Syracuse Post-Standard - October 15, 1980
The United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Mike Schmidt knows he could have played better in the National League playoffs. Unlike in other years, however, Schmidt still has time to redeem himself.
"I got my chance," the Philadelphia Phillies' third baseman said in an obvious reference to the 78th World Series, which began Tuesday night. "I'm glad I'm not watching George Brett do his interviews and get his hits on TV."
Schmidt batted only .208 during the playoffs with one RBI. He reached a low in the fifth game, striking out three times, once looking.
He contributed in other ways, by playing his usual solid third base and by keeping his head up when it must have been very difficult for him to do so. Still, he's the one who hit 48 homers for the Phillies this year, including two that helped them win the East Division, and he would like to have accomplished more.
"I didn't feel like I was in the flow in the playoffs," Schmidt said. "I wasn't stinging the ball, scoring runs, making something happen."
Schmidt admitted that once he began to struggle at the plate, he began having trouble away from it, too.
"I was trying to take my time, block out negative thoughts," he said. "There definitely can be too much of that. It worked one night, but then it didn't work the next, and I found myself saying, 'Boy, I wish I would have just stepped in there and hit."'
Like many of his teammates, Schmidt found himself slightly in awe of what the Phillies had accomplished in rebounding from a 2-1 deficit in games to oust Houston in the Astrodome.
"If I was a betting man, and the score bwas 5-2 and the pitcher was Nolan Ryan, I would have said some deep digging had to be done by the Philadelphia Phillies," he said. "There were times when it was so loud in there that you could get a little scared.
"When they were scoring three runs in the seventh (to go ahead 5-2) the roar was so loud. It was a little devastating to have your eardrums busting and to look at the scoreboard and know we had to get four to win this thing."
The Phillies, it turned out, needed more than four, and they got them. They survived.
One of the top cards in the game: Jim Konstanty
By Arnie Burdick
THE RELIEVER WHO STARTED—The Phillies in the World Series for the first time in 30 years reminds us of the late Jim Konstanty, ex all-around Orange star and Syracuse Chiefs twirler, who lost that opening heart-breaker to the Yankees, 1-0. Vic Raschi beat him, oven though Jim only gave up four hits.
Konstanty had come off an MVP year as the ace Phils'short-reliever, but that didn't stop Manager Eddie Sawyer from giving him his first start of the campaign. And in the Series.
All of this also recalls a piece in the current Money magazine, put out by Time-Life, naming Konstantly to their "All-Time, All- Star Team."
Jim's in there pretty deep — With Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays and Ted Williams and Nap Lajoie and Honus Wagner, among others.
It's their All-Time "bubble-gum"card team — The most difficult cards to find. They didn't print too many James Casimer Konstanty cards, for he was basically an unknown who blazed to fleeting stardom. And that's why a price of $2,500 per card has been placed on them by those collectors who dabble in that sort of trading.
Twenty-five hundred bucks for Konstanty? That's a lot more than the Chiefs paid him when he broke in here in the early 40's.
Phillies Hope To Take Opener In 'Walk'
The United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Rookie Bob Walk took the mound for he Philadelphia Phillies opposed by Dennis Leonard of the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night in the opening game of the first "artificial" World Series in history.
Walk, the first rookie to start the opening game of the World Series since Joe Black'of Brooklyn in 1952, was selected for the prestigious assignment by Manager Dallas Green because he was the only member of the staff not used, in the bitterly-contested five-game National League Playoff Series against Houston.
The rookie right-hander pitched well for the Phillies during the regular season after being brought up from the minors in the middle of the summer. He was 11-7 with a 4.56 earned run average but did experience periods of wildness and has been known to get nervous in pressure situations.
However, Walk said he was prepared for the task even though he had not pitched in 12 days.
"I have no concern over my control," said Walk. "Hopefully, I will have put things back together."
Green said his club was primed for the Series.
"We've never been better prepared," he said. "We've got the greatest team atmosphere in a long time."
Leonard, a 20-game winner and winner of the second game of the three-game American League playoff sweep against the New York Yankees, said he knew very little about the Phillies other than what he had seen on television in their series with the Astros.
"I know they have some power with (Mike) Schmidt and (Greg) Luzinski," said Leonard. "We neutralized the Yankees' power and it is our job to keep the ball in the ball park."
This year's World Series marked the first time in history that all the games will be played on artificially-surfaced fields. Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium, however, is more conducive to home runs than Royals Stadium in Kansas City.
Although the Royals were better known for their speed than the long ball, Manager Jim Frey felt his club could compete with the Phillies in home runs at Veterans Stadium.
"People think we're a speed club only but we play in a tough park to hit home runs," said Frey. "We've got four or five guys who can hit homers. I think balls fly out of here better than in Royals Stadium."
The Royals also should benefit from the use of the designated hitter in this year's Series. The rule is used in alternate years. Hal McRae is one of the American League's best designated hitters and was an instrumental part of the Royals' offense during the season with a .297 batting average and 83 runs batted in.
"I know they will be using one (a designated hitter) also," said Frey. "But I'm glad we've got our DH in the game. Hal McRae is an important part of our ball club."
Green was expected to use lefthanded hitting Del Unser as his DH against Leonard in the first game. Unser batted .264 during the regular season but had two big hits in the Phillies' pennant-winning game against the Astros Sunday night.
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 65,000 was on hand for the opening game, which began under clear skies with temperatures in the 40s.
Game 2 was scheduled for Philadelphia on Wednesday night with the Series switching to Kansas City for games Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday.
If the sixth and seventh games are necessary, they will be played in Philadelphia next Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Series Windfall Awaited
The United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - City businessmen have whipped out their calculators and reckoned the World Series is a multi-million-dollar windfall for the area.
Hotels are packed to the rafters and more people are clamoring to get in. The head of the Chamber of Commerce, Thacher Longstreth, estimated the first two games Tuesday and Wednesday nights would attract about 10,000 out-of-town visitors, each of whom will spend about $100, or a total of $1 million.
The local fans, numbering about 55,000, would pour another $1 million into food, drink, transportation and parking for the games, he said.
The total effect, he said, was "about the same as if Philadelphia had acquired a small plant for a year."
What the locals and out-of-towners spend, added to ticket sales of $2.3 million, gives the area $4.3 million for just the two games. And if the series returns for the sixth and seventh games, that figure would double.
Eugene D. Hosmer, president of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, estimates that a four-game series would reap about $3 million from 11,400 visitors.
One of the big winners from the series is the newly opened Franklin Plaza-Hotel. Even before all of its rooms were finished for occupancy, it had been selected as the World Series headquarters and its rooms were snapped up by the Kansas City Royals and out-of-town media representatives.
Michael Broadhurst, resident manager at the Franklin Plaza, said without the pennant win "a lot of our rooms would be empty."
But with a full house, he said, the hotel would reap about $200,000 from room and board.
Several other major hotels faced no problem with filling rooms. They already had full houses from conventions booked a long time ago, including 15,000 delegates to the United Pentecostal Church convention.
Hotels were advising guests to try hotels in outlying areas of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Most hotels predicted they would do more business in the bars and restaurants, although other restaurant managers were predicting a drop after early seating as fans headed toward the stadium. Movie house owners predicted a drop in business.
Thigh Slap Tug's Thing
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - When Tug McGraw, the New York Mets' "You Gotta Believe" pitcher, married Phyllis Kline in 1968. they had a sort of a private joke.
"When I got married to Phyllis, she didn't know very much about baseball" McGraw said, "so I had sort of a little signal to her so she would have something to watch for."
That signal has become McGraw's trademark. "I just slap my thigh with my glove." said McGraw, who set a playoff record by appearing in all five games of the Phillies' rough-and-tumble series wiin me Houston Astros.