a 53-year-old program director for WFIL radio and television.


“Every station had to be involved,” said Steck, who is now doing freelance promotion work. “I remember The Bulletin had a display board with lights that flashed the scores. It was the center of attraction downtown.


“We used to send our reporters down there with cameras and tape recorders to interview the people watching the board. I think the atmosphere was better then, warmer. There weren’t so many boo-birds then.”

DH edge is based on who’s doing it


By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson, who will serve on the CBS radio broadcast team for the World Series, says use of the designated hitter should give the Royals an advantage against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980 World Series.


“Whoever they (the Phils) stuff in can play,” Anderson said. “But Hal McRae’s been doing it all year. There’s no question that it’s an advantage.”


Kansas City's McRae agrees, to some extent. Unlike the American League, the National League doesn’t use the designated hitter during the regular season. There are problems unique to the role, which include preparing yourself to hit without the luxury of staying loose by playing in the field. If you're not accustomed to it, the role can be difficult.


“It is difficult, and 1 had to make some adjustments,” McRae said Monday. "Maybe I’ll come into it a little more comfortable than the other guy. But if he gets a couple of base hits, it may not be an advantage at all.”


The history of the designated hitter in the World Series seems to bear out McRae’s assessment. It isn’t simply the use of the DH that determines an advantage, but the insertion of a good hitter into the slot.


The designated hitter has been used in two World Series. In 1976, the New York Yankees used Lou Piniella, Elliott Maddox and Carlos May in the role. The three combined for an .063 (1 for 12) batting average. The Cincinnati Reds employed Dan Driessen, and he batted .357 (5 for 14).


Cincinnati won the Series in four games. So much for the American League's advantage.


The designated hitter also was used in 1978 (the DH is used in the World Series during alternating years), and Lee Lacy, Rick Monday and Vic Davalillo combined for .222 (4 for 18) for the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Reggie Jackson was the Yankees’ DH, and he batted .391 (10 for 35). The Yanks emerged as world champions.


So is there really any advantage or disadvantage involved? Probably not. A hot hitter is a hot hitter. A cold hitter is a cold hitter.


Phillies' Manager Dallas Green was so unconcerned about it he didn't anticipate naming the Phillies’ designated hitter until today.


Likely candidates are right-handed hitter Greg Luzinski and left-handed hitter Del Unser. Luzinski would appear the probable choice because his presence as a DH would enable Green to take advantage of Luzinski's power while keeping him out of the outfield where Luzinski is less than sensational.


“I don’t know who’s going to be my designated hitter,” Green said. “I just got off the plane (from Houston). I’ll worry about that tomorrow (today)."

A singles hitter in playoffs, Aikens wants more


By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Willie Aikens, hat twirled around in catcher’s style with the bill resting on the back of his powerful neck, flicked his bat in a powerful arc.


Ding, ding, ding, ding. Aikens beat the batting cage, then dented the ground with the barrel of his bat in disgust.


The outfield fence — 371 feet away in right-center — seemed to taunt Aikens, the Royals’ first baseman. Aikens seemingly could attempt to reach out and touch it, but the fence stood untouched and uncleared.


“I really didn’t get any kind of feel of it today, mainly because I didn’t swing that good today," Aikens said Monday following the Royals’ workout at Veterans Stadium, where Kansas City and Philadelphia will open the World Series tonight at 7:35.


“I’m going to try to come out early tomorrow (today) and try to take some extra hitting, to get the feel of the ballpark and the feel of hitting the ball hard some place,” said Aikens, who hit 20 home runs and drove in 98 runs for the Royals.


Teammate George Brett, watching Aikens in the batting cage, said, “If he comes out and just goes through his normal routine ne should be able to hit some home runs in this ballpark.”


That is understating the case. Aikens could hit a lot of home runs in Veterans Stadium. The most powerful of the Royal hitters, Aikens has suffered throughout the season because he has played in spacious Royals Stadium, which measures 385 feet in the power alleys of left-center and right-center fields.


Aikens had a .364 batting average in the Royals’ 3-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. A single was his longest hit, however, as the Yankees used left-handers Ron Guidry, Rudy May and Tommy John as their starting pitchers.


“I think I only got one at-bat against a right-hander" said the left-handed Aikens, who turns 26 today.


Aikens will face a right-hander, rookie Bob Walk, tonight. And that has put Aikens in an expectant mood.


“With a left-hander, unless I’m sure he's going to throw a fastball to me, I tend to hold back and wait a little longer,’’ Aikens said. “During the playoff series, I wasn't sure what type of pitches I was going to get. The first two games I saw a lot of breaking balls. The last game I saw a lot of fastballs off John.”


Aikens was 3 for 4 in the third game.


Aikens is confident he and the other Royals will hit. But he said the outcome of the World Series will be determined by the effectiveness of the Royals’ pitchers.


“If we get the type of pitching it the Yankees,” Aikens said, "I can’t see any way that this team is going to beat us. We are going to hit. If the pitchers can hold it to two or three or four runs in each ballgame, I feel we've got a good chance to do as good or better than we did against the Yankees.”