Kansas City Star - October 19, 1980
Aikens hits 2 as Royals tie Series
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
Not so long ago, Willie Aikens was a callow youth plodding the streets of Seneca, S.C., seeking nothing so much as a place to hide.
Somewhere between his brain and his tongue, Aikens’ thoughts turned into a stutter, and the impediment made Aikens withdraw into a protective solitude.
“It did make me feel really bad," Aikens said. “I really couldn’t accept that I was a stutterer. It made me shy.
“I didn’t have confidence to go into a store or restaurant and ask for anything. I used to get my friends to go ask for everything. I was afraid to talk to girls. I was ashamed."
Saturday afternoon in Kansas City that once self-conscious youth blossomed full flower into the center of attention at the 77th World Series.
With 42,963 people looking on at Royals Stadium and with millions more sitting before television and radio sets around the world, Aikens hit two home runs and boosted the Royals to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that evened the World Series at 2 games each.
Aikens dumped his first homer into the water spectacular behind the right-center field wall, a 2-run shot in the midst of Kansas City's 4-run first inning. On his next at bat in the second, Aikens drove his second homer of the day into the right-field bullpen for a 5-1 Royals’ lead.
That power display was more than enough for Dennis Leonard, the Royals' starting pitcher who worked seven innings plus one hitter in the eighth. He gave up nine hits and all three Phillie runs. Dan Quisenberry, relieving for the fourth straight time in the Series and for the sixth straight game dating back to the American League Championship Series, came in with Pete Rose aboard in the eighth, gave up a sacrifice fly to Mike Schmidt and a single to Del Unser, then recorded the final four outs for the save.
The Royals, who ran away with the American League West during the regular season and swept into the Series by beating the New York Yankees three straight in the American League playoffs, regained some of that stature Saturday.
Philadelphia starting pitcher Larry Christenson retired only one Kansas City batter in the first.
Willie Wilson led off with a single to left and Christenson threw wildly to first trying to pick off the Kansas City lead-off hitter.
Wilson wound up on third, where he stayed as Frank Wnite flied out to right. But George Brett ripped a triple down the right-field line, Aikens powered his first homer and Hal McRae and Amos Otis followed with doubles.
McRae's double actually was a ground ball up the middle, but to center fielder Garry Maddox's surprise McRae slowed down only briefly coming around first and beat Maddox’ weak throw to second. Otis then hit his double off the wall in right-center.
"I have no alibis," Christenson said. "I just went out and pitched the worst game of the year.”
Dickie Notes relieved Christenson and managed to get out of the first inning with no more runs scoring. Then in the second, Aikens hit a 2-ball, 1-strike pitch from Noles for his second home run.
Like Reggie Jackson, Aikens dropped the bat at the plate as the ball sailed on a high arc and then began re-entry into the bullpen area.
“I used to watch him (Jackson) a lot when I was a kid,” Aikens said. "I figured if he could do it, I could do it.”
Aikens who, hit two homers in Game 1 of the Series at Philadelphia, is now one of only seven players to have hit four or more home runs in a World Series. Duke Snider hit four for Brooklyn in 1952 and 1955; Babe Ruth hit four for the Yankees in 1926; Lou Gehrig of the Yankees hit four homers in 1928; Hank Bauer of the Yankees hit four in the '58 Series, and Gene Tenance of Oakland hit four homers in the ‘72 Series.
Jackson holds the Series record of five homers in one Series — including three in one game three years ago Saturday — for the Yankees in 1977.
Aikens said he felt right at home in such company.
"Right now I’m doing something they've done in the past," he said.
Manager Dallas Green of the Phils wasn't concerned with power hitters of the past. His main concern was and is finding a way to stop Aikens, who is batting .467 (7 for 15) in the Series with a triple 4 homers 21 total bases and 8 runs batted in.
"If you’ve got a book. I’ll use it" Green said “I do believe we’re not pitch-ing him right. The kid’s on a roll.”
Philadelphia, which rallied past Kansas City to win the first two games of the series before falling in 10 innings 4-3 here Friday night, collected 10 hits off Leonard and Quisenberry, but could score only single runs in the second seventh and eighth innings.
Maddox singled with one down in the second and was forced at second by Manny Trillo. Trillo reached second when U.L. Washington, trying for a double play, skipped his throw into the Kansas City dugout. Larry Bowa singled to left for the Phillies' first run.
A double by Trillo and Bowa's single and stolen base gave the Phils runners at second and third with one out in the seventh, but only Trillo scored as Bob Boone lifted a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left, with Wilson making a running over-the-shoulder catch.
Rose’s double to left-center chased Leonard leading off the eighth, but after Schmidt came through with his sacrifice fly, the Phils had, for this day, run out of comebacks.
In fact, the greatest threat mounted by the Phiis came in the fourth inning when Noles, with a 2-strike count, sailed fastball right under Brett’s chin
Manager Jim Frey of the Royals raged, first at the home plate umpire, then at Noles, and later at Rose. A warning was issued to both benches, but the warning was ignored by a fan who threw a paper cup at Rose as he headed for the Philadelphia dugout.
But, when it was all over, there stood one man. Willie Aikens.
As Aikens walked off the field, he looked back to the early part of the regular season when he was struggling, and when all he heard were boos.
“They got on me pretty good," said Aikens, who came to the Royals in the December trade that sent Al Cowens and Todd Cruz to the California Angels.
But following each of his home runs Saturday, Aikens was summoned from the dugout by a stadium-full of cheering fans.
“The two standing O’s (ovations) really went deep down in my heart,” Aikens said. “I plan on staying here and showing the fans a lot of excitement."
Aikens delivered that promise haltingly, with a stutter. But even he didn’t seem to notice as he added another brush stroke to a World Series that is beginning to look like Aikens' personal triumph.
Victory signals return of the Royals of summer
By Joe McGuff, Sports Editor
Willie Aikens, an oak of a man, stood at home plate and watched the flight of the baseball as it soared majestically toward the bullpen area in right field. Satisfied with the of his masterpiece, he jogged slowly around the bases while the crowd at Royals Stadium cheered his genius.
Aikens’ home run, his second in as many at bats, gave the Royals a 5-1 lead over the Phillies in the second inning and was obviously viewed by the crowd as the clinching bit of evidence that the Royals of summer had replaced the imposters who occupied their uniforms in Philadelphia. The World Series was no longer just an oddity to be gawked at in Kansas City. It was something to be won or lost and to lose your composure over.
The team that looked as if it might expire in four games was alive and well and even with the Phillies after finishing the day with a 5-3 victory.
After the Royals defeated the Phillies Friday night, Hal McRae said he thought the Royals would go on to win the World Series. Asked for his rationale, he said, “Because we have the best team."
The only problem at that point was that the Royals had succeeded in keeping their ability well camouflaged. Even in winning the third game, the Royals did not play as well as they are capable of playing. Through the first three games they were only a so-so team. Having conquered the Yankees, the Royals seemed a bit indifferent to the importance of conquering the world.
On Saturday, though, the Royals were the team that had dominated the American League West and swept the Yankees in the playoffs. Hal McRae ran two singles into doubles. Dan Quisenberry relieved Dennis Leonard in the eighth and stopped the Phillies. Willie Wilson was on base twice and made a Willie Mays catch on a 400-foot drive to left-center in the seventh.
Among the spectators at the game was Mrs. Lucille Webb, Aikens' mother, who saw her son play for the first time in a major league game. The Royals’ only regret is that she has stayed away so long.
Aikens hit a home run into the water spectacular in the first inning with Brett aboard, and his second home run landed deep in an open area adjacent to the Royals' bullpen.
The Phillies are discovering that stopping Willie Aikens is about as difficult as stopping the common cold and nuclear proliferation. Aikens hit two home runs in the first game of the Series and singled home the winning run in the 10th inning Friday night.
"He’s had good pitches to hit," commented Bob Boone, the Phillies’ catcher. "But that’s to his credit. We all get good pitches, but he’s hit them.”
Aikens has a relatively simple explanation for his success.
“I think I’m a pretty good hitter," he said. “I'm a streak hitter.”
At present, Willie is on the streak of his life. Saturday was Mother’s Day, the World Series and a touch of New Year's eve all tied together.
Not only did the fourth game bring out the best in the Royals, but it brought out a little belligerency on the part of Dickie Noles, the Phillies' second pitcher. He knocked down Brett on an 0-2 pitch in the fourth and Jim Frey, the Royals’ manager, came running to the plate to protest to umpire Don Denkinger. Frey shouted at Noles, had to be restrained from going to the mound and exchanged words with Pete Rose.
After the game, the debate continued as to whether Noles had thrown intentionally at Brett. Frey said he had. Noles said he hadn't.
“He's the only guy who knows,” Brett said. “I’m not going to accuse him of anything.”
Mike Schmidt, the Phillies' third baseman, spoke on behalf of the accused.
“A pitcher doesn’t like a hitter standing up there relaxed and hitting a line drive every time he goes up," Schmidt said. “I've been knocked down, but I’ve never had a manager go out there pleading for me. Jim Frey loves George Brett. I understand why.”
Schmidt, illustrating Brett's batting stance, added, “When a guy stands at the plate like this, a pitcher has got to say, ‘Whoa.' He’s not putting a quarter in the pitching machine out there. He's got a chance to be one of the greatest hitters of all time, and he’s going to be brushed back a few times."
The Phillies. who rallied to win the first two games of the Series. attempted yet another comeback Saturday but were thwarted in the seventh inning by Wilson and thereafter by Quisenberry.
In the seventh, with one run home and and Larry Bowa on second, Boone hit a drive to deep left-center that Wilson hauled in with an over-the-shoulder catch.
"When he first hit the ball, it looked like it was off the wall or out," Wilson said. “It got caught in the crosswind and Amos Otis kept talking to me all the way. He kept telling me I had room and wouldn’t run into the wall.”
Quisenberry relieved Leonard in the eighth when the Phillies added their third run. In the ninth, the Phillies did an uncharacteristic thing. They went down in order.
Today the Royals will try for a sweep of the three games in Kansas City.
“If we get this one, I think things definitely will have turned around," Wilson said.
“It’s going to be two out of three now," Rose said. “I don’t know if this means Sunday's game is important for us because they've won twice or important for them because we're going back to Philadelphia. It's getting in high gear now. It's getting exciting.
“We’re in the kind of position we’ve been in all year. We make it exciting. Give them credit. They played good."
Whatever happens in the rest of the Bowie Kuhn fall festival, the Royals are playing like the Royals, and the World Series has become the World Series.
By William D. Tammeus, Staff Writer
WILLIE AIKENS: the bull in the Phillies’ china shop.
THE PHILLIES found a new position Saturday for starting pitcher Larry Christenson — Designated Hittee.
OUR MINISTER, Pastor Deluge, says admission is free this morning for folks who want to hear him talk on, "the Other-World Series.”
EVERYONE at the game was hustling. We even heard about one guy who tried to stretch a single into a buck and a half.
Kauffman sets season ticket ceiling – a major league first
By Bette Lind, Society Editor
Ewing Kauffman, owner of the Kansas City Royals, has ordered that next year ’s season ticket sales be cut off at 15,000, reportedly the first time such a directive has been issued by a major league baseball franchise.
Kauffman said he ordered the cutoff because the Royals want to continue to have playoff and World Series seats available for fans who do not buy season tickets.
"I called from Philadelphia when I heard how rapidly new season tickets were being purchased and told them (the staff) to notify all Royal Lancers (the volunteer organization that sells season tickets) that we are placing a limit on season ticket sales," Kauffman said.
"It’s the first time ever, I think. We’re the only baseball club in the United States to have that situation."
Kauffman said 1,000 new season tickets already have been sold for next year. "That’s over (in addition to) the 12,200 season tickets sold last year," he said. "Over 80 percent of last year’s season ticket holders have already renewed, and I'm sure that most all of them will.”
Until 1978 each season ticket holder was assured two tickets for each playoff and World Series game. With 10,000 season ticket holders, he noted that took out 20,000 seats. The stadium capacity is 42,000.
In 1978, the policy was changed so that each season ticket holder was assured only one ticket for each playoff and World Series game.
Kauffman is adamant about continuing to make it possible for as many fans as possible to attend Royals games.
“We have always kept almost 15 percent of our seats in this stadium at $1.50 — that's for the 12 years I’ve been in baseball," he said, referring to the general admission seats. “We’ve done that so those baseball fans who are not in good financial circumstances can still attend a game.
"As long as I can I will keep those 5,000 seats at $1.50. Some day, if we start losing money, then I’ll have to raise prices. Let’s hope that day doesn't come.”
Two views of the Series: From cage to lap of luxury
Below, in batting practice, quips fly like tobacco juice
By Bill Turque, Staff Writer
The elements of a zoo are all at hand: A cage a gawking crowd, an array of impressive physical specimens casually scratching, spitting and displaying their skills.
But the pre-game ritual of batting practice is more than a loosening of the muscles and sharpening of the eye. It is at once a press conference, a non-alcoholic cocktail party and the collective brooding meditations of high-paid jocks wrestling with performance anxieties.
They also wrestle — verbally so far — with the hundreds of reporters here for the World Series who are all hot in pursuit of The Story. For Friday evening’s game, The Story was The Hemorrhoids.
When George Brett emerged from the dugout for his stint in the batting cage, members of the press headed for him like piranhas on raw hamburger. Brett was armed with a collection of hemorrhoidal quips, including the observation that his malady will go down “in the anals of World Series history."
Brett’s beef to reporters was that while his hemorrhoids were headlines, the diarrhea that felled Phillies slugger Greg Luzinski received barely a mention.
“Why didn't everybody say, ‘Luzinski has diarrhea?’” Brett asked. “That’s a story. That’s a story." The answer, of course, is that Luzinski may have had the runs, but hadn’t been driving in many this season. Brett, on the other hand, batted .390.
While Hal McRae took his cuts, Pete Rose’s pint-sized son, Pete Jr., watched intently. Not even old enough to shave, he already has the pre-game mannerisms down: the casual lean against the cage, the contemplative chewing of the gum (tobacco will come later), the stoic austere facial expression.
“Now pay attention, Little Petey. You watch this. This is what your daddy's been unable to do,” said McRae, needling his former Cincinnati Reds teammate, who has had a ragged Series at the plate. McRae lashed a line drive to the outfield.
"That’s an out," the kid shot back.
For all its outwardly casual appearance to the early arriver at the ballpark, batting practice is run with near-Prussian precision.
The Royals, who hit first, are split into four groups for this purpose, each swinging for a precise period of time. From 4:59 p.m. to 5:11 p.m. there is "Group A" (Chalk, LaCock, Quirk, Mulliniks); from 5:12 to 5:24, “Group B" (Aikens, Wilson, Washington, Porter) and so on with other 12 minute slots for "Group C" (McRae, Hurdle, Cardenal, Brett) and Group D (Otis, White, Wathan, Concepcion).
It's not all that much time, and players studiously observe the schedule, breaking off interviews with reporters when it’s their turn.
Once in the cage, each Royal becomes absorbed in putting wood to horsehide, scrutinizing the flight of each ball.
"I’ll take that," said Frank White, studying a looping fly slicing down the right field line. He hit another one. "I’ll take that, too," he said to no one in particular.
Willie Aikens, resembling an oversized kid with the bill of his cap pointed up, peppered the left-center field wall with a couple of line drives and moaned about the configuration of Royals Stadium.
"I hate to play here. It kills me," said Aikens, who ironically would drive in the winning run Friday night and hit two home runs Saturday. “This place is the Grand Canyon. If Mike Schmidt played here he wouldn't hit 48 home runs."
On his next turn in the cage Aikens smoked the ball deep into the right field bullpen. As he made contact, he gave out a short, excited grunt and broke into a home run trot toward first base.
Darrell Porter, struggling at the plate, drove several balls in succession either into the turf or off the top of the cage.
“Get hot Porter,” he said to himself disparagingly.
At this late point in the season, batting practice holds varied significance for players.
“if you’re not swinging good, it’s important," said utility man Rance Mulliniks. “If you’ve got your stroke down, it’s not important." For a player sitting on the bench, he added, it is always important.
At 6:30, while the Phillies were in the cage, a small man from the grounds crew came out and announced “about half a minute about a half a minute." A bell, exactly like the one that signaled class changes in high school, sounded. The crew began rolling the cage toward its home in the right field bullpen, and the ritual was over.
Two views of the Series: From cage to lap of luxury
Above, where glassed-in patricians repose, nobody spits
By W.S. Wilson, Staff Writer
So, you have tickets to today's World Series game, and you’re all excited about it.
The plan is to put on your lucky Levis and your Royals T-shirt, hop in that durable old Chevy, pick up your bowling buddy and get to tne stadium in time to get a good parking spot.
That way you will be able to watch batting practice. You might even walk down to the third base line while they’re warming up and see if the wad of tobacco George Brett chews is really as big as a Golden Delicious apple.
After that it's just a matter of conspicuous consumption of beer and hot dogs.
Got it made, huh? Well, maybe you do, but check out the patricians up there in the suites. The suites are those big glassed-in rooms on the second level.
The suites, which have handsome wall hangings and shag carpeting thick enough to hide a midget, cost $67,000 per year, according to one happy fellow who spends a goodly share of his summers up there with J. Wesley St. Clair. St. Clair has a big share of one of the suites. He also has a big share of South Gate State Bank.
Being a businessman of the first order, St. Clair uses his suite for entertaining business friends, their friends, an occasional senator, and to help keep down the bartenders' unemployment rate during World Series time.
"We have three companies that lease the suite. What we do is rotate," he will say while the Royals give it their all below. "We each have one third of the games and officials from each one bring up prospects and have dinner.
Dinner, of course, isn’t a slab of Gates Barbecue, or a big plate of chips, dip and greens to nibble on. Dinner comes from the Stadium Club, which is just a phone call away.
The view from the suites is letter perfect – enough altitude to get a feel for all the action, but almost low enough to see that Pete Rose has a whole bunch of gray hair.
Farmers generally being a more Spartan lot, the suite a few doors down which belongs to Farmland Industries, Inc., is a bit less lavish than St. Clair’s. It does have a nice comfortable feeling to it, and a few knickknacks, but nary a bar to be seen, much less a bartender.
"We’ve got the best looking wives of any of the suites. Every one of them is married to somebody," Gordon Leith, a beaming Farmland director, will say.
Those wives, like their husbands and most of those watching the Royals from such rarified environs, are dressed up in a way that would stand them well in any church house in Missouri. Suite dwellers probably wear more neckties than any group in Major League baseball.
But the best part of suites is not the food, or the chance to flash that new blazer. It is not the wonderful view, or the chance to stretch out in a comfortable chair and relax. It's not even being able to pay for it.
It is cozy, exclusive privacy.
There is no fat lady with a two-foot bouffant hairdo and no Right Guard in front of you. There is no screamer parked in your left ear. Just your crowd, with a smattering of family and friends in a warm room the size of the chairman of the board’s office.
It’s almost worth wearing a tie for.
Series: a time of partying
By Bette Lind, Society Editor
In suites high in Royals Stadium, in hotels and in private homes, Kansas City has been celebrating its first World Series in royal fashion.
One of the largest and most lavish parties was Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency hotel, when Royals owners Ewing and Muriel Kauffman greeted more than 100 baseball executives, news media representatives, friends, Royal Lancers — volunteers who conduct the season-ticket sales drive — and other boosters of the team.
The party was spread over two levels at the hotel. In the ballroom, guests sampled a stylish buffet of traditional American foods, highlighted by freshly carved beef Seafood and Oriental dishes awaited guests on the second level.
But even before last night, parties were sprouting all over the city.
John Latshaw, executive vice president of E.F. Hutton Co., was host for a lavish party Friday at his Dunford Circle home that began with cocktails and was followed by a buffet dinner and ride by chartered bus to the game. Among the guests was U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan.
Kansas City’s first lady, Mrs. Sandy Berkley, entertained the wives of the Phillies players and staff members at a luncheon Thursday, and the Phillies organization entertained its staff Thursday night.
Earl Beall, vice president and general manager of WDAF-TV, Kansas City's NBC affiliate, was host at a luncheon Friday to honor the visiting NBC sportscasters. The guest list was heavy with business and civic leaders, including Don Hall, Hallmark president; Alan Sunshine, president of Woolf Bros.; Bruce McMullen, chairman of the board of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City, and Miller Nichols, chairman of the board of J.C. Nichols Co.
Before the game Friday night, the Kauffmans greeted Ruly Carpenter, president of the Phillies, in their suite at the stadium. The suite was cleared of all but a handful of guests before the game, as the Kauffmans continued the low-key entertaining they began during the playoffs. Among the guests in the suite were U.S. Sen Stuart Symington of Missouri and his wife, Mrs. Nancy Symington, who flew here from Washington.
The other suites were full of celebrations Friday night. There was a lively crowd in the Farmland Industries suite, where Roy Chief of Scottsbluff, Neb., chairman of the board, was feeling proud that he had followed his instincts.
“I was invited to come to the playoffs, but I was so sure we would be in the series that I said I’d wait and come to that,” he said.
In the Home Savings Association suite, board member Bob Busler and his wife, Mrs. Betty Faye Busler, were acting as hosts in place of Charles Curry, chairman of the board, who was attending a high school football game in which his son was playing.
"This is the greatest thing that’s happened in Kansas City since we built the railroad bridge in 1869,” Busler said, referring to the first Hannibal Bridge.
In the Business Men’s Assurance Co. suite, one of the largest in the stadium, the guests stood crowded at the front to watch the action or the field, ignoring the plush sofa and chairs farther back.
Meanwhile, the crowd in the Marion Laboratories suite (the Kauffmans own Marion Laboratories) was tense with the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Mrs. Kauffman left her suite next door and walked into the Marion Laboratories suite for consolation. “We'll win it in the 10th,” someone assured her.
In the top of the 10th, the Phillies had one man out. "Think double play,” a man shouted. ‘‘D.P.! D.P.!’’ the crowd chanted — and just as if they had called the play, Frank White caught a line drive, then stepped on second base to make the double play.
The Royals came to bat and it was all over, a 4-3 cliffhanger, the Royals’ first World Series victory. The crowd in the suite went wild, hugging and kissing each other, jumping up and down like children.
Those in the Farm and Home Savings Association suite were among the last to stop partying. Guests replayed the highlights of the game, then watched the coverage on television as they waited for catcher Darrell Porter to join his fiancée, Miss Dee Ann Gaulter, who had viewed the game from the suite.
And everywhere, Royals fans already were thinking about the next night's celebrations. "Stop back tomorrow,” said Jerry Winship, a Farm and Home savings vice president. “We’ll be serving barbecue."
Fans shout it out: They want World Series title, too
By George Koppe, Staff Writer
The dining room of Ollie Gates’ barbecue restaurant on Swope Parkway at the Paseo was nearly deserted at 11:30 a.m. Saturday as two supervisors debated how much meat to cook for the rest of the business day.
“I don't have any idea," a woman supervisor replied to the question from a co-worker. “We’ve never had a World Series before.”
Royals baseball fans know exactly how she feels. This business of having a World Series is sailing in uncharted waters.
Beating the Yankees and winning the American League pennant was supposed to be the ultimate, the arrival at last on the mountain top after three agonizingly unsuccessful attempts.
The World Series was the cake, the just desserts for long-suffering fans who had been waiting 25 years for a pennant.
But a funny thing happened about the time they got the knife out to start slicing. Two depressing defeats in Philadelphia and two tension-filled victories at Royals Stadium convinced Kansas City fans they want ice cream, too.
They want the World Series championship badly and whoever it was who said the Series would be an anticlimax to winning the pennant ought to give up palm reading.
This message rang loud and clear Friday night as the Royals wriggled in and out of jam after jam, twirling the emotions of 42,380 fans in Royals Stadium like a shiny Royal blue yo-yo before finally winning in the 10th inning.
It rang through the streets of Downtown, Westport and Crown Center as horns were honked and people shouted the joy of winning a World Series game.
It came through again in the early innings Saturday as 42,383 fans went delirious at the sight of four first-inning runs and two clouts over the right field fence by Willie Mays Aikens, a young, bearded man living out the fantasies of every little boy who ever stood in his back yard baseball bat in hand, and dreamed of World Series glories.
Screaming wildly until Aikens reappeared from the dugout to twirl his cap in appreciation, the Royals Stadium crowd reveled in the feeling of being World Series winners, particularly in the triumphant ninth when victory came closer as relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry and his infielders obliged their chants of “One, two, three.”
New situations, after all, require new responses. This was clear both Friday night and Saturday afternoon as the usually reserved Royals fans hauled banners up and down the aisles, cheering, and during the rough moments complaining with a vigor seldom herad in this city.
Exposure to rowdier crowds in other cities may have something to do with that, a fact a Kansas City policeman alluded to in the fourth inning, the inning Phillies pitcher Dickie Noles played a little chin music with a fastball near the head of Royals star George Brett.
As the inning ended, Pete Rose a lifelong National Leaguer who in only two games here has managed to earn the undying enmity of American League baseball fans, fielded a brush-back pitch of his own as he entered the Philadelphia dugout. His adversary was a young fan sitting nearby who wadded a soft drink cup into a ball and broke off a curveball on the tip of Rose ’s cap.
“These people are acting like they’re in New York,” the policeman said disgustedly as he stood in the aisle trying to resume order.
But for all the banners hung illegally over the outfield railings, the beach balls tossed into left field, the insults screamed at Philadelphia players and their love affair with Pete Rose, Royals fans apparently have a ways to go to match their counterparts in the City of Brotherly Love.
In a post-game press conference, Phillies shortstop Larry Bowa, one of the few members of the Philadelphia team who is on speaking terms with sports writers, was asked to compare the fans in Royals Stadium with the ones back home.
“They try to be mean here but in Philadelphia they’re really mean,” said Bowa, a bona fide expert on the subject after serving as a season-long target of the boo birds at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. "When we get back to Philly they’ll show ’em."
If Aikens maintains roll, it may be ‘no dice’ for Phils
By Mike McKenzie, Sports Writer
Certain things can be expected in Game 5 today in an even-up World Series at Royals Stadium:
• Expect Willie Mays to announce he’s going to court to change his middle name to Aikens.
"The kid's on a roll," said Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green, describing the effect of Royals’ first baseman Willie Mavs Aikens on the Series.
If Aikens maintains his roll (7-for 15, 4 homers, a triple, 8 runs-batted-in), the Royals could ride it back to Philadelphia needing Just one victory in two games.
• Expect Dan Quisenberry of the Royals and Tug McGraw of the Phillies to pitch in relief. Quisenberry has appeared in all four Series games; the Royals’ 5-3 victory Saturday was the only game McGraw has not entered.
• Expect Quisenberry and McGraw to entertain after the games, dropping one-liners and remarks that can only be labeled tutti-frutti.
For example, after his second post-season save Saturday, to go with two victories and a defeat, Quisenberry had these offerings:
Q (for Question): How long can you pitch tomorrow if needed?
Q (for Quisenberry): “Forty-five minutes probably’’
Q: Do you throw hard enough to retaliate (against the Phillies for throwing at George Brett)?
Q: “With grenades, maybe. The pitchers have decided with our World Series checks we could invest in nuclear arms.”
Quisenberry however also gave a few serious comments.
"There’s only been two times this season I haven’t been ready and able to pitch," he said. "Unless an extra inning game forced me to work three or four innings, I think I'm ready for all we play.
“We are confident. Our clubhouse meeting before the third game was the best and funniest of the year.”
In assessing the 3:30 p.m. game today at Royals Stadium, Kansas City Manager Jim Frey said, “There is never a must unless you’re down to the last one. People will say we're in the driver's seat because the fifth game is here, as if that's a big edge. I hope it is.”
Both Hal McRae, the Royals' designated hitter, and Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia third baseman, simplified the terms of a 2-2 Series entering the turn of game five. "All winning the last two means," said McRae, "is we have to win two more."
Schmidt said, “We’re back to square one. However, it’s not a desperate situation by any means.”
The Royals will start left-handed pitcher Larry Gura today. Manager Dallas Green has shuffled his starting pitchers to have rookie Marty Bystrom working today, leaving season-long aces Steve Carlton and Dick Ruthven for work back home.
Green said the Phillies' fans help, too. “They don’t know how to be mean here,” he said Saturday, discounting the one who threw a paper cup and struck Pete Rose after George Brett was nearly hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. “They know how to be mean in Philadelphia. Maybe that’s part of being in the Midwest.”
The Phillies too have spent since the last week of the regular season coming from behind, so 2-2 is no hole to them. They trailed Montreal in the National League East entering the last week, and won two straight and the title on the final weekend at Montreal. They trailed Houston 2-1 in the best-of-five NL playoffs and won two straight in Houston.
"Everybody makes a big deal out of this momentum thing,” said Green. “It always changes very quickly. Just as the Royals negated ours, we can negate what little they have, or think they have. Going to the Vet for two can’t be a pleasant thing for them.”
Bystrom pitched in Houston effectively for more than five innings. He built a 5-0 record after joining the Phillies on Sept. 1, replacing injured Nino Espinosa on the post-season roster.
He didn't allow an earned run his first 20 innings in the majors, but his victories were against also-rans — New York Mets (2), Chicago Cubs (2) and St Louis Cardinals.
Gura pitched six innings against the Phillies in game two, giving up two runs. “Some papers said I got ripped,” said Gura. “Actually, I was a little shocked to come out of the game.”
He straightened out conflicting versions of Frey’s lifting him for Quisenberry at the start of the seventh inning. “I didn’t tell him I'd lost my stuff like some people reported,” Gura said. “I told him I couldn’t put my fastball past them on the inside for strikes, like I did easy in the early innings. But I could have gone to something else, I’ve been winning games like that all year.
"I feel a little better this time, too, because of the regular (fourth-day) cycle. Last time I’d had six days’ rest.”
Oh, and one final thing to expect in game five:
Something, anything, involving George Brett will capture national attention. In Philadelphia, it was his hemorrhoids. Saturday, it was the pitch by Dickie Noles that sent Brett sprawling in the dirt and caused a ruckus.
Brett was laughing about it, at the time, and later. “That was just the old oh-and-two, get-off-the-plate, here-comes-a-slider-on-the-outside-corner, go-sit-down trick.”
This time, Leonard ignores ‘book,’ pitches his own style
By Mike Fish, Sports Writer
If Dennis Leonard had to lose, it would be on his terms. So much for scouting reports.
In Game 1 of the World Series last Tuesday night in Philadelphia, Leonard pitched by the book — feeding the Phillies a steady diet of curveballs — and was racked for 6 runs in 3⅔ innings, blowing a 4-run lead in the process.
The right-hander did it his way Saturday against the Phillies: a breaking pitch here and there, but mostly an afternoon of hard stuff. So what if the scouting reports said the Phillies were a fastball hitting club? This time Leonard and the Royals held on for a 5-3 decision.
"I said to myself, ‘Damn, let me hold the lead this time.' After we got it I came right back out the next inning (second) and started challenging them with the fastball,” said Leonard. “I had to pitch my game.
“If I'm gonna lose, it’ll be them beating me. I don’t want to lose because I'm trying to pitch differently.”
The Royals’ starter stayed around for 7 innings, giving way to Dan Quisenberry after Pete Rose opened the eighth with a double to left. It was a far better performance than his outing in Game 1.
"You hope you learn from your past experience,” Leonard said. All the scouting reports (on the Phillies) said how they were good fastball hitters, so try the breaking ball. Today, I said, ’Hey, I’m gonna do it my way.’
“I’m not faulting the scouting reports. They’re accurate to a degree, but if you can’t get the pitch over, you’re in trouble.
"They’re (scouting reports) great for finesse pitchers like Larry (Gura) and Splitt (Paul Splittorff), but I’m probably more a fastball pitcher. I’m not always gonna hit the spot. Today, I just tried to be more aggressive with the fastball.”
Leonard had to be thinking back to Tuesday night in Veterans Stadium. He was handed a 4-run lead in the top of the third and blew it. Willie Aikens and Amos Otis both smashed 2-run homers.
Aikens and Otis were back at it again Saturday. Aikens powered another 2-run homer and Otis an RBI double as the Royals scored 4 first inning runs off Larry Christenson.
"Some things linger in your mind,” Leonard said. “I went out in the fourth last time, so I figured if I got past the fourth today I’d be OK. Every inning after that I gained more confidence.
"I knew I could pitch better than I did that game (Tuesday night). After that, I was just looking for another chance. It wasn’t the first game I blew, and it won't be the last,”
Leonard didn’t allow the Phillies to get back in the game with a big inning. In Game 1, they bullied their way into the lead with a 5-run second inning.
However, the key play of the game might have been Willie Wilson's over-the-shoulder grab of Bob Boone's drive to left in the seventh inning. If Wilson had failed to make the catch, the Phillies would have been down 5-3 with Boone on second and one out. As it was, the Phillies scored their last run in the eighth on Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly.
“Without a doubt, it was the ball Wilson caught off of Boone,” said Schmidt, looking back at the play of the game. “If it goes through, it’s a double and it puts us in position for a big inning. Wilson's catch took us right out of things.”
On the other hand, Boone’s drive would have been a 3-run homer in smaller Veterans Stadium.
“I can pitch more aggressively here,” Leonard said. “I don’t have to pitch so fine. Every pitch doesn't have to be perfect because this is a larger park. I wasn’t overpowering (two strikeouts) or anything. They were hitting the ball at people.”
Close pitch to Brett Gets Frey riled up
By Gib Twyman and Mike Fish, Sports Writers
The Royals do not pay George Brett approximately $1 million a year to perform gymnastics. But there he was, in the fourth inning, jackknifing through the air. And when Jim Frey got an image of Brett with a baseball sticking in his ear, the Royals’ manager charged out of the dugout.
Dickie Noles, Phillies' reliever, unloaded a 0-2 fastball that sailed at George's head. Brett did a back flip with a half twist and came up glaring. Frey ran out to deliver a few tongue-lashings — to Noles, to plate umpire Don Denkinger, to Phillies' first-baseman Pete Rose and nearly everyone else in hearing distance, which, the way Frey was yelling, had to be considerable.
“I thought it was a knockdown pitch,” said Frey. The way we were hitting the ball today and with a good hitter up there and a 0-2 count… the situation was there. He threw the ball at his head and I went out there to stop that. I told the umpire to stop it right now. I don’t know if he threw at him or not, and no one else does but the pitcher. I didn’t want one of those battles where there's a lot of throwing at heads. I don’t believe in retaliation. I don t buy that high-and-tight stuff.”
If Noles was the only one who knew for sure, there was no doubt in his mind what his intention was. He fixed a glare straight at a questioner who had asked him if he got the pitch where he wanted it.
“You mean,” he said, putting his body as well as his voice into the words, "did I throw it where I wanted it and try to hit him in the head? I don’t throw at anybody. I never throw at people’s heads.
"A pitcher has to have the ability to throw to both sides of the plate. I was trying to set up the next pitch. I tried to throw him inside, that's all.”
How about Frey’s exchange with Rose? “Pete told me to get off the field,” Frey said. “He said he (Noles) wasn’t throwing at him. I said, ’You don’t know that and 1 don’t know that.’”
Rose said, “Never in all my playing days have I ever seen a manager come out of a dugout like that to yell at a player for brushing a hitter back.”
Noles said, “I don’t say I blame Frey for coming out there. He’s the manager. He's got to fight for his players...
On the whole, Brett remained calm. “If he was throwing at me,” the Royals’ third baseman said, "he missed. That was a close one. If I say anything, I don't accomplish anything. If I go to the mound and get kicked out of the game, I don't do the team any good.”
About Frey going after Rose, Brett said, “Jim is not going to accomplish anything if he has a fight with Rose. It was funny to see him jumping around, though. I enjoyed it. It's a lot better than looking back into the dugout and you don’t see him anywhere.”
Phils’ Manager Dallas Green said, "Yeah, I was surprised (to see Frey come out of the dugout). I think that kind of stuff is better settled on the field, not in the dugout. I will admit, though, that all Jimmy was trying to do was protect his guy. I admire him for that.
“But I don't think Dickie was throwing at him.…"
Catcher Bob Boone said, “Dickie was just trying to move him back. The ball sailed. Brett steps into the ball so much that the combination of the ball sailing and him stepping in is what created the situation."
When Rose came off the field after the end of the inning, a fan threw a paper cup that struck the Phils’ first baseman in the glasses.
“I didn’t know what it was that hit me,” Rose said. “It didn’t hurt me, just hit me in the glasses. I do know that after 18 years as a player, you learn not to look up when you come off the playing field.”
Phillies were out of it before they were in it
By Gib Twyman, Sports Writer
It was a Francis Scott Key offense that did in the Phils. A National Anthem Attack. The one where you're down five runs before ”…the land of the free and the home of the brave” finishes echoing through the stadium.
The Royals ripped Philadelphia with four runs in the first inning. They added another run in the second. Down 4-0 before they smacked a fist in their gloves, the Phils couldn't dig out of the hole. They suffered a 5-3 loss that evened the 77th World Series at two games apiece.
Unlike pedestrians at an intersection, however, the Phils did know what hit them. And they got the numbers of the guys that ran over them.
“It was the first time they really got a chance to strut their stuff in front of us,” said Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green. "They showed what a good ball-club they are. It was probably a combination of our not being ready to play and them being more aggressive than they had been.”
Larry Christenson, the Phils’ starting pitcher, said the Royals came out ripping. He just happened to be the "rippee.”
"I wasn’t in long enough to know if I had a good fastball or not. Everything was going back past me too fast.
“I felt fine. I had it. But they were hot. I could second-guess every pitch I threw up there. But you talk to any pitcher and the first inning is very important for him to get through to get himself together. It was very depressing that I couldn’t do that, especially since it happened in a World Series.”
Willie Aikens, with two thunderous blasts over the right-field fence, increased his Series total to four home runs. It would appear the Phils don’t know what to do with him. But Christenson said, "We just made mistakes on him. He’s got a big arc in his swing and I wanted to pitch him inside. But the ball tailed back over the plate.
"I tell you. I respect a hitter like (George) Brett. He hit a great pitch (for a first-inning triple). But Aikens — every home run he has hit has been off a mistake right over the plate.
"I wish I could have been up there to hit the pitch I threw him. I think I could have hit that one out of the park. I will give a hitter credit when he hits your best pitch, but not when he hits mistakes.
“I will say, however, that the man is hot. He’s having a great Series, so you can’t take it away from him.”
Other Phils were less reserved in praise of Aikens, who has become the first in Series history to have two 2-homer games. Aikens is 7-for-15 with eight RBIs and has stamped himself as the most dominant hitter in the Series.
“Willie Mays Aikens?” Pete Rose said, a wide grin creasing his face. "He's gotta be the best player I ’ve ever seen. I mean, you sure the guy’s name is not just Willie Mays instead of Willie Mays Aikens?
“If the guy hits two home runs every day, this is gonna be some tough Series.”
Green said, “I think we could probably do just as well il we got a litlle girl in here and have her throw underhanded to Willie Aikens. Obviously, what we have done is not working too well.
“We’ve known all along there was no book on a guy like Brett. Aikens is fast making us think there isn’t one on him either.”
Take me out to the ballgame - but this time as sports writers for a day
Fans have debated game, and here they report it
Steve Eubank and Carolyn Smalley are baseball fans — pure and simple. They go to a lot of baseball games each year, debate strategy with their friends and family and read the sports pages thoroughly.
Saturday, we gave them a chance to be sports writers. Their assignment was to cover game four of the World Series from a fan’s point of view — the first time either had written a story for publication. Here are their reports.
Royals had the look of a champion
By Carolyn Smalley
The first inning set the pace for game four of the World Series.
Dennis Leonard’s pitching for the Royals was convincing enough. Nervous Frank White's throwing error in the first inning proved harmless. (For reasons beyond my comprehension, the official scorer seems to be set on giving the error to the thrower rather than the throwee. This happened twice Saturday as well as in the earlier games of the Series, especially when Pete Rose was the throwee.)
In the bottom of the first inning the demolition crew went to work. The Royals seemed to be saying collectively, “Ya wanna see a single? How's this? A triple? OK Double? Home Run? Sure! We can do it all." And they did. And the crowd became very excited.
The fans were getting greedier and greedier by the moment. They were no longer satisfied to have merely a pennant winner. It wasn’t enough now to have won the first World Series game ever played in Kansas City. Now the fans want a world champion.
Did the Royals play like world champions Saturday?
Not everyone who went to the batter’s box cam up with a hit. The Royals committed some errors, but it’s the ability to overcome the mistakes that makes a winner. When you add to it an incredible offense, the sum total is indeed a world championship.
Fans know the weaknesses and strengths of a team are magnified many times beneath the microscopic scrutiny of a World Series viewer. The Royals seem to be loaded with strength at this point, but there is a glaring weakness which it seems almost rude, under the circumstances, to point out. One player on our team has contributed little to the effort being put forth in the Fall Classic. I point my finger at Darrell Porter.
Darrell has had a tough year. Well we’ve all had a tough year. Darrell came back to the regular season in a burst, then slowly began sinking. Of course Darrell’s Carolyn Smalley problems are not due to lack of ability. I rather think they are due to his lost love for the great sport of baseball. Darrell has the potential to change his future — the key is desire.
Likewise, the key to winning the World Championship is desire. The Royals know what needs to be done, and they do know how to do it. I sincerely believe they will. In fact, I think the struggle would be behind them by now, they could have wrapped it up Saturday, had they been allowed to go home during the break between the playoffs and the World Series.
It has been a long season for boys in blue, and for the fans I can hardly wait for the happy ending next Tuesday in Philly. My knuckles will be white for a few weeks and I expect the heart palpitations will decrease by the New Year. It will be nice to see my children again. I am completely worn out by the extended season and I hope baseball doesn't start up again for at least a month.
A Rose is a Rose… and a hot dog
By Steve Eubank
Oh the ecstasy of it all! Game four of the World Series, and here I was covering it. Two hours before game time and I was on the field overmatched by my awe of what's going on. All of these players who seemed larger than life on TV really are larger than life.
Picking my jaw up off the ground and letting my feet settle there again, I decided to approach Amos Otis, Royals’ center fielder, for an interview. No words came. Finally, in true journalistic fashion, I asked if he would be photographed with me.
He wasn't thrilled. Obviously he didn’t know who I was.
A few more meaningful interviews followed. In the next few minutes I learned, among other things, that tarry Bowa doesn't devote as much time to Transcendental Meditation as he’d like to.
Just as I was catching on to being a cub reporter, two intimidating types ushered me to an area just behind home plate. A quick check of credentials revealed I was not properly endowed. Soon, I was on my way to the Royals’ executive offices.
I had readied rock bottom — busted by the Royals, but I eventually was sent on my way.
Ah, the game at last. Well, not quite. The Phillies decided there was some camera equipment in center field that was bothersome. So, after a 10-minute delay, the first pitch was fouled off to hearty cheers. In the bottom of the first the game became batting practice for the Royals and the outcome was rarely in doubt.
The verdict all but decided, I turned to Pete Rose, the Phillies’ All-Star first baseman. Many have theorized the Royals have suffered a letdown following their 3-game American League playoff sweep of the New York Yankees. The reasoning continues that none of the Phillie players generates the competitive spirit (hatred) that a Reggie Jackson does.
Enter Pete Rose. Beside Pete Rose, Reggie Jackson looks like the candy man. A quick survey of the stadium mustard dispensers revealed there wasn’t enough mustard in the house to adequately cover this Phillie hot dog.
The chorus of boos that greeted Rose with each plate appearance had geologists scrambling for their seismographs. The decibels increased when midway through the game Rose intervened in an argument between Jim Frey, Royals’ manager, and pitcher Dickie Noles of the Phillies. The din peaked when a group of fans serenaded Pete with, "There’s something about an Aqua Velva man.”
Before the game I interviewed Pete, and he proved as delightful as I had imagined. I asked if his first hit of the Series in game three had gotten him untracked. Rose replied, “I don’t worry about it I know I can hit."
Now this job wasn’t all roses. Feeling that Phillie Del Unser had done a great job as a pinch-hitter and deserved a start, I asked him before the game, "What do you think your chances of starting in one of the Series games are?” Unser replied '100 percent." If I had stopped long enough to look at the scoreboard, I would have realized that he was starting today's game in left field.
Exciting, exasperating, embarrassing, but never dull. That describes my day as a sportswriter.
Fan sportswriters nearly written off
By Bill Turque, Staff Writer
Stephen Eubank and Carolyn Smalley had one-day careers as sportswriters Saturday, no thanks to the Royals, the Commissioner of Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).
Eubank and Mrs Smalley, both devoted fans, won The Star’s "Sports Writer for a Day Contest” and were to cover the Saturday World Series game. They observed the game from a suite on the rightfield line, but officials barred them from tlie press box and clubhouse.
At a meeting Friday, BBWAA members voted to deny them access to the press box, contending they were not “qualified.”
"This is a working area,” said Jack Lang, New York Daily News correspondent and BBWAA secretary-treasurer. The credentials are strictly for the members of the media.”
The Royals and the Commissioner's office, who authorized over 600 press credentials for the Series, concurred.
“I absolutely support and agree with the baseball writers’ actions,” said Bob Wirz, an assistant to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
Mike Waller, managing editor of The Star, protested, calling the action an unjustified attempt to ruin a once-in a lifetime opportunity for two fans to write about a Series game for a metropolitan newspaper.
“I think it’s high-handed,” Waller said. “I think it’s kind of arrogant. They’re acting as if a baseball game is the end of the world. For the baseball writers to take that attitude seems to me to be taking baseball writing a little too seriously."
Lang, asked if publications had the right to choose their representatives, said “If he is a one-day employee, no."
The day almost ended in disaster for Eubank, an administrative specialist at Bendix, and Mrs. Smalley, a Lake Lotawana housewife, who were caught in the crossfire between the Royals and The Star.
Having been denied access to the press box, editors of The Star decided to supply them with the credentials of two other members of the paper’s staff. They were on the field before the game, like scores of other reporters, when Dean Vogelaar and Bruce Carnahan of the Royals’ public relations staff escorted them to Royals offices.
"It was like going to the principal's office,” said Mrs. Smalley. It was really crazy."
Vogelaar said he thought it unethical for Eubank and Mrs. Smalley to be on the field with the credentials of others.
“The Star has a strong ethics policy,” Vogelaar said. "I think ethics is a part of this.”
Waller said Royals officials were told in advance the two would use other credentials, adding: "The only thing they told us was that they would not be allowed in the press box.”
Although press credentials are technically not transferrable, the practice is routine. In the auxiliary press area behind home plate there was space for about 450 reporters. One member of the team staff estimated only about 400 were actually members of the working press. The rest, he said, were friends or associates merely watching the game.
Vogelaar disputed the figure, but acknowledged that awarding credentials to working reporters does not insure they will be used by the working press.
"No, it doesn't,” he said. "And we work very hard to try to prevent any (credential swaps).”
Eubank and Mrs. Smalley have their stories in The Star today, and were happy to win the contest. But their experience leaves them with questions about the Royals and their local newspaper.
"I thought this (contest) was a noble undertaking," said Eubank. "It’s a shame the Kansas City Royals public relations staff didn't see it the same way."
"I’m surprised The Star didn’t have a little more clout than that," said Mrs. Smalley.
Victory No. 2 gives that Royal feeling
Willie Aikens carried a big stick Saturday, and suddenly the World Series is even.
Aikens, who hit two home runs in game four, now has four in the Series, and the Kansas City Royals, down two games to the Philadelphia Phillies before coming home Thursday, now have two victories.
George Brett and Amos Otis added to Aikens’ three RBIs, Brett driving in one run with a triple and Otis driving in another with a double, both in the first inning.
Dennis Leonard gained his first win of the Series against one loss, and Dan Quisenberry pitched two innings for his first save.
McRae: daredevil on bases an inspiration to teammates
By Mike Fish, Sports Writer
Hal McRae is a picture of relaxation in the Royals dugout, stretched out comfortably on the top step.
Life is easy being a designated hitter, right? Step to the plate three or four times a game, take your swings, sit back down and watch the action from the sidelines. But don't let McRae's relaxed posture fool you.
Turn your back on McRae and he'll turn a single into a double, motor from first to third on a lazy single.
It is McRae who symbolizes the Royals' aggressive style of play. Even the modern day master, George Brett, learned at McRae's side. And so did Willie Wilson, U.L. Washington, Frank White… Mac is the teacher.
Take game four, for instance. His first two times up, McRae stretched what appeared to be singles into doubles. First Phillies’ centerfielder Garry Maddox and then rightfielder Bake McBride were victimized by McRae.
And while Willie Aikens continued his awesome display of power Saturday, McRae scooted around the bases like an over-stuffed Roadrunner. He wouldn’t settle for a single. Everything had to be a double.
In the first inning, he laced a single that Maddox fielded in center. But while Maddox lobbed a soft toss into the cutoff man, McRae never stopped after rounding first and made a belly-slide into second.
“I did what I thought I could," McRae said. “I watched Maddox yesterday. He was getting to the ball slowly and he'd throw to the cut-off man.
"I always notice something. I'm never just out there. I knew he threw to the cut-off before, I was just hoping he'd do the same this time."
The gamble paid off. Maddox threw easily to the cut-off, McRae had his double and Amos Otis followed with a run-scoring double. Thanks to some earlier heavy hitting by Aikens and Brett, McRae’s run gave the Royals a 4-0 cushion.
McRae produced another double in the second on what appeared to be just a single to right. This time, rightfielder Bake McBride was victimized.
“Once he (McBride) laid back and waited for the ball, I knew I had it," McRae said. "Being a DH who clogs up the bases won’t help the club.
"I’m a hitter, that’s all I do. If I get on the bases and get thrown out, it complicates things. So you gotta get a feel for it, like a tempo. You can’t run wild when you’re not hitting.
"If you do it at the right time it can help. And then if I can do it, guys with more speed than I have can do it in similiar situations."
In the course of two innings, McRae had transformed singles into doubles. He had studied the opposition, ascertained their tendencies, and taken advantage of them.
It was a display of hard aggressive baseball – head-first slides and dirt-stained uniforms.
“If he just runs down to first and is happy with a single, he can't get a double," said first base coach Jose Martinez. "When he gets the base hit he’s not satisfied. Doubles are made on the way he runs down to first.
“He (Maddox) lobbed that ball. If he knew he (McRae) was going he wouldn’t have thrown it that way. It’s a man taking advantage of another man."
The on-the-job lesson did not go unnoticed by the younger Royals. Yet they somehow expected it. After all, it is McRae’s trademark.
"He just busted his behind getting over there," said U.L. Washington. "I know Mac’s played that way his whole career. But when you see a leader do those things it makes you play harder.
“He watches everything. He told us Maddox lobs the ball in a lot. I knew he was gonna do it as soon as he came out of the box."
"It’s great to see Mac go like that,” said Wilson. “He inspires us. When you see Mac or George (Brett) do something, you kinda follow along.
“This is a guy who got us another run. If he doesn’t get the extra base (in the first), he might not score on Amos' hit.”
TV ‘soaper’ stars take in real-life baseball action as the World Series turns
By Gib Twyman, Sports Writer
Can young Jim and his boys from down on the farm in the Midwest make their dreams come true in the big city in the East?
Can Pete, Tug and Co. keep the hometown feasting on caviar or will they go bankrupt and return to the factory at the Also-Ran leftovers Food Works?
Will Willie be arrested for assault and battery on the Philadelphia Phillies pitching staff?
Which perennial bridesmaid will make it to the altar. Who will get the last dance at the ball with the dashing Col Bowie? Will Dallas still be Green when it’s all over or will he turn blue?
Who ought to know more about the continuing drama of the 1980 World Series than Tony Geary and Rick Anderson?
After all, they are two of the best men who ever jerked a tear. Suds is their middle name, soapers are their game. Both are stars on “General Hospital," the popular daytime drama that keeps a few zillion housewives’ eyeballs glued to the tube very Monday through Friday. In Kansas City, “Hospital” airs at 2 p.m. weekdays on Channel 9.
However, the show not only keeps housewives awash in bathos. College students, men who work nights also watch the soaps.
Even baseball players.
Players like Amos Otis.
“Be sure and say they’re friends of AO’s,” said Otis, Royals’ center fielder, after the actors arrived in town Saturday to watch the 5-3 victory over the Phillies.
“Watch the show?" asked Amos "I haven’t missed an episode in 12 years. I can tell you all the names of the characters and the real names of the actors, too. Everything about it. I love it.”
Otis, Hal McRae, Frank White and Craig Chamberlain visited the "General Hospital” set at the ABC-TV studios in Hollywood during a regular-season series against the Angels in Anaheim, Calif.
"They sent a big white Iimo over to the Hyatt Hotel to get us," said Otis. "They had for us in the car. We couldn’t drink any, though. We had to play a game too soon. But it was Hollywood. It was fun. We had a great time going over there.”
It started a friendship that triggered the actors’ visit Saturday to game four of the Series. Jim Warren, a Kansas Citian who has been a friend of several of the Royals since he was in high school here, has appeared in several small acting parts on the soaps. That’s how he met Geary and Anderson. He arranged the visit.
Geary and Anderson were wonderstruck, in a giddy mood, as they prepared to watch the game.
“I can’t believe it. It’s like a little-boy dream come true,” said Anderson. “They even let us sit down in the dugout with them before the game. We were hobnobbin’ with the big guys, down there with all the stars."
Geary said, laughing, "Yeah, boy, we got to talk to Amos and Frank and Willie and all of them. We left George alone, though. He was sittin’ kinda funny.
"This is the very first professional baseball game I ever watched — believe that,” said Geary. "This is changing my life. Hey, suddenly I’m a baseball fan. It’s like, ‘if you feel it, you're being healed.’ A very evangelistic feeling."
They were asked if they also met members of the Phillies.
‘‘The who7” deadpanned Geary. "My man, one does not come to Kansas City to see the Series and run over and introduce oneself to the Phillies. Batter up, batter up. I am ready tor this.”
Rick was an usher at the Twins’ Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis where he grew up. “I played maybe 10 years of Little League baseball. I thought I couid play pro hockey. Some Boston farm club scouts watched me. But I got both my arms broken in the space of about two weeks. I thought… maybe not.”
Geary said. ”I was kind of a klutz, myself. My budding baseball career came to an end at about age 12 when I was playing a game of ‘workup.’ I got up to pitcher and somebody hit one squarely into my jaw. I talked sideways a lot after that.
"But I was on the swimming team in college at the University of Utah.”
Asked why he turned to acting, Anderson said, "I seemed like one of the few jobs where you could continue to play out your childhood fantasies. You didn't really have to grow up.”
Geary is from Coalville, Utah, a community of “about 800 hardy souls. My high school, North Summit, had the biggest senior class in history when I graduated— 54.”
Now for the really key stuff.
Will Luke Spencer, alias Luke Johnson, and Laura Baldwin,, alias Lucy Johnson alias Simone, escape the clutches of Frank Smith and the Organization? They have already eluded the Left-Handed Boy and the dreaded Max to stay on the lam.
Will that nice young Jeff Webber get to marry the fair, pure and sweet nurse Ann Logan? Or will he have to remain tied to his wife, Heather, who was presumed dead but turned up in Forest Hills Insane Asylum?
Ha. Fat chance. That’s Who Shot J.R. stuff. Nobody’s telling. Besides, they don’t always actually know.
"We usually see the script about two weeks in advance,” said Rick.
“It's better that way,” said Tony. It’s more like real life. I don’t know what's going to happen to me tomorrow in real life. It’s better to have the same attitude in the show. It’s not like a play that has a beginning and an end. It just goes on… forever.
“About the only time it’s different is when a character is undergoing a major change. Then you might get called into the principal's office and told what's going on.”
Anderson had Friday off and arrived in Kansas City that afternoon. Geary worked the usual 9 a.m.-to-9 p.m. day required of the actors, then hopped a flight that got him into town at 5 a.m.
"The players were agog to see us when they visited us on the set,” said Anderson. "That's just the way we are watching them playing baseball here today.”
Maglie is keeping a low profile
By Tom Marshall, Sports Writer
On Grand Island, between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y., Sal Maglie, 63, is retired, an every-other-day golfer, a putterer-about-the-house, and a gardner.
He was in New York City for several Oldtimer Games last summer and recently attended an all-sports Hall of Fame dinner there.
When Columbus Day was celebrated, Maglie again went to New York City to pick up another award. "Best Right-handed Italian Baseball Pitcher." He laughed and said there were awards for Italian left-handed pitchers, too "Johnny Antoneli, Russo, and others.”
Across the country Don Larsen lives in Morgan Hills, Calif., and is a paper salesman for a company in San Jose. He is 51 years old and keeps a low profile. The San Jose newspaper has not used a story on him recently, an editor there said.
Maglie said only his friends know he was the losing pitcher Oct. 8, 1956, in Yankee Stadium when Larsen pitched the only perfect World Series Game. That day, it was 27 batters up, 27 down — no Brooklyn baserunners — and the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0 depite Maglie’s 5-hitter.
Both Larsen and Maglie are pestered with newspaper calls at World Series time. Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the feat and it could offer the worst annoyance yet. Maglie said he has learned the occasion will be observed in New York and that he will be invited as the losing pitcher.
Maglie said one game made Larsen a big wheel, and added, "I wished it had gone the other way.” No, he said, he did not mind being bothered with calls about it. Maglie pitched 10 seasons in the majors, with the New York Giants, Cleveland, Brooklyn, Yankees and Cardinals. He was 119-62 with a 3.15 ERA. Larsen rode the minors-majors escalator often, pitching in 14 major-league seasons, including being 1-10 with the Kansas City A’s in 1960, and a 1-0 in ’61, before being traded. His career record was 81-91 with a 3.78 ERA.
Larsen was in five World Series, Maglie three. Maglie was called The Barber. He was known to trim hair, and he liked to talk. Barbering it was called. But it is generally agreed that his trademark was a high hard one inside, a brushback pitch, the close shave that shriveled aggressive batters.
“There ’s one thing about the Series on TV,” Maglie said. “Watching the ball move. You have to move it. They are throwing too many fastballs. I liked those big swingers. The little guys, they gave me trouble. They stand there flat-footed and hit it where it’s pitched.”
He admired relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry of the Royals and figured a batter had to be patient against him. Although the Royals trailed the Phils 0-2 in the World Series as he talked, he said the Royals were not out of it. He predicted Kansas City would win at least two games at home.
Maglie ’s last active season was 1958. He left baseball in 1969 after being a pitching coach in Boston and Seattle. Until a couple years ago he was a convention-center manager in the Niagara Falls-Buffalo area. The last five years he has been drawing his baseball pension.