Kansas City Times - October 20, 1980
Stunning loss pins Royals’ backs to the wall
Phillies head home with 3-2 edge after Sunday’s comeback victory
By Mike Fish, A Member of the Sports Staff
The Royals seemed to have the Phillies tucked away in their hip pocket. If only Dan Quisenberry could tame the potent Philly bats for one more inning — three more outs.
Then there surely would be dancing in the streets. The Royals would grab a 3-2 lead in the '80 World Series and the Phillies would be a loss away from extinction.
But the Phillies have come back all season long. They rallied to catch the Expos and later the Astros. In Game 5, with the Royals hanging on to a 3-2 lead, the Phillies came back for a pair of ninth-inning runs.
With a wild flair for the dramatic, they battled it out to Jose Cardenal’s final swing before the Phillies headed home with a 4-3 victory.
So the Royals head back to Philadelphia this afternoon with a hatchet dangling loosely over their heads. They must handle the Phillies not once, but twice at Veterans Stadium. Slip up in Game 6 on Tuesday night and the Phillies will reign.
"They gotta win a game, we gotta win two,” Hal McRae said. “If we don't win, we go home. Nobody’s afraid of going there."
The final inning began with chants of, "One two three… one two three,” from the Royals Stadium stands. The crowd’s hopes were never met. It wasn't to be "One two three.”
Instead, the Phillies scratched out a pair of runs on Mike Schmidt’s infield single off the glove of George Brett, pinch-hitter Del Unser's double and another infield hit by Manny Trillo.
It was Trillo 's game-winning hit that broke the Royals’ hearts. With two out, Trillo lined the ball back at Quisenberry and it glanced off the pitcher’s glove. Brett fielded it halfway between third and the mound, but not in time to get Trillo. Meanwhile, Unser was scoring the game-winning run.
“I thought, ‘Hey, hurry up and get it,'" Brett said. "When the ball ricocheted off the pitcher, I didn’t know where it was going.
"It hit him and just died behind the mound. Mac (Hal McRae) hit a ball like that earlier (in second inning) and it bounced nicely to the second baseman. Just bad timing.”
The Royals mounted a final threat in the ninth, loading the bases with two out for former Philly Jose Cardenal. It was ex-Philly against Philly, Cardenal against Tug McGraw.
McGraw worked him over —screwball, slider, screwball, slider — and then snapped the suspense with an inside fastball that Cardenal swung at and missed.
From the Phillies' game-winning hit to the Royals’ game-losing strikeout, the entire affair was a matter of poor timing, bad hops and missed opportunities. Unser’s ninth-inning double, for instance, took a strange hop that first baseman Willie Aikens couldn't handle. And in the fourth, Bake McBride was safe at first when Aikens failed to touch the bag. Then Schmidt followed with a home run to left-center.
"Guess it was do-or-die,” Aikens said of Unser’s double. “It came up, took a short hop, and I couldn’t get in front of it. If I make the play, it's a double play.
"I couldn't get in front of it. If I could’ve, I would’ve stopped it with my chest."
The outcome boiled down to the ninth liming — McGraw against Quisenberry. No sooner had the Phillies taken the edge than the Royals made a run at McGraw.
Second baseman Frank White, a defensive master all afternoon, opened the ninth with a walk. Brett was fanned on three pitches, and Aikens walked to give the Royals runners at first and second.
“I thought he (Brett) thought I would waste one," McGraw said. "I think Brett’s strikeouts are highlights, but Cardenal's strikeout was the big one."
The Phillies' relief ace then enticed McRae to ground out, forcing Aikens at second. McGraw walked Amos Otis on four pitches, so it was up to Cardenal with the bases loaded and two out.
"I got a chance to be a hero or a goat," Cardenal said. "So I'm a bum. No excuse. He give me a good inside pitch…. I can’t handle it."
The game-ending strikeout was the final blow of Game 5. It wasn’t the whole story, though. The Royals stranded 13 men on base.
There was also Darrell Porter’s being tagged out at home in the sixth, his attempt to score from first on Willie Wilson's double falling short.
"In my mind he’s (Cardenal) one of the best pinch-hitters with runners in scoring position,” McGraw said, "but because I knew him from the other league and because of his time… I was fairly comfortable pitching against him.”
It was another case of the National League "Comeback Kids” working their magic. When the Phillies have won in post-season play it has been because of a comeback. They came back in all three playoff victories over the Astros and in every World Series defeat of the Royals.
They jumped off to a 2-0 lead on Schmidt’s home run in the fourth, but that was all starter Laity Gura and Quisenberry would surrender until the fatal ninth.
For Gura, it was another strong pitching effort. He was pulled after six innings in Game 2 only to have the Phillies bounce back for four runs in the eighth inning off Quisenberry. His only mistake Sunday was Schmidt’s home run.
The Royals ended a shutout bid by rookie Marty Bystrom when U.L. Washington scored in the fifth on Brett's ground out. They grabbed their only lead in the sixth on a solo homer by Otis — his third of the series — a pair of singles by Clint Hurdle and Porter, and a sacrifice fly by Washington.
So it was the Phillies who took the ninth inning, Game 5's final round.
“You don’t like to see them keep coming back like that,” McRae said. “But we’ll take our chances with a lead every time.
"The guy (Quisenberry) out there has done the job. He’s the reason we’re here. He's been rolling the dice all year. Just have to hope be doesn’t crap out on us now.”
The Royals will try their chances again in Game 6 on Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium. It will be Rich Gale against the Phillies' ace Steve Carlton.
Cardenal calls himself the ‘bum’
By Mike Fish, A Member of the Sports Staff
The Royals’ Jose Cardenal glumly sat on the wooden stool in front of his locker.
He was the goat of Game 5 of the World Series.
Before a national television audience and 42,369 fans at Royals Stadium, Cardenal had an opportunity to be a hero. He was batting with two outs in the ninth, the bases loaded, and his team trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3.
But instead of coining through with the game-winning hit, he struck out.
If only things had been different. If only he had managed to hit one of Tug McGraw's patented screwballs into the left-field seats. Even a lazy single would have made him the man of the hour, given the Royals a 3-2 advantage in games and send them into Philadelphia Tuesday night with an opportunity to wrap up the Series.
"I’d done pretty good when I faced him (McGraw) with the Mets and Chicago,” said a dejected Cardenal, who had played with the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Phillies prior to being picked up by the Royals as a free agent. "I know exactly what he’s gonna throw — screwball, slider, screwball, slider, fastball…
“I just want to hit bail back through the middle. I got a chance to be a hero or bum. So I'm a bum. My whole career I face him maybe 20 times. It’s pretty even.
"Today, I'm the bum.”
It was Cardenal ’s experience against McGraw that prompted Royals' Manager Jim Frey to go with him instead of pinch-hitting with catcher John Wathan.
“I don’t know why you’d pinch-hit for him,” Frey said when asked why he didn’t go to his bench and insert Wathan. "I really felt like Cardenal might know McGraw better than Wathan.
“One of the reason we got Cardenal was to pinch-hit in those situations.”
In Wathan's only appearance against McGraw, he hit the first pitch to center field in Game 1. But Wathan carried a .305 batting average into the Series.
“I came in from the bullpen and anticipated the possibility (of pinch-hitting) with McGraw in there,” Wathan said. “I always hope for a chance. I really thought I might get in there.
“But when the man (Jim Frey) has brought you this far, it’s hard to second-guess him. He has convictions and he stands by them.”
In Frey's estimation, though, Cardenal was the man for tha task. After all, he’d faced McGraw in the past. He knew what to expect.
“I know this game went to Cuba,” said Cardenal, a native of Cuba. “(Fidel) Castro should be mad, too… in front of 42,000 fans and so many on TV, I'm the bum. Got to take the good with the bad.
“I like to hit in the clutch, men on base. I'm concentrating real good and trying to hit the ball up the middle. He gives me a good fastball inside. If I take that pitch it’d be a strike, too.”
McGraw was the hero — not the goat — Sunday afternoon.
In fact, it was McGraw vs. Cardenal in two critical situations.
In the seventh inning, with runners on first and second and two outs, Cardenal was pinch-hitting for Clint Hurdle. He filed out to centerfielder Garry Maddox, ending the threat.
And in the crucial ninth, McGraw again was in trouble as he loaded the bases by walking Amos Otis on four pitches. Again it was up to Cardenal to save the day.
But Cardenal lost that battle, also. He struck out and, in anger, flipped the bat into the late afternoon sky and headed for the losers' dugout.
Cardenal also lost his bat earlier when it flew out of his hands as he chased a McGraw screwball. McGraw retrieved it and handed it back to Cardenal.
"I didn't say anything to him," said McGraw of the incident. "He said something to me in Spanish that you wouldn't hear in church.
"I know enough Spanish to get the idea what he was saying. So when I handed it (the bat) back to him, I kind of stuck it in his stomach."
Not to mention sticking it to him in the ninth to save yet another Philly victory.
White’s fielding in vain
By Mike DeArmond, A Member of the Sports Staff
As Frank White trotted out to his second-base position for the Royals in the top of the ninth inning Sunday, he gave his fielder’s glove a gentle, almost loving tap of his fist. It is a habit many players have, but it took on new meaning in this instance.
White had done little with his bat — his largest contribution being a sacrifice bunt that set up the Royals' first run in the fifth inning — but with his glove White had been magic.
In the third inning, with Larry Bowa on first, White raced far into right field to make an over-the-shoulder grab of Bob Boone’s bid for a popup single. That saved a run.
In the seventh, with runners at first and third, White ranged into shallow center field for Manny Trillo’s bouncer and whipped the ball to second for an inning-ending forceout. That saved a run.
And in the eighth, White again ranged into right field, this time to field Bowa's grounder and throw out the Philadelphia shortstop.
But all of White’s defensive brilliance could not save this day for the Royals. Game 5 of the World Series was won by the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3.
“I was thinking in the eighth inning that this has been by far the greatest game of the Series,” White said. “I thought we were going to win. I thought we were going to have a nice plane ride to Philadelphia (today at noon) and we were going to enjoy ourselves.”
Philadelphia's 2-run rally in the top of the ninth changed that scenario for White and the Royals, of course. It will be the Phillies who enjoy that plane ride, the Royals who must ponder in the long hours before the start of Game 6 in Philadelphia Tuesday night, just what must be done to scramble back from a 3-2 deficit and win the World Series.
White couldn’t even appreciate what might have been, because it simply wasn't.
“If this is the final game of the Series and we lost, everything I've done is down the tubes," White said. “It’s very frustrating, but that’s sports. You can’t do anything about it.”
It was a tribute, perhaps, to the kind of day White had defensively, that his locker was the scene of so much congestion that White was the Iasi Royal to shower, the last Royal to leave the Kansas City dressing room.
The most difficult play looked to be White’s catch of Boone’s pop fly in the third inning. A collision with right-fielder Clint Hurdle seemed imminent. But at the last moment Hurdle gave way and White, losing his cap, made the catch with his back to the infield. Bowa was so surprised, he didn’t even try to get back to the bag and White relayed the throw to Willie Aikens, who tossed on to pitcher Larry Gura covering first for a double play.
"Clint said later that he might have caught the ball, but that he would have had to dive,” White said. "He didn’t yell anything in the outfield, and as long as he doesn't say anything, I’ve got to just keep going."
Unfortunately for the Royals, none of the balls the Phils hit in their winning rally in the ninth came dose to Frank White.
Royals face uphill climb in Philly
The Morning Line By Mike McKenzie
You can tell the people who bet on the Philadelphia Phillies by the stain on their shoes — from the drool.
Dan Quisenberry, the Royals’ relief pitcher whose back nearly was nailed to the wall by Manny Trillo’s line drive which drove in the winning run Sunday, summed up the return to Philadelphia for Game 6 of the World Series:
"Our backs are against the wall… the Berlin Wall… east side.”
The Series continues Tuesday in the considerable din of Veterans Stadium, and the Phillies’ confidence with a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series is enhanced 100-fold. That s how many times Steve Carlton has won a game for them in that circular madhouse. And what a fitting ending it would be to his Cy Young Award season.
"We’d better get to him early, or it’s over," said Willie Aikens, who never professed to be a prophet but does have a strong sense of reality.
Then again, if you could write these dramas called baseball games according to the form charts, this Series would have been written off Royally long ago.
Both teams are hitting the Made in Haiti off the ball — right at .300 between them — and each contest seems to come down to which mop ’n stopper, Quisenberry or Tug McGraw, will prevail against which clutch hitter.
Sunday, it was McGraw, who confessed he’d been out seeing if he could close down the town the night, ah, morning before.
“I had some guilt feelings over the few extra beers I had to relax,” McGraw said. “I’d catch it when I got home if I didn’t do well.”
Well, he did.
Day-later replays in the mind's eye of Sunday's tidal wave of action could focus on dozens of vignettes. Most occurred in the ninth inning, both halves.
Mike Schmidt’s hit off George Brett's glove, attributed to a bunt-hit the night before. "You’d like to play-Schmidt 50 feet behind the bag,” said Brett. "But we gave him the bunt Saturday, and he took it."
“I smiled at George when I came up,” said Schmidt. “He had to be remembering yesterday. That bunt gave me the hit today.”
Throughout the Phillies clubhouse, the feeling prevailed that Schmidt's hit leading off the winning 2-run rally was the game's most important.
On the other side, the losing side, the most talked-about was Darrell Porter thrown out at home on a double by Willie Wilson in the sixth inning.
The Royals had tied on Amos Otis' home run, gone ahead oft a sacrifice fly by U.L. Washington, and had the meat of the batting order itching to get at the Phillies. A pair of well-thrown relays from Bake McBride-to-Trillo-to-Bob Boone snuffed Porter and the rally.
Bust-open time suddenly was a bust, period.
Many analyses this morning weave around the judgment of third base coach Gordy MacKenzie on that play. “I’d send him again on the same play," MacKenzie said.
And he’d be out again.
The strikeout of Jose Cardenal with the bases loaded to end the game sent a flock of reporters to his comer to hear him say, "With a hit, I could be the hero — Jose could be all over the country, on the good-morning show and everything. Instead, I am the bomb."
In his Hispanic accent, that means “bum," but either way, it fits.
There was also a sub-plot to Cardenal, being in the game in the first place. He had pinch-hit and taken over right field for Clint Hurdle two innings earlier because the Phillies went to the left-handed pitching McGraw.
Hurdle, lifted against lefties the last half of the season, was livid. “I'd like to know how many of the times he (Manager Jim Frey) has pinch hit for me that it worked," Hurdle said. “You'd think once he'd say, ‘Go on up there Clint and give us a hit.' That’s the situation every ballplayer dreams of… you'd like to be the one to bust it open in a World Series.''
Cardenal, who's been unloaded more times by teams than the corner Dempsey Dumpster, filed out with two men on when he entered the game. But Frey said he'd decided the night before he’d use Cardenal against McGraw “because I figured he knows him better.”
The theory is Cardenal played several years in the National League. Also, he hit .340 in his short time with the Royals. Those, apparently, override any theories about bow the Royals clinched a pennant by 15 games or so with Hurdle (.294) and John Wathan (.306) before Cardenal ever arrived.
Until the next pitch is thrown, discussions will not cease about what Quisenberry referred to as “the three inches " on the decisive hits off him — one off Brett's glove, one over Aikens' glove, one off Quisenberry’s glove. All the heroics of Phillies also fog the sensations of Frank White’s superb fielding and Otis' solid hitting for the Royals. And in a discussion of inches, how about a ball hit barely foul into the seats in left field by Hal McRae off McGraw in the ninth — and then the grounder McRae hit which was fielded falling down by Larry Bowa for an out rather than game-tying hit?
But the single-most vivid moment that swayed emotions among 42,369 in Royals Stadium and countless millions on TV came on the fifth, sixth and seventh pitches by McGraw in the ninth.
Those were served to George Brett. For one, rare time, no magic of the Brett-a-matic. Later, with two more runners on, Cardenal 's strikeout bore finality.
Now, back to Philly. And Carlton. He, as usual, had nothing to say about it. But check his shoes. You can bet they're stained.
A game of inches: Phils find cliché true
By Gib Twyman, A Member of the Sports Staff
Mike Schmidt stood in the Phillies dressing room, holding hit hands about four inches apart. He was talking to a ring of listeners, but his hands spoke louder than his voice.
"A few inches either way for both teams," the Philadelphia third base-man was saying. "That's pretty much how the whole Series has gone.”
In the Phils’ 4-3 victory Sunday over Kansas City at Royals’ Stadium, the most important inches were these: the distance Hal McRae missed a home run and the piece of the plate Tug McGraw hit when he struck out George Brett and Jose Cardenal, stopping the Royals’ rally in the ninth inning.
McGraw had walked Frank White, leading off the Royals' half of the inning, but he caught Brett looking at an 0-and-2 fastball on the outside corner. Even so, he wasn’t out of the frying pan yet. The firepower ahead of him was Willie Aikens (8-for-18 and 8 runs batted in in the Series so far), Hal McRae (9-for-19) and Amos Otis (11-for-20).
McGraw, who now has a victory and a save in the Series, got put all of them — plus Cardenal — without giving up a run. But not without some of those inches Schmidt was talking about.
McGraw walked Aikens, then McRae hit a towering shot to left that ducked just to the left of the foul pole.
“I’ll tell you,” cracked McGraw, "I thought for a minute I might have to be rescued by one of those people who signed up for the CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) people they've been advertising here all week.
"If that ball had gone out of the park fair I would have felt very depressed. In fact, I am quite certain I would have had at least a heart attack.”
McRae bounced into the hole toward left and shortstop Larry Bowa made a fine stop, forcing Onix Concepcion running for Aikens. Then came McGraw's battle with Otis, who already was 2-for-3 In the game including a home run. He had driven hi seven runs in the Series.
"When I went out there for the inning, I was thinking 1-2-3. But when it didn't work out that way, the farther I went along, the more careful I got,” McGraw said. "That might have added to my problems. And I wound up being very, very careful to Otis.
"I was trying to make a perfect pitch on Otis. I may not have been exactly pitching around him, but I made up my mind it wasn’t going to bother me if I walked him. Not as hot as he has been.”
Manager Dallas Green concurred. “Boonie (catcher Bob Boone) and I talked about him (Otis) before the game. I didn't tell our guy to pitch him like that. If I want four billion a guy I will say so and not leave the catcher and pitcher hanging. But Tug and Boonie definitely went along with our earlier thinking. We were not going to give him a chance to drive in that run."
Schmidt said, "It might be a little unorthodox, pitching around a guy to put the winning run at second base. But in this case it worked."
McGraw said, "It was a choice in my mind of: 'Do I want to pitch against a guy who 's tearing us up or a guy (Cardenal) I know a little bit better?'"
However pitching against Cardenal didn't represent any prize for McGraw. "When he was with the Cuba, I know I always considered him one of the best pinch hitters in the National League with runners on base.
"I had many games where he'd be up there with maybe two outs in an inning and nobody on and come in to pinch hit and I'd feel like he was a comfortable out. But when men were on base, it was a whole different deal.
"The only advantage was, I knew him better than Amos. I'm sure that's why Frey (Jim, Royals' manager) stuck with Jose. He knows me better than Wathan (John, a possible right handed pinch hitter who could have replace Cardenal)."
Cardenal, a .340 hitter for the Royals as a late-season acquisition, but 0-for-6 in the Series, yanked the first pitch hard down the left-field line, got the count to 1-and-l before fouling two more pitches off. Then McGraw gunned a fastball — almost an exact replica of the pitch to Brett — over the inside part of the plate. Cardenal swung and missed.
Still, the most exciting part of the inning for McGraw was striking out Brett. "It’s no secret he's the best hitter in baseball. It had to be one of my biggest thrills ever — maybe a highlight of my career to get a hitter like that in that situation.
“Frankly, I think he might have been looking for a waste pitch on 0-2. Maybe he didn't expect me to come back at him. Our scouting reports said it was better to go after him with the ball up a little rather than down. The reports show it’s the low ball he drives all the time. The ball up and away he takes the other way. And the ball tends to hang in the air a little longer because it's not hit quite as hard.
"All I can say is that I would hate to try to spend a whole summer making a living like that. He’s got to be the greatest in the game at this time.”
The greatest hit for the Phillies’ didn't even get out of the infield. With Del Unser at third and two outs, Trillo ripped a single off Quisenberry’s glove. Brett picked up the ricochet, but was too late with the throw to first.
"He threw me two fastballs and then came back with a slider (an 0-and-2 pitch)," said Trillo, who was 4- for-18 at the time. "I got the end of my bat on the ball but hit it pretty good. I was just looking to make contact. I only wanted to hit the ball up the middle.”
Unser, who had a crucial pinch hit that helped Philadelphia win the second game 6-4, said, "I was just following Ted Williams’ old philosophy: Get a good pitch to hit. That means — don't get fooled. I did think with Schmitty on first base (and Aikens holding the runner), that if I got a pitch to pull I would try to jerk it down the line. Fortunately, I got a chance. The ball seemed to take a hop over Aikens' glove. I think he only missed it by three or four inches."
The same ones Schmidt’s hands were tailing about earlier.
Phillies, umpires sling a little mud
By Gib Twyman, A Member of the Sports Staff
The World Series is that event where every incident is The Most Cosmic Thing That Ever Happened. Victories and losses are blamed on everything from your great Aunt Minnie’s bunions to how the caribou are migrating in the Northwest Territories.
Now they’re picking on mud.
Poor, innocent, well-meaning little mud.
Mud from the Red River, a tributary of the Delaware, to be specific. Now mud, you might say, could stand to clean up its act a little. It has a rather messy reputation. But this mud never meant anybody any harm. Next thing it knows, the muckrakers are out in force and it is bogged down in a World Series brouhaha.
The Big Muddy Debate, you might call it.
But don't laugh. This could be important stuff, because Steve Carlton will take the mound again Tuesday night in Game 6, attempting to nail down Philadelphia's first World Series championship. And, the last time he pitched, he complained about mud.
How did such a thing ever happen to mud? Ah, there’s the rub.
Or, isn't the rub, as the case may be, depending upon whose side one is on.
For years now, as Umpire Don Denkinger explained Sunday, no self-respecting baseball would be caught dead in a major-league baseball game without first getting a mudpack facial.
True Baseballs are delivered to the teams fresh from the Rawlings Sporting Goods people, all nice and bright and shiny white. Only, they are too slick for pitchers to get good grips on them that way. So they must be rubbed up each game. With mud.
"The mud must come from this one tributary of the Delaware,” Denkinger said. "Because of its particular graininess and grittiness and to keep each ball rubbed uniformly."
It is the plate umpire’s job to rub up the balls before each game. Last Wednesday night in Philadelphia, Manager Dallas Green of the Phils claimed the balls were not rubbed up properly.
Steve Carlton, his ace left-handed pitcher, won the game 6-4 all right, but he also gave up six walks. He had a wild pitch and fell tie hind batters constantly, setting the stage for 10 hits by the Royals.
it wasn’t Steve's stuff, said Green, it was the baseballs' buff.
"Lefty was wild tonight, sure," said Green in a postgame press conference. “But… the balls were not rubbed up correctly. They were too slick and he couldn’t get ahold of them. A pitcher like Steve needs to get a good bite on the ball to throw his slider or he can’t control it."
There you have it. It was the offending ooze. How is a guy expected to go out there unless the baseball is properly slopped?
Well, he shouldn’t have to. And, as far as the umpiring crew of this 77th World Series is concerned, maybe he didn’t. Denkinger can’t say for sure.
Bill Kunkel was the plate umpire last Wednesday, and he rubbed up his usual number of balls. Denkinger said, "Before each Series game, we rub up 6 to 10 dozen baseballs. We rubbed up that many that night. Sometimes, if we run out of those, there will be a batch rubbed up on an emergency basis — often by clubhouse boys or the like. I don’t know where the ones they were complaining about came from. But I do know we rubbed them up as always.”
Denkinger explained how the balls are treated. "Every game in the Series, we rub up 6 to 10 dozen. It will take a guy anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to rub up that many. For a lot of guys, it’s a way to relieve tension. They enjoy it.”
There is a technique. "You just slap some in the palm of your hand, then stick the baseball in the middle of it. The mud has been watered down. Then you rub it back and forth between your palms and fingers.”
Denkinger brought out two baseballs. One was pearly white. The other was brown by comparison. "You can plainly see the difference. We have this can in each of our dressing rooms around the league. At the beginning of the season, the league will get 14 cans of the mud. It comes in a one pound coffee can with a white plastic lid on it. It lasts a long time as you can see. We still have about a three-quarters of a can left and we’ve been using this can here all year."
“This has been going on — oh, name a figure — as long as anybody can remember," said Dick Butler, the major leagues' supervisor of umpires. There is no secret in this particular mud. It always comes from there to keep it uniform.
Said Denkinger, "Baseballs are now made out of cowhide. Occasionally we get a ball that lias different absorbency. You can see this ball. One piece is darker than the other. One surface is smoother than the other.
"But this is the first time I’ve ever heard any pitcher comment that the reason he was too wild was the baseballs weren’t rubbed right."
Denkinger wasn't going on record saying Carlton was wrong. And he wasn't saying he was right. All he said was, “Tell me baseball is not a crazy game when they wind up making an issue out of mud."
Porter has heard it all
Frustrations grow as catcher is deluged with advice
By Mike McKenzie, A Member of the Sports Staff
Darrell Porter says he is sick and tired "…of people telling me what to do."
"People have told me nine million times, relax, and they think I'm not listening,” Porter said Sunday before Game 5 of the World Series. “I hear every word. Relax, and be more aggressive. Relax, and be more aggressive. Well, I'm telling myself."
Porter has been all but handcuffed at bat in the World Series. He entered Sunday’s game 0-for-10 and had struck out four times. And, he was heavily criticized by the media after a passive play in Game 1 in which Porter was thrown out at home plate on a throw from Philadelphia leftfielder Lonnie Smith after a single by Clint Hurdle.
Although the throw got to the plate well ahead of Porter, Phillies’ catcher Bob Boone, favoring an injured left foot, stepped to the right of the plate instead of blocking it. Porter did not try to knock Boone over, nor did he slide. In fact, just before reaching home, he stopped.
A television replay showed that Porter was nearly safe and it was speculated he would have been safe if he had put more effort into the play. Porter said his feet became entangled as he rounded third and he couldn’t get in step correctly for a slide — “I would have broken my ankle."
Royals Manager Jim Frey said he didn't want Porter injured trying to knock the ball loose from Boone.
But that was just the beginning of Porter's ordeal. At that point — the fourth inning and the Royals ahead 4-0 — he had walked twice. Before two singles in four at-bats Sunday, Porter had gone 11 more plate appearances with 10 outs and one walk to show for it.
"I’ve tried all those things people are telling me," said Porter. “Everybody you can name. Press, friends, family, fans, teammates. The skipper (Frey) is the only one who hasn't been on me."
Porter had hitting problems most of the last half of the season and he had a l-for-10 showing in the playoffs during the Royals 3-game sweep over the New York Yankees.
Admittedly concerned about reshaping his personal life and the status of his contract, Porter finished with a .249 batting average. He hit just one home run the last two months (seven for the season) and his runs hatted in i51) were less than half of last season’s 112.
Porter spent six weeks during spring training and into the regular season at an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. His contract with the Royals expires at the end of this season, and he is eligible to declare himself available in the free-agent draft pool. He said he prefers to stay in Kansas City, but will probably test the market.
“When we left Minnesota (the Royals' last road trip of the regular season), I felt I had something going finally," Porter said. I still didn't have many hits to show for it, but I was hitting it hard. What can I do about it? I don t know. I guess people will just have to write what they want."
With that, he walked away from the conversation and into a 2-hit day that he could only hope would put the talk about his problems to rest.
Notes: Carlton, Gale start in Game 6
Frey wants to use right-hander again
Right-hander Rich Gale, 13-9, will start the sixth game Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The Phillies are scheduled to start left-hander Steve Carlton, 24-9.
Gale started the third game Friday night and was relieved by Renie Martin with one out in the fifth inning after giving up seven hits and two runs.
"It’s the same as Game 3," said Royals Manager Jim Frey. "They're a strong right-handed hitting club, so I want to get a right-hander out there.”
The other possibility for the sixth game was left-hander Paul Splittorff. Splittorff, a 10-year veteran, has not pitched in the World Series. Splittorff, 14-11 this season, started the third playoff game against the Yankees…
Leftfielder Lonnle Smith was scratched from Philadelphia’s starting lineup Sunday because of a jammed right little finger. He suffered the injury during batting practice Saturday.
Greg Luzinski, who missed the second, third and fourth games because of an intestinal virus, started in left field…
Royals centerfielder Amos Otis has hit safely in all eight post-season games. By hitting safely in each of the first five games of the Series, George Brett has hit in 18 of 21 post-season games for the Royals.
Bittersweet memories left after last out
By Jeffrey R. Coplon, A Member of the Staff
It was the best of games and the worst of games, but in the end the Kansas City Royals fell one rally short, leaving their fans with bittersweet memories of the first World Series to come to this long-suffering town.
“My, that was a disappointing day," Roger Woody of Independence said in the deflated calm only a drained rooter knows, after he watched the Royals lose a 4-3 decision to the Phillies, rocking the Series back to the Cradle of Liberty Tuesday night.
It didn’t seem fair that the destiny of this team should hinge on Jose Cardenal, a 37-year-old journeyman and late-season pickup, who swung at Tug McGraw's final pitches like he was waving to a cousin in the stands.
And it didn't seem fair that Willie Mays Aikens, he of the heroic home runs, should neglect to touch first base in the fourth, leading directly to a Philadelphia run.
And it certainly didn't seem fair that George Brett, of all people, should take a third strike in that heart-stopping ninth, a script ordinarily tailored for his golden-boy heroics.
When it was over and the fans pre pared to file out of Royals Stadium for the last time this season, there was the dead stillness that comes after the deluge, the open-mouthed freeze frame after the bomb.
But with the balm of time, that memory will fade amid the brighter ones of these three days of mid-October, when all America watched Kansas City show it could play big-league ball with the best of them.
¶ ¶ ¶
For anyone who witnessed last weekend's events, whether at the stadium or on television, impressions of this Series will linger:
The dramatic revival of Brett, striking a first-inning home run only four hours after leaving a hospital for surgery on his hemorrhoids… overhead the motorized hang glider and brilliant helium balloons and the huge Goodyear blimp, hovering low in the perfect autumn sky… the hoarse voices of fans worn to a frazzle by 27 innings of World Series cheering… the spotlighting of Old Westport and the downtown skyline on network television… the emergence of Aikens, as big and shy as Little John, watching his fourth Series home run a la Reggie Jackson.
The hopeful, ticketless hordes outside the stadium, armed with cardboard pleas and ready cash… and the old two-fingered peace sign now serving as a request for a pair of seats… and the hapless scalpers collared by plainclothes policemen… the advancing shadows, making the field a sundial rarely soon in this era of the night game… the invasion of the Beautiful People, such as the blond woman in the long blond fur and sunflower slacks, a yellow vision on an exit ramp… the sleight-of-glove magic of Frank White, spiking one Philadelphia rally after another.
Beyond all this nostalgia-in-the-making, the past week has filled a very basic need for the citizens of Kansas City.
In feudal days, Dr. William McKnelly observed, a villager "would identify with the local duke — you’d want him to marry a beautiful woman."
McKnelly, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center, sees much the same phenomenon operating in Kansas City's first joust in the World Series.
Fans of the Royals, he said, "all have a lot of chauvinism and parochialism in this… It just gives us a feeling of superiority. It’s like saying, ‘I'm better than you, our town’s better than your town.’ It's just a matter of pride, like it is in your high school.”
This post-season has been especially satisfying to Kansas City psyches, said Dr. Don Goodwin, McKnelly’s department chairman, because the Royals have taken on two pillars of the Eastern Establishment, New York and Philadelphia.
"It’s the old fairy tale of David vs Goliath, and you’re on David’s side," said Goodwin, himself such a rabid fan that there is "no way for me to talk about George Brett without crying."
Even should the Phillies prevail, the doctors agreed that Kansas City fans would remain ahead of the game.
“There will be a very brief letdown," Goodwin said, "but some people will almost be relieved, because you can't sustain elation too long. It’s nice to settle down to real life."
¶ ¶ ¶
It's been a long season, after all, and more than a few fans seemed ready Sunday for the off-season during this, their 86th home game of the year.
In their season-ticket seats behind home plate, Dick and Debby Klemansky of Lenexa were punching a dummy in Philly colors — an effigy of Pete Rose, the Philadelphia first baseman, whom Royal fans love to hate.
The dummy was very true to life, even to its gray hairs and a bandage on its knee, where Rose was hit by a pitched ball Friday night. In place of a mouth was a drooping magenta flower— a dead rose.
"This will probably be Pete's last Series," Klemansky said. "We’ll hang him tonight, and he'll burn Tuesday, when the Royals win in six."
¶ ¶ ¶
But a bus driver named John Mitchell proved a better prophet, as he stood behind the left-field bleachers in his blue Metro uniform, a golf cap promoting Jack Daniels bourbon, and a button declaring that Christ loves you.
"This is gonna be a hard game,” he said as he saw the Royals retired in the second. "This is gonna be a tight game."
Mitchell and a small circle of associates huddled well behind the stands, peeking at the field only when the crowd roared.
"I’m waiting for the action," said Ardis L. High, whose porcelain-capped incisor is engraved with the Royals’ crown insignia. "I don't pay any attention until I have to."
High probably snapped to in the bottom of the sixth, when the Royals rallied for two runs and a 3-2 edge. The entire stadium was awash with the sense of an imminent kill.
"We re going to win now!" crowed John Sanders, a young printer, behind the right-field bleachers. In his arms was John Jr., a 2-year-old towhead surfing on the surge of the crowd. As Clint Hurdle scored the lead run, the toddler jerked tiny fists into the air, and then began slapping his own face with glee. He gave vent to a squeaky shriek, a baby version of a good-ol’-boy yell.
"Say 'Royals,'” his proud father instructed, but John Jr. suddenly clammed up. “He’s bashful," the father apologized.
¶ ¶ ¶
There were cheers for everyone Sunday: the "U-L," and "JO-SE," chants, modeled after New York’s “REG-GIE"; the old standard “CHARGE” an ”A-O" sung to the tune of "Amen," and a wishful “ONE-TWO-THREE,” before the Philly ninth that capped the Royals’ defeat.
And 30 minutes before the first pitch, 10 enthusiasts opened wide outside the stadium with the following:
“Sixity bun ala vin bon bau
Sixity bun ala vin bon bau
Ala vio ala vio ala vin von vau
Royals Royals Rah Rah Rah !"
"You can't really translate it from Spanish to English; it’s just a cheer we say instead of ‘Charge!'" said Ramon Neme, who traveled with several comrades from Mexico City to attend the Series.
Not everyone was cheering for the Royals, of course. Most conspicuous among this minority were 35 women with red-and-white shakers — the wives of Philadelphia players, coaches, trainers, club executives and sportswriters.
“I cheer even louder than I do in Philadelphia, because it’s harder for the guys on our team to hear," said Judy Amaro, the wife of first-base coach Reuben.
The loudest wives, by consensus, were Beverly Carlton and Sue Ruthven.
"But all of us are rooting," said Karen Saucier, wife of pitcher Kevin. "We’re making fools of ourselves, I guess, but as long as we win this thing…”
¶ ¶ ¶
Up in the Stadium Club, a more casual air toward the game predominated. Sunday found most patrons more attentive than usual, as they stood three deep to watch the action, cocktail glasses in hand.
But not all were obsessed by the Fall Classic. When a bartender tried to switch a television from the closing moments of the Kansas City Chiefs' victory to Larry Gura's first pitch, there were several cries of protest.
The bartender switched back and then waited standing balanced on a chair, to get the go-ahead.
¶ ¶ ¶
As the Royals came up in the ninth inning for one last stab, even the beer vendors stole away for a glimpse of the action. Behind the right-field bleachers the tension was palpable. One elderly woman, a regular nicknamed "Grandma” who dances polkas in the aisle, stood with her chin in her hands, as if in prayer.
Top Cat Graves, as cool as the night in his brown suede jacket, was worried. There were two outs, and Amos Otis stepped to the plate with two men on.
“If he gets a hit," said Top Cat, motioning toward a fluttering Old Glory high above, "I'll take that flag down and kiss it — and I don't kiss no flags."
But Otis walked, and Cardenal came to the plate.
"This dude’s a pro, that's why they got him," Top Cat said. “He's almost as old as me, but I’ll put my money on him.”
He lost that bet, but Top Cat Graves went through the turnstile unbowed.
"When the Royals come back from Philadelphia, they'll be the champs," he said defiantly. "I'm banking on it."
Young fans get spirit
They agree: Royals all the way in the Series
By Paul Vitello, A Member of the Staff
They were practically born with a pennant in their mouths, those short fans who are younger than the 12-year-old Kansas City Royals.
As fans, they hardly know the meaning of work.
All they do is wave their little index fingers around. They are so young they do not even know the 2-fingered “V” victory sign. They are children of the 70s. Just kids.
And another thing.
They are the future of baseball.
Though the young people at Royals Stadium over the weekend would probably take that in stride, too, just the way they took it in stride that they were witnessing the first World Series ever in Kansas City — something many of their parents have waited a generation for.
“It ain't tlie best game I ever saw, and it ain't the worst," said 6-year-old Kelby Mieras of Lenexa as the Royals beat the Philadephia Phillies 5-3 Saturday. “But I think after this you're going to see the Phillies go down the drain."
As in the general ballpark fan population, the kids were a mixed bag — some sage, some hoarse, some happy, some cranky.
From his perch atop a garbage can in the standing-room section Saturday, one freckled 8-year-old from Lansing, Kan. did his best to keep up with the Royals explosive first inning. But he gave up because of the two wild adults standing in front of him who waved and jumped around with every hit. He said they were his parents, and that he hoped the Royals won. "What's the score?” he added.
"To be honest with you," said 11-year -old Matt Piltz of Kansas City, "I didn't think the Phillies would be as strong as this. They have surprised me.
Adjusting his glasses and straightening his baseball cap, Piltz continued: "But I think they've just about had it. They’re tired. They’re played out. And Brett is coming on strong, and so is Willie Aikens and Hal McRae. And even though be isn’t hitting, Darrell Porter is doing an excellent job behind the plate.”
Ten-year-old David Thompson of Kansas City stopped briefly on the plaza concourse, balancing a pair of sodas in a cardboard container, and said he thought a World Series game seemed about the same as any other game.
"Except the people yell a lot more," he said.
Drew Sullivan, an Overland Park fifth-grader wearing a Royals jacket and a cowboy hat, not only saw Saturday’s World Series game but also attended a playoff game against the Yankees. His comment was succinct.
"Pretty good," he said.
For 9-year-old Nicole LaPolnte, who admitted to playing more soccer than baseball, the most interesting thing about the game of baseball is the timing. "You have to know when to swing and when not to," she said, waiting at a concession stand with her brother, Kirk, 6, and her father, Richard LaPointe. "It must be very hard."
Her brother said he liked the blip.
"The blimp," his sister corrected him. “The Goodyear blimp."
Newcomer to baseball is hooked by atmosphere of big game
By Paul Vitello, A Member of the Staff
Some background: I am a reporter, age 29. Until I was assigned to write a feature about the fans at Game 2 of the 1980 American League playoffs, I had never attended a major league baseball game.
But apparently believing that my statue as a baseball virgin waa unique — If not freakish — my editors asked me to record some of my observations during the playoff game and two World Series games.
In an effort to satisfy their appetite for the exotic and bizarre, and to help my fellow non-fans better understand the great draw of the baseball stadium, I noted the following:
• There are 10 players on the home team — nine ballplayers and the crowd. Until you are in it, you cannot imagine how loudly they scream. It is like standing in a jet engine. When they inhale as one, during crises, it is like sitting in the belly of a giant vacuum cleaner.
• I found it touching the way they stopped selling hot dogs and beer during the Star-Spangled Banner.
• I never really understood why they called it a “bullpen” until I saw one. But then another question arises: Isn’t a pitcher more like a matador than a bull?
• The way fans sometimes loll around on top of the dugouts, you get the feeling that the players inside are toys the fans take out to play with.
• A seat on the first-base line is better than all the slow motion in television. And this point deserves more than hit-and-run treatment.
On television, you do not see how a 90-mile-an-hour pitch sails through the air like a falcon. Something about the curved television tube distorts that breath-taking straight line.
Unless you are there, you do not see the big picture either — the spring action stillness on the field before the pitch is hit; the way nine men then move as if connected by a loose web; the way a line drive can seem to dump chaos into right field and turn the baseball diamond into a merry-go-round; how, meanwhile, the ball is suddenly under control again and being shuttled back across 410 feet of space into the tiny pocket of a catcher 's mitt in time for the out. All going on at once.
Unless you are there, you cannot feel how much space there is for the fielders to control and for the batters to exploit. It is an ocean.
The other thing I would like to mention about these baseball games is that people seemed to treat each other pretty well. I never saw a fight in the stands. I never even heard about a fight.
The reason this surprised me is that the emotion level during the games was cranked up enough to support a war.
Maybe it is the underlying non-violence of a game where men from opposing teams can stand at first base and look like they’re chatting. Maybe it is the talent for patience — something baseball fans seem to share – that prevents fights. Whatever the reason, it was heartwarming.
And that describes my general experience at Royals Stadium. I think I like this baseball stuff. Enough so to buy some tickets next year. Or barring that, I may try to sell my editors on a story that would be headlined “Man Sees First Regular Season Game Ever.”
FAA allowed certain aircraft over stadium
Pilots of the balloons, hang gliders and other aircraft that flew over Royals Stadium Sunday during the fifth game of the World Series possessed something no one else in the city had —a permit.
Joined by the crew of the Goodyear blimp, the pilots who flew over the stadium had received prior approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to make the flight, said Ted McAnally, operations inspector for the FAA general aviation district office 11.
While more than 40,000 people at the game watched the Phillies defeat the Royals, FAA officials stationed around the stadium kept their eyes to the sky, tracking all aircraft that moved in and out of the area, McAnally said.
A special flight restriction was issued Oct. 15 barring all airborne vehicles from being within two miles of the stadium or less than 3,500 feet from the ground. The temporary restriction was designed to prevent mid-air collisions over the stadium, McAnally said.
McAnally said permission to fly over the stadium was granted to the news media and persons with official business.
Royals’ victory in third game added to youth’s Series thrill
In an effort to measure the depth of the Royals’ short, young fans, The Kansas City Times asked one to write about Game 3 of the World Series, in which the Royals won their first Series game ever, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3.
Todd Housh, 9, a fourth-grader at Merriam Elementary School, filed thia report:
"The thrill was even to go to a World Series. Win or lose. At least we got there for once. But it is always fun to win. My thrill was just to win one game. If we only won one game, at least we won one.
"But if we lost four straight, it wouldn’t be fun going. They would make fun of us and they would call us names.
“If we didn't get season tickets we couldn’t go to the World Series.
"I still wish that George (Brett) hit .400. But I would rather hit .390 than .300.
"I think that the key hits (in Game 3) were George's home run. But Amos' (Otis) home run was the key to the victory. Our pitching was good. Renie Martin did a great job and so did Dan (Quisenberry). Clint (Hurdle) got a hit to keep the rally going. And Willie Mays (Aikens) smashed the ball hard. (Philadelphia centerfielder Garry) Maddox tried to catch it but that guy could not catch a single thing.
"My dad's friend said Willie (Aikens) could not play defense. He said he's not the best first baseman and he could not hit.
"But he found out how good he was. He can hit hard."
Good deed turns sour for Wiggins
By Mark Fraser and James C. Fitzpatrick, Members of the Staff
State Sen Harry Wiggins thought he was forfeiting his two $20 tickets Sunday to make it easier for an aging and somewhat ailing lawyer to see Game 5 of the World Series.
How, he wants to know, did the tickets end up going to Nick Civella, reputedly the czar of the Kansas City underworld, and Peter Tambureilo a close Civella associate?
In the end, the incident culminated in a shouting match and a minor disturbance at the World Series game Sunday involving Civella, some of his relatives, Tambureilo and members of the media.
In confronting reporters and photographers at the stadium, Civella said Wiggins had personally delivered the tickets to his house Sunday morning — an assertion Wiggins denies.
Tambureilo demanded,”What 's the matter with us being here at the game?"
Besides disrupting part of the sixth inning for some fans at the stadium, the whole experience has left Oct. 19 planted in Wiggins' mind as the day a nightmare came true.
The man who Wiggins said persuaded him to part with his tickets — Sal Capra, a former City Council member — could not be reached for comment.
Last May, Fred Harvey Bonadonna, a former Kansas City restaurant owner, testified before a US Senate subcommittee on racketeering that Capra held a City Council seat that mob figures viewed as theirs for 16 years before he was defeated for re-election in 1975. Capra, who now serves as a paid consultant for the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners and is an intergovernmental affairs consultant to the Area Transportation Authority, angrily denied the allegation at the time of Bonadonna s testimony.
Here is what Wiggins says happened Sunday:
Just as he was leaving Leonard's Restaurant at 321 E. Gregory, Wiggins received a call from Capra, who said he wanted to meet him at the restaurant.
When Capra appeared, he told the state senator that he wanted to obtain two plaza-level seats for the World Series game that afternoon.
Wiggins says that Capra told him the tickets were intended for James E. Burke, a 70-year-old lawyer who once represented Tom Pendergast, the late political boss of the city. According to Wiggins, Capra explained the request by saying that Burke’s health made it difficult for him to reach his seats higher up in the stadium.
On Sunday night, Burke, who had sat in the club-level season tickets his firm owns, said he and Capra had not discussed any exchange of seats for the game.
Wiggins, who is a friend of Burke's, said he agreed to swap his two $20 seats for $15 view-level seats that Capra had to offer. Wiggins said he and Capra went to the senator's house, where the tickets were swapped.
Wiggins went on to the game, and in the second inning decided to visit Burke, who he thought was in the field-level seats behind first-base line. But instead, Wiggins found Civella and Tamburello in his old seats.
A former assistant US district attorney, Wiggins immediately recognized Tamburello and later realized that the second man was Civella.
“I'm a grown man and I've had a lot of surprises in my life, but I’ve never been so astonished to see Nick Civella sitting in a seat I paid for," Wiggins said. "It was so incredible to me… I felt I was having a nightmare.”
The senator said he demanded to know where Burke was, but that the two men said they knew nothing of his friend. Wiggins quoted Tamburello as saying, "We're not telling you anything."
After a few more futile minutes of trying to get an explanation of how Civella and Tamburello had gotten the tickets, Wiggins walked off to a telephone and called Capra.
"I called Sal Capra at home and said, ‘Sal, who’s sitting in my seats?’
Wiggins said that Capra indicated that he knew who was sitting in them. Capra "said he would try to explain it to me sometime,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins’ departure from the plaza-level seats was soon followed by the arrival of reporters and photographers whom the state senator had told of his discovery.
And during the Royals' two-run sixth inning, cameramen and photographers converged on the section where Civella and Tamburello sat. After a few minutes, Civella rose and walked back to an aisle about four rows behind the seats and confronted Scott Feldman, Channel 9 anchorman.
"Would you try to tell me what you’re doing?” Civella said.
"You’re Nick Civella, aren’t you?” Feldman asked.
"You know who I am,” Civella answered.
Walking up to the group Tamburello asked why the reporters and photographers were present and then shoved a camera being held by a Channel 9 cameraman, Phil French.
"I’ll knock it out of your hand" he said.
Civella, who is free on bond pending an appeal of a federal conviction, slapped at a camera held bv William H. Batson, a photographer for The Kansas City Times.
At least one of Civella 's sons and a few other associates gathered around, one of them threatening to knock Batson down if he didn’t stop taking pictures.
Tamburello, who also is free on bond, told one of the young men to sit down. In the middle of the dispute, the fans nearby called for the entire group to sit down and stop interrupting the game.
In response to the questioning, Civella said Wiggins had personally delivered the tickets to his home Sunday morning. The delivery had been arranged, he said, by an intermediary whom he declined to identify.
"Some guy called me," Civella said. "He told me they’d be delivered."
After the conversation with reporters, Civella and Tamburello left the area and apparently did not return to the seats.
Later, Wiggins vehemently denied delivering the tickets to Civella, asserting that he gave them to Capra.
"I don’t even know where he (Civella) lives,” Wiggins said. "If I did know, I wouldn’t go.”
Civella, who is 68, and Tamburello, 48, were convicted last July in U.S. District Court of conspiring to bribe the warden of a federal prison at Fort Worth, Texas. The purpose of the attempted bribe was to influence the warden to arrange the transfer of Civeila's nephew, Anthony "Tony Ripe" Civella, from another federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, to the Fort Worth prison.
Civella was sentenced to four years in prison and Tamburello to two years. They are free on bond during the appeal.
Eagle Scouts recall an old pledge, and owner of Royals is prepared
By James C. Fitzpatrick, A Member of the Staff
Ten years ago this month, Ewing Kauffman, Royals owner, told 428 Eagle Scouts that when the Royals made it to the World Series, they would be his guests at one of the games.
Last week, many of the former Scouts called Kauffman's hand, and he honored his commitment Sunday by providing about 200 of the Scouts with tickets he purchased. Kauffman said the tickets were ones that had been allotted to other teams but had been returned.
The Scouts were not grouped together but were scattered around the stadium. Kauffman said before the game that he was able to honor requests from Scouts who contacted his office at Marion Laboratories before 4:30 p.m. last Friday.
"The ones that didn’t get to go this year can go next year," said Kauffman, who was hoarse from yelling at the game Saturday.
Two of the former Scouts who cashed in on Kauffman’s decade-old offer were Mark Willems, an assistant Jackson County prosecutor, and Bob Goldberg, a student at the University of Kansas Medical Center. They sat in plaza-level seats between home plate and third base.
They had received four tickets — two free ones from Kauffman and two others they were given the option to buy. Widens took his girlfriend, and Goldberg took Chad Kellam, an 8 year-old Tremble, Mo., boy who recently was released from the Medical Center. Chad had been hospitalized for three months after a July accident in which he was run over by a hay wagon.
Sunday he was in good health and happy to be at the game. He wore a plastic Royals hat and had a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.
Goldberg, 25, said that 10 years ago he couldn’t envision the day when he would be a guest of Kauffman at a World Series game.
“The Royals were a young team and it was difficult to project them reaching this point," he said.
Willens, 24, said he didn't think Kauffman, a former Eagle Scout himself, would remember the pledge.
"I think it's a pretty good deal for Ewing to come through like this," Willens said.
Spencer “Herk” Robinson, vice president of operations for the Royals, said after the Royals beat the Yankees, that the phones were ringing off the hook" from Eagle Scout calls at Marion Laboratories.
Phil Koury, Royals legal counsel, said: “There was no way he (Kauffman) could welsh on that promise… Ewing is emotional: he's a compassionate kind of guy."