Kansas City Star - October 17, 1980
Kauffman to unwrap Series present
By Gib Twyman, Sports Writer
OK, Kansas City, all set? Ewing Kauffman is ready to deliver that present he promised you 12 years ago. Here, try something in a "game three” on for size. Ah, yes, a perfect fit. A World Series. Right here in Kansas City. Just Like Kauffman, the Royals' owner, said there would be when he bought the team in 1968.
It is a magic moment for Kauffman, one that has been plucked from the place where men keep their dreams and is
being transported to reality. It is not every day a man gets to see his visions played out before him in living color.
Wednesday night, Kauffman sat in a box behind the Royals’ dugout in Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, watching game two against the Phillies. It was less man 48 hours before Kauffman would taste the first Series game ever played in Kansas City. That will come at 7:15 o’clock tonight at Royals Stadium.
But Kauffman was not thinking about his own appetite. He had 2,288,714 other hungry souls in mind — the record number of fans who watched Kansas City play this year at Royals Stadium.
“This is not my moment,” he said. “It belongs to all our loyal fans, to the players, Mr. Burke (Joe, vice president and general manager) and to everyone in our organization."
Baseball brings out the little boy in Kauffman. It showed in the way he danced to his feet and whooped and hollered to his players during the game. His face wore the look of a youth seeing his first big-league game — a fistful-of-peanuts and Dad, buy me a Coke.
And in the manner of many friendly children, he wanted to share his big moment. He wanted to show it to his buddies. Let them examine it. Turn it over and gee-whiz it. Hold it in their hands.
“We finally brought the great fans of Kansas City what they deserve,” he said, “a World Series. And we're going to give them a victory in the World Series, too. If not this year, then the next or the next. Because we will be back.
“Over the wall, Mac, over the wall…” he suddenly interrupted himself, calling to Hal McRae, who was coming up in the first inning. “He can do it, boy, he can do it,” Kauffman said to the fans around him who were mostly rooting for Philadelphia.
“Kansas City is the greatest place on earth to live,” Kauffman continued. “Mrs. K (Muriel Kauffman, his wife) and I could live anywhere in the world. We have a home in Palm Desert, Calif., on the No. 1 tee of the golf course.
"But there just isn’t any place like Kansas City. That’s where we prefer to stay.
“Calm down, calm down," Kauffman said with a friendly grin. He was standing up, waving his hands to some Philly fans behind him as the Royals put two men on base in the first inning. “We’re going to score, don't worry, don't get excited."
Kauffman lit another match to his pipe. "I still smoke Briggs straight," he said, beaming. "It's cheap tobacco — 29 cents. But I’ve smoked it all my life and I love it."
Kauffman, on the other hand, has lavished his resources on projects he believes will help the community. The Royals are one of those. Kauffman said entering this season he was $94 million in the hole after taxes for his years in baseball. Then there is the vast Cardio-Pulmonarv Resuscitation program the Kauffmans are funding, aiming for 100,000 trained citizens by 1982.
"You may say I'm generous, but I’ll tell you what many people don’t realize. They hear it, but they really don’t understand it. The more you give, the more you get. It’s just that simple. The more you give to any association in life, the more you will get in return.
"It’s not altruistic, either. I don’t consider myself an altruist. It’s just a simple formula that is very practical. It works in all aspects of life.
“Get in there, get in there…” Kauffman shouted, leaping to his feet as George Brett singled to center. "That's a hit, that s a hit. Go, boy, go!
"I’ll tell you a classic story about the way this thing works," Kauffman said. "Eli Lilly is one of the biggest (pharmaceutical) manufacturers, and some years back we were buying $6 million worth of a certain product from them. Our purchasing agent came to me and told me we could get six months' worth for half price from another firm.
"He said, ‘The only thing about it is that if we do it will cause layoffs at Lilly.' I told him, ‘You don’t need to go any farther. You've already answered your question.’ If we had done that, it would have meant the layoff of about 100 persons.
"Some time later, you couldn’t get the product — Papaverine, a medication for cerebral stroke. There was a glut on the European market. Everybody stopped selling it.
"But we got it. Eli Lilly put people on a double shift to turn it out for us and they never charged us a dime to do it. They took care of us. We were doing $30 million worth of business in that product at the time.
“I think it’s something that works in all kinds of ways. It is heartfelt. You mean the other fellow well. And it also helps you in the long run. You may get burned once or twice or three or four times, but the benefits you get from it so outweigh those instances they don’t even compare."
"Sit down, sit down," Kauffman called out merrily to a Phillie fan across the aisle. Fans joined him in a laugh when he asked, “That’s telling him, ain't it?"
"We love him, we love him," said Steve Stacknick, an insurance agent from Wilmington, Del., who was sitting in front of Kauffman.
"J.R. we call him," Stacknick laughed. "Sit back now, J.R., you want to have a good seat to see the Phillies win."
"It has been a joy and a pleasure to sit next to Mr Kauffman,” said Danny Panaro, a policeman from Wilmington, who like Stacknick is a longtime Phillie season-ticket holder. Both had been to all the 1980 playoff and Series games at the Vet.
"We know exactly how Mr. Kauffman feels," said Panaro. "We sat here in 1976, ’77 and ’78 and watched the Phillies’ frustration. It's fun to sit with someone who can understand your feelings."
Kauffman said, “I’ve sat down here and razzed them a little and they’ve razzed me back. We’ve had a good time. I like Philadelphia. I like Philadelphia fans. I like the team. But I don't think they have quite as good a team as we do."
"Look, here comes Willie Aikens up," said Kauffman. “Last night (Tuesday), I called out to him, ‘Hit one for my wife, Willie.' He looked right at me. The very next pitch he hit his second home run over the right-field fence.
"My wife is sitting down at the end of this row tonight," Kauffman said. "The seat right next to me is 13 and she won’t sit in it."
Instead, it was occupied by Kathy Robinson, wife of Herk Robinson, a vice president of the Royals.
“This seat is Lucky 13," Mrs. Robinson said.
Not quite enough to avert a 6-4 Phillie victory.
But good luck and good feeling still swelled through the band of Royalovers with Kauffman.
"Truthfully," he said. “After being whipped by the Yanks three years in a row, I was like everybody else. My dream changed to being a Yankee winner. When we beat them three straight in the playoffs, that was the ultimate. But we want to win badly against the Phillies, too."
He had the look of a man who already had won. Whatever the outcome of the Series.
Ticket search becomes joke at this point
By W.S. Wilson, Staff Writer
When Winston Churchill ordered repair work on the House of Commons after the Nazi buzz bombs had taken their toll, so the story goes, he had the place rebuilt just a bit smaller than it might have been.
Best keep that drama going, the old boy figured. By making it small, it would more often seem crowded. If crowded, everything would seem a bit more intense, and therefore more important.
All of which offers perspective when it comes to tickets for World Series games in Kansas City site, of the third smallest stadium m the big leagues.
Only the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox play in tinier stadiums. The 23 other teams m major league baseball all seat more fans.
Well aware of the limits of the Royals' comfortable facility, I called the Royals ticket office. Perhaps some tired elderly widow had to leave town and returned her tickets to the team.
Fat chance, said the patient tone in the friendly switchboard operator’s voice. As if to offer solace, she let me know there were many others with the same problem.
So, I tried the Phillies. They aren’t so polite up there, perhaps because it's the East Coast. They did suggest a local ticket agency. I called the agency.
“Sir,” she said as though my dog had just stained her living room carpet, “If I knew where you could get tickets in this town I would be there before you would.”
No way was I going to shell out the heavy cash those cold-hearted scalpers will be getting at the gate come game day.
The next step was to advertise. As the want ads were crammed with desperate pleadings, and offerings of big bucks for tickets, I chose the handbill route.
“PUL-EEZE,” read my handbill, “Just one game. Any World Series game.” Though committed to paying a reasonable price, I did sprinkle a few dollar signs around just to drop the hint.
In the Thursday morning rain, I slogged from building to building, plastering washrooms, elevators, lounges and bulletin boards with my plea.
I waited. Not so much as a word did I hear. A few phone calls served only to give me a sense of community with the daunted in this world.
As the man said, I was having as much luck as a pickpocket in a nudist colony.
Along came word of a ticket broker in Los Angeles. The call was made.
“Sure we have tickets,” he said as my spirits took off like a Willie Aikens line snot a hair outside of the top of the right field foul pole.
"You'd be wiring our bank the money. Box seats? No problem. That would be $150 apiece.”
What? One hundred and fifty smackers! Before I could gather my wits, he unloaded the kicker.
"If the game is not played, the only thing refundable is the face value of the tickets.”
Great. This guy wants to sell me tickets for $300 and if the ame isn’t played, he’ll give me $40 back.
Is that legal?
Yes, yes, he assured me. “We are a legal ticket agency. We’ve been in business for 37 years. We’ve been doing the Super Bowl for 20 years— since the beginning.”
The first Super Bowl was played in 1967, 13 years ago.
The next person I talked to was a guy here in the office. He had found some nice lady with tickets she didn’t want. He had told her his problem of having promised his grandparents tickets.
It helped. She was to give him two box seats for $25 each.
Sports scribe for a day? Dreams come true
By Rick Lyman, Staff Writer
Jimmy Carter didn’t apply. Neither did Ronald Reagan. That other guy, what’s his name… he didn’t apply, either.
We still haven't heard from John Travolta. Anwar Sadat's application must have gotten lost in the mail. And there has been a disturbing silence from the Kremlin.
But we received a letter from everybody else.
More than 350 sports fans from all over the Kansas City area took up the challenge when The Star asked for applications for the post of “Sports Writer for a Day.”
The idea was this: Put one or two average Kansas City sports fans, long-suffering Royals and A’s supporters, in a sports writer’s role to cover one of the World Series games — then print whatever they have to say about it.
Applications came in from athletic directors, high school counselors, English teachers, bank employees and executives, government workers, insurance agents, police officers, auto workers, housewives and clerics. And, as might be expected, a whole bunch of lawyers.
“I do not know enough about baseball to be an umpire," one applicant wrote. “However, I feel that I do know enough to write intelligently about it. What sports fan doesn’t know as much as a sports writer?”
“George Plimpton, move over,” another wrote. "Here comes the Paper Writer.”
Some of the applicants had quite compelling reasons why they should be chosen. “I watch Lou Grant,’” one guy wrote, finishing off his letter with a postscript: "I make typing errors just like real reporters.”
"In the past two years alone, I have seen 153 games, including 12 games on the road,” another man wrote, guiltily adding, “I try to keep score at all the games that I go to, but I admit that sometimes I am too lazy to do this and skip it.”
One applicant said he should be chosen because ne had “actually shaken hands with George Brett at the Westport Country Playhouse.” The same applicant said he has "answered 17 consecutive Sportsbeam questions from the KC Star — although not necessarily correctly."
"The guest reporter spot is right in my wheelhouse, believe me,” a longtime Kansas City resident wrote. "Have good vocabulary and can guarantee an interesting, readable story. Would just about give up my seat up yonder for one in the press box, even for one day."
One applicant claimed high marks for objectivity because has favorite brand of cream cheese has the same name as the Phillies home town.
"When I was a lad, I would rather participate in sports than eat," a man wrote, adding that “lot of people said they would rather watch me eat.”
"As for my credentials," one applicant said bluntly, “I have none.”
One applicant, a former minor league ballplayer, said he had been signed by the New York Mets even before he got out of the Marines, but “the Marines being what they are, sent me directly to Vietnam (worst minor league park I’ve ever played in).”
The younger generation made a good showing as well.
"My spelling and grammar are very good and if you want to check this my teacher’s name is…”
Another young man offered us the chance to hitch a ride on his comet: "If I am not a major league ballplayer, I will be a telecaster or a sports writer. Watch for me in the 1990s."
Another wrote: “I grew in Emporia, Kan., a now-vanishing breed of kid who threw rocks, thought girls were stupid, behaved most of the time to my parents’ wishes, and thought there was nothing else in the world but baseball."
Thought girls were “stupid?” No wonder that kind is vanishing.
People were also free with advice. "It should be covered by someone who is understanding of the street people," one man wrote. “Not some college degree that is worried that it won’t sound right. People with degrees can be boring and unfeeling.”
Another man urged us to pick a "real sports fan" and not just a “watcher."
One woman wrote that she was "Aiken to be the one” and described herself as a "Royals Sup-Porter" who would "Hurdle the highest obstacle" and said we could “Brett on it." She did not, however, tell us to go “Frey an egg.”
Some of the letters got rather personal. "My wife once remarked that I loved baseball more than I did her," one man wrote. "I allowed that she might be right, but that I loved her more than field hockey.”
Some of them were rather, well, brutal: "I never pursued journalism as a career because quite frankly I felt I should go into a more secure profession."
Another applicant wrote: "My friends tell me that my 25 years of experience reading The Star and Times sports pages has not adversely affected my writing skill."
"I’m more biased than ABC and love the Royals right behind God, Country and family,” one man wrote. "Sometimes the order of these loves get mixed up.”
Perhaps the most succinct self-analysis came from the applicant who said, “I sincerely believe I can give an unprofessional analysis of the World Series.”
Another applicant claimed familiarity with well over a hundred baseball terms, and then named every one of them — including “leg it out," "jam him,” "slap tag,” “nibbler,” “pine tar rag,” and “pop the corks.”
One man explained that he should be chosen because "I know the Royals play better when I am there in the stadium with them."
Some of the applicants enclosed testimonials.
“My son-in-law is the candidate that I would like to nominate to cover a Series game,” one woman wrote. “If a mother-in-law attests to this it must be so.”
"Please send my husband to a game." another woman wrote/ "I would reap rewards the rest of my life.”
One applicant included a petition from co-workers which read: "Please, please pick her. She is such a Sports Nut she is DRIVING US ALL CRAZY! So that we may have a little peace and quite around here we sincerely beg you to PICK HER, PICK HER, PICK HER!"
Several people offered to cover the Series for us if we accepted husband-and-wife or father-and-son combinations. One man simply added, as a postscript, that he would also need a ticket for his wife because “she is my assistant.”
In the end we did not pick any reporting teams, we did not pick any Johnny-come-lately Royals fans and we did not pick any lawyers.
We picked an administrative specialist who works at the Bendix Corp. and a housewife from Lake Lotawana.
The former is Steven A. Eubank, 32, who lives in Westport with his wife and daughter and is a "diehard baseball fan… who has taken some post-graduate courses in writing and not been ruined by them.”
Joining him at the Series game Saturday will be Mrs. Carolyn Young Smalley, 33, who wrote to us that she "is amazed when the writers don’t notice that the reason George (Brett) isn’t having a good offensive night is because nis chaw is larger than usual, throwing him slightly off balance."
Their efforts will appear in The Star on Sunday.
By William D. Tammeus, Staff Writer
THE WORLD Series means excitement, close calls, heroic struggles. And that’s just getting in and out of the parking lot.
UNLIKE the turf, the Royals so far seem to be biodegradable.
EACH Royal needs to go all out tonight, and George Brett is the last guy you’ll see sitting down on the job.
STILL, IT’S important to remember that old old truth: We do not live by Brett alone.
THE ROYALS are in trouble if the best pitching tonight is done by scalpers outside the stadium.
Brett School pupils cheer the enemy
Courageous boys back Phillies
By W.S. Wilson, Staff Writer
While some, perhaps most, members of our society breezily waft from one trend to another, Kert Geldersma and Pride Turpin waver not.
They are rocks. Rocks standing staunchly, solidly, and foursquare for that which is in their own hearts rather than the societal whims surrounding them. They are testaments to unwavering principle, evidence that perhaps the children of the jet age aren’t such softies after all.
Kert and Pride are Philadelphia Phillies fans, the only two in George Brett Southeast Elementary School, where teachers unabashedly wear Royals jerseys to class and even the french fries in the cafeteria are named after Willie Wilson.
To say they stand alone is an understatement. A vote of their 580 schoolmates overwhelmingly anointed the elementary school on Northwood Road with the temporary George Brett moniker earlier this week. The halls of the building are plastered with class projects saying “Phillies Meet Death at 7:15,” "You are cute George Brett,” “Pete Rose go lay an egg,” and team photos of the Royals.
Why, even the principal’s office sign says “Darrell Porter, Principal,” even though the principal’s name is Les Short.
To say Kert and Pride are lonely is far from the truth. As the two 9-year-olds walked into the school cafeteria Thursday, they wrapped their arms around each other’s shoulders arid chatted like a pair of wholesome fourth graders in a Norman Rockwell painting.
"I like (Phillies third baseman) Mike Schmidt,” said Pride.
When asked if Schmidt were better than Brett, Pride didn't bat an eye.
“Yes. Definitely,” he said.
Well, Pride why do you like the Phillies anyway?
“It’s kind of like… well, it’s just that they haven’t been in there for a while,” he said. “They should have been in there a long time ago.”
Kert, a catcher on the Silver Hawks baseball team of the South Platte County Athletic Association, strives to make the point that he does not dislike the Royals. it is just that he likes Pete Rose more than just about anything.
"I just plain old want Philadelphia,” he says. “I’ve got a quarter bet with my friend.”
What’s more, Kert says he would be willing to bet the entire $7 he saved last winter — earned by carrying firewood — on the Phillies. Alas, he can’t find any takers.
The boys’ teacher, Ms. Phyllis Renshaw, says the rough retribution that might be expected to flow from the emotional stuff of which World Series are made has not surfaced.
“The kids told him (Kert) that he couldn’t be a Phillies fan, and I said, ‘Wait a minute. How would you like it if someone wouldn’t let you be Royals fans? This is a free country and all.’ And they agreed. It was OK," she said.
While George Brett Southeast Elementary School is going bananas over the Royals — with each class writing letters to the Royals and poetry about them and wearing Royal blue as often as possible — Kert and Pride plow resolutely ahead.
Rather than write a letter to his favorite Royal (Frank White) Kert penned a note to Pete Rose. It read:
Dear Pete Rose,
I hope you win the World Series. Smack a home run and show the Royals. How do you like being in the World Series?
P.S. Can I have your autograph?
Their stalwart individuality has earned the boys notoriety and then some. A pixie-like classmate of Kert, with bright eyes and long dark hair, was in something of a swoon Thursday in class.
She gazed at him for a minute and then whispered to her neighbor, “I wish I was Kert’s girlfriend.”
Kert's mother, Mrs. Alice Geldersma, is not so easily swayed.
“If he winds up liking the (National Football League Philadelphia franchise) Eagles when they come, he's going to have to find another house,” she said. “I’m a Chiefs fan.”
For White, Royals’ success really hits home
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
Frank White settled back into the stiff vinyl of the taxi and let his mind wander. He gazed out the window and saw neither trees, nor buildings, but faces.
“Not one special person,” White said. “I can sit down and I can see all the faces of people from all those years that we lost. I can see a lot of those faces when they were in defeat, when they were really down, when all they really wanted us to do was beat the Yankees.
“And you can still see a lot of people who kept saying, ‘Next year. Next year’s our year.' You take them to the end every year and then you feel somewhat like you’ve let them down because you didn’t get the job done.
“But now, I really feel that no matter which way the Series goes, that the fans of Kansas City are going to be a lot happier than they’ve ever been before.
"It’s something they’ve waited a long time for. We’ve had a lot of mediocre teams in Kansas City, and now that they’ve got a team worthy of winning the World Series, I think it just makes their whole year.”
White, perhaps, feels the pulse of Kansas City is more closely attuned to its pains and its joys, because this is his city.
He spent the summer days of his boyhood picking asphalt off the soles of his tennis shoes around 22nd and Brooklyn. Municipal Stadium, major-league baseball's first home in Kansas City, resided there in Frank White’s old neighborhood, in the heart of Kansas City's black community.
The old park is gone now, replaced by Royals Stadium, which sits on the city’s eastern boundary.
There once was a lot of pain for White in the modern ballpark that at 7:15 tonight will be filled when the Royals and Phillies play game three of the World Series with Philadelphia leading two games to none.
It is an old story filled with scars and memories of how coins and obscenities were hurled toward the young black kid who had pushed fan favorite Cookie Rojas off second base.
But White, recently notified he has won his fourth Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence (the official announcement has not been made), finds himself floating on a higher plane where all the memories are good ones.
There have been times White has hated Kansas City, when he has looked upon his favorite-son status as a curse.
But now it seems all is forgiven. White fervently hopes the Royals will compromise on renegotiating his contract, enabling him to return to Kansas City next season. There is peace and joy at being back in a city whose people now clamor to envelop this team with affection.
“It’s a really great feeling,” said White. "It's a feeling that I guess I’ve been looking for a long time.”
It extends beyond race. Beyond the financial and social barriers that exist in any society, any city. It extends, White said, “beyond winning and losing.
“I think it's more a pride that your team is one of the two best teams in baseball. To come back to Kansas City and to get the media coverage for the city. For our people, it's showing everybody what Kansas City is all about.
"It’s not the cowtown that was portrayed in the first years (1976-78) of the (Royals’ appearance in) American League Championship Series. Now I think people will get to see Kansas City as a growing city, that it’s not all stockyards and plowed fields."
White paused, fell silent, then resumed in quiet, relaxed tones, obviously spoken from the heart.
“People come up to you and say, 'I’m 70 some odd years old, or I’m 80 some odd years old, and I’ve never seen a World Series game.'
“Those are the people that make you feel good, make you feel what this is all about. You know that you’ve made them happy, just our city being in the World Series."
Somehow, White didn’t feel like the second baseman of the Kansas City Royals. He didn’t identify with being the Most Valuable Player in the Royals’ 3-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League playoffs.
He was, at this moment, Frank White, Kansas Citian. And that was the most wonderful feeling in the world.
Rose may be a hot dog, but he cuts mustard – and how
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
A rose by any other name…
A rose is a rose, is a…
Aw, to heck with it. Here is Pete Rose. He plays first base for the Philadelphia Phillies. He has set records galore.
He is 39. And he is 17.
He is legend in a sweaty uniform.
Reggie Jackson exudes more dramatic presence.
Hank Aaron rates as a more noble warrior.
Willie Mays is to exuberance what fizz is to soda pop.
But Pete Rose is Pete Rose. Always has been; always will be. Baseball without end. Amen.
At times it seems Rose, who will start for the Philadelphia Phillies in game three of the World Series against the Royals at 7:15 tonight at Royals Stadium, almost is a caricature of himself. He is macho man. He is Charlie Hustle.
“Some guys need rules and some guys don't," he said. "I don’t need discipline, 'cause I'm going to do my job. I’m going to do what I'm supposed to do. I’m going to be out on time, I’ve never missed batting practice in my career, never been late to the ballpark.”
Yet, he is humility itself.
I’m just a lucky person,” said Rose. “First of all, to have the ability to play baseball. To be fortunate enough to be at the right time at the right place a lot of times.
“I love baseball.”
The public sees only the brashness the cockiness, the spike of the baseball as he records the third out of an inning and sprints into the dugout.
The public sees all the mustard, but seldom the meat of the hot dog.
"When I was with Cincinnati we sent three or four guys to college,” Rose said.
And Rose gave $23,000 that he was awarded for his 23-game hitting streak in 1979 to Reds' coaches. Why? "Cause they were disappointed that we didn’t go to the World Series,” Rose said.
Rose also gave Jeeps to Cincinnati coaches when he left the Reds after the 1978 season and signed — for $32 million over four years — as a free agent with Philadelphia.
“People said I did that for the publicity,” Rose said. “But what did I need publicity for in ’78? I did it because I could call Joe Nuxhall (or any other coach) on Christmas Eve and say I want some batting practice and he’d say, ‘Well, where do you want me to be?’ And he’d give it to me.”
Rose praises Phillies’ Manager Dallas Green. “I sure hope he stays. I think he did a great job. A team picked to come in fourth, and he wins it. I think he ought to be named Manager of the Year.”
Yet Rose has the perspective of fairness for a past manager Danny Ozark, the man Green replaced.
“I don’t think a lot of people give Danny the credit that he deserves,” said Rose. “‘Don’t forget he’s the only National League manager ever to win three straight divisions.”
On the field, off the field, in a crowd, one on one, he is Pete Rose. He is the game as it should be played.
Tonight to establish Series tone
By Joe McGuff, Sports Editor
Unlike the Super Bowl, which is compacted into 60 minutes of playing time, the World Series moves at a more leisurely pace, spreading itself across October and each year developing a distinctive personality.
The Phillies, by winning the first two games from the Royals, have moved into a commanding lead, but attempting to project the outcome of a World Series on the basis of two games sometimes can be a tricky business, as the Los Angeles Dodgers of 1978 will attest.
The Dodgers won the first two games from the New York Yankees by scores of 11-5 and 4-3 in Dodger Stadium and left for New York awash in confidence. Soon the Dodgers were drowning in losses, the Yankees winning the next four games.
The turning point in the Series was a great defensive performance in the third game by Graig Nettles, the Yankee third baseman.
The character of the 1980 World Series will be established tonight because the Royals have come to a point where they must win. No team ever has lost the first three games and survived.
If the Royals are looking for encouragement, perhaps they can draw on the fact that even now the World Series of 1980 has a look of unpredictability.
After all who could have guessed that three days into the World Series the nation's columnists and baseball writers would be interviewing not Pete Rose or Mike Schmidt, but a proctologist. In a World Series that has brought hemorrhoids out of the closet, almost anything is possible.
The World Series has produced Suite a few oddities, but the scene that took place in the interview area at Royals Stadium Thursday rates high on the list.
Dr. John Heryer, a proctologist, was there to explain the surgery that had been performed on George Brett. Not only did Dr. Heryer go into some detail on the nature of the ailment and the surgery, but he also established that he is a man with a sense of humor.
As he finished the news conference, he was asked about the pronunciation of his name.
“It’s like the hurrier I go the be-hinder I get,” he said.
This may have been the most remarkable scene to take place at a World Series since 1962, when the Yankees and San Francisco Giants wound up working out at a minor-league park in Modesto, Calif., after being rained out for three days in San Francisco.
Although the Royals recognize the precarious nature of their position, they seemed relaxed Thursday. A scheduled workout was called off, but many players came to the stadium to pick up luggage that had been unloaded there following their flight home.
“I feel a lot more comfortable being home," Clint Hurdle said. "I think all of us were anxious to come back after we won in New York. Since we’ve gotten back, everywhere I go it’s Royals this and Royals that. It's a good feeling. If we can win two out of three here, then anything can happen."
John Wathan said he also would have preferred to return home from New York rather than wait there until the National League playoff was settled.
“It seems like we’ve been gone a long time,” he said. “I would like to have come home because it would have been great to see all of the fans. I think environment plays a part in winning. When you’re comfortable, you do a better job.”
There is some validity to the importance of the home field. Since the World Series was established on a best-of-seven basis, six teams have rallied and won after losing the first two games of the Series. In every case, the Series winner lost the first two games on the road.
Five of the teams that went on to win swept the three games at home. In addition to the 1978 Yankees, they were the 1955 Dodgers, 1956 Yankees, 1965 Dodgers and 1971 Pirates. The 1958 Yankees did it the hard way. After losing two games in Milwaukee, they won at home and then lost. They won the last three games by scores of 7-0, 4-3 and 6-2.
For the Royals, the World Series has come down to one game they must win.
Flight home irks Royals
By the Associated Press
Topeka – The Royals' were not only unhappy returning home without a victory to show for their first two games in the World Series, they also didn’t like the travel arrangements.
In a copyright story in the Topeka Capital-Journal today, Royals Sayers said the charter flight home from Philadelphia, which arrived in Kansas City about 3 a.m. Thursday, was overbooked because of front-office people, Royal Lancers (volunteer season-ticket salesmen), and media representatives.
The players said each of the 140 seats available on the TWA charter 707 jet flight was filled.
Player representative Pete LaCock said Major League Player Association rules provide that players not seated in first class will be assigned three seats for two players, allowing a vacant seat between players.
LaCock said the team probably would meet today to file an official grievance.
Second baseman Frank White, most valuable player in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, said, “This is ridiculous. If you’re a first-class organization, you either charter two planes like the Phillies or a 747 so tnere would be room. But they treat us like second-class citizens.
“You can’t be comfortable,” White told the Capital-Journal. “It should be your wife, an empty seat, and you. We’re sitting by people we don't even know."
Among Phillies’ big names, ‘little names’ Unser and Gross have impact
By the Associated Press
Del Unser, a 35-year-old castoff from the Montreal Expos, and Greg Gross, obtained in trade with the Chicago Cubs, are becoming the Philadelphia Phillies’ "Super Subs."
Unser hit .400 in the playoffs, primarily as a pinch hitter. He drove in the tying run with a single and scored the winning run after doubling in the 10th inning of the fifth game of the playoffs against Houston. Against Kansas City in the second game of the World Series, Unser’s pinch-hit double sparked a whining rally in the eighth inning.
Gross went 4-for-5 as a pinch hitter in the playoffs, although he has gone 0-for-2 in the Series.
The strength Unser and Gross have given Philadelphia’s bench is a major factor in the Phillies’ 2-0 lead over Kansas City going into the third game of the World Series tonight at 7:15 at Royals Stadium.
"We’ve been coming from behind, and we’ve been doing something," Unser said. “We believe in ourselves. We have confidence. We can feel, ‘Well, if the big guys don't do it, maybe one of the little guys will do it.’”
Unser came to the Phillies in the free-agent re-entry draft in February, 1979. He played for the Phillies in 1973 and ’74 before going to the New York Mets in exchange for present Phillie Tug McGraw. He spent two years with Montreal before becoming a free agent after the 1978 season.
He was drafted by seven teams but signed with none, thus entering the re-entry phase of the draft, where Philadelphia picked him up.
“I never got an offer," he said of the seven teams that drafted him originally. “I hit .196 in Montreal the year before. I was 33 years old, and they thought I was kind of an old guy.
“Now, I’m 35 and a lot younger because I’ve done something right a couple of times," Unser said.
Mike Schmidt, the Phils’ major league home run king with 48, calls Unser "unreal."
"I’ve gotten a couple of big hits that have helped the team and helped me," Unser said. "When you don’t play every day, you like to do something meaningful for the team when you get a chance. When you don’t play and do something it’s magnified. When you don’t do something, it's magnified, too.”
Gross, 28, also was obtained in February 1979 in a trade that sent Barry Foote, Ted Sizemore and Jerry Martin to the Cubs for him and Manny Trillo.
Gross and Unser, left-handed hitters, are impressed by Royals Stadium.
"I've never been to this ballpark before," Gross said, “and it looks a little different — so open. But we’ll get some hits here."
Speed can’t help Royals without runners on base
By Larry Eichel, Knight-Ridder Newspapers
The Royals expected to run away with tne World Series — literally.
With their cast of greyhounds, they figured they would get men on, steal bases, hit-and-run and run-and-hit. And then steal some more.
They would force the Phillies into physical and mental mistakes in the field. That was, after all, how they had managed to compile the best record in baseball until the final weeks of the season.
But it hasn't worked that way. In two games, the record for Kansas City reads three steals and two losses.
“It’s the most uncharacteristic thing about our club’s play so far in the Series," manager Jim Frey said. "We haven’t been able to run as much as we liked. I had the steal signs on several times in both games, and our guys were unable to get the jump on their pitchers — especially (Steve) Carlton."
Another reason for the lack of steals is that the burners have been unable to get on base. Shortstop U.L. Washington, who stole 20 times during 1980, is batting 1 for 8. Second baseman Frank White, 19 steals, is 2 for 8. And the grandest thief of all, Willie Wilson, 79 steals, is 1 for 9 with five strikeouts.
"He is the ignition system of our ball club,” catcher John Wathan said.
Wilson, generally considered the fastest man in baseball, got his 79 steals in just 89 attempts. He set an American League record by stealing 32 straight bases.
In game two Wednesday night, Wilson provided a glimmer of what he can do when he gets on base. After being retired eight straight times — five times on swinging strikeouts — he walked to lead off the seventh and advanced to second on a bunt. He promptly stole third.
Moments later, he struck again, this time without moving a muscle. Carlton picked Dave Chalk off first base. Chalk broke for second. But first baseman Pete Rose, fearful Wilson would break for the plate, held the ball and let Chalk have the base unchallenged. Before the inning was over, Kansas City had three runs, its biggest uprising of the Series.
Wilson, whose base-stealing heroics obscured the fact that he got 230 hits and hit .326 in the regular season, is painfully aware his contribution to the Royals' attack, so conspicuous by its presence all season, is noticeably absent now.
“My last two at-bats Wednesday night," Wilson said, "I tried to relax up there. And I got a walk and a base hit.
“I just want to go out and play good baseball, which is the thing that’s bothering me most. You play good all year and all of a sudden you get to the place where you want to be and you can’t do it. The first three times against Carlton the other night, he could have rolled it up there. I didn’t have a chance in the world of making contact."
Wilson, who figures to be one of the game's premier offensive players for the next decade, is also worried for his team.
“We haven’t had a chance to show these guys what we can do," he said. This team has been coming back all year, they came back in the playoffs, and they’ve come back on us two games in a row right now. So you have to wonder, how many runs we have to score to beat them."
Philadelphia mayor here for ‘mission of mercy’
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
Philadelphia – Philadelphia’s Mayor William Green set out for game three of the World Series with a first-aid kit for the Kansas City Royals who are still smarting after two straight losses to the National League champion Phillies.
Before departure Thursday, Green said he was toting “a series Philadelphia products that I ink the people of Kansas City and the team are going to need.”
The kit includes a remedy for ulcers, “which I think they’ll develop in the course of the next two games," and a cold medication “for the tears they will begin to shed as inning after inning the Phillies pound home runs over Kansas City walls,” Green said jokingly.
On a more serious note, the mayor urged Phillies fans to keep cool when (and if) their team takes the World Series.
"I would call on people to act in a really class way,” Green said, “let's say the way the Phillies have themselves.
“We will have a grand party and a celebration and a parade, with plenty of police protection. We ask people to really restrain themselves. Everyone should be conscious of the fact that someone could get hurt.’’
Brett to go from hospital straight to Royals Stadium
Royals’ third baseman George Brett was to remain at St Luke's Hospital through the afternoon today, then go directly to Royals Stadium for game three of the World Series tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Brett underwent surgery for hemorrhoids Thursday after returning from Philadelphia. He is expected to be in the starting lineup for the 7:15 game.
Weaver’s praise of Frey is unfaltering
By Sid Bordman, Sports Writer
When the Royals selected Jim Frey as manager, Earl Weaver showered his former first-base coach with praise.
And Weaver, who has managed Baltimore in four World Series, hasn’t changed his mind.
“Never any doubt in my mind Jimmy could manage up here,” said Weaver. "When I hired Jimmy as a coach in 1970, he wanted to be a manager. Those 10 years, he proved to me he knew the game.
“And he did it again this season with Kansas City.”
Weaver said he was "very much” involved in the 1980 World Series.
“I’m dying for Jimmy Frey, myself and the American League," he said. "They’ll (the Royals) be back. You don't win that many games (97) and have things go wrong. I want those guys, (John) Wathan, (George) Brett, (Darrell) Porter and (Willie) Aikens (to win)… they are representing more than Kansas City. They're representing me, the Yankees the whole American League.’’
Frey’s managerial qualities were evident to Weaver.
"Certainly, I saw them," said Weaver. “Jimmy managed in our organization. I saw what he was doing.
“I’ll tell you one thing for certain. He's his own man; he manages the way he thinks he should. Sure I saw some of the stuff we use in Baltimore. Some of our stuff is good. But he uses a lot of his own stuff, and some of that is better than ours.”
Weaver did not study Frey during the Royals' games with the Orioles this season.
"You don't pay attention to the guy in the other dugout,” Weaver said. "You try to decide the players he has in the game and the ones he has available on the bench.
"I know he did a good job with his personnel, especially building the bench. He had offensive guys on the bench, and that’s the way to do it."
Weaver, known to be volatile, calls Frey even-tempered.
“He’ll lose his temper sometimes," said Weaver. "Who doesn’t?"
From time to time, some of the Royals have claimed Frey is “too aloof."
That philosophy suits Weaver.
"Just being yourself is important," said Weaver. "I know Jimmy accepts the fact that some players have incapabilities. You can’t pat a guy on the back or kiss him when he homers and the next day tell him how dumb he is when he makes a bad play. He knows what to do; he's one of the best in coping with those situations. If he’s aloof, I advise him to stay that way."
Frey played a double role with Baltimore.
“He was our hitting instructor and first-base coach, and he did a good job in both,” said Weaver. "He contributed a lot to our club. So did (Billy) Hunter and (George) Bamberger before they left to manage. I got my information from these guys, just like I get from my coaches now. Jimmy contributed so much. When you’re winning, you don’t need advice from your coaches. When we were losing, Jimmy gave me a lot of help. I asked for it. You want your coaches to want to be managers. They give you the answers."
Weaver calls Frey an excellent baseball man.
"One of the most knowledgeable baseball men I’ve known," said Weaver. “On road trips, we talked baseball for hours, countless hours. He never seems to get wound down about baseball.
“He's dedicated his life to baseball, and now he’s right ih the middle of the biggest thing in the game, the World Series.”
Series is full of ups, downs
By Edwin Pope, Knight-Ridder Newspapers
Ups downs and in-betweens of the 77th World Series:
Worst Jokes — Any of the dozens about George Brett’s hemorrhoid problem.
Compensation Dept. — A Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. survey purportedly proving a third baseman’s mortality rate is 12 percent lower than his teammates’ and 45 percent lower than all males.
Biggest Little Non-Baseball Item — The toothpick eternally in the mouth of Kansas City shortstop U.L. Washington. “I hope I don’t slide into second base and have that thing pop me in the eye," said Philadelphia’s Pete Rose.
Nostalgia Time — Danny Ozark, fired Aug. 31, 1979 as Philadelphia manager, said: "It’s kind of strange that Whitey Herzog and I got fired last year and both of our teams are right here.”
Most Candid Wife — Mrs. Dennis Leonard, dining out after her husband had lost the opening game pf the Series, and being asked if she were the wife of the Royal pitcher: After that game,” she said, "I’m not sure.”
The Kan-sas City Royals… they’re a Yankee farm club, aren’t they?
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Here are views from several prominent writers of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Royals:
Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times columnist in a letter to Bowie Kuhn:
"Where are the New York Yankees, Commissione? Who in heaven’s name are these guys in those funny-looking violet uniforms? I mean the Kan-sas City Royals, for cryin’ out loud?! They’re a Yankee farm club, aren’t they?... I’m not too thrilled about the Philadelphia Phillies, to tell you the truth. In my day, we didn’t take them all that seriously. The ‘Phutile Phils’ was what we called them.”
• • •
Henry Hecht, New York Post:
"They (Phillies) seem to have made a reservation with Destiny. You haven’t forgotten that this is the team that has never won a World Series, have you?
"Even if George Brett can play, the Royals still have to deal with a talented Philly team riding an emotional high.”
• • •
Hal Lebovitz, Cleveland Plain Dealer sports editor:
"Even my bride, who has had her fill of sports ever since she said ‘yes’ to the wrong man, has been captivated by the playoffs and the World Series. The telecasts have taken her attention away from engrossing reading…
What’s going to happen next?... I’ll be watching — along with my bride.”
• • •
Gary Smith, New York Daily News:
"The Phillies used to be losers. They used to need every break that came their way, because they knew deep down that Destiny had a letter bomb coming their way in the mail… Now the Phillies are winners. They don’t need luck, they will go out and carve a destiny on their own.”
• • •
Furman Bisher, Atlanta Journal:
"The ‘Cradle of Liberty' this place (Philadelphia) may be in history, but it has been the “Cradle of Defeat’ in the National League.”
• • •
Mike Kupper, Milwaukee Journal columnist:
"If God had meant for the World Series to be played at night, He would have put miners’ hats on baseball players….’’