Frederick Post - October 16, 1980
Brett To Play Despite Uncomfortable Ailment
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — George Brett insisting the pain from his hemorrhoidal condition had eased, was given permission by Kansas City Royals' officials to play against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second game of the World Series Wednesday night
"George said he feels better than he did before last night's game." said a Royals spokesman after emerging from behind clubhouse doors.
"We have a firm understanding that if he starts hurting too bad, or if we get a big lead, he's coming out," the spokesman said.
Brett's status had hundreds of writers in this baseball-happy city chasing rumors throughout the day.
Brett who had a double in four at-bats in Kansas City's 7-6 loss in Game One, told The Associated Press several hours after Tuesday night's game that he would have no trouble playing. That assessment was echoed by team officials Wednesday morning, but Manager Jim Frey said two hours later that Brett's status was "a question mark."
Brett's .390 batting average this season was the highest in the major leagues since 1941 and the Royals bad consistently failed to win without him in the lineup. If be could not play, or if his play was hampered, the Royals' offense could be damaged critically.
Team officials said that consideration was given to letting Brett be the designated hitter without playing third base.
"But George said he has the most problems when he's running the bases." said the spokesman. "He knows that he'll be taken out immediately if he begins experiencing a lot of pain."
Phils Win, 6-4, For Two-Game Lead
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mike Schmidt blasted his way out of a postseason slump with a tremendous eighth-inning double, scoring Bake McBride with the go-ahead run as Philadelphia, again using late-inning lightning with a four-run eighth, defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-4 in Wednesday night's second game of the 1980 World Series.
The victory gave the Phillies a 24 lead in this of "best-of-seven showdown for baseball's world championship, which mores to Kansas City for Game 3 Friday night.
Philadelphia was trailing 4-2 as the eighth inning began and the Royals had their bullpen ace, Dan Quisenberry, on the mound, trying to nail down the victory. But the Phillies, who came from behind for each of their three victories in the five-game National League Championship Series against Houston, did it again amid the roar of 65,775 fans filling Veterans Stadium.
Bob Boone opened the eighth by coaxing a walk from Quisenberry, the submarine specialist who saved 33 games during the regular season. After that, it all came apart quite quickly for the Royals.
Del Unser batted for Loonie Smith and lashed a vicious double up the alley in left-center field. Boooe, running on a banged-up leg, circled the bases to score a run that pulled Philadelphia to within one run.
By now the stadium was bedlam as the fans that had sat hack rather calmly in the early innings realized another late Phillies rally was in the making. And they were right.
Pete Rose got Unser over to third on a ground ball to first — a play right out of baseball's textbook which says you must move the runner to third in that situation. That brought up McBride, hero of the Tuesday night's 7-6 opening victory by the Phillies with three hits, including a three-run homer. This time McBride settled for a single, which delivered Unser with the tying run.
Now that it was tied, the Phillies went for the kill And they got it in a hurry.
Schmidt, the major league home run leader with 48 whose bat had been all but silent during the playoffs, exploded a tremendous shot up the alley in right-center field. McBride toured around the bases and slid home with the go-ahead run. Schmidt, the strapping slugger who had joked about being an observer duriag Philadelphia's dramatic playoff performance, steamed into third on the play at the plate.
He was there for only a moment. Rookie Keith Moreland, a late starter as Philadelphia's designated hitter when Greg Luzinski reported to the park with an intestinal virus, drilled another hit, chasing home Schmidt with the fourth and final run of the inning and making the score 6-4.
Philadelphia, which had not won a World Series game since 1915 prior to Tuesday night had won its second in a row over the expansion team American League champion Royals, still seeking their first World Series victory.
Steve Carlton had pitched the first eight innings for Philadelphia, surrendering 10 hits and struggling through an erratic performance. A record-tying four double plays, three of them started by shortstop Larry Bowa, kept him in business. For the ninth, however, Philadelphia went to a fresh arm, bringing in reliever Ron Reed.
Reed allowed a one-out single to Hal McRae, who bad three hits in the game But with the crowd cheering with every pitch, be finished the Royals off, proving that the Phillies could win a game without calling on Tug McGraw, who had pitched in all six postseason contests prior to Wednesday night.
Kansas City had Carlton in constant trouble but the Phillies fielders bailed him out with the double plays.
Bowa, who tied another record by starting three of them, also contributed an RBI single as the Phillies jumped to a 2-0 lead against Kansas City starter Larry Gura in the fifth inning.
Gura had been perfect through the first four, retiring 12 consecutive batters. When Schmidt opened the fifth with an easy grounder for Gura's 13th consecutive out the Kansas City southpaw was halfway to Series history. Only one pitcher — Don Larsen of the New York Yankees — has ever pitched a World Series no-hitter. Larsen's perfect game came 24 years'ago on Oct. 8, 1956, against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
It may of been premature to think of a no-hitter at that point but some in the crowd must have been. When Moreland drilled a ground'ball to deep short and barely legged it out for a single, the scoreboard celebrated with a reassuring, "Never In Doubt."
With the no-hit tension broken, Garry Maddox ripped a double into the left field corner, sending Moreland to third. Trillo's long fly allowed Moreland to score. Maddox took third on the play and came home a moment later on Bowa's base hit.
The rally staked Carlton to a 2-0 lead bat the Royals sliced it in half in the next inning.
Amos Otis opened with a single and John Wathan walked on four straight pitches. Then Willie Aikens hit a high bouncer to second baseman Trillo. When Trillo bounced the throw past first Otis scored and Wathan wheeled to third on the error.
That made it 2-1 and it seemed the Royals were set for more.
But Carlton came back. He struck out Jose Cardenal and then got Frank White to hit into the third double play started by Bowa. That tied the record set by Phil Rizzuto Oct 10, 1951, and matched by Maury Wills Oct 11,1965.
It was still 2-1 when the Royals came to bat in the seventh. Leadoff man Willie Wilson, who had been retired eight straight times, including five on strikeouts, in the first two games, walked on four pitches. It marked his first appearance on base, and signalled the rally for the Royals.
U.L. Washington sacrificed Wilson to second and George Brett would have been up next. But Brett had to leave the game after "experiencing some discomfort" because of hemorrhoids. Brett had been as doubtful starter because of the problemn but played five innings, singling twice and drawing a walk. His replacement was light-hitting Dave Chalk and, after Wilson stole third, Chalk also walked.
Carlton, who has one of baseball's finest pickoff moves, nabbed Chalk off first but the threat of Wilson's speed prevented the Phils' Rose from making a play and Chalk slid safely into second. A moment later, McRae walked, loading the bases
That brought up Otis, who doubled to the left field corner, chasing home two runs. McRae stopped at third but came ome a moment later when Wathan flied to center field.
Royals' Willie Aikens Regrets Middle Name
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Willie Mays Aikens of the Kansas City Royals says be is a little uncomfortable with the name given him by a country doctor in his hometown of Seaeca. S.C.
Aikens. who celebrated his 26th birthday Tuesday by hitting a pair of two-run home runs in the opening game of the 1980 World Series, says he would just as soon everyone dropped his middle name.
"They don't call Brett, George So-And-So Brett, or McRae, Hal So-And-So McRae." Aliens said Wednesday. "I don't think it's right. I'd be more comfortable if they just called me Willie Aikens."
Aikens, who still lives near his birthplace in the off-season, said his mother named him Willie after an uncle. 'The doctor put in the Mays tag during the World Series. I think, or it was right after," Aikens said.
Aikens was born during the 1954 World Series in which Mays and the New York Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in four games.
"Sometimes fans ask me about my name." Aikens said, "and I just tell tbem I don't feel like talking about it."
Aikens said be never has met Mays, the Hall of Famer and former Giants' outfielder.
“The other night, I went to Atlantic City (N.J.) because I heard he had a job there." Aikens said. Mays works for Bally Enterprises, Inc., which runs a gambling casino in Atlantic City.
"I didn't get to meet him, though." Aikens said. "Hopefully, I'll get a chance to meet him before he dies — or before I die."
Aikens wean No. 24. the same number Mays wore during his illustrious career.
"When I got traded (from California in 1979). the equipment manager called me and asked me what number I wanted." Aliens explained. "I told him I would like 22, the same number as last year. But Leonard (pitcher Dennis Leonard) had the number, and I couldn't have it.
"He gave me some numbers to choose from. There were only about five or six of them, and I settled for 24," Aikens said.
"I was hesitant at first about getting that number because Mays wore it during his career." Aikens said. "I don't want people to think I am copying him because I want to make a name for myself."