Reading Eagle - October 15, 1980

Lock Put on Royal Key


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 switch-hitting 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 homer 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 offseason.


“It would have been a lot nicer if we had won,” Aikens said.  “But at least I’m confident now that if I get my pitch I can hit those guys.”


In Game 2 tonight the Royals will face Philadelphia’s ace left-hander Steve Carlton, and Wilson says things could be different.


“I’m going to try some new things,” he said.  “For one, I might try to bunt more.  I haven’t been bunting as much as I should.  And I’ll be hitting from the right side, my natural side, and I should be able to lay off the bad pitches.”


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.”


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 in 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.”


“I would have preferred if he would just slide in,” said Kansas City Manager Jim Frey.  “But if he knocked (Phillies catcher Bob) Boone into the seats, then Darrell could have gotten hurt, too.”


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.”

No Pandemonium for Phils’ Fans


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The crowd was certainly big enough, but it just didn’t seem like the old Phillies’ fans who had come to watch their team take on the Kansas City Royals in the first game of the 77th World Series.


Why, they didn’t even boo Phillies shortstop Larry Bowa or slugger Greg Luzinski during introductions Tuesday night.


And while they were plenty loud during the see-saw battle that saw the Phillies come out on top 7-6 despite three Royals home runs, there was no wild jubilation when it was over.


The 65,791 fans seemed almost to expect the Phillies to come from behind, as they had to capture the National League East Division from Montreal, as they had in the exciting five-game league championship with the Houston Astros.  Or perhaps they were just as drained as many expected the Phillies to be after four extra-inning games with Houston.


The victory was the Phillies’ first in a World Series since 1915 (they have only been in three series – 1915, 1950 and this year – and won just one game before Tuesday.)  The victory was only their second postseason win at home ever, the first coming last week in the first game of the Houston series.


You’d think the final out would have brought pandemonium.


“It’s just fantastic that they made it this far,” said Harold Heritage, 81, a fan since the Phillies played in the Baker Bowl in the 1920s.  “I’ve suffered so many years,” Heritage said, referring to his dashed pennant hopes in the past.


“I’ve held this paper 30 years – here’s Del Ennis, Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn,” said Ray Torchan of Philadlephia, displaying a tattered, yellowed account of the Sept. 1950 pennant race.


“It’s been 30 years – all right, get behind the Phillies,” said Robert Calandra, a south Philadelphian who couldn’t get a series ticket.  So he arrived at the stadium on a bicycle dressed as Harpo Marx, honking his support with a giant horn.


Before the game, the Woodland String band, one of the famous mummers bands who annually strut up Broad Street on New Year’s Day, paraded around Veterans Stadium, the musicians resplendent in aqua and white plumes and led by a saxophone player in white tails.


“As long as they’re winning, we’re playing,” said trombone player Herb Rozwell as the Red Garter Dixieland jazz band struck up “Bye-Bye Blackbird” outside the gates about two hours before the game.


Most of the fans said there be any booing – except of Kansas City players.

Phils Win Game 1 of World Series


Walk Survives Royal ‘Boom-Booms’


By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – The sacrificial lamb turned into the stout-hearted lion Tuesday night, and survived three death blows to pitch the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series win in 65 years on opening night.


Bob Walk, considered the Phils’ No. 5 starter at season’s end, earned the biggest victory of his young life as the Phillies rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 7-6 before a Veterans Stadium record crowd of 65,791 delighted onlookers.


Walk announced that he was adopting the nickname of “Boom-boom” instead of “Whirlybird,” after he was rocked for a two-run homer run by Amos Otis and two two-runners by Willie Mays Aikens.


But that was all the scoring for Kansas City, while Dallas Green’s men were able to score thre times on a Bake McBride home run, twice on doubles by Bob Boone, and twice on non-hits.


Walk gave up the homer to Otis in the second inning and the first of the two to Aikens in the third.  Even Muhammad Ali wasn’t hit that hard that early.


But the Phillies, unlike Ali, boomed back.  They snatched a 5-4 lead with five in the third, capped by the McBride drive, and padded the score to 7-4 after five.


Aikens connected again with nobody out in the eighth.  Tug McGraw answered the bell again and chalked up another save by facing six batters and getting six outs (one hit, one DP, two strikeouts).


Thus, the Phillies are now in the enviable position of going into tonight’s game (8:20) with their best pitcher, Steve Carlton, ready to hurl.


The first-game loser has managed to go on to win the World Series 41 percent of the time, but most of those 41 percent didn’t have to face a Cy Young winner in the second game.


It had been suggested in some circles that Walk was a sacrificial lamb thrown to the Kansas City wolfpack so the Phillies would have a day to get their pitching staff in order.


“We don’t like to lose, and we’re not going to plan to lose any baseball games, regardless of what happens, and regardless of what any TV crew says,” said Green.  “I felt Bobby would get his act together.”


“I know they didn’t have much choice about who to pitch,” said Walk.  “But I did win 11 games this year, and I don’t think I’m somebody just supposed to go out there and take up space.”


Despite his long layoff (since Oct. 2), Walk said he did not have good velocity.  The two early homers came on fastballs he tried to throw past the Royals, and couldn’t.


“So in the middle innings, I started turning the ball over on almost every pitch – getting it to sink,” Bob explained.  “I usually throw about one sinker every five pitches, but tonight I was throwing them on almost every pitch.”


Five Good Innings


Turned on by the five-run third, Walk allowed only one runner in the next four innings.  The Royals did back McBride and Maddox to the fence (Garry had to leap) on successive pitches in the fifth.


“That kind of brought me back in and told me I had to concentrate on keeping the ball down,” said Walk.  “But then I started getting tired, and the ball wasn’t sinking.”


A big factor was Walk’s ability to get the first pitch over.  Because of his tendency toward early wildness (he walked 4.2 batters per nine innings this year), the Royals were counting on his getting behind.


But in the first seven innings, the first pitch was a ball to only eight of 29 batters (one an inning and two in the third).  He walked three, none after the third.


“Yes, I was trying not to fall behind,” Walk said.  “When you don’t have a good heater, you can’t pitch from behind.”


Brett Doubles


He started off the first two batters in the eighth with balls, and George Brett wound up doubling and Aikens homering again.  So McGraw came to the rescue, in his sixth appearance in six games (nine in the last 10).


The fans were as conscious of Walk’s potential wildness problem as they had been about Larry Bowa’s opinion of them (now largely forgiven).  Every time he went to two balls, they stirred noticeably.


“It bothers me a little,” said Walk.  “One time I wasted an 0-2 pitch and they booed.  But after the September I had, it’s something I can expect.”


Walk did the job of keeping Willie Wilson off the bases (0-for-4) and keeping George Brett under .400 (1-for-4), though George hit the long fly to center as well as the double.  Notably, Brett came up the first two times with a man on and struck out and popped up.


“Three pitches from a shutout isn’t bad,” Walk summed up.


One Man Away


“He settled down and kept us tough,” Green reflected.  “Not too bad for a rookie.  But he was one man from coming with me.”


Lonnie Smith was the man in between Walk and an early shower.  Bob permitted a walk and two hits in the third after the Aikens homer, but Smith gunned down Darrell Porter at home on Clint Hurdle’s hit with a throw so good that Porter gave himself up.


Green obviously punched the right button on whether to DH Luzinski or Smith, opting for Lonnie in left “because he covers more ground and because Bull’s more used to hitting off the bench.”


Smith was asked whether his throw proved anything to the fans, after his embarrassing non-throw Saturday.


“After this year I don’t think I have to prove anything,” he said.  “I’ll always make mistakes.”


Smith Falls Down


He made one in the bottom of the third, falling down after rounding first on a single.  However, while he was being run down, Boone was able to scoot in from third.  The Royal with the ball turned his back on Boone and didn’t check him.  Even George Brett makes mistakes.


Bowa had opened the third with a ground single, had stolen second, and had scored on Boone’s double to left.  With two in, two out and nobody on after Smith was retired, the rally seemed done.


But Pete Rose was hit by a pitch.  Mike Schmidt walked, and McBride hit one over the right-field fence.  “Rose getting hit got our juices going,” remarked Green.


“If he said that, that makes it quit hurting,” laughed Pete.  Told that loser Dennis Leonard thought he ran into the pitch on purpose, Pete asserted, “Dennis should know better than that; that’s illegal, and I never do anything illegal.”


Worked in Cage


McBride was his usual sullen self, but he did admit that he had worked out with Billy DeMars in the cage after some trouble in the Houston series.  “I was striding too far, not waiting,” he said.


Leonard said that the pitch (fastball) was in the middle of the plate rather than running away from him, as planned.  “I wanted to start it in the middle, but instead I got it too close.”


Boone doubled to right to score Manny Trillo (who’d singled) in the fourth.  Schmidt scored what proved to be the deciding run in the fifth (after walking) on Maddox’s sacrifice fly.


Boone and McBride each totaled three hits.  Bob thus continued to show the bat improvement which has won him back the catching job against all kind of pitchers.  There had been fears the ankle injury he sustained Sunday might keep him out, but neither Bob nor Dallas was worried about that.


“I knew he’d play,” said Green.  “You would have had to shatter the ankle to keep him out.”


What Bob didn’t appreciate was batting ninth for the first time in career, because of the DH.  “He won it by default,” said Green, “but he did complain about it.” (Not seriously.)


Because of the DH, Walk didn’t get to hit.  But he might not have batted at all without it Tuesday; he could have been lifted for a pinch-hitter in the third.


At any rate, the first rookie to start (and win) a World Series opener since Joe Black of the Dodgers in 1952 has come full circle in the year.


Where he was to start the season, he didn’t get to hit, either.


PHIL-PHILLERS – McBride’s homer was only the Phillies’ second in World Series play; Fred Luderus hit one in 1915….  Aikens, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, became the second player to homer twice in his first WS game.  The other was Oakland’s Gene Tenace in ’72….  It was the largest WS crowd since 1964 at old Yankee Stadium….  Manager Jim Frey blamed crowd noise for Brett’s forgetting Boone…. It was cold at game time (48 degrees), but still seven degrees warmer than last year for the opener in Baltimore….  Because of NBC’s exclusive contract, Channel 17 and the Phillies’ radio network could not use their own announcers….  Lefty Larry Gura (18-10), who goes tonight, has the Royals’ best ERA, 2.95….  Dick Ruthven has been named to pitch for the Phils Friday in Kansas City.

Roberts Says Phils Gambled on Walk


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former Philadelphia baseball great Robin Roberts thought it “risky” of the Phillies to start the World Series with rookie Bob Walk, a 23-year-old pitcher who hadn’t thrown in the playoffs.


“He had a shaky start, but came through,” Roberts said early today after watching the Phillies edge Kansas City 7-6.


“I thought it was a big gamble.  But it paid off.  It’s something I would not have done.”


Roberts, 53, remembers back to when he pitched the Phils into the series – 30 years ago.  And he knows how Walk felt.  Roberts, now head baseball coach at the University of South Florida, was a 23-year-old rookie himself when he led the “Whiz Kids” to the 1950 championship series.


He things the pressure was greater on Walk than on himself because Walk didn’t pitch in the National League playoffs.  And it was different years ago, when Roberts started.


“It was a necessity,” said Roberts, explaining that ace left-hander Curt Simmons had just been called to active military duty and two other pitchers were injured.


"Today it's different. They are higher paid, there's more pressure, big stadiums, big salaries, television — all big, big, big. I don't think the players are allowed time to relax and enjoy things."


Walk pitched to give Steve Carlton a respite.


Walk, a hard-throwing righthander and No. 5 on the pitching staff, gave up six runs, then reliever Tug McGraw took over in the eighth and preserved the victory.


Today, he’ll get to see Carlton, his favorite pitcher, firsthand.


"I'm excited about it, and I'm extra happy because Carlton is pitching," said Roberts, who calls the veteran lefthander "the best pitcher in baseball today."


Roberts pitched three games in the final five days of the 1950 season, including a 4-1, 10-inning victory over Brooklyn on the final day to preserve the Phillies’ National League pennant.


A 20-game winner during the regular season, Roberts lost a 2-1 duel to the New York Yankees' Allie Reynolds in the second game of the Yankees' Series sweep.  At the time. Carlton was a 5-year-old, playing games in North Miami.


Roberts said that he has been an avid Phillies fan since his retirement in 1968 and has suffered along with the others through the team’s lean years.


This year's team, a slight underdog against Kansas City, seems different, he said.

Rose Signing Pays Off


By Dave Kutch


Any fans who weren’t convinced of the wisdom of the Phillies in signing Pete Rose two years ago, should be after his performance in the National League Championship Series.


Rose turned out to be the right man at the right spot several times in the playoff series.


Who was more likely to score the winning run on a close play at the plate in Saturday’s game than Rose?  In this instance, he didn’t have to run through the catcher as he did to Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star Game at Cincinnati, because Houston’s Bruce Bochy dropped the ball.  But after a collision occurred, Rose made a point to plant his foot on the plate to be sure his run would count.


Another heads-up play came early in Sunday’s game when Manny Trillo’s errant throw pulled Rose off the bag.  Rose alertly looked home and gunned out Enos Cabell, who was trying to score from second on the two-out play.


RBI Walk a Key


Perhaps the real key to the Phillies’ big eighth-inning comeback was Rose working Nolan Ryan for the bases-loaded walk that pulled the Phillies to within two runs.  After working the count full, Rose fouled off a low curve that may have been a borderline strike before taking an obvious ball four.  Ryan, who seemingly still had plenty on the ball, was pulled after the walk.


Sparky Anderson, Rose’s former manager, calls Rose the premier competitor in baseball.  Rose again lived up to his reputation.  He batted .400 in the championship series, after batting below the .300 mark during the regular season.


He still excels at taking the extra base and sliding hard to break up double plays.  And his leadership by example fills a void that existed on the Phillies’ previous playoff teams.


Phillies Fundamentally Sound


For a team which has been criticized for folding in pressure situations, the Phillies exhibited remarkable poise in the pressure-laden final two games.


They didn’t permit a couple of questionable calls to distract them in Saturday’s iwn, and they preformed admirable when the chips were down Sunday.


Mike Schmidt, who was an offensive bust, repeatedly came up with good defensive plays; Rose and Trillo came up with excellent stops; and Garry Maddox proved a defensive standout in center field.


Catcher Bob Boone saved several wild pitches with good stops, came up with some key hits, and blocked the plate very well on two crucial plays at the plate.


Trillo’s relay throw to home to nail Luis Pujols was a textbook-perfect play.  The same can be said for Greg Gross’ bunt single that loaded in the eighth inning.  However, some defensive play in left field fell short of being textbook-perfect.


Defensive non-masterpieces by Greg Luzinski and Lonnie Smith paled in comparison with ABC’s clinker in keeping Howard Cosell in the broadcast booth.  I had hoped ABC would move its first team (Al Michaels, Jim Palmer and Billy Martin) to Houston after the American League series ended in three games.


Cosell was his usual obnoxious self, constantly trying to create controversy without letting facts deter him in his futile efforts.


In a pre-game interview, Rose said the team that scored first would “be in the driver’s seat.”  Cosell immediately and repeated changed Rose’s statement to say that the first team to score would win the game.


If the change in wording was accidental, it indicated ineptitude on Cosell’s part.  If it was deliberate, it indicates unconscientiousness.  Take your pick.


The World Series between Philadelphia and Kansas City is between the two cities that lost the Athletics’ franchise.  My prediction – and I wouldn’t mind being wrong – is Kansas City.  The Royals enter the Series with a well-rested pitching staff, excellent team speed, and everybody healthy.  The Phillies are at a disadvantage in all three of those departments, and are probably emotionally drained from the Championship Series to boot.  Their one advantage is in the power department.  (This column was written Tuesday afternoon, prior to the start of the World Series.)

Royal Pitcher Has Short Reign


By John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – The opening game of the World Series bumped “Anne of the Thousand Days” from Channel 17’s television schedule for Tuesday night.


There really wasn’t much difference.  Viewers still got to see a Royal personage chopped up after just a brief time in control.


The Philadelphia Phillies proved as adept as Henry VIII in reaching for the plate, and a lot better than Anne Boleyn at producing what they were supposed to.


Down 1-2-3 in the first two innings, then five runs in the third inning.  Even Henry wasn’t that changeable.


Dennis Leonard, after retiring the first seven batters he faced, saw the next six reach base.  When two more made it in the fourth inning, Dennis was banished to what would be the dungeon if stadiums had dungeons.


“That’s certainly not the Dennis Leonard they’re used to looking at in the American League,” said Dallas Green about the Royals’ only 20-game winner.


Location Missing


“It wasn’t one of his better days,” said catcher Darrell Porter.  “He didn’t have his usual location.  For him to win, he has to be just right.


“He threw well in terms of stuff, but he didn’t have good location,” echoed Manager Jim Frey.


Five runs in one inning.  In their long, sad history, the Phillies had never scored five runs in one World Series game, let alone one inning.


Four hits in one inning.  In a third of their previous World Series games, they hadn’t totaled that many hits in the game.


Memories of ‘29


While memories of 1915 (the last time the Phillies won a World Series game), 1930 (the last time Philadelphia won a World Series) and 1950 (the last time the Phillies played in the World Series) are being evoked this week, Tuesday’s opener was more in line with 1929.


Dallas Green stole a lead from Connie Mack’s book, and the Phillies’ hitters stole one from the A’s hitters.


It was in 1920 that Mack astounded the baseball world by choosing as his first-game pitcher not Lefty Grove (20-6), not George Earnshaw (24-8), not Rube Walberg (18-11), not Ed Rommel (12-2), not Jack Quinn (11-9), but Howard Ehmke, who though 7-2 had pitched only 55 innings all year and would never win another game in the big leagues.


All Ehmke did was beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 and strike out 13 batters, a Series record which stood till 1953.


10th in ERA


Bob Walk, though the team’s No. 3 winner with 11 victories, ranked No. 10 out of 10 in ERA, won only two of his last 10 starts in the regular season, and was the only pitcher not deemed worthy of appearing in the League Championship Series.


Green’s choice of Walk was dictated not by craftiness but by necessity.  Steve Carlton had pitched three days earlier and the three other starters had gone two days earlier.


Walk may not have been the most unusual choice to start a Series since 1929.  You would have to consider the guy who started the Series in 1950, when Eddie Sawyer called on Jim Konstanty, who’d pitched in 74 games that year and had started none.


Konstanty did better in the ’50 opener than Walk did in the ’80 one, allowing just four hits and one run in eight innings.  But Walk’s mates found Leonard much easier pickings than Konstanty’s found Vic Raschi.


The 1929 Series is also famous for the Athletic’s rally in the fourth game.  Trailing 8-0, with the Cubs about to even the Series at 2-2, the A’s scored 10 runs in the seventh inning to win 10-8.


The A’s of course set a Series record for biggest deficit overcome by a winning team.  Since then, only once has a team successfully overcome a bigger deficit than the four runs the Phillies overcame Tuesday when they turned the 4-0 disadvantage into the 7-6 win.


(That was in the second game of the ’56 Series, when the Dodgers trailed the Yankees 6-0 after 1½ innings but went on to win 13-8.  Equaling the Phillies’ comeback were the Orioles in the 1970 second game, when they turned a 4-0 deficit after three innings against the Reds into a 6-5 victory.


“The 4-0 score didn’t bother me,” said Green, “although we haven’t been scoring runs. Outside of Sunday, when have we scored as many as tonight?”


In the 14-2 game with the Cubs two weeks ago, came the answer.


Back to Sept. 21


“Go back beyond that and see how far you have to go,” retorted Dallas.  (The answer – against the Cubs Sept. 21.)


“We really don’t like to play from behind,” Dallas continued.  “But we’ve geared up the last 10 days as well as we can gear up.”


Down two runs after seven Saturday.  Down three runs after seven Sunday.  Down four runs after 2½ Tuesday.  Down one run after eight in the division title-clinching game.  Down two runs after 14½ to start the final week.


“I would prefer to manage the other way,” said Dallas Green.


Henry VIII probably said, “I would prefer to marry the other way,” but habits are hard to break.


Dallas isn’t about to complain about this habit.

Walk is Rescued by Old Iron Wing


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 fastball twice,” exulted Tug McGraw, the Phillies’ free-spirited bullpenace who came into the game in the eighth inning and got six quick outs after Willie Aikens’ 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 catcher 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 were mental, I’d go into the locker room and soak my head in ice,” McGraw snapped.


He is a guy 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 righthander 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 Aikens unleashed his second two-run homer in the eighth.


“The Kid,” who listened to the 1979 World Series while pumping gas in a hometown filling station, was asked if he considered himself a sacrificial lamb while Manager Dallas Green regrouped his pitching staff.


“I won 11 games,” Walk replied.  “I know I was the only starter available but I don’t think I was a sacrificial lamb.”


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.


It’s a little habit McGraw picked up several years ago as a loving gesture to his wife in the stands.


The record Philadelphia crowd of 65,791 roared ecstatically.


Then, waving and speaking to friends and admirers as he went along, he covered the obstacle course to the locker room where he was surrounded by newsmen.


He kissed a dozen women along the route.


Once inside he began elling:


“Hey, Pete, Shorty, where’s my beer?”


He wore a sweat shirt emblazoned with the words:  “I Made Someone Happy.”


“Who did you make happy tonight?” he was asked.


McGraw pondered the question.  “A city – an entire city,” he replied.  “Is that OK.”  He was obviously pleased with himself.


Prodded, the flaky lefthander acknowledged that he had nicknames for his four pitches – fastball, curve, slider and screwball.


“Pitching can get awfully boring out there,” he explained, “so I have named my pitches.


“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 saild,” 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. Washington and Willie Wilson for the final outs in the ninth.


He said he loved the roar of the crowds and added, “Emotion?  I can’t get enough of it.”


Someone then asked him a mundane question about mechanics in pitching style.


“I just throw the ball and I try to throw strikes,” he replied.  “If it wasn’t for that, Columbus would never have discovered America.”