Associated Press - October 22, 1980

Loss quiets KC fans, but wait 'til next year


The Associated Press


KANSAS CITY, MO. -- It was all quiet on the Midwestern front late Tuesday night, as baseball fans here huddled sadly in bars and hotel lobbies after the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Kansas City Royals 4-1 to end the 1980 World series in six games.


But Kansas City planned an upbeat reception for its baseball heroes Wednesday. City officials planned a ticker tape parade to honor the Royals, despite their loss to the Phillies.


Tuesday night, fans in homes, taverns and restaurants throughout the city clung to their fading hopes as the Royals struggled through the sixth game.


Abouth 250 people crowded into the lobby of the Crown Center Hotel to watch the game, their eys glued to a four-by-five-foot television screen, amid rowdy yells and good-natured swearing.


"We might pull it out yet. But it's looking grimmer and grimmer," said Dennis Tercey, a bar porter, as the Phillies took a 4-0 lead into the eighth inning. His comments were interrupted by screams when Royals third baseman George Brett singled in the top of the eighth.


"A lot of people will be disappointed (if they lose), but I think a lot of people will stay with them," said Tercey.


Another outspoken fan shouted, "I know we're going to win. I'm a Kansas Citian, and I know -- I KNOW, we're going to do it. We're so mad now, we're gonna win. You mark my words."


Several people said they were just happy the Royals had made it to the World Series.


The fans remained supportive into the ninth inning. The Royals staged one final threat, loading the bases with one out and giving the fans cause for hope. But after Frank White popped up for the second out, and Willie Wilson struck out to end the Royals season, there were cries of anguish.


"The Royals did a fantastic job, and nobody can take that away from them," said Brenda Tripp, a patron at one midtown Kansas City tavern. "The highlight was their three straight wins against the Yankees. The Series was anti-climactic."


At another midtown bar, Phil Corbett was angry. "Maybe Ewing Kauffman will spend some more money this year," he said. Corbett said he thought the Royals' owner needed to buy some better talent, instead of relying on trades with other teams.


But, then he added, the Royals "did the best they could do."


Another fan, Dennis Dumovich launched into an analysis of what went wrong. "They should have started (Royals pitcher Paul) Splittorff in at least one of the games," he stressed. "But the Royals are still the best."


After the game, many fans slowly left eating and drinking establishments and started for home -- to wait for next year.