Allentown Morning Call - October 17, 1980

Royals in big pile of trouble


By Gordon Smith, Associate Sports Editor


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – World Series are remembered with all the exactness of a first date. Each has a magical moment all its own. While predicting a hero is futile, there has never been one to fade from memory. 


Carlton Fisk's Game 6 home run is the link to remembering the 1975 autumnal classic... Bill Mazeroski ripping a Ralph Terry slider into the seats is remembered for giving the Pirates the 1960 crown... 


And, yes, Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956... Mickey Lolich's three pitching triumphs in 1968... Willie Mays' great catch in 1954… Brooks Robinson's fielding wizardry in 1970… 


There are 76 of these recollections. But, imagine – far in the future – somebody saying, "Hey, that 1980 series was something. Hemorrhoids killed the Royals." 


Tonight at 8:15 (EDT), when the Phillies send righthander Dick Ruthven (17-10) to the mound in search of a three-game edge in this 77th World Series, Kansas City's George Brett and his sore derriere might be missing from the lineup. 


"The decision will be strictly his," said Kansas City Manager Jim Frey last night. "He's not stupid. His doctor is leaving the decision in George's hands. If he feels he cannot help, that he will be slowed too much, then he will tell me." 


"Mr. Almost.400" spent yesterday in a Kansas City hospital. A hemorrhoidectomy was NOT performed. Instead, the severely swollen and excruciatingly painful piles were lanced and medicated presumably with something more potent that Preparation-H.


If Brett, indeed, cannot answer the bell, the Royals offense, of course, will be terribly deflated. Dave Chalk (.251) is his replacement. 


But nobody ever died from hemorrhoids, and if Brett can run, his manager believes he will play. 


Right-hander Rich Gale (13-9) "will need to pitch his finest game of the season to keep us in there," Royals Manager Frey believes. "Sure we can win without George. However, nobody understands how much he means to us, and not only in terms of his.390 batting average." 


Brett left Game 2 in Philadelphia Wednesday night in the sixth inning after he'd singled twice and walked in three plate appearances. "It wasn't the pain alone," Brett said. "I could stand that. But I couldn't run. I should have had the first two hits they got, but I just couldn't run." 


The first hit, a single by Keith Moreland, broke up a perfect game by KC starter Larry Gura. Garry Maddox followed with a double just past Brett and down the third-base line. 


"I can't help but wonder what would have happened had I got those two," Brett said. "If I do, maybe we win." 


But, "ifs" and "buts" aren't cherries and nuts, and nobody knows that better than Brett. "I didn't glove them, and that's all we know," he admitted. 


Fans in Kansas City are speaking of the Phillies in terms of awe. The entire city was stunned when the Phils kayoed KC's ace relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry and roared from a 4-2 deficit to a 6-4 victory and a 2-0 lead in the series. 


Everything points to another Phillies victory – Brett or not. Mike Schmidt feels confident he has rediscovered the groove. "The team is oozing with confidence," Manager Dallas Green said last night. "I'll tell you, I'd hate to be the pitcher that has to face our team now." 


No matter how well Kansas City's Gale pitches, he'll have to wonder when the explosion will come. The Phils have erupted to record two come-from-behind victories. Including the National League playoffs against Houston, the Phils have done it in four straight games. 


Meanwhile, if Brett weren't having a pile of trouble, the-story of the series would be how the designated-hitter has become a pal to Dallas Green.


Green, acting like all good N.L. managers should, told the world he didn't like the exclusive American League rule. But, since it's integrated into every other World Series, and this was the DH's turn, he knew he would have to live with it. 


Well, he's not only living with it; he's up two games to none because of it. With all the heavy artillery the Phils have on the bench, the DH figured to be a big bonus to them.


In Game 1, Greg Luzinski was the DH. But with nine places in the order to fill, Green was able to bat Bob Boone ninth, where the pitcher normally bats. That's what the DH rule does... it creates a myriad of lineup strategies. Boone responded with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.


In Game 2, Moreland was DH in place of Luzinski, who was sidelined with an intestinal virus. Moreland singled twice, knocked in a run and scored a run. 


Napoleon had hemorrhoids… Jimmy Carter had hemorrhoids... Now George Brett has hemorrhoids. But those guys were older, and they weren't batsmen, they were statesmen.


Here Kansas City has finally landed in a World Series, and what happens? The star of the team comes down with piles. 


Brother, Johnny Carson will have a ball with this one.

It’s been a Royal season for Coopersburg’s Schaffer


By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor


KANSAS CITY – Jimmie Schaffer looked like one of those ice cream vendors you see working the beaches along the New Jersey shore. He was lugging this heavy box (it looked like a half a trunk), supported by a wide strap which was draped over his right shoulder. 


Schaffer was ready for the first part of his work shift. Part two would come later. 


Inside the box were dozens of baseballs and other equipment the Royals would use for batting practice.


On his way to the pitcher's mound, Schaffer was stopped. Joe Garagiola opened the box, took out two brand new balls, smiled to Schaffer and said. "Thanks, Jimmie, one of my camera guys wants a souvenir." Schaffer smiled back. 


Schaffer is the bullpen coach for the Royals. It is perhaps the most obscure job among all the uniformed personnel in the World Series. 


"I don't even get introduced on TV," he said with half a smile. The reason Schaffer misses the TV introductions is because he's down in the bullpen warming up the night's starting pitcher. Sometimes work interferes with the glamour that surrounds this spectacle. 


Schaffer is from Coopersburg. His still lives there with his grown-up family, which includes his wife Jeannie and five children. 


These aren't happy times for the Royals, the American League champions by a breeze. They've been roughed up by the Phils in the first two games of the World Series. 


Forget that for the moment. The 1980 season was a glorious one for this comparatively young franchise.


You won't find a man happier to be a part of it than Schaffer, who like Manager Jim Frey, is in his first year with the team. 


In fact, it was Frey who. called Schaffer. a longtime friend, to join him on the managerial staff. It beats the minor leagues by a long shot.


Schaffer, who has been involved in professional baseball as a player, coach or manager since 1955. has had big league coaching experience. He was with the Rangers for three years sandwiched in between successful stints as a manager in the high minor leagues. 


The paycheck alone for the World Series and the playoffs is going to make the 1980 season a bonanza. 


"There's nothing like being in the majors," said Schaffer, a catcher by trade who had eight years of playing time in the big leagues. "And when you get something like this (a championship season) it's even better." 


Oddly enough, Schaffer already has one World Series ring. He was managing for the Orioles in Bluefield, W. Va. , the year Baltimore won (1971) and everybody in the organization got the coveted souvenir. 


Schaffer wears No. 44, but it's rare that you'll get a glimpse of him. He's in the bullpen for the full nine innings, directing the operations out there. He is the man who does the catching for the relief pitchers. 


He also warms up the starters and with pitching coach Bill Conners. is the first to get an idea of what the Royals can expect from the main man of the game. 


For an 8:30 p.m. start, Schaffer and the starting pitcher head for the bullpen about 8:05. "They (the pitchers) will go through a stretch exercise period for a little and then start throwing," he said. "Normally, a pitcher needs only about 12 minutes to warm up. The exception is Gale (Rich Gale, tonight's starting pitcher). He goes a little longer, like a bout 20 minutes.”


The bullpen gang, hidden in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium, is very much in the game. "We're pretty intent out there," said Schaffer. "We have to be. We can almost sense when the phone will ring, and then we have to be quick. It's seldom Jim (Frey) has two pitchers warming up at the same time. There's no commotion. We just get up and start throwing." 


The bullpen has been one of the keys in the success of Kansas City. More specifically, Dan Quisenberry, the free spirit and outstanding game saver. 


The Phils didn't treat Quisenberry very kindly the other night, but the side-arm thrower had a remarkable 33 saves in the regular season.


"Dan has the right kind of makeup for a relief pitcher," said Schaffer. "He's a loosey-goosey kind of guy, like Tug McGraw. Nothing bothers him, although he has to go to the toilet three times a game. Some guys draw up when their time comes, but not Dan. He's always relaxed, maybe too much sometimes." 


It has been an exciting week or more for Schaffer. "You couldn't believe the excitement after we beat the Yankees," he said. "They were really high after that sweep. Maybe it has something to do with what's happening here. But those are the moments you can't take away. I just feel bad that the country isn't seeing the real team, like we were during the season." 


Nonetheless. Schaffer. who works as a machinist in Trumbauersville on the offseason, is enjoying all this. His wife's on the trip, too, and most of the kids were in New York last weekend.

Sue Boone has backed her man through the good and bad times


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Phillies' catcher Bob Boone has struggled all season – first with his role as National League player representative during the maddening negotiations over a new standard contract, then with a slow-to-respond, surgically-repaired left knee, then with a batting average that dipped to a career low .229 after three straight years over .280. 


Through it all, his wife, Sue, has faithfully trooped out to Veterans Stadium and suffered with him. 


As Bob's total of sickly popups with men on base mounted and the boos continued to innundate her in the wives' section behind first base, Sue Boone reached back for one of the lessons her husband had insisted she learn early. 


"He's never taken the games home with him," she said the other night. "Ever since the year when he was on the bench with his bad back, when Johnny Oates was catching (1975), he realized that most of what happens is beyond your control.


"All you can do is the best you can do and not worry about the rest and I learned then that I couldn't let this affect me, either. 


"Listen, no one likes to hear her husband booed. I'm the first to admit that fans have every right to boo people who they feel aren't producing. But if the fans only knew the extent of the pain he's playing in every night, I don't think they'd be so quick to boo him. 


"I think the intelligent fans understand this and the intelligent fan also knows that, defensively, there's not a better catcher around. Offensively, he hasn't hit at all. I understand that, but I can't understand how people can come out here and boo a team that has given them such good baseball over the past five years." 


Sons Bret, 11, and Aaron, 7, who sat on Sue's knee during Wednesday night's game, love to accompany her to the ballpark. Matt Boone turned 1 this summer – a bad age for baseball – so Sue had to miss more games than she would have liked this year for his sake. 


But she made it to Houston for the final three games of the playoffs and was here Tuesday night for Bob's big three-hit, two RBI game, one that had the fans screaming their approval.


"I've prayed so hard for him," she admits unblushingly. "I've wanted so much for him to come out of it for his own sake and figured that he was being tested for a reason and that when He was ready for Bob to come out of it, he would. 


"You know, it's funny – and I don't know how people will take this – but six of us (wives) were in a taxi going to the fifth game in Houston and we were all nervous, naturally. So I said, How about if we all join hands and say a silent prayer.' And we did. 


"I prayed for us to win if it was God's will, but if it wasn't, I prayed for them to get through it without getting down. I prayed for Him to give them the strength to accept the outcome, whatever it was, because I knew how badly they all wanted to win."

Series Shorts


Parkland High School graduate Ron Bartholomew is the head baseball coach at Littleton, N.H., High School – and has been for 11 years. 


One of his stars several years back was one Rich Gale, who tonight will be seen by millions of baseball fans across the country pitching for the Kansas City Royals and trying to slow the Phils' World Series express. 


Bartholomew's teams have gone to the New Hampshire state tournament eight times and won the state crown twice. Neither came when Gale was his mound ace. since the state did not conduct a state tournament then.


Gale and Bartholomew coach basketball together during the winter months. 


●       ●       ●


Mrs. Colin Snyder of 824 N. Third St.. Emmaus, called last night to inform us that her husband was 12 years old when the Philadelphia Phillies last won the National League pennant in 1950. 


Big deal, you say? Well, how about this? Her husband's father, now deceased, was also named Colin Snyder. He resided in Lancaster and his age in 1915 – the year the Phils won their first pennant – was 12. 


The Snyder's son is named (what else?) Colin. His age? Twelve. Natch.

Lot of tension but also lot of fun


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


Close your eyes. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the Phillies' Garry Maddox late last Sunday night as he stepped to the plate in the 10th inning of the Phils' memorable playoff series against the Houston Astros. 


The game was tied 7-7, Del Unser was at second base. The entire series, which had been a heart-stopper from the word go, was on the line. If Maddox gets a hit the Phils probably win. If he fails, the Astros get to bat in the bottom of the 10th and the opportunity to sentence Philadelphians to another long and bitter winter of "ifs" and " what-might-have-beens." 


You know the rest. Maddox delivered, and the Phils are currently treating themselves and their legion of fans to a thus-far superb World Series. 


But, if you can imagine the feeling of a queasy stomach and the hairs on the neck standing on end – as Maddox must have – you can get an idea what three Lehigh Valley horseplayers are in for starting at 7:35 tonight at Penn National Race Course near Harrisburg. 


The three – Bethlehem housewife Audrey Mehrkam, Allentown plumber Greg Toman and Call sports writer Ted Meixell – will be in competition with 62 other amateur and professional handicappers from 11 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada as Pennat conducts its fifth annual World Series of Handicapping. 


On the line is $50,000 – that's right, $50,000 – in prize money, $30,000 of which will go to the handicapper that manages to build his/her mythical starting bankroll of $1,000 to the highest figure by the end of Sunday's 10th race. 


The runnerup will rake off a not-so-shabby $10,000, while $5,500, $3,000 and $1,500 are ticketed for the third through fifth-place finishers. 


The tension that grips a contestant as the three-day, 30-race grind nears a climax – especially if he or she is still in contention – is tremendous, although a heck of a lot of fun. Garry Maddox's nervous system had no more of a workout last week than those 65 handicappers will this weekend.


While Audrey Mehrkam will be sitting behind a desk at the track all weekend, she openly admits she's not the brains behind the Mehrkam racing operation. That distinction belongs to her retired 69-year old hubby, Ray – better known to regular railbirds as simply, "Dutch."' 


Dutch has competed directly or indirectly in all four prior World Series. In 1976, when there was simply one final round of competition, and in 1977 and 1978, when he had to qualify via a top-10 finish in a preliminary round, Dutch finished off the board due to his final-day impatience. 


"Each time," he said yesterday, "I tried to make my big move on the first three races – and everybody knows those are Hospital Stakes. They're cheap horses, and they did me in every time. This time I won't let the frustration and the anxiety get to me. I'll bide my time." 


Last year, Dutch wasn't lucky enough to draw into the prelims, so he was ostensibly left out. He wasn't, though, since this writer, in the finals on a pass as a "professional" and recognizing a good horseplayer when he sees one, invited The Dutchman to be his behind the scenes partner. 


It nearly paid off, and our partnership was as high as third place with just three races left. But we bombed out on those last three heats.


This year, Dutch left little to chance. He sent entries in both his and his wife's names and, although his wasn't drawn, Audrey's was. And, back on Aug. 15-17, the guy who placed his first bet through a bookie on the infield at Empire Race Track in 1928, rolled through a field of 50 to win the third of four preliminaries, bank $1,500 and earn his way into this weekend's finals.


"I think I'm in about as good a shape as I've ever been," he said yesterday. I'm at a peak, the best I've been in years." 


Since I've gotten to know the man, I've learned not to underestimate him. Mark him as one of the players to beat. 


As for myself, this will be my fifth straight appearance, once again representing the Call. I've been close enough to the top in three of the four previous contests to get sweaty palms, white knuckles and an irregular heartbeat (heck, at times I felt my heart had stopped) as the final races were run. But I loved every minute of it and I'm getting antsy again in anticipation. 


The only worry I have is this: How do I write the final story for Monday's paper if I win? How do I write about myself without sounding boastful? 


But I've decided to worry about that when and if the time comes. If it does... well, heck – I'll just boast. 


A call was made to Greg Toman yesterday to ask his feelings, but he wasn't at home when this was written. I'll introduce myself to him at the track tonight, and introduce him to Call readers in a subsequent story. 


They're off!