Wilmington Evening Journal - October 15, 1980
At last! A second victory!
Phillies win after 65-year dry spell
By Rod Beaton, Staff Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA – After a dry 65 years, the Phillies last night managed the second World Series game victory in their history before 65,791 fans at Veterans Stadium.
A five-run third inning, capped by Bake McBride's three-run homer, paved the way to a 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the Series opener. Tug McGraw, the much-worked left-handed reliever, threw two scoreless innings to save the win for starter Bob Walk.
Tonight at 8:20 the Phillies will try for a second win in the best-of-seven series. Phillies ace Steve Carlton (24-9) goes against the Royals' Larry Gura (18-10) in a battle of veteran left-handers.
The Series then moves to Kansas City for the third and fourth games and a fifth, if necessary. Thursday is an off day.
Last night Walk became the first rookie to start the Series in 28 years and lasted through seven innings of eight-hit, six-run pitching.
Amos Otis picked off a second-inning pitch by Walk for a two-run homer to left. An inning later, Kansas City made the score 4-0 when Willie Mays Aikens celebrated his 26th birthday with the first of his two-run homers against Walk.
The Phillies quickly showed the comeback ability they displayed to get past Houston in the National League Championship Series.
Bob Boone, playing with an ailing foot added to his knee miseries, knocked in the first of his two runs batted in. He scored when Lonnie Smith singled and was trapped in a rundown.
Then Pete Rose was struck by a pitch from Kansas City starter-and-loser Dennis Leonard, who walked Mike Schmidt before McBride smashed his homer to right-center field for three more runs and a 5-4 lead.
Walk began to throw strikes with increasing regularity and blanked the Royals from the fourth inning through the seventh. In one stretch he retired nine straight.
Leonard was not as successful. After Boone knocked in another run in the fourth, Renie Martin of Dover was summoned from the K.C. bullpen.
Martin yielded a run on a bases-loaded fly ball in the fifth, but he kept the Phillies from scoring during the rest of his time on the mound. He flirted repeatedly with disaster, putting runners on in every inning. He wriggled free each time, although he needed help from Dan Quisenberry in the eighth.
Walk, meanwhile, nursed the 7-4 lead into the eighth, when Aikens lofted his second homer to draw the Royals within one.
With Tug McGraw holding them to one hit in two innings, the Royals got no closer. The Phils have appeared in six post-season games this year, and McGraw has pitched in them all.
Quotable Phillies, all quirks & quips
By Ralph S. Moyed
THE NEEDS OF A major league baseball star are simple.
Pete Rose listed some of them when he signed the contract that brought him from the Cincinnati Reds to the Philadelphia Phillies two years ago. After the signing, someone suggested that Rose might wish to celebrate with a spiritous beverage.
Rose declined the drink, saying he likes to do just three things: Make money, play baseball and share quiet moments with a woman. Actually, he used fewer words to describe his third need.
To know that baseball players are uncomplicated men with simple needs might help fans understand the hostility of some members of the Phillies team to their teammates, their manager, their fans, the furnishings in their locker room and sports-writers.
A hit, a stolen base, a run scored, some cheers from the grandstand, a victory in a World Series game and a few gopher-balls from sportswriters last night, and shortstop Larry Bowa, perhaps the most hostile of the Phillies this season, was doing what he hadn't done weeks: He was talking amiably to the press.
Why now, and not last week or last month? Simple. The fans weren't booing Bowa last night. The fans no longer were "animals," as he had called them in one of his frequent outbursts against the Phillies management, the press and the customers who ultimately pay him a quarter-million-dollars a year to hit, catch and throw a ball. The fans, he said, "were very positive, even when we were down 4-0."
That Bowa is talking in the locker room again may seem a small matter to those people who don't stay awake to watch the entirety of baseball games until about the end of September and can't recall much of what kept them awake a couple of weeks after the end of the World Series – that is, most American baseball fans. But Bowa's turnabout was regarded by reporters as an event second in importance only to the outcome of the first game of the series.
Further, to the men and women in the Phils' locker room last night, who wins the World Series this month will excite as much interest as who is elected president of the United States next month. Considering the political choices, the baseball freaks might have the edge in the values department.
To the fans who can't supply Ramon Aviles' slugging average without checking the records, the champions of the National League are something of a mystery. Who are these guys, some of whom make almost as much in a summer as a crooked congressman can pocket in a year, who snub fans who wait in the cold for them at the airport?
Most of the players come from small towns, don't have much in the way of education and don't get their forensic skills tested by many of the writers who cover the game.
Mike Schmidt, for instance, gets paid for hitting home runs, and during the regular season did it rather regularly. So far in the post-season games, however, he hasn't hit any and seemed to be striking out every time a long fly to the outfield might have scored a run.
That was on the mind of each of a dozen reporters who clustered around him in the locker room last night, talking about the Phillies' pitchers and the Kansas City Royals' batters – everything but Schmidt's trouble hitting the long ball. It was five minutes before one guy summoned up the courage to use the words "long ball" in the presence of the National League slugging champion. The reporter did that only after saying what a great job Schmidt did last night by getting two walks and a hit.
SOME OF THESE CHAMPIONS are really very young. The pitcher who won last night's game, Bob Walk, for instance, is 23 but could pass for a teen-ager. He says he listened to the last World Series on a radio while pumping gas for $3.75 an hour at a service station in Newhall, Calif.
Commenting on the Royals, who hit him for three home runs, he said, "They showed me a lot of power."
Bob Walk's profundity was matched by some of his older, more experienced teammates.
Greg Luzinski, who was the designated hitter in last night's game and got on base only when he managed to get into the way of a Royals pitch, said not playing in the field actually hurt him at bat. "I was too strong, too pumped up."
Bowa went Luzinski one better, offering an alibi-in-advance. Last night, the team played errorless baseball. But there's always today. "The field's awfully bumpy," said Bowa. "The Royals were complaining. Football's wrecked it."
Catcher Bob Boone, who went to Stanford, on how much his injured foot hurts him: "I have some pain in it, but not enough to keep me out of the World Series."
Soon I thought I knew why some of the Phils' players do what they do. It doesn't require a great deal of intellect to throw, catch and hit a baseball, and whatever Power allocates individual resources to humans hasn't given many members of the Phillies resources that aren't required to play baseball.
We seem to be in no imminent danger of losing a potential Nobel Prize-winner to the National Pastime.
• • •
Ralph S. Moyed's column appears each Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Evening Journal, and in the Sunday News Journal.
Phils’ Walk lowers the ‘Boom’ on Royals
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Bob Walk's introduction to the Boom Boom Room was a bit rude but, once the kid found his way around, he started to get into the swing of things.
Starting the World Series opener for a team that hasn't been there in 30 years and has only one victory in its meager World Series history would seem to be an enormous challenge for a 23-year-old right-hander, but Walk rose to the occasion last night.
So did a dozen of his pitches, three of which left Veterans Stadium trailing sparks, before the Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals 7-6.
"He's calling himself 'Boom-Boom' now," said Phils Manager Dallas Green, who could still smile despite three two-run homers off Walk and some outs that had Phillies' outfielders plastered like billboards on the walls.
"I wasn't nervous before the game," said Walk, "but during the first few innings, I was a little shaky on the mound. But after that I felt OK and started to settle down."
The problem was that the Phillies were trailing 4-0 by then, courtesy of two-run homers by Amos Otis in the second inning and Willie Mays Aikens in the third. Aikens nailed Walk for a second homer, again with a man on, in the eighth, ending Walk's night.
"The first one he hit was a fastball down," said Walk of Aikens' shot to the tarps in right. "I thought he was looking for a breaking ball and I'd sneak a fastball by, but he wasn't. The second one (after the Phillies had taken a 7-4 lead) was a ball I turned over and ran in on him. He hit it good."
As catcher Bob Boone, who drove in a pair of runs with two doubles from the ninth spot in the batting order, would say: "We've got to go over' our scouting report on Aikens a little closer tomorrow. He hit two balls very well."
But Bake McBride got all of a Dennis Leonard pitch in the third to cap a five-run inning that put the Phils ahead to stay. That was enough to give Walk some breathing room and get the Phils their second wind before 65,791 screaming fans.
"Bobby didn't do too bad for a rookie," said Green. "He struggled early, but he did the job well. But he was one man away from being out of the game in the third inning.”
That was after Aikens' first homer made it 4-0. Darrell Porter then walked, Otis beat out a chopper to third and Clint Hurdle singled to left. Porter circled third heading for the plate as Lonnie Smith unleashed a bullet to the plate on the fly. Porter was a dead duck and came in standing up as Boone applied a nonchalant tag.
"Right now it looks like Porter shouldn't have gone," said KC Manager Jim Frey. "I thought I saw him stumble a little and I don't know if that slowed him up or not.
"I would have preferred if he would just slide in. You hate to see a guy come to the plate and just stop. But if he tries to knock Boone into the cheap seats, he could've gotten hurt, too."
Instead, the victim was Leonard, who almost disappeared under the Phils' five-run barrage in their half of the third.
Larry Bowa started the rally with a single to left, stole second and scored when Boone sliced a double down the left-field line to score Trillo.
Smith followed with a single to left and, after Lonnie slipped going around first, cutoff man George Brett caught him in a rundown. Boone took that opportunity to score .the Phils' second run.
"Blame 65,000 screaming fans for that one," said Frey, absolving Frank White for failing to throw to the plate as Boone raced home. "Normally, you hear your teammates yelling, but you couldn't hear anything tonight."
The play both managers called the turning point, Leonard hitting Pete Rose with a pitch, followed. And after Mike Schmidt walked, McBride put the Phils ahead 5-4.
Boone doubled home the Phils' sixth, run in the fourth, knocking out Leonard and bringing in Dover's Renie Martin, who pitched the next four Innings and allowed the Phils' final run in the fifth on Garry Maddox' bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
Now the Royals must beat Steve Carlton tonight if they don't want to open their three games at Royals Stadium down 2-0.
"All this means is we can't win it in four," said Jim Frey, never known for his wry wit. "We have to go five."
The Royals' players were hardly bubbling over with good humor, despite the pressure-less atmosphere the World Series is supposed to have.
Somebody wondered how the Royals felt after Leonard, a three-time 20-game winner who is considered KC's best pitcher, was manhandled in less than four innings.
"Who says he's our best pitcher?" yelped Otis, who was the 16th player in Series history to homer in his first at-bat. "He's won more games than anybody (20-11), but Larry Gura and Rich Gale have just as good stuff as Dennis does. I'm not concerned about who's pitching for us, we just have to get our hits."
Gura will pitch tonight and Gale Friday night in Kansas City. Dick Ruthven will pitch for the Phils Friday.
As Green said after the game, "The Royals keep clawing at you," but they will have their hands full with Carlton tonight.
"Carlton throws a lot like Ron Guidry," said Otis. "His fastball tails away and he has a good curve. We're not concerned, we'll just go out and play our game. We've come too far this year to throw in the towel right now."
Walk, the kid who was supposed to crack under the World Series pressure, knows the feeling. He wasn't about to quit, no matter how much his stomach churned or if his shaky knees drowned out the crowd.
"I didn't have my usual velocity tonight," Walk said, "and I'm not normally a breaking-ball pitcher. I rely on my fastball."
When Aikens threatened to make Walk a loser with his second homer, Tug McGraw took over and pitched the final two innings, his sixth appearance in six playoff games.
And the Phillies had their first World Series victory in 65 years and a giant step toward something they have never done – win a World Series.
The team that has won the first game has gone on to win the Series 45 of the previous 76 times.
"We don't like to lose and we don't plan to lose, regardless of what happens," Green said. "Winning was something special tonight in front of our fans. We like giving 'em what they come to the ballpark for, a win."
What they have in mind now is an encore.
EXTRA INNINGS - Aikens is only the third player in World Series history to hit two homers in his first game. The others are Ted Kluzewski and Gene Tenace... Eight of the Phils' last nine Series games have been decided by one run, but the first eight were losses... The seven runs are a Phillies' Series record, topping the four runs they scored in a 5-4 loss in 1915... Yesterday's was Willie Aikens' 26th birthday, but he wasn't celebrating. "I'd be happy to go 0-for-4, as long as we win," he said... Phils leave for Kansas City tomorrow and have a 4:30 p.m. workout scheduled.
Phillies treasure value of McBride
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – They're going to IV give the National League Most Valuable Player Award to Mike Schmidt and there's no question the Phillies' third baseman deserves it.
Everybody knows about how Schmidt's 48 homers led the majors and how his 121 runs batted in topped the National League.
You'll not get much of an argument from the Phils on their MVP choice, but they'll quickly come back and tell you they wouldn't be playing in their first World Series since 1950 if it weren't for Bake McBride.
And they wouldn't be leading the 1980 best-of -seven tournament 1-0 either.
"You've got that right," said Manager Dallas Green, an hour after the Phils disposed of Kansas City 7-6 at chilly Veterans Stadium last night. "All season long Bake McBride has come through for us. There wasn't a more consistent player on the team."
Arnold Ray McBride, batting from the cleanup spot, sent the largest crowd (65,791) ever to watch a baseball game in Pennsylvania into a frenzy when he cracked a three-run homer to climax a five-run third inning that wiped out a 4-0 Royals' lead. McBride, who batted .309 with a career-high 87 RBI, also contributed two singles for a three-for-f our night in his World Series debut.
Not too long after the zany Tug McGraw sealed the Phils' first World Series victory since 1915 for rookie right-hander Bob Walk, McBride explained how he has been working extra hard on his batting stroke for the Series.
On the night of Sept. 26, Bake led off the ninth inning of a 1-1 struggle with a dramatic home run that gave the Phils a 2-1 victory over Montreal during their stretch drive to the National League East flag. McBride was his consistent self as the Phils won the division, but batted only .238 in the playoffs. He had just five singles.
"I don't want to get in the habit of hitting home runs," said McBride, "but I didn't think I was hitting as well as I can."
So, an hour after the drained Phils arrived back in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon clutching the National League championship trophy, McBride decided it was time to go back to work. He and batting instructor Billy DeMars went to the cage under Veterans Stadium and worked for several hours.
"The extra practice helped me," said McBride. "I was striding too far. I had a pretty good idea what J was doing wrong, but getting Billy to work with me on the mechanics really helped.
"To be honest, I thought we would be tired tonight. But this is the second time around for us. We went through a brutal five-game series with Houston in the playoffs and came home exhausted. We didn't have any time to rest, but here we are again. I think going through that tense series with the Astros helped. We seemed to pick up right where we left off in the Astrodome."
This season has probably meant more to Shake 'n' Bake than most of his previous six. During the off-season as he relaxed at home near St. Louis, all he heard were rumors that he was going to be traded.
In fact, had Phils owner Ruly Carpenter not thrown in the final negative vote, McBride would have gone to the Texas Rangers last December in a proposed deal for reliever Sparky Lyle.
"I made no bones about it," said the 31 -year-old McBride, who was National League Rookie of the Year in 1974. "I wanted the men who run the Phillies to give the starting eight one more shot at it. I felt all along you could write off 1979. 1 thought we would come back and show people in 1980, but if trades had broken up the team, we wouldn't have had that chance.
"It got to the point where I didn't want to pick up the phone when it rang. I was so afraid it might be bad news."
There was one report that McBride himself voided the deal for Lyle because of a clause in his contract, but Player Personnel Director Paul Owens denies that.
"The important thing is I stayed," said McBride. "At the start of spring training I , talked to Owens and we got everything straightened out. His assurance I was going to stay gave me a chance to relax and concentrate on the 1980 season."
McBride was hampered with aching knees and sore feet most of the season, but never gave in to them. He had his knees wrapped tightly and had specially constructed shoes to make it easy on his feet.
"I didn't worry about the injuries, but there were days when they bothered me. I just wanted to go out and play every day."
The third wave of reporters entered Green's office, still talking about McBride.
"What are your comments about Bake McBride?" somebody asked.
"His home run crushed it for me," said the manager. "He's been a clutch guy and an RBI guy all season. He's given us everything we asked for in 1980, including the World Series."
As Green was talking. McBride, whose locker is immediately outside the manager's office, yelled: "Hey, Dallas. You coming out here tomorrow?"
"Yeah, Bake, I'll be here."
"That's good, I think I'll stop by, too. About 4."
"I'll look forward to seeing you, Bake," said Green, continuing the charade.
And the Philadelphia fans will look forward to seeing Arnold Ray McBride.
Rose was hit more ways than one
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – Bake McBride cracked a three-run homer and Bob Boone delivered two doubles and a single.
But to just about everyone who watched the Phillies' 7-6 victory over Kansas City last night at Veterans Stadium in the opening game of the World Series, the tide turned when Royals pitcher Dennis Leonard hit Pete Rose with a pitch in the third inning.
That incident happened moments after the Phils had scored two runs. After Rose was hit, Mike Schmidt walked and McBride delivered his homer to right field and the Phils were on top 5-4.
"To me, the game turned around when Leonard hit Rose," said Phils Manager Dallas Green. "When Pete gets on base, he always stirs us up."
Kansas City Manager Jim Frey v agreed. "When you get two strikes on a guy and hit him on the leg, it's costly. Then we walked Schmidt and they get the big hit."
Leonard indicated that Rose stepped into the pitch.
"Dennis should know better than' that," said Rose, grinning. "That's illegal and I never do anything illegal."
When Rose was told that Frey said his getting hit by Leonard's pitch turned the game around, Rose added: "Did he say that? That makes me feel better and it (leg) doesn't hurt as much."
"When Pete got on base, he got himself fired up and got us fired up," said Tug' McGraw, who saved the victory for rookie Bob Walk. "I felt it was the green light and time to go get them."
Tonight, the Phils send Steve Carlton against Larry Gura in an attempt to make it two in a row.
Having the National League's winningest pitcher on the mound should help bring them on.
"I would hope we give the same effort behind each one of our pitchers," said Rose. "However, I'd have to say that the guys are extra prepared when Carlton's on the mound. He doesn't waste any time and he's always around the plate.
"There's nothing a player hates more than to twiddle his thumbs on the field when a pitcher is constantly falling behind. Steve always gives us a two-hour game and that keeps us on our toes. The players love him and the concessionaires hate him."
Phillies pitching neutralizes Royal ‘catalyst’ Wilson
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – 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. Sure enough, with Wilson hitless against Bob Walk and Tug McGraw, the Phillies beat the Royals 7-6 last 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 last 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.
"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 Two tonight, the Royals will face ace Philadelphia 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 roughed up by a five-run outburst in the Phillies third inning, 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 was when Pete Rose got hit in the leg by a Leonard pitch moments before Bake McBride unloaded a three-run homer. Rose took a step or two 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 Gint 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 knocks (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."
Boone provides boon to Phillies
By Anne Squires, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA - He's part of what is called the bottom of the batting order, and he plays a position where the equipment requires his face to be hidden behind a mask that looks like something from a classic science-fiction movie.
Phillies catcher Bob Boone has caught his share of slings and arrows this season, but he is a major reason why the Phillies are still playing baseball in 40-degree weather.
Boone's 1979 season was cut short -by a knee injury which required ligament-repair surgery last September. He worked out all winter to strengthen his injured leg at one of the three Nautilus fitness centers he owns and operates in South Jersey, but he has played with less than full mobility this season.
Despite his disability, Boone has played an inspired brand of baseball when the Phils needed it most. In the final National League championship series game in Houston last Sunday, he tagged two Astros out at the plate and almost had a third. On one of those plays, Boone was spiked, but he was out there catching rookie Bob Walk in the first game of the World Series last night despite a bruised foot that has spent most of the time in an ice machine since the Phils' triumphant return from Texas.
Boone hit safely in three of the five games with the Astros, including an all-important 2-for-3, two-RBI performance in that hair-raising fifth and final game.
Last night against the Kansas City Royals, Boone proved a team sparkplug, going 3-for-4 with two run-scoring doubles in the Phillies 7-6 victory.
"I've been swinging the bat real well in the last 10 days to two weeks," said Boone. "I've been looking for my stroke , Now I feel very comfortable at the plate."
And what about the pain?
"There are a lot of things you put out of your mind when you re in a World Series and pain is one of them," said Boone. "I've waited too long to get here to worry about that."
So the Royals can't count on injuries holding Boone back.
They found that out last night when starting pitcher Dennis Leonard faced the bottom of the Phillies' batting order in the third inning. Shortstop Larry Bowa, batting in the No. 8 spot in front of Boone, hit a one-out single up the middle to start the Phils' five-run third. He promptly stole second and came scampering home on Boone's double to the left-field corner.
"When guys like Larry Bowa ano Boonie get on, it just creates so much pressure on the other team," said Pete Rose, who had an uncharacteristic 0-for-3 night.
"We're extra strong with the designated hitter now and when our seven, eight, and nine hitters are going well, that makes us even tougher. I think we've proved we don't have to rely on Mike (Schmidt) and Greg (Luzinski) to win ball games."
According to Manager Dallas Green, Boone wasn't too keen on batting in the No. 9 spot.
"He didn't appreciate it," said Green, "but he won it by default. We made up the lineup and he wound up No. 9."
"It wasn't a surprise," countered Boone. "I teased him (Green) a little about it. But that's a great tribute to this club, having me bat ninth."
Boone expressed the same you-gotta-live-with-it attitude about the Phils' four-run deficit in the third inning.
"You can't get too concerned at the time," he said. "I knew it was early, and we just wanted to get on the board. It wasn't a matter of getting everything back all at one time. In that situation, you have to get them back one at a time."
Tonight, Boone will catch Steve Carlton in Game Two of the Series.
"We're just going to take every game as it comes," said Boone. "But you love to see him (Carlton) out there as much as possible."
Busy McGraw saves Phillies again
By Rod Beaton, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – If Phillies relief pitcher Tug McGraw throws many more times in this 1980 World Series, his arm will be eligible for a pension before the rest of him. He has to be more arm-weary than a doorman in one of those fan-packed Philadelphia hotels.
In contrast, Renie Martin has been begging for work. He has been waving from the Kansas City bullpen like he's hailing a cab. But until last night, the Dover (Del.) High graduate couldn't get a ride to the mound.
On a night when the balls were getting a ride all over and out of Veterans Stadium, McGraw and Martin got summonses. They were just the ticket for their respective clubs.
McGraw preserved a 7-6 lead for the last two innings to gift-wrap the Phillies' triumph in Game One of the Series. He'll probably be back again tonight. After all, he has pitched in all six of the Phils' post-season games this year, so why stop now?
Before last night, Martin hadn't pitched in Royals' post-season play. Until this year, the bat-thin, 6-foot-4 right-hander's idea of playoff excitement was a Parkway game with Colonial-Wallace.
He got his baptism last night. After 12 days of swapping one-liners in the bullpen with team-wit Dan Quisenberry, he was told by Manager Jim Frey to dust off the arm and face Philadelphia.
The way the Phillies were swinging, border-patrol duty between Iran and Iraq would be safer.
A 25-year-old in only his second major-league season, Martin performed commendably. He struggled, yielding five hits in four innings, but he survived.
Kansas City starter Dennis Leonard had squandered a four-run cushion in less than four innings. Martin, at least, gave up but one run.
It just turned out to be the game-winner.
"I'm pleased with my effort tonight," Martin said. "But it turned out to be a big run that I gave up."
He gave it up in the Martin style. His record would have been much better than 10-10 with a 4.39 ERA this year but for one inescapable weakness. In this game, a pitcher must throw the baseball through the area known as the strike zone or he will ultimately fail. Martin sometimes has difficulty doing that.
He did last night.
In the fifth inning, he walked Mike Schmidt and after Bake McBride singled, he drilled a pitch off Greg Luzinski, a large target indeed.
With the bases loaded, Garry Maddox hit a full-count pitch deep enough to left to score Rose.
"My heart was pounding." admitted Martin, a novice to a worldwide spotlight. Until late last year, he was pitching in places like Omaha, Neb., and Maracay, Venezuela.
The crowd was pulsing, too, a pacemaker for Martin's heart. By the time he had gone 3-2 on Maddox, the 65,791 fans were standing as one. They had driven a pitcher on the Dodgers named Burt Hooton to distraction, so why not Martin? So they huffed and they puffed and...
"The crowd didn't bother me until I got the 3-2 count," he said. "You try not to react and just concentrate hard.
"I had to do a nice job getting out of that with just one run scored."
McGraw couldn't afford that kind of luxury. He rarely can.
Only Amos Otis solved McGraw, driving a one-out single to left in the eighth. McGraw dealt with that problem by retiring pinch-hitter John Wathan on a ground-ball double play.
Leave the deep breaths and fluttery heart routine to Martin. McGraw doesn't want or need any tranquility.
"If I did, I would be soaking my head in an ice bucket right now," said McGraw, defining his mental approach. "I haven't been paid yet for my brains."
He's paid for a baffling screwball, functional curve, slick slider and a fastball which had its name plagiarized by Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry.
They both call it a "Peggy Lee." Tug was first with the nickname, a reference to the hitters "Is that all their is?" reaction.
There has been plenty of Frank McGraw. Is his hinge warped yet?
"Well my strongest desire is to prove Howard Cosell wrong," answered McGraw. "He said they went to the well too often with me in Houston. He doesn't know that much about baseball.
"The job of the bullpen is to be ready. A good athlete is capable of doing the job. This time of year you have to have something extra."
Martin has been ready. In the three-game sweep of New York, he was more than ready.
"I threw (warmed up) 12 times in the bullpen," he recalled. "I wanted to get in. I almost did."
He almost pitched well enough in last night's chance. The one run will haunt him, unless he gets back in soon.
Martin should take a hint from McGraw. He can prepare for his next appearance by soaking his head in ice water. That must be how Tug gets it in his veins.
Roberts now pitching in as Phils’ fan
By Pat Leisner, Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. – 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 in the Series opener.
"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 Series.
"The pressure is tremendous. You hang in there," he said as he prepared to fly to Philadelphia to throw out the first ball in tonight's second game.
He thinks 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, a hard-throwing righthander, gave up six runs, then reliever Tug McGraw took over in the eighth and preserved the victory.
Tonight, Roberts will get to see Steve Carlton, his favorite pitcher, first-hand.
"I'm excited about it, and I'm extra happy because Carlton is pitching," said Roberts, who calls the veteran left-hander "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 in North Miami.
Roberts said he has been an avid Phillies' fan since his retirement in 1968 and has suffered through the team's lean years.
This year's team, a slight underdog against Kansas City, seems different, he said.
"I've never been a gambling man, but I would not bet against them: They're solid," Roberts said.
Roberts, enshrined in baseball Hall of Fame in 1976, won 286 games in his 18-year career. He was a Phillie for 13 years, and won 20 games six straight seasons.
Phillies make city forget its problems
By Dick Young, New York Daily News Service
PHILADELPHIA – Karl Marx was close to right. Baseball is the opiate of the people. Baseball has the people here thinking they live in Shangri-La. Philadelphia, Pa., wins one stinking National League pennant in 30 years, wins it staggering in an extra inning of the last possible game of a playoff, and right away it becomes the Garden of Eden instead of Joke City. I can't believe the overnight transformation that is supposed to have occurred.
Here's a town with a crime problem that's worse than the one in New York, if that's possible, and with subway cars so filthy they make the New York system look like a sterile operating room, but why worry about such trivia now that the Phillies are in the World Series? Their school system is going broke, kids graduate counting on their fingers, but everybody was willing to forget it once Garry Maddox doubled home the run that beat Houston out of the pennant in the 10th inning. Even Dallas Green suddenly thinks Garry Maddox is a great guy, and Green, the Phils' manager, couldn't stand him enough to play him in the final week of the season.
I can't believe some of the things I'm hearing here, or reading . in the newspapers. One guy is challenging W.C. Fields to a duel, just because the droll, baggy-pants comic wanted engraved on his tombstone that, all things considered, he'd rather be in Philadelphia. I guess Manny Trillo showed W.C. a thing or two.
Too bad the Yankees didn't get into this World Series. Then New York could ignore that bombs are exploding in front of the United Nations Building, or that its hospitals are crippled by a nurse's strike. It would be nice to have Reggie Jax restore our civic stupor the way Pete Rose has done it down here.
Winning a big ballgame does things to the logical processes of brilliant men. An editorial writer down here, who might otherwise be figuring out reasons that Reagan will beat Carter, has come up with a guaranteed explanation of why the Phillies will beat Kansas City's Royals. It seems that in 1915 the Phillies won the pennant for the first time, and that very year a filly won the Kentucky Derby. In 1980 a filly won the Derby for the first time in those 65 years, so...
Of course, what he falls to mention is that in the 1915 World Series the Phillies got their butt kicked by the Boston Red Sox, four games to one. Philly won the opener that year, with the immortal Grover Cleveland Alexander, and they haven't won a World Series game since. Not a championship, not a single game. They lost the next four to Boston, then waited until 1950 to get into the Series again, whereupon they lost four straight to the Yankees.
The 1950 World Series did very little for the chauvinistic psyche of Philadelphia, Pa. Before the tournament began, the town was all wheed up, just as it is now. "They can't call us losers any longer"... "Who says this is Choke City?"... etc., etc., etc.
Buoyed by this reborn civic pride, the Phillies scored five runs in four games, total. Two of the runs came in the ninth inning of the last game when Gene Woodling dropped a fly ball, or else the Phillies would have scored three runs in the four games. Philly hitters earned 0.73 runs per game. Their batting average for the set was .203.
And so the people of Philadelphia crawled back into their terrible inferiority complexes for another 30 years, until Tug McGraw and friends played some mighty persistent baseball the other night in the Astrodome, then suddenly the people of Philly came out of the closet again, rubbing their eyes, eating their chest, growling defiance and proclaiming that the capital of the world is Philadelphia, Pa. If there were room, one million Philadelphians would be double-stepping up the tall stairway of the town's art museum, throwing their challenging arms skyward, the way Rocky did.
Hey, I'm all for it. I think it's wonderful that a baseball team can bring a populace together like this, and make the overtaxed suckers forget what is really happening to them. A guy would go nuts if he had to face the reality of city life every day, especially in Philadelphia, Pa. There is a remarkable similarity, at the start of this World Series between what faced the manager of the 1950 Phillies and the manager of the 1980 team. Eddie Sawyer had used up his starters in the struggle to beat out the Brooklyn Dodgers in the final days of '50, and so he opened the World Series with his relief ace, Jim Konstanty, who hadn't started a game all season.
Dallas Green, having exhausted his front-line pitchers in the desperation games at Houston, found himself starting the Series with Bob Walk, who was pitching at Reading, Pa., a year ago, and who will be all of 24 next month. Walk is a frightening name for a kid pitcher to carry into a World Series, but he has had the name for almost 24 years now, and it hasn't stopped him from making the bigs with a pennant winner.
And, lo and behold, Walk pitched seven innings to get the victory in Game One of the Series last night as the Phillies held off the Royals 7-6. Could this be the year Philadelphia, Pa., really becomes the capitol of the baseball world?
Scalpers selling tickets for $50
Ticket scalpers were out in droves at Veterans Stadium before last night’s first game of the World Series between the Phillies and the Kansas City Royals.
Most of the scalpers offered tickets for seats high up in the 600 and 700 levels for about $50. Those tickets originally cost $15.
Phillies run out of game programs
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia baseball fans set an unofficial World Series record last night by purchasing 32,800 game programs before the first pitch was thrown out by the Phillies' 1950 manager, Eddie Sawyer.
That left vendors empty-handed during the game and Phillies' officials frantic about programs for Game Two of the Series.
"We figured 32,800 programs (sold for $2.50 each) would be enough for the first two games combined," said Tom Hudson, the Phillies advertising director.
The San Francisco Webb Offset Co., which began printing World Series programs in 1974, agreed to rush an additional 42,000 programs in time for tonight's game. The company said its highest single-game sale was 18,000 programs for Game One of the 1978 Series in Los Angeles.