Camden Courier-Post - October 18, 1980
Royals take one from Phils in 10th
Aikens hit wins K.C.’s first game
By Bob Kenney, Courier-Post Sports Editor
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Philadelphia Phillies came within inches of putting the Kansas City Royals away in the World Series last night.
But the Phillies failed and the Royals stayed alive with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings to keep their hopes alive.
"A couple of inches on the bunt, a couple of feet on the line drive, and we win the ball game," said Mike Schmidt, who left runners stranded in the eighth and 10th.
The Phillies tied a World Series record by leaving 15 runners on base, but the ones that hurt were the ones Schmidt almost brought home.
In the eighth, the Phillies tied the game at 3-3. Larry Bowa had singled, stolen second and, after a walk to Lonnie Smith, scored on a Rose hit. With two out and Smith on third, Schmidt greeted reliever Dan Quisenberry with a bunt that rolled foul at the last minute.
"If Schmidt's ball is fair, it's all over," said Phillies Manager Dallas Green. But Schmidt had to bat over and he ended the inning with a fly to center.
Bob Boone singled to open the 10th and pinch-hitter Greg Gross bunted him into scoring position. This time Kansas City Manager Jim Frey decided to walk Rose.
"I'd be second guessed for walking him, second guessed for pitching him."
But the move worked. Schmidt ripped a liner that was labeled extra bases, but Frank White moved over from second to grab the ball at his shoe tops and the American League All-Star turned it into a double play.
Kansas City then showed no respect for relief ace Tug McGra w and tagged the lefthander with the loss in the bottom of the 10th.
"We know where we are, know what we have to do," said Green. "We played a pretty decent baseball game tonight."
Schmidt connected for his first postseason home run in 19 games to tie the score at 2-2 in the fifth. George Brett, coming off surgery, homered in the first inning for Kansas City and Amos Otis homered in the seventh.
"The Phillies gave us some anxious moments," said Frey.
The Phillies did that by leaving runners on base in every inning, but the fourth and seventh.
They did it by playing strong defense behind Dick Ruthven, who hurled nine strong innings. Ruthven struck out seven, including Willie Mays Aikens after a George Brett double in the eighth.
But Aikens had the last laugh. His first major league triple eluded a desperate grab by Smith in left field in the fourth and a Hal McRae single scored him.
Then, in the 10th, Aikens came through with the game-winning hit after the Phillies had intentionally walked Brett.
"I didn't want to swing too hard in that situation," said Aikens, who lined a single into left-center to bring in speedster Willie Wilson with the deciding run.
“I didn't get the ball where I wanted it," said McGraw, who got into trouble walking Wilson on four pitches when the young outfielder was trying to sacrifice.
U.L. Washington singled to open the inning, then McGraw walked Wilson. Boone threw out Washington when White missed a bunt, then McGraw struck out White to quiet the 42.380 Kansas City fans in Royal Stadium.
But Wilson, called the fastest play in baseball by American League scouts, stole second despite a pitch-out.
Green then had McGraw put Brett on. The moved failed when Aikens delivered.
"The strategy was to get them out," said Green. "Give the kid credit lor the stolen base, that set up the run."
It also set up the first World Series victory ever for the Royals, who will send Dennis Leonard against Philadelphia's Larry Christenson in Game 4 this afternoon.
"I'm glad," said Schmidt, ' that it's a day game. We won't have to sit around and wait."
Now, the Royals have a chance
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
KANSAS CITY – The World Series took a sudden turn last night, veering sharply off the course assigned to it in Philadelphia.
Until Willie Aikens singled home Willie Wilson with two out in the bottom of the 10th to give the Royals a 4-3 win, the Phillies' owned this Series. They reached half the four wins required to win a world championship.
But the third game here in Royals Stadium was a pivotal point. No one – not even someone with the foresight of a Jeane Dixon – could have predicted the outcome of the Series on the basis of the first two games.
But you didn't need an astrologer's advice to know the Series would belong to the Phillies if they had won last night's game. A 3-0 lead has never been squandered in the classic's long history, a tradition even the Phillies would be a safe bet not to break.
The Phillies still control this best-of-seven Russian roulette, but the Royals averted certain disaster by winning a game they had to have. Now, it's a more manageable 2-1, with two games still to play here before the Series returns to Veterans Stadium.
Now, the Royals have given themselves the opportunity to make Game No. 3 a turning point. Now, the Royals have a chance.
"We had a meeting before the game and talked about it, about having to win it," said a joyous Aikens, who ripped a Tug McGraw fastball into center field for the game-winner. "It was a fastball outside. He was behind in the count so I was looking for a fastball.
"On the pitch before, I had overswung so I told myself to lay back, see the ball and just stroke it."
This was a game everyone said the PhilUes could afford to lose. Without the best-of-five pressure of the playoffs there would be plenty of time to win two games.
Of course, the Baltimore Orioles last year could afford a third-game toss. So could the Los Angeles in 1978. Both teams had 2-0 leads. Neither won the World Series.
The Phillies' once solid position, then, has been substantially altered. Indeed, the manner in which the Phillies lost this game may have as much psychological impact as the result itself.
It was, really, a game the Phillies refused to win. They left 15 runners stranded, which ties a World Series record, and squandered a clinical pitching performance by righthander Dick Ruthven.
Ruthven pitched nine gorgeous innings against one of the best hitting clubs in baseball. The righthander yielded home runs to George Brett and Amos Otis, and an RBI single by Hal McRae, but was – for the most part – dominating.
He struck out seven, walked none and obviously pitched well enough to win. But the Phillies, for all their base runners, could do no better than manufacture a 3-3 tie on a home run by Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose's RBI single – his first hit of the Series – and a fielding blunder by Royal starter Rich Gale.
The Royals gratefully accepted the gift, reacting to Aikens' game-ending hit with the kind of emotion previously reserved exclusively for playoff wins over the Yankees.
"We were more excited with this than when we beat the Yankees," said reliever Dan Quisenberry, who worked out of jams in the eighth, ninth and 10th to pick up the win. "We felt we had to win this. There was nothing else we could have done."
Added Brett, "I still think I would rather be in their shoes, up two games to one. But I'm not dissatisfied. Winning in the 10th inning like we did could put momentum on our side. We didn't play well in Philadelphia and we did tonight."
If there was anything that turned with last night's ballgame it was' momentum. For two days it belonged to the Phillies. Today, it belongs to anyone willing to take it.
"You guys (reporters) make a big deal out of momentum," Manager Dallas Green said. "And I'd rather be in the 2-1 clubhouse. We battled back and played a good ballgame."
They got the Phever for Phils
BELLMAWR – Baseball fanatics collect many bits of memorabilia – World Series tickets, pennants, yearbooks, programs, baseball cards, autographs, old, unwashed uniforms, and broken bats.
A Phillies collector is another story. His collection consists of empty aspirin bottles, leftover Turns wrappers, unused World Series tickets from 1964, a complete collection of the words of Steve Carlton, an autographed picture of Frank Lucchesi and six Ray Kelly columns.
No, the true Phillies fan has had little to collect – and less to cheer about – for the last 30 years. But this season has been a different story, and fans that have been hiding have suddenly come out of the woodwork.
Some, however, have never resorted to disguising their love for the local team and have gone on collecting assorted bits of Phillies paraphernalia through the lean years.
At times, an entire family can be hit with Phillies Phever.
And one such family is the Hagertys, who have turned 240 Roberts Ave. here into a showcase of their fanaticism.
"It all started when I was 14," Bill Hagerty, now 44, said last night as he turned momentarily and reluctantly away from the third World Series game, which he called the high-point in his 30-year career as a Phillies fan.
"After I got that Whiz Kids penant, I had to have everything to do with the Phillies."
And 30 years later, with help from his wife, Arlene, and their five children, Hagerty has done pretty well.
Besides the living room window, complete with blinking red and white lights, the Hagerty household is alive with Philly Phanatic dolls, baseballs, bats, programs, posters, books, ashtrays, and T-shirts.
"You name it, if it has the Phillies on it, we have it." Hagerty boasted.
He also has a few gems, like the fly ball Bob Boone hit into the dancing waters behind center field during the All-Star game in 1976. and. of course, his 1950 Whiz Kids pennant.
Phillie Phanatic banned
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Phillie Phanatic was banned last night from Game 3 of the World Series.
The Phanatic, a Sesame Street type character, is the official mascot of the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies.
He usually roams the field at various times during the game, knocking over groundskeepers, taunting umpires, wagging an elongated tongue at the opposing teams, and dancing to his own brand of rock music.
The Phanatic is a big favorite in Philadelphia and has appeared in ballparks at San Diego, Pittsbugh, Houston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco where he was warmly welcomed by the teams and the fans.
In reality, the Phanatic is David Raymond, a former University of Delaware punter, who works part-time in the Phillies front office. Raymond said Kansas City officials told him that Royals' fans wanted a mascot, too, and that they had not yet found the right one.
"They didn't want me throwing oil on the fire," said the disappointed Phillies mascot.
Raymond said that maybe the Phillies were at fault because they didn't talk to any Kansas City officials.
"But as you can imagine they had a zillion things to do (for the World Series) and didn't think of it."
When last seen, the Phantic was wearing a Phillies uniform and worrying about where he was going to sit in Royals Stadium.
Royals fight back in 10 innings
Brett, Aikens lead crucial win
By Bob Kenney, Courier-Post Sports Editor
KANSAS CITY – George Brett bounced back from minor surgery to hit an early home run last night and help the Kansas City Royals whip the Phillies, 4-3, in the third game of the 1980 World Series.
"The pain is all behind me," said Brett, who came straight to Royals Stadium after being released yesterday afternoon from St. Luke's Hospital.
"The series is all in front of us," he added, after Willie Mays Aikens singled home speedy Willie Wilson to break a 3-3 tie in the 10th and give the Royals their first victory in the series.
"IT WOULD have been behind us if we had lost," said Brett.
Kansas City, playing with its back to the wall, survived one crisis after another as the Phillies tied a World Series record by leaving 15 runners on base.
The Royals used a shoe top catch by second baseman Frank White to turn a vicious Mike Schmidt line drive into an inning-ending double play in the 10th.
Bob Boone opened the inning with a single and pinch-hitter Greg Gross sacrificed. Pete Rose, who tied the game with a single in the eighth, was intentionally walked, then White pulled in Schmidt's drive.
It seemed to fire up the Royals. U. L. Washington opened the inning with a single past shortstop Larry Bowa as reliever Tug McGraw came on to open the inning.
McGRAW THEN walked Wilson, who was trying to bunt, on four straight pitches.
With White trying to bunt, Washington was cut down trying to steal third, Boone to Schmidt.
"Washington was trying to get a little edge and he left too soon," said Jim Frey, the Kansas City manager. "It was a mistake, but some teams practice that play. It's not that bad a move."
McGraw then struck out White, but Wilson stole second despite a pitch-out. Brett was intentionally walked and that left it up to Aikens.
"ALL I thought about was trying to concentrate on, a base hit," said Aikens. "I know there was no way they would pitch to George. He is too good a hitter. I knew it was up to me."
"I was too anxious on the first swing," continued Aikens. "So I cut down a bit and it worked out."
The ball sliced away from a desperate run by Garry Maddox in center field and the Royals were back in the race for the world title.
"I didn't get the ball where I wanted it," said McGraw, who took the loss after starter Dick Ruthven gave the Phillies nine solid innings.
"IT FELT good to win it," said reliever Dan Quisenberry. "But we can't get too excited. We're still down two games to one."
Over in the Phillies clubhouse, Pete Rose was making the same point. "I'll let you guys decide which clubhouse you'd rather be in," said Rose. "We have two wins."
Brett hit his home run on a 1-1 pitch with two out in the first. The Phillies got even in the second when they loaded the bases on singles by Manny Trillo and Bowa and a walk to Boone. Trillo scored when Rich Gale knocked down Lonnie Smith's bouncer and ignored the play at home to get Smith at first.
"Our kids got a little flustered," said Frey. "I'm just glad we got the one out."
KANSAS CITY took the lead again in the fourth when Aikens sliced a ball just past a diving Smith in left for his first major league triple ever.
"I was pretty excited about that," said Aikens, who scored on a single by Hal McRae. "I'm not very fast."
Schmidt tied the game in the fifth with a home run to left, his first round tripper in 19 post-seasan games for the Phillies, since 1976.
But Amos Otis put Kansas City in front, 3-2, in the seventh with his second home run of the series.
PHILADELPHIA came back for a third time. Bowa, who had three singles, beat out a chopper to the mound and stole second. Smith walked on a 3-2 pitch and Rose ended a 0-for-10 slump with an rbi single to right.
"They gave us some uneasy moments,” said Frey of the Phillies. "They tell me they left 15 guys on base."
The Phillies left the bases loaded in the second when Gale got Schmidt to fly out deep to left. "I hit that ball better than the one that went out," said Schmidt.
They also left two runners stranded in the first, third, sixth, eighth and ninth. "We played pretty decent baseball," said Dallas Green, the Phillies' manager. "We just left too many on base."
Kansas City had some scoring chances, too, despite a power performance by Ruthven, who retired nine straight before Otis his his home run in the seventh.
"Winning in the 10th like we did could put momentum on our side," said Brett.
Christenson hopes to give Phils a lift
Righthander faces big test after season full of injuries
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
KANSAS CITY – Phillies' righthander Larry Christenson has a chance to dispel two years of frustration and disappointment in Royals Stadium today. At the same time, he can give his teammates a lift in the World Series.
Not bad for a 26-year-old who, only a few weeks ago, was trying to convince people his season wasn't over. And, like several other members of the pitching staff, he could make a comeback just in time.
The task of keeping fhe American League representatives from Kansas City from knotting the World Series at two victorie apiece has fallen to the youngster, who was considered the new hotshot of the Philly pitching staff when he chalked up a 19-6 record in 1977.
Since then, however, it's bee mostly downhill for L.C., who suffered from back problems and a lack of supporting runs in 1978 and then watched it all fall apart after that season ended.
"I don't even want to think about it," said the righthander, whose memory since then looks like this – a broken collarbone as a result of a bike accident... a groin pull that put him on the disabled list... an operation for removal of a bone spur on his collarbone that concluded the 1979 season... followed this year by more groin pulls and more unhappiness.
"I've put that all behind me. All that counts is now," said Christenson, with a rare smile.
It's ironic that heroics of the come-from-behind offense overshadowed some outstanding performances by the pitching staff as the Phils charged toward their date with Kansas City in the World Series.
Pitching was singled out as the main culprit for last season's dismal finish. And it was the almost eerie state of Dallas Green's stable of suspect hurlers that had just about everyone shaking his head and predicting the Phils would be eating the dust of Montreal and Pittsburgh all year.
"I'll admit that with the luck we'd been having with our pitchers always getting injured, it wasn't easy to be optimistic," said General Manager Paul Owens.
The Phils continued to have their share of bad luck. It started long before the club even got to spring training.
Righthander Nino Espinosa reported his arm was still suffering the consequences of 1979. And before the great rookie hope for 1980, Marty Bystrom, even got to throw a pitch in anger, he was limping with a groin pull that would keep him in the minor leagues most of the summer.
It was obvious that righthander Dick Ruthven was going to spend the early going trying to finesse the opposition until his arm, which had undergone surgery in the of f season, regained its former strength. And that's exactly what happened.
Then there's Larry Christenson, the only man with a gold card from Blue Cross and Blue Shield. He's big, strong and always getting hurt.
Larry knows if he ever gets through a season without pulling, straining, spraining or breaking something or other, he just might become a 20-game winner.
Unfortunately, Christenson always finds himself going through three or four spring trainings. He's always fighting to get back in shape from a layoff and this year was no different This time around, it was groin pulls instead of back spasms.
He was limping in May for a while. And when the same injury reoccurred as the curtain for the fourth act went up, Christenson saw the handwriting on the wall.
He was high-risk pitcher who might be better off relegated to the disabled list while the club went with the newly arrived and highly effective Bystrom.
No one seems willing to say how close L.C. came to being replaced on the post-season roster, but it was close.
Green had already gone on record as saying Larry's season was over when the big guy cornered pitching Coach Herm Starrette and virtually demanded an opportunity to pitch one more time before any decision was made about his eligibility for the playoffs and World Series.
“If I don't do the job or I break down (pull the groin muscle again), then replace me with Bystrom or whoever you want," he told Starrette. "But I deserve a shot."
When Christenson's case was presented to Green, the manager agreed, noting after Larry turned in a fine performance at Veterans Stadium, "If I can bury the guy, I can unbury him."
It was a decision the Phils would never regret. Christenson has had some dazzling moments on the mound in the stretch. And, although it's suspected that the lefthanded hitters of the Royals will give him trouble tonight, you can bet it won't be nervousness that gets L.C. in trouble.
"I don't think I could ever be as nervous as I was that night at the Vet when I didn't know if my leg would hold up and a few bad pitches might have ended the year for me," he said.
"Everyone knows I've had my share of bad luck... especially that thing (broken collarbone) with the bicycle," he added. "But I'm pitching in the World Series and I feel pretty fortunate about that."
He's not alone. If there is a key to a possible world championship for Philly this year, it's that the pitching staff got well at the right time. Reliever Tug McGraw was the most significant. When he came off the disabled list after a bout with arm problem, McGraw was literally invincible.
One by one, the walking wounded have come back to take their place on a team that started the season with a pocketful of pity and now finds itself on the verge of hitting the jackpot.
Otis betters fielding record
KANSAS CITY – Center fielder Amos Otis, whose seventh-inning homer helped lift the Kansas City Royals to a 10-inning, 4-3 victory over the Phillies in Last night's third game of the 1980 World Series, also rewrote the Series fielding record book.
Otis, a three-time American league Gold Glove winner, recorded nine putouts, a one-game record for Series outfielders. The old record of eight was held jointly by center fielder Edd Roush of the 1 919 Cincinnati Reds and left fielder George Foster of the 1976 Reds.
Despite wiping out three Kansas City leads, the Phillies' final frustration was symbolized as they stranded IS runners, a Series record, for a 10-inning game. The Cleveland Indians set the previous record of 13 in the first game in 1954, as they lost 5-2 to the New York Giants on Dusty Rhodes' tenth-inning homer off Bob Lemon.
Both the Phillies and the Royals played errorless baseball, marking the fourth time in Series history that a 10-inning game was spotless afield. The one-game Series record of 12 combined errorless innings was set by the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977.
It was the 40th extra-inning game in World Series history, and the first since 1978, when the Yanks topped the Dodgers, 4-3 in a 10-inning, fourth game. The Phillies already had been involved in one overtime Series game, dropping a 2-1, 10-inning decision to the Yankees in the second game of the 1950 classic.
The victorious Royals took heart in the fact that seven teams had come back from an 0-2 game deficit to win the Series, the most recent being the 1978 Yankees. The Yanks accomplished this feat three times, more than any other team.
Series ratings make mockery of old theory
The ratings for the first two games of the World Series on NBC have made a mockery of the theory that sports on television needs teams from the two big coast cities to be a smash success. There are no New York or Los Angeles teams involved, but the Series between Kansas City and Philadelphia is, so far, the most watched Fall Classic ever.
Tuesday night's Game One drew a 32.9 rating (percent of total sets) and a 51 share (percent of sets in use), the second highest rated opener in history. Only the Yankee-Dodger first game in 1978 did better.
With the exciting 7-6 Philadelphia victory in the opener as backdrop, Game Two Wednesday night became the highest rated second game in history, picking up a 34.4 rating and a 53 share and overtaking last year's second game between Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
The Phillies' 6-4 victory was the seventh highest rated Series broadcast of alltime.
The World Series is one of the events that transcends sports. Viewers who haven't watched a baseball game all season tune into the World Series. It is a spectacle, a slice of Americana. Rooftop ratings were expected, but record-setting numbers are a little shocking.
According to Nielsen figures, Philadelphia and Kansas City make up 3.9 percent of the nation's TV households, while New York and Los Angeles have 13.78 percent of America's TV homes, which is why the TV industry plays up the importance of the New York-LA axis.
There are several factors believed to be behind the upsurge in baseball interest. Three of the divisional races went down to the wire, creating excitement in the national pastime. Then came the National League playoffs, which set playoff ratings records on ABC, and built more viewer interest. The wildly exciting Houston-Philadelphia series went to the final inning Sunday night and, still fresh in the minds of America, served as an effective bridge to the Series telecasts.
Second, Philadelphia has some recognizable names in Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, while no baseball player got more recognition this summer than Kansas City's George Brett, whose quest for a .400 batting average was daily news.
A third factor – and possibly the 'most important – is the lack of first-run programming opposition on CBS and ABC this week. Prime time series production was delayed by the Hollywood actors strike, which has been settled. But both networks decided to hold off their new seasons until Oct. 27, when the Series is over.
George Brett's well-publicized hemorrhoid problems caused the American Home Co. to substitute a Preparation H commercial for its scheduled Denorex advertisement on last night's World Series pre-game broadcast.
NBC could have vetoed the switch but didn't because the 30-second spot, although somewhat sensitive, wasn't objectionable to the network's standards and practice department or its legal staff.
"We might pull a commercial if there was a recent death and we had an ad for a local funeral home," said Bert Zeldin, head of sports sales for NBC. "American Home wants to sell its products and the timing is magnificent for them to maximize it. Maybe this is a rationalization, but now is really a good time to educate the public about the product."
American Home bought 30 seconds in some of the pre-game shows months ago and aired a commercial for its Denorex Shampoo Wednesday night. Zelden said the company asked for the change Thursday and NBC had enough time to comply.
Some sponsors get plugged in the opening credits, but American Home was not scheduled to get billboard treatment. In a sensitive case like this, however, NBC wouldn't billboard the product "because it would be in questionable taste to compound the situation," Zelden said.
Frey knows from experience that Series teams can rebound
KANSAS CITY (AP) – Jim Frey, the professorial looking manager of the Kansas City Royals, is a student of baseball history.
He knows very well that no team has ever climbed back from a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game World Series.
He also knows that being ahead by two games in the Series isn't always decisive.
"I found that out last year," said Frey, who was a coach with the Baltimore Orioles in 1979. That Oriole club led Pittsburgh 3-1 before the Pirates soared back to take the next three games and win the Series.
Frey hoped the Royals could stage a similar comeback against Philadelphia beginning with last night's third game of this year's Series.
"I can't say we've been flat," said Frey after the Phillies won the first two games of the Series. "We've scored six runs, had three homers in the first game. Then we had a two-run lead in the eighth inning of the second game. We're not flat, but we haven't been able to control their offense."
A 2-0 deficit is by no means terminal, although the Royals' margin for error is rather thin. Before this year, 33 teams have won the first two' games of a Series and 26 of those teams have gone on to capture the world championship.
Eleven of those 2-0 starts have come in the last 25 years but over that period only five of the teams building that quick bulge went on to win the Series.
In the mid '50s, three World Series in four years were won by teams which lost the first two games.
In 1955, the New York Yankees won the first two but lost the Series to Brooklyn. A year later, the Dodgers returned the favor, winning the first two but then losing the Series to the Yanks. In 1958, the Milwaukee Braves won the first two games but still lost the Series to the Yankees.
The last time a team won the first two games but lost the Series was two years ago, in 1978. That year, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the first two at home but then lost four in a row to the Yankees, three in New York and the final game in LA.
Last year, when Frey was coaching the Orioles, Baltimore and Pittsburgh split the first two games. Then the Orioles won Games Three and Four in Pittsburgh for a 3-1 lead. But the Pirates came right back to win the next three and the Series.
One of the problems for the Royals has been Philadelphia's ability to control Willie Wilson, Kansas City's lightning fast leadoff man.
Wilson, who led the majors with 230 hits this season, was retired on his first eight at bats, five times on strikeouts. When he finally got on base for the first time by getting a walk, it touched off a three-run rally in Game Two.
"He obviously gets things going for our club," said Frey, "but you can't expect anybody just to go out there and get on base every time. It's unfair to point your finger and spotlight anyone. There are a lot of other guys that didn't get any hits out there too... on both teams."
Jugs Gun producer wants NBC retraction
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon-based firm that manufactures the Jugs Speed Gun has demanded that the National Broadcasting Company retract statements made about the gun Wednesday night by World Series announcers Tony Kubek and Tom Seaver.
JoPaul Industries Inc. of Tualatin, Ore., demanded that the retraction be made on the air during a World Series broadcast.
The Jugs Gun is used to measure the speed of a pitch.
In a letter written to NBC demanding the retraction, JoPaul attorney Jack L. Kennedy said Kubek and Seaver "commented extensively as to the pitching of Steve Carlton, and while discussing his performance stated that the Jugs Gun was measuring the speed of his pitches at 88 to 89 mph."
"Your announcers then stated that Mr. Carlton was pitching faster than 88 mph and the Jugs Gun was not an accurate measuring device," Kennedy wrote.
"The statement that the Jugs Gun is not accurate or reliable is false and defamatory, and has and will cause extensive damage to JoPaul Industries Inc.," the letter continued.
The attorney said there also was some question as to whether a Jugs brand gun was being used in the Wednesday night game.
“The correction and retraction should consist of a statement by you substantially to the effect that the defamatory statements previously made are not factually supported and are not accurate, and that you regret the original broadcast and publication thereof," Kennedy wrote.
Don Ohlmeyer, executive producer of NBC Sports, said in Kansas City of the remarks: "We felt an obligation to report the facts to our viewers."
"We are not in the business of making Jugs look good or bad. That's not our concern. We're concerned only with giving facts to our viewers."
Ohlmeyer said a speed gun was to be used during the telecast of last night's game.
He added that the accuracy of speed guns had been successfully challenged in traffic courts, adding, "They have shown that some speed guns have clocked trees going 45 miles an hour."