Annapolis Capital - October 16, 1980
Keith Moreland Enjoys Every Rookie's Dream
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - "Don't call it the World Series," pleaded the rusty-haired youngster buried in a cluster of question-popping newsmen. "I get all nervous. I like to think of it as just a sandlot game."
The reaction was totally understandable for a 28-year-old rookie thrust into a Hollywood scenario with a Hollywood ending.
Young Keith Moreland, a "Hook 'em Horns" disciple who grew up in the mad football atmosphere of the University of Texas campus didn't know until an hour before game time that he was to substitute for slugger Greg Luzinski in the Philadelphia Phillies lineup against the Kansas City Royals.
"Dallas (Manager Dallas Green) told me to go out and take batting practice," he explained. "He said Greg had a sore throat or the flu or something and he wanted to use me for the DH.
"No, I can't say I was scared — excited yes but scared no. After all, I'd been through some Texas-Oklahoma football games and you can't get much more pressure than that."
Moreland proceeded to lash out two hits, score a run in the fifth inning and knock in the final run in the wild eighth inning Philly rally that beat the Royals 6-4 for a 2-0 lead in the series.
Few rookies have had a more glorious baptism in this traditional championship of America's national pastime.
"Our rally didn't surprise me at all," said the first-year catcher, a bench war-mer behind Philadelphia's Gold Glover Bob Boone.
Ever since September we have felt that there was no lead we couldn't overcome. It is amazing what has happened to this team.
"Earlier in the year there was some beefing and discontent. The guys didn't seem together. Then suddenly everything jelled. You saw it at Montreal, at Houston and now here.
"John Vukovich (reserve infielder) is our cheerleader," he related. "The subs, the guys who don't get to play much, join in. Then Dallas , Pete (Rose) and all the others are caught up in it. Everybody screaming and hollering their lungs out.
The Phillies' seventh selection in the college draft, he was signed in June, 1975, and was put through the minor league wringer Spartanburg, Peninsula, Beading and finally Oklahoma City in the American Association.
Hailed by Oklahoma City manager as "the best clutch hitter in the league," he was called up at the end of the 1979 season. This year, playing behind Boone, he appeared in 62 games, batted .314 and hit four home runs.
"Boone is the best catcher in baseball," the youngster acknowledged. "I can't get mad or upset because don't play more. Some day maybe I will. Right now, I am thinking only of the World Series.
"If we win, I may retire."
Quickly, lest he be taken seriously, he added: "Gosh, you know I'm just kidding."
Phillies Comebacks Have Royals Down
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Mike Schmidt stood at home plate, his bat over his shoulder and his body twisting. A little English might have kept that ball in fair territory, he thought.
It curved, maybe five or 10 feet foul, arching high over the foul pole down the left-fleld line, and instead of a home run, Schmidt had a meaningless foul ball. They call it a long strike.
"I thought it might have a chance, but hooked just like my golf drives," Schmidt said of his fifth-inning drive. "I know it doesn't mean anything, but I think that foul ball might have helped me get going."
When Schmidt, the Philadelphia Phillies' slugging third baseman, got going, he sent the Kansas City Royals home with a handful of woes Schmidt's eighth-innmg double drove in the winning run. and the Phillies downed the Royals 6-4 Wednesday night for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven 1980 World Series.
The Series moves to Kansas City for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, if necessary. The Royals face the unenviable task of rebounding against a team that has scored 13 runs in the first two games of the Series, having won 7-6 on Tuesday, and they may have to face it without All-Star third baseman George Brett.
Brett had to be removed from the game in the sixth inning when an inflammation of his hemorrhoids, a problem that began only about a week ago, started to bother him too severely. Royals Manager Jim Frey said he was not certain of Brett's status for Friday
"We'll have to wait," Frey said. "He has two days and it's a day-to-day thing. We hope he's better."
The Phillies started left-hander Steve Carlton in Game 2. A 24-game winner during the regular season, "Lefty" had struggled in the playoffs against Houston. In the fourth game, his second start, he went only 5 1-3 innings, his shortest stint of the season. He couldn't keep his pitches around the plate.
Wednesday night, the silent left-hander was in trouble again. In eight innings, he gave up 10 hits, six walks and three earned runs with 10 strikeouts.
"He's done a lot of pitching in the last six months," Schmidt said. "But that shows you that Steve, even at his worst, can keep us in any game."
The Phillies got off to a 2-0 lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Manny Trillo and a run-scoring single by Larry Bowa.
Kansas City got one run back in the sixth when Amos Otis singled, advanced to second when John Wathan walked and scored on a throwing error by Trillo on a high chopper by Willie Aikens.
The Royals scored three times in the seventh. Carlton walked the bases full, and Otis slugged a two-run double, followed by a sacrifice fly by Wathan. The score was 4-2 and Philadelphia's "Comeback Gang" went to work again.
They had to come back from a 4-0 deficit to win the World Senes opener. They trailed at one time or another in all five of their National League Championship Series games with Houston.
"It seems like we're waiting for the other team to score first," Phils first baseman Pete Rose said "We know we're going to have a big inning, but you can't keep waiting for that."
Philadelphia's big inning came in the eighth. Royals' lefty Larry Gura, 18-10 during the season, had retired the first 13 Phillies he faced, but Frey had to yank him after six innings when he complained that he had run out of gas.
"When he came off the mound after his last inning, he said he didn't feel he had his fastball anymore," Frey said
Enter Dan Quisenberry, 33 saves during the season and considered the AL's top relief pitcher. If the game had gone according to script, that should have been the end of it. Quisenberry got the side in order in the seventh, but he walked Bob Boone to lead off the eighth.
Pinch hitter Del Unser drove Boone in from first with a double to the wall in leftcenter. Rose bounced to first baseman Pete LaCock, a defensive replacement, sending Unser to third. Bake McBride's chopping single over the head of second baseman Frank White drove in Unser, tying the score 4-4. That brought Schmidt to the plate.
Schmidt, who led the majors with 48 homers in the regular season, had hit a dismal .208 in the playoffs. In the final game of the league championship, he went 0-for-5, striking out three times. He had an infield single, two walks and a strikeout in the series opener.
"The champagne would have tasted a hair sweeter if I had gotten my uniform dirty in that game," Schmidt said.
In Schmidt's first time up Wednesday night, he grounded to third. In second trip, he fought Gura to a 3-2 count, and fouled off a pitch. Schmidt sent Gura's next pitch a mile, but foul, before grounding out again. In the sixth, he hit a harmless single, and then, in the eighth, it was all on the line.
Schmidt sent Quisenberry's first pitch to the wall in right-center on one short hop for a double and a 5-4 Philadelphia lead. Rookie Keith Moreland, starting as designated hitter in place of the ailing Greg Luzinski, singled to score Schmidt before pinch hitter Greg Gross finally grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Ron Reed took over for Carlton in the ninth inning. He struck out pinch hitter Darrell Porter, who did not start against the lefty Carlton annd was hitting in the spot that would have been occupied by Brett. Reed then yielded Hal McRae's third single of the game, but retired the side by getting Otis to hit into a fielder's choice grounder and striking out Wathan.
The Royals will pitch Rich Gale, 13-9 during the season, against Dick Ruthven, 17-10, in the third game Friday. It is a must game for the Royals; no team ever has recovered from a 3-0 deficit to win the Senes.
Royals 'Cheated' of Fans' Cheers
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Darrell Porter struck out leading, off the ninth inning, walked bitterly back to the dugout, surveyed almost 66,000 screaming, ecstatic Philadelphia Phillies fans and had a profound thought.
"We've won a championship, we've done what our fans wanted more than anything in the world, and we haven't heard one cheer yet."
The Kansas City Royals remained in New York after beating the Yankees in a third straight American League Championship Series game Friday night and flew to Philadelphia Sunday for the opening two games of the 1980 '"World Series in Veterans Stadium.
"We should be so joyful going back home, but we aren't," said Porter. "We need to hear some cheers from our side. We need that more than anything."
The 40,000-plus Kansas City fans who will pack Royals Stadium Friday night will greet a team that now seems almost devoid of anything positive. The AL Champions are down 0-2 in the best-ofseven series. They blew a four-run lead in the first game to lose 7-6, and they blew a two-run lead Wednesday night to lose 6-4.
Their best relief pitcher, Dan Quisenberry, got bombed. Their best player, possibly the best player in baseball, third baseman George Brett, was suffering so much pain from hemorrhoids he could hardly walk
"The next couple of games we'll see what these teams are made of," said center fielder Amos Otis. "We had everything going our way. But the bottom fell out each time. I just think we're jinxed here."
Will the Phillies be jinxed in Royals Stadium?
"I think they can be beat in Royals Stadium," he answered softly. "We had them on the ropes. After a while, it does get frustrating."
"It seems like we've been away from Kansas City for about six months," said Dave Chalk, who will have the enormous task of replacing Brett if the All-Star third baseman can play no more. "It will be so good to get back home."
Chalk filled in admirably for Brett when he was injured during an otherwise enchanted season that saw him bat .390 and drive in 118 runs in 117 games. But Chalk said he's not going to fool himself into thinking he's another George Brett.
"It's a loss to us if he's not out there, no doubt about it," Chalk said. "I'm not going to try to be anything I'm not. You've got to be yourself. And I have confidence in myself."
So what good things besides going home can the Kansas City Royals find to think about?
"Any time you score some runs and take the lead, you've got to think you can win," said designated hitter Hal McRae. "We just aren't holding leads. That's all there is to it."
"This is going to be some kind of triumphant return, isn't it," said Porter.
"It doesn't seem fair."