Reading Eagle - October 14, 1980
Rowdy, Happy Crowd Greets Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies Finally Fantastic.
That's what everybody's saying around here.
Women cried. Men toasted their National League heroes at local taverns and kids sported Phillies T-shirts and hats.
They did it! They didn't choke, roll over and play dead or shatter like fine china, as they've been wont to do in past postseason championship games.
This time the Phillies brought the NL pennant home from the Houston Astrodome where they eked out an 8-7 extra-inning win over the Astros Sunday night.
In return, they got the hearts of adoring fans who'll either be near a television, radio or at Veterans Stadium tonight for Game One of the best-of-seven World Series against the Kansas City Royals, the American League champs.
But most of the conquering heroes were either tired or aloof Monday when they arrived here.
Despite thousands of cheering fans, most of the players, including sluggers Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski. headed straight for chartered buses.
Only a few gathered on a platform to acknowledge the crowd.
But even if it appeared to be a case of unrequited love, the fans remained a rowdy, happy crowd, pressed up to 10 deep along about 300 yards of fencing at the airport.
There were broken beer bottles underfoot, wild college boys blowing long plastic horns, young girls in down jackets and designer jeans, and shivering children.
“Get your National League champion Phillies pennants now, a real collector's item," shouted a vendor.
Clutching a new Phillies pennant, red-faced against the chill, Sister Theresa of St. Thomas More Church in Cherry Hill, N.J. strained hopelessly to see over the ranks of fans between her and the fence at the airport.
"I watched the game Sunday night and prayed my heart out,” she said. "I called up KYW radio to ask what Tug McGraw's real name is, so I could pray to his patron saint in the last inning. His name is Francis Edwin, did you know that?" she asked. (McGraw's actual first name is Frank).
"I don't know which St. Francis heard my prayers but one of them was sure listening," she said.
Ruly Carpenter, Phillies owner told the crowd, "I hope you don't have to wait 30 years for another one of these,” as he hoisted up the NL trophy.
Philadelphia area businessmen hope so, too, and that's because the celebrants and fans are pouring in from all around the world and that means money.
By late Monday representatives of the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau were referring fans in pursuit of first class accommodations to Wilmington Del. 30 miles away.
The crowd includes an estimated 1,000 sports writers, while another 1,200 baseball executives are spread throughout the city.
Dreamers… Aviles, Bystrom Thrilled
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – When the Philadelphia Phillies last went to a World Series 30 years ago, 14 players on the current team weren't even born.
But they've been dreaming about what they've been missing.
"It will be the biggest thrill of my life," said Ramon Aviles, 28, who grew up in Puerto Rico and whose Series images revolve around Roberto Clemente m 1971, when it was Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore.
"I always dreamed of signing a professional baseball contract, of playing in the major leagues, of playing in a championship series and then the World Series. All my dreams have come true," said Aviles.
Rookie pitcher Marty Bystrom, 22, grew up in Miami and hadn't even seen a regular season major league game until the Phillies brought him up from the minor leagues to finish out the season.
"I used to dream about pitching in it (the Series)," said Bystrom, who went 5-0 and made the postseason roster because of the shoulder problems of Nino Espinosa. "I could picture myself pitching in it and winning a ballgame."
Larry Bowa, 34, the man ahead of Aviles in the lineup at shortstop, has been a Phillie since 1970. He was just a tot in 1950 and seems like a little boy still as he discusses his dream with sparkling eyes.
“It's probably the ultimate, every ballplayer's dream. That's what it's all about,” Bowa said.
"I always watched them (Series games) even if it meant staying home from school," he said. "I used to love the Yankees all the time. I loved the Yankees."
Not all the Phillies, however, are youngsters.
Pete Rose, now 39 and the oldest player on the roster, won a World Series ring when the Cincinnati Reds beat the Boston Red Sox in 1975. The following year, the Reds beat the Yankees, and in 1980. Rose will be starting in his fourth World Series.
Not many of his teammates have shared the experience. Relief pitcher Tug McGraw made it in 1973 when he went with the New York Mets, who lost to Oakland. He also was on the 1969 Mets World Champions squad but did not see any action.
Ace starter Steve Carlton played in two Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards won in 1967 against Boston, but lost to Detroit in 1968.
By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
“If that ain’t out, I ain’t playing.” – Mike Schmidt, after getting off a long one during batting practice at the Astrodome Thursday. It landed on the warning track. Schmidt played, of course, but he collected only two singles (one in the infield) in the three games. Mike has three lifetime home runs at the Astrodome (the last in June ’79), plus the world’s longest single, off a loudspeaker.
“I’ve got my sinker working; I got the double play.” – Reliever Warren Brusstar, after ending the ninth inning Saturday – on a line drive to right on which the runner was doubled off.
“Astros Win First Prize: Two Days in Philadelphia; Dodgers Win Second Prize: Winter in L.A.” – Headline on the Los Angeles Times after the N.L. West playoff, seen in Houston.
“Our evening service tonight will begin earlier, due to an unforeseen circumstance. We won’t keep you long; we want you to stay and pray.” – The pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Houston, the world’s largest in Methodism.
“I’ve written so much on the first four games, I’ve only got six lines left for this one.” – Ron Fimrite of “Sports Illustrated,” before the fifth game. (Presumably some of his earlier work wound up in the wastebasket.)
“Nolan was throwing so well, I never thought we’d lose the lead. He never stopped throwing well.” – Astro catcher Alan Ashby, on Nolan Ryan, who had lost a lead in the eighth inning only three times in nine years before Sunday.
“It was by far the toughest loss I’ve ever had. I honestly think I did everything I could. I was still throwing the ball well in the eighth, but the inning exploded in my face before I knew it.” – Nolan Ryan, who was not the losing pitcher.
“I wasn’t surprised that he bunted, but you can’t expect a bunt when they’re three runs behind. I can’t come in and make it easier for him to hit it through. It was a perfect bunt.” – Third baseman Enos Cabell, on the bunt by Greg Gross which loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth Sunday.
“After I struck out Schmidt, I thought I’d close them out. Unser hit a ball off the end of his bat. Trillo’s ball was a foot fair at most. I’d like to pitch that inning over. I’d probably choose the same pitches but I’d try to throw them to better spots.” – Ken Forsch, who was racked for the tying single by Unser and go-ahead double by Trillo in the eighth Sunday.
“Everyone was so high in our dugout when we went ahead 5-2 in the seventh. I’ve never seen such excitement.” – Terry Puhl, who would have been MVP if the Astros had won.
“Every pitch your stomach is turning. I’m tired from yelling and jumping up and down. But all I want to do is move around and celebrate.” – Garry Maddox, after delivering the game-winning RBI Sunday.
“Controversy? What controversy? All I knew is that the people in Philadelphia are going crazy right now.” – Larry Bowa, who has hardly been the fans’ favorite.
“I want to get another ring because I feel Ruly Carpenter will buy the best ring ever given out in sports. If he doesn’t, I’m going to pin him in a corner and make him. That’s more important to me than the money. But some of the guys can use the money.” – Pete Rose.
“It was like driving a Honda through an art museum. You didn’t have time to look at the pictures.” – Tug McGraw, on Saturday’s game.
“Carlton is now 29-11 lifetime against the Astros, if you count his victory over them on Tuesday and his loss to them on Saturday.” – Sunday’s Houston Post, by a writer who was counting his chickens before they were hatched after seven innings Saturday.
“They looked way too fresh for 3 a.m. Makes you wonder how good bedchecks are.” – Houston coach Bill Yeoman, after his team beat Texas A&M at the Astrodome Sunday morning, in a game which began at 11:33 p.m. Saturday because of the time needed to change the field from baseball.
Fatigued Phils vs. Rested Royals
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - The Philadelphia Phillies are banged up, physically fatigued and emotionally exhausted from their successful marathon series with the Houston Astros.
And Phillies first baseman Pete Rose says they wouldn't want to begin Game 1 of their World Series with the Kansas City Royals tonight any other way.
"I'd rather be in our position than in Kansas City's position," Rose said Monday, minutes after the Phillies arrived at Veterans Stadium for a workout.
He was referring to the three days off the Royals have had since they completed a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees for their first American League championship Friday night.
It was suggested a rest period might give the Royals an advantage over the Phillies, who won't have 36 hours' rest before the opener. Following their 10-inning victory over Houston in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series Sunday night, the Phillies went straight from celebrating to a 2,000-mile flight to the workout.
"I'm a firm believer in momentum," Rose explained. "We've got momentum now, and we don't want to lose it."
“I seriously believe that when we went to Montreal for that last series of the regular season, and off day meant the difference in our winning the division. We’d won four straight games from Chicago, and they’d won three straight against St. Louis. But they had an off-day and we didn’t, and they came to the ballpark flat.”
The Phillies won the first two games to clinch their fourth division title in five years.
“You can really lose momentum in baseball very quickly. That’s why I go to the ballpark and work out every off day. Players would prefer playing every day to being off.”
Phillies' Manager Dallas Green also shook off suggestions his team would be too tired or emotionally flat after their playoff victory to perform well in the Series.
"The only player I'm worried about being tired at all is (reliever) Tug McGraw," Green said. "He really needed a day off today. Knowing him, he'll kick back a bit today, and tomorrow if I need him, he'll be ready."
In short, the Phillies will have all winter to rest after the World Series.
“We have set our sights on a goal we set in spring training – to get into this thing,” Green said. “And now that we’re here, our goal as a team is to win it.
“We’ve never been better prepared than we are right now. We used 20 guys yesterday. A lot of guys came off the bench and did the job for us. We probably have the greatest team atmosphere we’ve had on this club in a long time.”
Many Recall Pennant Victory Over Dodgers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Late on a Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1, 1950, Dick Sisler hit a three-run homer to launch 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 for the past two days.
As the Phils start the best-of-seven series against the Kansas City Royals tonight, there are many who recall the Phillies pennant victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers 30 years ago, and the subsequent four-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 or 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 two-team city and had divided loyalties,” Kelly said.
Phillies’ Fans Rejoice - Finally
By Rich Ashburn
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – If you were a Phillies fan at the turn of the century and you are fortunate enough to still be around, you must have a strong constitution. Especially if you were able to survive the gut-wrenching playoffs against the Houston Astros.
If you’ve rooted for the Phillies all those years, you must have the loyalty of a Samurai warrior. The Philadelphia Phillies have won only three pennants in this century.
Woodrow Wilson was the president in 1915, when the Phillies won their first pennant with players like Milt Stock, Bode Paskert, Davey Bancroft and the great Hall of Fame pitcher, Grover Cleveland Alexander. He beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-1, in the first game that year and the Phillies haven’t won a World Series game since.
I can’t take any of the blame for the 1915 World Series, but I was a part of the 1950 Whiz Kids team which lost four straight to the New York Yankees. My teammates and I owe the 1980 Phillies our gratitude: from now on, maybe we won’t have to suffer through the 1950 loss to the Yankees during the rain-delays on television.
When the Phils flew in from Houston Monday to be greeted by thousands of fans at the airport and the ball park, it dredged up some old memories.
The Whiz Kids trained in from New York City after beating the Dodgers on a Sunday afternoon, so it was early evening when we arrived at the 30th Street Station. A crowd which police estimated at a couple of hundred thousand lines the street wall-to-wall from the station to City Hall.
Like this year’s team, the 1950 Phillies didn’t have much time to savor their success. We had a victory party at the Warwick Hotel that night and, two days later, we opened at Connie Mack Stadium against the Yankees.
Like the current Phillies entry, our club had a problem deciding on a starting pitcher for the opening game of the Series. Whiz Kids manager Eddie Sawyer finally picked reliever Jim Konstanty. He had wanted his ace, Robin Roberts, but Robin had started three games in the last week of the season.
Dallas Green has chosen Bob Walk to start tonight but probably would have preferred either Steve Carlton, Dick Ruthven, Larry Christenson or Marty Bystrom. Like Sawyer, Green didn’t have much choice., Walk is his only starter who is rested.
Unlike the ’50 Phillies, the ‘80 team won its pennant with a complete team effort. Sawyer believed in using one lineup day-in and day-out, rarely going to his bench. He didn’t pinch-hit much and he never platooned. Even the most rabid Phillies fan would have trouble remembering the reserves on the Whiz Kids team.
Dallas Green, on the other hand, uses all his players. He platoons at times and he pinchhits a lot. It wasn’t by accident that Del Unser was instrumental in Sunday’s win over Houston.
Personally, I enjoyed this year’s pennant for selfish reasons. I’m tired of hearing about the so-called Philadelphia jinx and the collapse of the ’50 and ’64 Phillies. The ’80 Phillies have destroyed some ghosts that have haunted us in Philadelphia all too long.
Reunion… Sparky, Rose Reminisce
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It was a warm reunion, almost like a father greeting a long-lost son when silver-haired Sparky Anderson strode into the Philadelphia Phillies' locker room and threw his arms over the brawny shoulders of Pete Rose.
"Congratulations, kid, a fine series. You were as great as ever." said Sparky to the 39-year-old first baseman of the National League champions, who had just clawed their way into the World Series in a cliffhanging playoff against Houston.
"Thanks. Skip." replied Rose, his face breaking into a wide grin. "It felt like the good old days."
Then the pair went to a private corner to reminisce about their four World Series together when Sparky was the pilot and Rose the main sparkplug of the "Big Red Machine" of the Cincinnati Reds.
From Cincinnati they separated and took different forks in the road, Anderson to become manager of a developing Detroit Tigers team and Rose to Philadelphia to resuscitate a team pennant-less for the last 30 years
"What an amazing guy," Sparky said to newsmen later when Rose went out to first base at Veterans Stadium to prepare for tonight's World Series opener against the Kansas City Royals.
"There never has been — and never will be — a man who gave more to the game than Pete Rose. I am not talking about what he has done. There have been many guys with greater skills who have never made it.
"I am taking about the intangibles — the effort and enthusiasm he puts into every game. He loves it. He never thinks of his million-dollar salary. Put a glove and a bat in his hand and he's like a i;itle kid again.
"I've often said that if Pete committed a murder and was arrested, he would tell the cops, "Give me 2½ hours. I've got a game to play. Then I'll be back in."
Undoubtably this stubby brawler from the toughest playgrounds of Cincinnati is the catalyst of baseball's 1980 championships, the man the poised-and-rested Royals must subdue if they are to prevail.
A competitive flame shoots from every pore of his leathery skin. He itches to play and battles to win. His intensity both in the field and at bat seeps through the television tubes and becomes obvious to the millions watching from the comfort of their sitting rooms.
Standing a few feet off first base, he tugs at his belt. He slaps his glove. He bends. He fidgets. He can’t keep still. He dares the batter to hit the ball in his direction.
At bat, he crouches over the plate like a jungle cat ready to spring. His crouch seems to get lower and lower with the years, but never the menacing power of his bat.
“Every time I looked at TV there was Pete Rose at bat and getting on base,” one viewer commented.
But it wasn’t just at bat that Rose made his impact. He lunged for backhanded run-saving stabs of the ball. He made quick snap decisions and errorless throws. Once he almost demolished a Houston catcher while driving for home plate. And finally, he won an eye-to-eye duel with fire-balling Nolan Ryan for a walk that forced in the first run of a five-run rally in the decisive game.
Rose, a 400 hitter in the playoffs, has already erased hitting records of such immortals as Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. He admits that baseball is an elixir to his soul.
"Baseball is my life." he said. "I'm trying to give something back. When I'm out there, it's like being in some sort of isolation booth. Nothing distracts rne and my concentration is good.”
SportopicS: Wackiness Revisited
By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
That four unusual double plays occurred in one playoff game was the main theme of Sunday morning’s dispatch from the Astrodome. That was unique.
Grammarians tell us that nothing can be “more unique,” but we would have had that situation except for a little note in the rulebook. We would have had five unusual double plays in Saturday’s game, with the fifth the strangest of all.
Time and space did not permit discussion of some of the other weird plays in Saturday’s game. The statements that that game was the most “exciting” and “dramatic” league playoff ever lasted about as long as a snowflake in Houston, or a politician seeking to strengthen the windfall profits tax.
Sunday’s game beat Saturday’s in those areas, but not in controversy or wackiness. Take the phantom fifth double play.
This was when Lonnie Smith, after catching a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, looked like Pete Rose spiking the ball when he tried to make the throw.
It may have been the most profitable mistake in postseason play since the Rose Bowl fumble in 1929 which Roy Riegels returned the wrong way.
Gary Woods, who was trying to advance to second, wound up trying to advance to third and was thrown out to end the inning. Because the Astros left two on base in the next inning, that was an important out. (It was Woods who left too soon his next time up.)
Some thought it was a double play, but it wasn’t because you don’t have a DP if “an error or misplay intervenes between putouts,” according to the rulebook. It wasn’t an error because Woods might have had second anyway, and he didn’t make third. But it sure was a misplay.
Schmidt’s Big Hit
Mike Schmidt is accustomed to delivering big long-distance hits. His only big hit in the Astrodome was an infield single in the three-run eighth Saturday, but he had just as big a hit in the same inning which traveled far less than the one to Joe Morgan.
This was his foul tip which put catcher Luis Pujols out of commission with a severely bruised ankle.
With Pujols still in there, maybe he catches the short-hop throw from Rafael Landestoy with Pete Rose barreling home. Maybe not. Rose said Johnny Bench would have trouble with that one.
But maybe he does. His replacement, Bruce Bochy, had started only two games all year, though he was a frequent starter two seasons ago.
What’s more, that may have slowed Pujols just enough that Manny Trillo was able to throw him out at home in the second inning Sunday.
Throw to Wrong Place
One more mistake Saturday. This was when defensive replacement Jeff Leonard threw to the wrong place on a ball hit to him in right field in the eighth.
No, it wasn’t on the sacrifice fly, on which Schmidt was eventually doubled. A throw directly to first would have doubled him before the run scored, but Jeff can’t be expected to know that – and first was unguarded anyway.
It was when he threw toward third on Rose’s hit which scored the first run in the eighth, allowing Rose to make it to second. Schmidt followed with the hit to Morgan, which could have been an out at second had there been anyone at first.
In a game in which the Phillies survived despite so many mistakes, it was fitting that perhaps the most crucial one – if not the most obvious – was made by Leonard, a native and resident of Philadelphia.
World Series… Phils’ Walk vs. Royals’ Leonard Tonight
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Darrell Porter, the Kansas City Royals’ All-Star catcher, contends he is not much of a baseball fan, but he knows what makes a pitching rotation go around.
A consummate handler of pitchers, Porter believes the bulk of the work in the 1980 World Series against Philadelphia will have to be assumed by right-hander Dennis Leonard and lefty Larry Gura.
“We’ve got to rely on Gura and Leonard simply because of what they have done for us all year long,” Porter said.
Leonard, the Royals only 20-game winner, will oppose Philadelphia rookie Bob Walk, 11-7 during the season, in the opening game of the best-of-seven World Series here tonight (starting time 8:30 p.m., EDT).
Royals Manager Jim Frey tabbed Leonard in an effort to negate the Phillies right-handed swinging power of Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox and Bob Boone.
“Dennis is probably the hardest thrower consistently on the club,” Porter said. “His fastball is the key. He throws a hard slider, a curveball and a changeup. His slider and curve are both good pitches when he’s on.”
Porter said Leonard gets into trouble if he gets in a groove, spotting his fastball in the same place all the time.
Gura, 18-10 with a key victory in Game One of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, probably will start Game Two of the Series, with Rich Gale starting the third game, Frey said. Paul Splittorff, Kansas City’s fourth starter, will be used as an emergency starter.
“Gura is not an overpowering pitcher,” Porter said. “He relies more on finesse, control and mixing speeds. Gale is a power pitcher with good movement on his fastball. It moves either way, and it’s not straight too often.”
Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green more or less was forced to go with the 23-year-old Walk in Game One.
“You people asked me last night if I was going to start, and I thought, ‘Why me?’” said Walk, who did not learn he would start today until Monday afternoon. “Then, all of a sudden, it dawned on me. We had used all our other starting pitchers in the last game of the playoffs.”
In order to win Sunday night’s game in Houston 8-7 in 10 innings, Green had to use starters Marty Bystrom, a rookie, Larry Christenson and Dick Ruthven. Only left-hander Steve Carlton, who pitched the night before, and Walk were unused. Carlton will start Game Two of the Series here Wednesday.
Walk also is a power pitcher with a slider, curveball and straight changeup, which he says he probably does not throw often enough. Walk got off to an 8-1 start this season before control problems sent him to the bullpen.
“Sometimes I try to overpower the hitters – I try to pitch them too fine, and that’s when I get into trouble,” said Walk, who saw no playoff action. “I’m nervous and excited about starting the World Series, but no more than games I’ve started before. I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow, though.”
Frey did not want to watch Sunday night’s NL finale at the airport, so he played cards.
“I played hearts with a bunch of cowboys Jamie Quirk, Dave Chalk, and the two Bretts (Ken and George),” the Royals manager said. “I didn’t want to root for either team. I’m too superstitious.”
Kansas City went through a full workout at Veterans Stadium here Monday afternoon. The Phillies, meanwhile, didn’t get back into town until about 3 p.m. Monday, came straight to the ballpark and worked out for only about a half hour after Kansas City.