Annapolis Capital - October 15, 1980
Boone Playing With Many Pains
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Bake McBride is a likely hero. Bob Boone isn't. At least not this year.
But Boone, the Phillies' crippled catcher, shared the credit with McBride for the Phillies 7-6 triumph over the Kansas City Royals in the first game of the 1980 World Series.
McBride's three-run homer in the third inning keyed a five-run rally that turned a 4-0 deficit into a 5-4 lead the National League champions never lost.
McBnde with his .309 average and 87 RBI, won a lot of games for the Phillies in their drive to the NL pennant. Boone struggled through a .228 season, and went home most nights with the boos of the fans ringing in his ears.
But it was Boone who started the Phillies' comeback with an RBI-double in the third. And it was Boone who doubled across a fourth inning run.
"Bob Boone is catching...because he's been swinging the bat much better in the last 10 days," said Philllies Manager Dallas Green.
Boone said his improved hitting lately involved a lot of mechanics.
'"When you are hitting well, there are a lot of little things that go into the mechanics. Within the last couple of weeks my hitting has come around."
Boone played despite a bruised left foot that might have kept a lot of players on the bench. He said that after the NL clincher in Houston Sunday the left foot was swollen like an egg. The trainer taped it and kept the swelling down.
"You put pain out of your mind when you get to the World Series," said Boone. "I've waited too long to get here to worry about that now."
Boone, of course, didn't win this first game by himself. McBride, a clutch hitter all season, provided the key blow with his three-run shot over the right field fence. Green said he was impressed with the American League champion Royals.
"They kept clawing at you," said Green. Green said he was certain the Royals' ace right-hander, Dennis Leonard, the game's loser, wasn't the same pitcher AL teams were used to seeing.
Reliever Tug McGraw, who pitched two scoreless innings and earned a save, said, "My strongest desire now is to prove Howard Cosell wrong. He said they went to the well too often with me in the Houston series. He doesn't know that much about baseball"
McGraw Becoming Baseball’s ‘Iron Man’
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Old "Iron Wing" came to the rescue of "The Kid" and the Philadelphia Phillies had their first World Series victory in 65 years.
"I used my Peggy Lee fast ball twice," exulted Tug McGraw, the Phillies' free-spirited bullpen ace who came into the game in the eighth inning and got six quick outs after Willie Aikins' second home run had chased 23-year-old rookie Bob Walk.
It marked the sixth straight game, the seventh in eight days, in which McGraw's indestructible left arm had saved the Phillies from possible 1980 extinction.
"Isn't your arm sore?" someone asked after the Phillies' fence-hurdling 7-6 victory.
"Look," said McGraw. "The catcher has to throw every day. The infielders have to come out and take practice. The bullpen pitcher has to be prepared to come in every time there is an emergency. He has to be strong. It's the nature of the job."
"Isn’t the job mostly mental?" a reporter asked.
"If it was mental, I'd go into the locker room and soak my head in ice," McGraw snapped.
He is a guy quick with his screwball and quick with the quip — this long-haired, uninhibited reliever who virtually whistles while he works.
He worked hard but with dispatch Tuesday night just as he has in his 16 years in the majors, twice helping the once futile New York Mets gain the World Series with his "You Gotta Believe" philosophy.
Walk, a gangling young right-hander from Newhall, Calif., had started the game, giving up two homers for four runs in the first three innings. But he settled down and held the free-swinging Royals in check until Aikins unleashed his second two-run homer in the eighth.
After striking out formidable Willie Wilson for the final out, McGraw raised both arms in a victory sign and then strode off the mound—his long hair flowing and his glove hand beating a tattoo on his left leg.
The record Philadelphia crowd of 65,791 roared ecstatically.
Prodded, the flaky left-hander acknowledged that he had nicknames for his four pitches — fastball, curve, slider and screwball.
"My favorite is the Peggy Lee fastball which I sometimes take something off. You know, as Peggy's song goes, 'Is That All There Is'"
He said he had a Bo Derek ball which conforms with the sex attraction of the perfect 10.
"My Cutty Sark ball is one that sails," he said. "And there's the John Jameson ball which goes straight, the way I like my Irish whiskey. Then the home run ball is the Sinatra ball, 'Fly Me to the Moon.'"
McGraw said he used a Peggy Lee slider to force pinch hitter John Wathan to hit into a double-play, ending the eighth inning and his John Jameson fast ball to strike out U.L. Washingon and Willie Wilson for the final outs in the ninth.
Past History Against Phils
The Phillies are in good position after winning what some felt was a giveaway" game with rookie pitcher Bob Walk getting the starting assignment.
Many persons close to the Phillies' operation felt the employlent of Walk was simply a means of giving the remainder of the Phillies pitching staff time to rest up after toiling in the playoff Series against Houston. Basically is was just that. Walk has not pitched well late in the season after getting an outstanding start followmg his callup from the minor leagues early in the campaign.
Actually, using Walk made some sense, though Dallas Green the manager of the Phillies, might not have realized why. Only two other rookies have ever been named to pitch the opening game of a World Series. Grover Cleveland Alexander was the first one, Joe Black was the second. Alexander pitched for the 1915 Phillies, while oe Black pitched for the 1952 Dodgers.
Each of those pitchers were winners in those opening games, which, with Walk’s victory, makes rookies look good for pitching World Series openers.
Alexander whipped the Boston Red Sox, 3-1 defeating veteran pitcher Ernie Shore. Black topped Se Yankees 4 2, with big Chief Allie Reynolds absorbing the loss.
Now for the bad news.
Each of the losing pitchers m those games came back to win another game later in their respective series - Shore won the fourth game of a five-game series in '15 and Reynolds won the seventh game against the Dodgers in '52 Each of the teams who had used rookies in the opening game, lost the World Series And each of those rookies came back to lose later in their series
Of course, you can't take past history gospel. There's nothing that says such history will be repeated, but it his happened.
For one thing, it's doubtful that Walk will get another chance to pitch in the current Worid Series, so he won't have the opportunity to lose as did the other two rookie starters. Of those three rookies, Walk is the youngest at 23 – Alexander was 24 and Black was 28 – and Walk is the only one to have started the season in the minor leagues. So there are some differences between Walk and the others.
One noteworthy item is that Alexander's victory over the Red Sox on Oct. 8, 1915 was the last World Series win for a Phillies team, which is the most senior team never to have won a World Series.
Of the present day teams that have been in, but never won a World Series – the San Francisco Giants and Minnesota Twins in addition to the Phillies – only Philadelphia has has more than one try. The Giants did win while in New York and the Twins did win when they were the Washington Senators. The only other team to have played in and not won at least one Worid Series is the St. Louis Browns. Of course, the Browns moved from St Louis to become the Baltimore Orioles and they have won in the World Series.
So it is that the Phillies is baseball's most frustrated team. They had 35 years pass between their first and second World Series berth and another 30 years between their second and third appearances. And, it had been 65 years and six days since their last World Series game victory.
That is frustration.
Making matters worse is that the Phillies have had many winning season during the interim years, but they were never quite good enough to get to the World Series.
Throwing past history out the window, the Phillies appear to be in fine position as they head into tonight's second game of the World Series. The pitchers, save for Tug McGraw who has worked in all six of the team's post season games, are rested. The ace of the staff, Steve Carlton, is ready to pitch tonight And, Carlton can and likes to pitch with three days rest so he'll be ready to pitch again by the fifth game.
The Royals, on the other hand, had their ace, Dennis Leonard, lose and they're going to their lefthander and the Phillies love to play against lefthanders. The nghthanded power hitters of Philadelphia have done little thus far, but with a lefty coming in, things could change.
The Phillies are in fine position-if past history does not osmosize from the record books into the team.
Unlikely Heroes Help in Phillies 7-6 Victory
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Tug McGraw… Bob Walk... Bob Boone… Bake McBride... They were a slightly improbable cast of characters performing their heroics in a slightly improbable way, but they gave the Philadelphia Phillies their first victory in a World Series in 65 years
Quiet were the bats of bombs-away hitters Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski.
Steve Carlton, Philadelphia's likely Cy Young winner, waited m the dugout to start Game 2.
Instead, it was a weary McGraw and a rookie pitcher named Walk, of all things, who pitched the Phillies to a 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the first game of the 1980 World Series Tuesday night
And it was the bats of Boone and McBride that spoke so loudly for a team which has not won a World Series game since 1915. McBride slugged a three-run homer, and Boone drove in two runs with a pair of doubles.
The rookie Walk, who will be 24 next month and only a year ago was pumping gas in California, handed the ball to McGraw with two runs in and none out in the eighth. McGraw's job was to protect a one-run lead
McGraw had pitched his heart out in the National League Championship Series against Houston. He set a playoff record by appearing in each of the five games, logging two saves and a loss in eight innings work. His left arm seemed as though it was rubber
"I've always said, if I had any brains, I'd soak my head in ice water instead of my arm, "McGraw said.
The 36-year-old veteran of three World Series allowed just one hit, a meaningless single in the eighth by Amos Otis, who had homered earlier, and struck out the last two batters of the game, U L. Washington and Willie Wilson.
"Certainly I was tired," he said, "but there's always room to reach back for a little extra."
Phils Manager Dallas Green chose to start Walk when the rest of his staff was spent in the playoffs. Walk became the first rookie pitcher since Joe Black of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952 to start the opener of a World Series. He also became the first Philly pitcher to win a World Series game since Grover Cleveland Alexander beat Boston in the first game of the 1915 World Series.
The Boston Red Sox went on to win that Series in five games and the Phillies had to wait 35 years before their next World Series, which they lost to the New York Yankees in four straight in 1950. It took only 30 more years before the Phillies were ready to try again.
"We didn't have much choice who was going to pitch, but I did win 11 games during the season," Walk said. "I don't think I was sent out there to just take up space."
They called him a sacrificial lamb, and he almost wound up a goat. After walking Darrell Porter on a 3-2 pitch to lead off the second inning, Otis eame to bat Otis had hit only .251 this season, but he worked the count to 2-1, then teed off on a Walk fastball that sailed over the left-center field fence for a 2-0 lead.
Kansas City struck again in the third when Hal McRae singled with one out, and one out later, Willie Aikens hit the first of his two homers. The Royals led 4-0. Walk then walked Porter for the second time in two innings, and Otis beat out an infield hit.
With Royals at first and second, Clint Hurdle lashed a single to left, but Phils left fielder Lonnie Smith threw out Porter easily at the plate. Porter came in standing, and Walk was out of the inning.
"I don't like to say this with him in the room, but Bob came within one out of joining me on the bench right then," Green said later.
Walk retired the next nine batters in the row, giving Boone and McBride their shot at Royals starter Dennis Leonard, a 20-game winner.
Leonard, a hard-throwing right-hander, had set the Phils down in order in the first and second innings. He got Manny Trillo to ground out to lead off the third before the dam burst.
Larry Bowa singled to left, and Boone ripped a run-scoring double down the leftfield line. Smith, the Phils' leadoff hitter, singled to left, but it really wasn't enough to score Boone, who had hurt his foot in a home-plate collision Sunday in the final game of the playoffs.
Then, fate seemed to take a hand. Smith slipped rounding first, and third baseman George Brett, the cutoff man, had him trapped. He looked once toward Boone at third, then again.
"Brett looked at me just as I commited myself to go to the plate," Boone said. "I thought for a second he had me, but I guess he had just started to throw."
Boone scored, and Smith was out in the rundown.
Leonard then hit Pete Rose with a pitch and walked Schmidt on a 3-1 pitch, bringing up McBride, who had hit only nine home runs all season. Leonard threw him a strike, then a ball, and McBride sent the third pitch high over the fence in rightcenter.
"I think I took more time watching it than I did to run around the bag," M cBride said. “I don’t hit too many home runs, but when I hit the ball well like that, I know it's going out."
Boone hit another RBI-double in the fourth inning, and Garry Maddox added what turned out to be the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
It wasn't until the eighth inning that the Royals once again got to Walk, who had begun to turn the ball over to try to get some action on it.
Brett led off with a double, slapped to the gap in left-center, and Aikens followed with his second homer, bringing on McGraw.
The rest is history. Carlton will face lefthander Larry Gura in the second game here tonight (8:30 p.m. EDT).
Wilson is Disappointed
Unaccustomed to being shut out
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Willie Wilson had 230 hits during the regular season, and he does not take kindly to going 0-for-5 in the opening game of the 1980 World Series
"They pitched to me good, they did a good job," said Kansas City's switchhitting left fielder. "They kept me off base But I think I learned some things tonight,"
Keeping Wilson off base, American League opponents have maintained for two years, is the key to beating the Royals. And, with Wilson hitless against Bob Walk and Tug McGraw, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Royals 7-6 Tuesday night
"They always say I'm the catalyst to our offense," Wilson said. "I don't know if that's right. But I do feel very, very bad that I wasn't able to contribute."
The Kansas City catalysts Tuesday night turned out to be Amos Otis, who hit one two-run home run, and Willie Mays Aikens, who hammered two. It was a bittersweet 26th birthday for the free-swinging Aikens, who drove in 98 runs during the regular season.
In Game 2 tonight the Royals will face Philadelphia's ace left-hander Steve Carlton, and Wilson says things could be different.
The Royals would have needed nothing from Wilson had starter Dennis Leonard held a four-run lead. But the Kansas City right-hander, who was decked by a five-run outburst in the Philly third, said he never had control of his breaking pitch
"I had to come in with the fastball and they hit it," Leonard explained. "I never really got the ball where I wanted it. When I did make good pitches, they just hit them."
Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green said the game's key play may have been when Pete Rose got hit in the leg by a Leonard pitch moments before Bake McBnde unloaded a three-run homer Rose charged threateningly toward the mound, then sprinted to first base
"He always does that crap," said Leonard. "He didn't make any attempt to get out of the way of it, In fact, he might even have stuck his leg out."
"He sure didn't try to get out of the way," agreed catcher Darrell Porter "But it's a tough call for an umpire."
Aikens' first homer was followed by Porter's second base on balls and a single by Otis The Royals, leading 4-0. appeared ready to bury the Phillies when Clint Hurdle singled into left field. But Porter was thrown out easily at the plate, without trying to slide, and the rally was over.
"Truthfully, I never expected the ball to get there as quickly as it did," Porter said "I tripped over third base and lost my momentum. I had it m my mind all the time to slide. But I just couldn't get my feet coordinated. If I'd tried to slide I probably would have broken my ankle."'
Otis insisted the Royals' would not be intimidated by Carlton, the odds-on favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award.
"He's been a little erratic the last couple of times out," Otis said. "He had a helluva season, but I think we can hit him."