Kansas City Star - October 15, 1980
Series ticket prices leave ‘em gasping
By Steve Rosen, Star Business & Financial Writer
Lea Thrasher was offered a deal she found easy to refuse.
She was looking for two tickets to a World Series game between the Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend when someone answered her personal advertisement in The Kansas City Times. “Someone called and said he wanted $250 apiece for two box seats," Ms. Thrasher said. "I wanted to go but not that bad." When she placed the ad, she said her upper limit was $50 for a general admission seat…
Ms. Thrasher wasn’t angry at the caller, only a little disgusted. “I guess there's more larceny in the hearts of some than others,” she said.
So goes life in this hectic auction market for World Series tickets.
Selling tickets for more than their face value is known as scalping. According to some potential buyers, the going rate is $200 or more for box seats, $100 to $150 for reserve seats and $50 to $85 for general admission seats.
Regularly priced box seats are $20, reserved seats $15 and general admission seats $10 for each of the three World Series games scheduled at Royals Stadium.
“Obscene profits has taken on a new meaning," said one potential buyer who was amazed at the excessive prices for seats. He said he had turned down an offer to buy two tickets for $300 apiece.
Some potential buyers said the value of the tickets will undoubtedly go up even higher should the Royals have a chance to win the Series at home.
The rule of thumb in the scalpers’ market seems to be: whatever the market will bear.
This sort of free enterprise system however could run afoul of the Kansas City Police Department. About 20 plainclothes police officers plan to be at Royals Stadium this weekend to enforce the city’s ticket scalping ordinance, said Capt. Bob Livingston.
The city’s ordinance simply says that it is illegal for anyone to sell tickets above their face value within the city limits.
During the American League playoffs against the New York Yankees, 15 people were arrested for ticket scalping during the two games here, said Capt. Livingston.
However, the threat of being arrested isn't hindering ticket holders from doing some high-priced dealing.
Standard procedure for a scalper seems to be to scan the personal ads in the newspaper, then to ask the buyer his price limit. Sometimes, before striking a deal, the seller may call back three or four times to negotiate with the buyer.
One elderly woman who had placed an ad in the newspaper said she had hoped to buy two tickets but said she couldn’t pay the going rate. “I didn't realize what I was getting into,” she said. “I didn't realize there would be such a markup.” She said one caller even offered to help her find two tickets — for a $300 finders fee.
In addition to offering tickets over and above the face value, some ticket sellers are offering package deals. One potential buyer said someone offered to sell him two box seat tickets and a parking pass — all for $250.
The man said he's had a “saddening” experience in the ticket market. "I'm willing to pay for something that I could reasonably afford," he said, but the prices have been out of his league. "Somebody was asking for $250 for a seat behind the plate. Most (reserved seats) have been for $100 to $150,” he said, "and some people were selling seats at nosebleed levels in the upper deck for $60, $75 and $85.”
At least one fan who had placed an ad in the newspaper came up a winner. Michael Ater said he received about 15 telephone calls from potential sellers and clinched two deals to buy two view level reserve seats for Friday's game and two plaza level reserve seats for Saturday's game — all four tickets for a total of $100. He said the World Series tickets “are probably the best thing you can get for your money right now."
For those fans who are unable to buy tickets, cheer up.
The fan who said he had a "saddening” experience during his ticket search thought of one advantage that he’ll have over those going to Royals Stadium this weekend: "At least I’ll be closer to the pop machine.”
Cash registers still ring despite crack of the bat
Some merchants expect World Series bonanza
By Diane Stafford, Star Business & Financial Writer
Believe it or not, some people will not be watching the Royals game tonight — or at least they won’t be watching it very closely.
They may be bending elbows at Kelly's Westport Inn, they may be attending a dinner theater production, or they may even be shopping at one of the area malls. Despite the fan fervor — or sometimes because of it — commerce is continuing in Kansas City.
Although some store clerks reported that business was as dead as the proverbial doornail once Game 1 of the World Series began Tuesday night, many retailers and entertainment spot operators refused to cry “Uncle.”
At Sears Roebuck & Co., television sales are “absolutely terrific,” according to general merchandise manager Alan Ives. “Surprisingly, there have been people in the store during the games, especially in the TV sections," Ives said. “We’ve been absolutely swamped.”
At Oak Park Mall, a spokeswoman said that business has held up despite the post-season play. "It's been fairly normal to good,” she said. “By the time of the night games, most people would be through shopping and home anyway. I’ve got to admit, though, that last Wednesday afternoon (when the Royals started the playoffs here) business was fairly slow.”
A variety of Kansas City area retailers, restauranteurs and entertainment purveyors claimed business is holding up though thousands of fans may be glued to their television sets. Of course, the fact that some nightspots have installed big-screen television sets has helped to attract game-time business.
At Zepi’s Pizza Parlor Wednesday night, half of the large eating room was empty. But the half in front of the big TV screen was packed elbow to elbow with screaming pizza-eating fans.
Dick May, vice president of operations for Gilbert-Robinson Inc., said the chain of specialty restaurants and bars is for one of its “best weeks ever” this week.
“We had some real plus business after the playoff games. but we think this will be even better,” May said, describing last Friday night when the Royals completed their American League playoffs sweep, as “a madhouse on the Plaza.”
The company expects a similar inundation after each World Series victory — but not necessarily during — because none of the Gilbert-Robinson operations has a TV screen any bigger than the traditional set mounted above the bar.
At Crown Center Hotel, public relations spokeswoman Patricia White said business has been, quite simply, “good, good, good.” The hotel installed bleachers and a big screen in its lobby and the bar business has boomed.
“We anticipated the World Series and pre-booked a number of rooms, so had the Royals not made it the economic impact would have been devastating,” Ms. White said. “But since they won, it’s great.”
Ms. White said the so-called "whispering campaign’’ — the good word that baseball visitors here take back to their home cities — may count for more than the immediate sales. That sentiment was echoed by Ms. Pat Jeffcock, director of sales for the Tiffany’s Attic and Waldo Astoria dinner theaters.
“Business was down due to the playoffs,” said Ms. Jeffcock, “and I expect an 80 percent capacity during the World Series.”
The usual sell-out crowds at the dinner theaters will be reduced because many of the season-ticket holders have rescheduled for a later date, Ms. Jeffcock said. Nonetheless, out-of-town visitors probably will fill the audience. “We’re still making reservations for this week," she said.
For most bar and restaurant owners, though, it is the home towners who are expected to make the cash registers ring.
“Fifteen minutes after the Royals went ahead last Friday, this place was crazy,” said Larry Worth, bartender at Kelly’s in Westport. “No matter what happens, we expect this week to be a good one.”
Worth said package liquor sales have been "way up,” leading him to believe many fans are doing some serious watching, and serious celebrating, in front of their own TV screens.
Then, too, life does go on. Last Friday, while the Royals were clinching the American League pennant, rock pianist and singer Elton John played to a near-capacity crowd at Kemper Arena. And the final performance of the Lyric Opera season played to 1300 people — 300 short of capacity — but most of the empty seats belonged to no-shows who already had purchased tickets, so the opera company did not suffer.
By William D. Tammeus, Staff Writer
WE DON’T know about the NBC broadcasters, but the fans in Veterans Stadium sure were biased.
YOU COULD tell NBC’s scouting reports aren't great. Joe Garagiola said Willie Aikens was in his “home run trot,” when it looked to folks like us who watch him regularly that he was running flat out.
STILL, the NBC team batted 1.000. Every one of the broadcasters mispronounced Renie Martin's name.
Dole beefs us baseball bet
Topeka, Kan. (AP) – It’s beef and pretzels on the line for two Republican senators from Kansas and Pennsylvania as their favorite teams meet in the 1980 World Series.
Kansas Sen. Bob Dole said Tuesday he had wagered with Pennsylvania Sen. John Heinz that the Kansas City Royals would triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Dole put up 25 pounds of prime Kansas beef as the prize against a similar amount of Philadelphia-style pretzels and mustard.
The Kansas senator, however, said he thought he had an element in his favor, one that could give Heinz some misgivings about his support for the Phillies.
In nine of the last 10 presidential elections, Dole said in a prepared statement, Republicans have won when the American League team has taken the series, and Democrats have won only when the National League was the victor.
“The only time this went awry was in 1948, the year Harry Truman was elected president and the Cleveland Indians won the title,” Dole noted. "But by applying this formula I am confident that neither our presidential candidate, nor my 25 pounds of beef, is in extreme danger.”
Beauty salon boosts team
Ms. Dean Gonzales has left no doubt where her sympathies lie in the World Series.
Ms. Gonzales' beauty salon, Dean’s Style 1 at Liberty and U.S. 24 in Independence, is one big advertisement for the Royals. Blue balloons festoon the front of the salon and the windows are plastered with Royals pennants, team pictures, “George Brett for President” bumper stickers and a “We’re No. 1” banner.
And all the beauticians working for Ms. Gonzales are dressed in blue Royals shirts and plastic baseball helmets.
“We’ve done it every year we've been in the playoffs,” said Ms Gonzales. “I go to all the games when they're here, but I just can’t do this all through the season — it would just be too difficult to keep the windows clean.”
Brett has signed, union director says
By Joe McGuff, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – The Royals are maintaining a position of silence on whether George Brett has an extension of his contract, but Miller executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association is not.
According to Miller, Brett signed the extended agreement May 2 and it was approved by the American League May 23. A copy of the contract has not been filed with the players’ association and, as a result, Miller has charged the American League with a violation of baseball’s basic agreement.
The extension is believed to be for five years and will pay Brett approximately $1 million a year, including a signing bonus.
Miller, speaking from his office in New York, said a provision in the basic agreement requires the league to furnish a copy of approved contracts to the players’ association.
The provision reads in part: “Copies of any letter of memoranda from the league presidents approving a contract… will be provided to the players’ association at the time such action is taken, along with the copy of the contract.”
Although Miller has verified the existence of Brett's contract, he has not seen a copy of it.
"As of today, I do not have a copy of the contract,” Miller said. “These people talk about not renegotiating, but what we’re seeing is that a contract has no more meaning than a piece of toilet paper. They are deliberately violating the rules.
“I haven’t made a fuss about the Brett contract because we are talking about wholesale violations. As one other example, they have not given us the list of doctors players can choose from if they want to get a second opinion. That was to be supplied within 60 days after the settlement of the basic agreement.
“I could go on and on, but we plan to take appropriate action when the season is over.”
Miller declined to speculate on why Brett’s contract has not been forwarded to the players’ association, although one possibility is that the Royals wanted to keep the salary information from other players until the season ends. Salary information is available to players through the association.
Joe Burke, Royals' executive vice president and general manager, declined to comment on the status of Brett’s contract.
"Everything is being taken care of as it should be," Burke said. "I’m not going to confirm or deny anything until after the season is over.
"The new basic agreement (an accord was reached shortly after the player-strike deadline May 23) is not even in final form. We comply with all the rules of baseball, and the league will process contracts whenever it is supposed to. But I’m still not saying George has signed. We will comply with any rules in the book.”
The Star reported during spring training that the Royals and Brett had reached an understanding on an extension, and since then several stories concerning Brett’s contract have been published.
Brett will have one year remaining on his old contract at the end of this season.
Burke adopted a policy that the Royals would not conduct any contract negotiations until after the season was over and has put off discussions with players who want to extend or discuss renegotiating contracts.
The negotiations with Brett started last winter. Brett expressed a strong desire to stay in Kansas City and passed up an opportunity to test his value in the Free-agent market.
Aftertaste is bitter for Royals
By Joe McGuff, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – George Brett squeezed some toothpaste into his mouth, looked at the writers gathered around his locker and said, “I think I’ll go brush my teeth. I have an awful taste in my mouth.”
The source of the problem was switching from champagne to vinegar.
The Royals lost the opening game of the World Series to the Phillies 7-6 Tuesday night, and the game left an especially bitter aftertaste because it was one the Royals should have won.
“It means we can’t win in four,” Manager Jim Frey said, attempting to minimize the damage. “We have to go five.”
Unless the Royals beat Steve Carlton, the Phillies’ best pitcher, tonight at Veterans Stadium, they will have to go six. Or seven. Only seven teams have won the World Series after losing the first two games, and only the 1978 Yankees rallied from a 0-2 deficit and won in six.
The Royals had everything going for them Tuesday night but the final score. Dennis Leonard, their leading winner, started against Bob Walk, a rookie who was pumping gas last year at this time. The Phillies had been led to believe the Royals resembled the Houston Astros. What they got instead was a facsimile of the 1927 Yankees.
Amos Otis hit a 2-run homer in the second, and Willie Aikens hit 2-run homers in the third and eighth. Brett and Hal McRae hit drives that were caught at the wall.
“Their hitting impressed me,” said the Phillies’ Larry Bowa.
“They can hit the long ball and run," said Bob Boone. “You’ve got to respect them a lot.”
Nevertheless, the Royals lost, giving the city of Philadelphia a new outlook on the World Series.
Until Tuesday night the feeling existed in Philadelphia that the World Series was about as much fun as being hung by your thumbs or listening to Johnny Carson tell Philadelphia jokes.
Before defeating the Royals, the Phillies had gone 65 years without winning a World Series game. The Phillies had lost eight straight Series games, which is an imposing losing streak. The last time the Phillies had won a World Series game, Woodrow Wilson was president and the American League was only 15 years old.
The Phillies made their first World Series appearance in 1915. They won the first game and lost the last four. The 1950 Series was even more fun. That time the Phillies lost in four straight.
Although the Royals lost Tuesday night, Aikens spoke confidently of eventual victory.
“The guys felt we could go out and play the Yankees and beat them,” Aikens said. “We feel the same way about the Phillies.”
Even so, the Royals, like the Astros before them, have found the Phillies resourceful opponents.
The big hit in the game was a 3-run homer by Bake McBride that capped a 5-run third inning and put the Phillies ahead to stay.
Larry Bowa singled with one out in the third and then went against the book by stealing second, though the Phillies were four runs behind. Bowa knew his manager, Dallas Green, might disapprove.
“The only reason I tried to steal is that I wanted to get something started,” Bowa said. “If I get thrown out, I might as well keep on running because Dallas is going to have something to say about it.”
Bob Boone doubled home Bowa. Lonnie Smith singled, and was retired in a rundown as Boone scored.
The next batter was Pete Rose, who managed to get his leg in front of a pitch It could be said that he offered a sacrificial calf.
"Oh yeah,” Leonard said. "He knew it was a breaking pitch and he didn’t try to get out of the way.”
When Leonard made a throw to first, Rose shouted, “You better worry about the guy up there. He can hit it out with one swing.”
The guy at the plate was Mike Schmidt, and he did not hit it out. Instead he walked and McBride hit it out, putting the Phillies ahead 5-4.
When the Royals' threatened in the eighth, Tug McGraw came in and saved the game. McGraw pitched in all five games in the playoffs.
Although Carlton will pitch tonight, the Royals are not pessimistic about their chances.
"We can do the same thing we did in this game,” Otis said. "If we played in this park we’d be among the leaders in home runs. We’d hit 180 or more. I guess the people got their money's worth. We got our feet wet and we got rid of the jitters. I’m sure a lot of guys are over being nervous.”
The Phillies declined to look on the victory as being unusually significant, though they are ahead and Carlton will pitch.
"It's nice to have Steve pitching and us up 1-0," Bowa said. "He’s been our stopper. But he's done a lot of pitching by this time of the year. He led the league in strikeouts (288) so you know he had to throw a lot of pitches
“They’re (the Royals) not going to get down after one loss. They’re too good a team. This Series will go six or seven ’ '
Royals say Brett will be in lineup
By Mike McKenzie, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Despite reports to the contrary, the Royals say third baseman George Brett will play in game two of the World Series tonight against the Phillies.
“George Brett has had some personal medical problems (a hemorrhoid condition), and they have flared up this week,” said Bruce Carnahan, Royals’ assistant director of public relations. “But all indications from our trainer, Mickey Cobb, and our team physician, Dr. Paul Meyer, are that George will play. And we expect him to be 100 percent.”
Another source indicated there was a chance the condition would sideline Brett, and that a decision would be made just before game time.
Royals’ Manager Jim Frey said Brett was “awful sore last night after the game. I asked if he’d ever had this problem before, and he said no. It developed in New York during the playoffs.”
Frey said right-handed hitters Jose Cardenal and John Wathan would replace Clint Hurdle and Darrell Porter In right field and at catcher, respectively, for the game tonight against Phillies’ left-hander Steve Carlton. Hurdle and Porter bat left-handed.
It starts out as Walk-away (4-0), but…
By Mike Dearmond, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Phillies’ pitcher Bob Walk is a flake. A pitcher with that name would just have to be.
• Walk once went up to the plate to hit, but forgot his bat.
• Walk once went out to the pitcher’s mound without his glove.
• Walk once was knocked out of a game early, went home and then returned to talk to reporters.
• The first ball Walk threw in a major-league stadium was a tennis ball, heaved at Dodger Stadium from the stands when Walk was a young fan instead of a young major-league pitcher.
So, in a wacky sort of way, it made sense that Walk was the winning pitcher Tuesday night when Philadelphia edged Kansas City 7-6 in the first game of the World Series.
Walk gave up three 2-run homers — one by Amos Otis and two by Willie Aikens — and still won before 65,791 fans at Veterans Stadium.
Walk, who started the game because the Phillies’ pitching staff had been put through a wringer during the National League Championship Series against Houston, was unimpressive despite winning.
“Everybody figured we could hit him," Otis said. “He was throwing the ball all over the place. He was high, he was low. He was all over.
“If we’d kept it 4-0 through the sixth or seventh, I don't think they could have come back on us. We all figured that Walk couldn’t last the game."
The Royals built a 4-0 lead on Otis' line-shot homer over the left-field wall in the second and on Aikens’ first home run with two outs in the third.
Seemingly, it was going to be easy. But the Phillies, who rallied in three victories over Houston in the National League Championship Series, did it again against Royals’ starter Dennis Leonard.
Leonard retired the first seven Phils, then gave up three straight hits in the third, hit Pete Rose with a pitch, walked Mike Schmidt and yielded a 3-run homer to Bake McBride as Philadelphia scored five times and seized the lead.
The Phils scored once in the fourth off Leonard and again in the fifth off relief pitcher Renie Martin, then held on despite Aikens’ second homer off Walk in the eighth.
“I couldn’t get my breaking pitch over worth beans tonight," Leonard said. "I got behind and had to go with my fastball, and they hit it.”
The game seemed a perfect opportunity for the Royals to take advantage of the chaotic situation on the Philadelphia pitching staff. Now, however, Kansas City must face the Phillies’ 24-game winner Steve Carlton. And the prospect looms the Royals could return to Kansas City trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven Series.
The Royals were unrattled by the possibility.
“You’d hate to lose the first two games," Otis said. "But Carlton’s been erratic his last two times out. We’re looking for a split.”
McBride, Boone regain touch just in time to foil Kansas City
By Gib Twyman, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Bake McBride went to Veterans Stadium to work out Monday. Alone, he went to a batting cage and hit baseballs off a tee. Over and over he told himself, "Don't hit home runs, don’t hit home runs, don’t hit home runs.”
Bob Boone came to the stadium Tuesday and found Phillies’ Manager Dallas Green had him in the No 9 spot in the batting order. “I am not a No. 9 hitter,” groused Boone. "I’ve never hit ninth, not even in Little Leagues. I am not happy hitting ninth.”
So what happens Tuesday night in the first game of the World Series?
McBride proved the last person he is going to listen to is Bake McBride. Batting in the No. 4 position, he hit a 3-run homer that helped wipe out a 4-0 Kansas City lead in the third inning.
And, by the end of the game, it was Kansas City that was unhappy Boone was hitting ninth. He doubled twice, singled, drove in two runs and scored another.
Ignited by the play of McBride and Boone, the National League champion Phillies defeated the American League champion Royals 7-6.
McBride, like Boone, was out of position in the batting order. More often than not, he has hit second or third. But Green said, “I wanted the left-hander in between two right-handers (No 3 Mike Schmidt and No 5 Greg Luzinski). Bake was the best man for the job.”
As for Boone, Green said, “He didn’t appreciate it, but he won it by default (because of lineup juggling necessitated by the use of the designated hitter). We made up the lineup, and he wound up No. 9.”
McBride had a .309 batting average during the regular season, and was second on the club in runs-batted-in with 87. But he hit only .238 against Houston in the National League Championship Series. In five games, he did not drive in or score a run.
Boone came into this season a .269 lifetime hitter. But he nosedived to .229 in 1980. And he batted .222 in the playoffs. He had no RBIs against the Astros and one run scored.
Unfortunately for the Royals, McBride and Boone happened to bump back into their hitting strokes Tuesday night.
"After I hit five balls off the tee,” said McBride, "I knew what I was doing wrong. I was striding too far — a homer-type of swing. When I got to striding out there, my hands went with me and I didn’t have anything to finish up with when I made contact with the ball.
"Usually, after I hit a home run, I'm messed up. The next time up I go for the fence again.
“Tonight, after the homer, I just told myself to get the ball in play. Just try to hit it somewhere.” McBride did, getting two more singles, including a fifth-inning hit that helped move Schmidt into scoring position for Garry Maddox’s sacrifice fly. That was the seventh and deciding run in the game.
For Boone, the discovery of his lost stroke came a couple weeks ago. He is just beginning to realize some benefits.
"Just little mechanical things,” he said. "Keep my front side in. Relax, come into the stroke easy. I've been jumping at the ball all year. The next-to-last week of the season we played Montreal at home. That's when it dawned on me what was wrong.”
Pete Rose said it best: "I think we proved we don’t have to rely on Schmidt and Luzinski to win ballgames. When guys like Boonie and Larry Bowa get on in the No 8 and 9 spots, it creates so much pressure on the other team.”
Kansas City created some of its own pressure.
One of the biggest plays of the game was Darrell Porter's bid to score from second on Clint Hurdle's single in the third inning. Weak-armed Lonnie Smith threw out Porter for the third out.
But an equally big play involving Smith came in the Phils’ half of the third.
Boone had doubled in Bowa for the Phils’ first run. Smith then singled to left. Boone held up at third but when Smith rounded first too far, George Brett, Royals’ cutoff man at third, ran toward Smith to get him in a rundown. As he did so, Boone took off for the plate. Brett checked him once, twice, but the second time was too late. Boone had too good a jump and scored without a throw.
“I walked over to Pete Rose in the on-deck circle after that and said, ‘Can you believe they gave away a run like that?'’’ said Schmidt. “Big run, a big run, I’ll tell you. That made it 4-2 instead of 4-1. There's no such thing as too big a lead in a World Series game. You can’t afford to give any of it away.”
Schmidt said it gave the Phils a lift, and Boone said it fell in with the feeling on the bench. "We weren’t feeling any pressure from the 4-0 lead by then. We just wanted to get on the board. We weren’t thinking about getting three guys on and then a grand slam. We were content to peck away.”
Boone gave this version of the play: "It wasn’t a risk at all on my part. I was in a great position. (UL) Washington (Royals' shortstop) wasn’t at third base covering after Brett cut the ball off. So, I had a lot of room to play with. George checked me, but didn’t run me back. Just as I took off the second time he looked again and I thought, ‘Uh-oh.’ But he didn’t have time to reverse himself by then.”
Royals’ Manager Jim Frey said, “You can fault 65,000 (65,791) screaming fans for that one. In a normal game you can hear (your teammates yelling). But you couldn’t hear anything out there tonight.”
Among things that could be heard were echoes from the Phils' past fading a bit. The victory was the Phils’ first in a World Series game in 65 years. In nine previous Series’ games in 1915 and 1950, the Phils’ highest run total had been four. And McBride’s homer was only the second by a Phillie in Series competition. The other was in 1915 by Fred Luderus.
"This is a city full of frustration," said Phils' reliever Tug McGraw. "They’ve gone too long to be satisfied with anything but a victory in the Series.”
Royals’ Gura is loose going into game-two matchup tonight with Carlton
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Perhaps no Royal is as impressed with Steve Carlton, Phillies’ starting pitcher tonight in game two of the World Series, as Amos Otis.
Otis hasn’t faced Carlton since Sept. 15, 1969. But that night, Otis said, "I struck out four times and popped up once. That was the night Carlton set the (modern major-league) strikeout record (since tied by Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan).”
Otis was the center fielder for the New York Mets at the time, and Carlton was pitching for the St Louis Cardinals. Carlton struck out 19 Mets; Otis was No. 19. For the record, the Cardinals lost 4-3.
The Royals gladly would accept a similar scenario tonight. Let Carlton have his strikeouts, but beat him.
"It’s not mandatory that we win tonight,” said the Royals’ Hal McRae. "But it wouldn’t be the ideal position to be down by two games.”
Opposing Carlton, 24-9, will be Larry Gura. Gura, 18-10, won game one of the Royals’ 3-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
Gura probably was the loosest of a loose bunch of Royals who seemed unperturbed over losing game one of the World Series to the Phillies 7-6.
"If I've got a blazing fastball, they’ll be in trouble,” Gura said in the deadest of deadpans.
When was the last time Gura had a blazing fastball?
“Well, the last time was 1956,” Gura said, breaking into a smile.
There was a strange role reversal following the game at Veterans Stadium Tuesday night. The Phillies were almost blasé.
Most Phils dressed quickly and left. Manager Dallas Green was his usual grousing self when asked about the Phillies’ third-game pitcher Friday night in Kansas City.
"Mr. Dick Ruthven, if that’s all right with you,” Green said.
The one shining light seemed to be relief pitcher Tug McGraw, who saved game one for Bob Walk.
Asked if he prepared mentally for the game after pitching in all five games of the National League playoffs against Houston, McGraw said: "If I did, I would be soaking my head in an ice bucket right now. I haven’t been paid yet for my brains.”
The Royals’ locker room was amazingly upbeat, with Gura bubbling in anticipation of the game tonight.
“It’s just the thrill of pitching in the World Series,” Gura said. “It’s like when I was a rookie coming up.”
Four home runs were hit Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium – three by the Royals — but even that power display failed to dent Gura’s enthusiasm.
“I’m not fearful of that (home runs)," Gura said. "I’m just fearful of the line drives that come right at you.”
Rose takes pains to get a leg up on Leonard
Baseball Notes By The Star’s press services
Pete Rose, who plays the odds and ends of baseball into scraps of gold, used his calf muscle to get a big hit in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 7-6 World Series victory over the Royals Tuesday night.
Dennis Leonard hit Rose in the leg with a 1-2 pitch in the third inning. Rose said he made no great effort to get out of the way.
“I knew it wouldn’t hurt,” Rose said.
"So many guys did so many things that I don’t think my getting hit by a pitch had that much to do with it. It got me out of a hole and got him into it. When you score three runs with one ball, two strikes, nobody on and two outs, you feel you can win the ballgame.”
• • •
Willie Wilson of the Royals had 230 hits during the regular season, and he does not take kindly to going 0 for 5 in the opening game of the Series.
"They pitched to me good, they did a good job," said Wilson. “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.
"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 baa that I wasn’t able to contribute.”
Philadelphia uses Series to sell itself
By the Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA – For 30 years the image of Philadelphia has been represented by the Phillies, a team of losers fraught with broken dreams.
Since the “Whiz Kids” of 1950 captured the National League pennant and went on to lose four straight World Series games to the New York Yankees, civic leaders have felt failure in the national pastime has damaged local pride and jeopardized commerce.
Now that the Phillies are facing the Royals in the 77th World Series, local leaders are not about to lose the opportunity to show visitors the city is a winner too.
“We are making an extra effort,” said Mayor William Green. "People are going to come and see a little history, see a littie of the beauty of the city and stay in great hotels.”
"PhiladelphiaStyle” is the slogan of a tourism campaign being used conspicuously across the city and in World Series information kits distributed to the media.
Hundreds of city employees have been assigned to special duty for the event, working with the teams the NBC-television network hotels and tourist at tractions to make sure out-of-towners see the best the city has to offer.
Added police protection, tours of Fairmont Park from major hotels and three days of around-the-clock cleanup are other features Green took it upon himself personally to court the NBC sports commentators— Joe Garagiola, Tony Kubek and Tom Seaver— in the broadcast booth before the first game
"I’ve invited Teddy (Sen Edward Kennedy), speaker O’Neill (House speaker Thomas P O’Neill) and the president, of course.” Green said.
NBC’s sportscasters score a win in World Series debut
By Gerald B. Jordan
Faced with the burden of providing evenhanded coverage of the World Series — particularly after the brouhaha created by Kansas Citians’ perception of ABC’s coverage of the American League playoffs as biased — the NBC broadcasting crew pulled out a winner.
Throughout most of the game, the team of Tony Kubek, Joe Garagiola and Tom Seaver objectively described the action and impartially analyzed each team’s strengths and weaknesses.
The most obvious cheerleading Tuesday night from the NBC broadcasting booth came when Philadelphia rallied in a five-run third inning.
Kubek, Garagiola and Seaver weren't leading a hurrah chorus for the Philadelphia Phillies — they were relieved that the opener of the Series had materialized into a baseball game.
The leadoff game came on the heels of two dramatic playoffs — the Royals' sweep of the New York Yankees and the Phillies’ four consecutive extra-innings games needed to ground the Houston Astros.
The broadcasters had much to speak of, considering the Royals’ newfound power and the Phillies' impending demise — at least for Game 1 — because of utter exhaustion.
When home runs by Amos Otis and Willie Aikens gave Kansas City an early 4-0 lead, the NBC crew prepared to broadcast a shellacking. It was apparent in every respect: The overflow crowd in Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia was nearly silent and the broadcasters were left with what was shaping up to be a runaway game for Kansas City.
The direction of the game changed, however, and the announcers clearly were appreciative as Philadelphia made the World Series exciting.
NBC’s director Harry Coyle gave viewers clean shots of the action, mixing replays from various angles to either fuel or defuse argument over the quality of a play or call.
Garagiola, as usual, offered colorful comments that sometimes were quite helpful. For example, the recent summer-like breeze throughout much of the country has given us a false reading on temperatures normal for this time of year.
It was cool Tuesday night in Philadelphia with the temperature hovering in the mid-40s, something not conducive to good baseball, and Garagiola ’s comments about how hitters’ hands can sting when they hit pitches off the bat’s handle. That gave us a sense of playing conditions; it also made George Brett of the Royals, who was holding a hot-water bottle while standing in the on-deck circle, look less like a superstitious man.
Seaver, who pitches for the Cincinnati Reds, offered good commentary on the pitchers — Dennis Leonard’s losing control of the game and Bob Walk's resilience — as well as commentary on the batters’ styles.
Buddy Blattner calls NBC’s game
By Gerald B. Jordan, Star TV-Radio Critic
“Monday Night Football,” the ABC prime-time sports showcase, may be viewed in history as the bane of broadcasting. It was, after all, “Monday Night” that inspired the extensive use of three microphones manned by two announcers and the player-expert.
Oddly enough, that pattern of announcing has affected baseball. Buddy Blattner, a 40-year veteran of baseball playing and announcing, noted some troublesome patterns in the opening game of the World Series Tuesday night in Philadelphia. Blattner, who broadcast Kansas City Royals games for seven years, is selling real estate in Lake Ozark, Mo. In a telephone interview, he commented on the job by the NBC broadcasting team of Joe Garagiola, Tony Kubek and Tom Seaver.
“I ’ve always felt that three on a broadcast is one too many," Blattner said. "It started on ‘Monday Night Football' and it still seems to be very awkward.”
He said that, when three broadcasters share the microphone, they seem bent on justifying their job: They talk too much.
”I tend to be a casual listener,” Blattner said, “but last night (Tuesday) I did notice there was a unique situation. There were three former major leaguers (actually, Seaver still plays for Cincinnati) in the booth. Not one was really a polished, professional play-by-play announcer, but I’m not saying that’s all bad. It's just that in an effort to break down things to their most simple form, there’s a tendency to overemphasize the obvious. In that way, you can talk down to fans.”
He thought the NBC crew overstated the situation when Willie Aikens had to hold runners at first base and the Phillies had left-handers at bat.
“They kept saying, ‘There’s a big hole in the infield for left-handed hitters’ when Willie Aikens had to hold a runner on first. They kept saying, ‘Will he steal? Or will he leave that hole there for the batter?’ Well, we all knew that after awhile, but they kept saying it time and time again.
‘‘One thing they didn’t take account of was Frank’s range. (White plays second base for the Royals.) The way he plays deep on that artificial surface, there almost always appears to be a hole because Frank has such superior range in going to his left that he can afford to stay closer to the bag.”
“The things that bothered me were simple things. Not to be nitpicking, but when you’ve got three people in the booth who have such vast stores of baseball knowledge there’s a tendency for them to overshadow the event. They all have something to say, but sometimes so much is going on in the picture that the fan at home gets only about 50 percent of the information."
Blattner commended the three for their knowledge and their flair as announcers, but he said the game lacked balance in broadcasting.
Did they favor one team?
“Not really,” Blattner said. “You get to that point where the Royals are four runs on top and they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’ll tell you this, Pete Rose did not ignite a five-run rally. There were two runs scored and Pete Rose got hit in the leg. That’s all there was to it.”
On pitcher Dennis Leonard's troubles: ”I know Dennis Leonard quite well, and the fact that (Larry) Bowa stole second base didn’t make him throw a bad pitch to (Bob) Boone. He just made a bad pitch to Boone. Boone maybe tomorrow would take that same pitch and pop up to (George) Brett.
“Leonard tends to hurry things. His control gets a little bad and he hurries up. What he's got to realize is that his good arm is not going away. It's still there, and all he has to do is be a pitcher (in tight situations) instead of a thrower.”
In praise of NBC, Blattner said it was good for the announcers to comment on how well the ball carried in Veterans Stadium.
"I didn’t know that and I’m sure a lot of the fans at home were interested to know that,” Blattner said.
He cautioned against announcers talking down to fans, saying things work best when they describe situations and possibilities and leave it up to the action of a game. He thought the never-steal comment by Kubek, when the Phils were behind by four and Bowa stole second, should have been avoided.
Blattner prefers his home in Lake Ozark to the hectic pace he kept during 40 years of playing and announcing baseball.
“I live adjacent to the Lodge of the Four Seasons,” he said of home. “This is a wonderful area, a gorgeous little slice of America. I think I’m a pretty lucky guy because I live where other people come for vacation.”