Kansas City Star - October 22, 1980
Fans give Royals world-class welcome
By The Star’s Staff
Battered but unbroken, the Kansas City Royals returned home today to a spirit-lifting welcome from thousands of fans who lined a downtown parade route and others who met them at Kansas City International Airport shortly before noon.
Throngs of people moved closer and closer to the motorcade as it wound its way from the start of the parade to Liberty Memorial, where several hundred had gathered for ceremonies. Along the route fans poured confetti from atop downtown office buildings, filling many of the open cars. Other Royals boosters chased cars seeking autographs from their favorite players. Even police officers applauded the team.
“I can’t believe this is for second place — how could first place be any better?” asked John Wathan, catcher in the final Series game.
He said the size and enthusiasm of the crowd sent chills up his spine.
“I’m ready to start spring training right now,” he added.
The motorcade included 40 convertibles, five fire trucks, a train and six bands on trailers.
Royals manager Jim Frey said, “We did not expect this kind of a turnout. I think we were all a little bit frustrated this morning and really appreciate a turnout like this.”
George Brett was mobbed as he got off the team bus between Fifth and Sixth on Grand, where the parade began.
One fan yelled, “Thanks a million, thanks a million!” as the motorcade passed.
Wathan said, “I wanted to show the fans how appreciative we were, but I never expected anything like this.” The Royals seemed a bit overwhelmed by the crowd’s enthusiasm and the lack of disappointment over the Series loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The fans stationed at the Memorial were entertained by marching bands.
While there was little of the delirium afflicting Philadelphians, affection and good humor abounded.
Dr. Bob Winsky, a resident in psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center, stood with his 11-month-old daughter perched on his shoulders. The baby was wearing a shiny blue plastic batting helmet about the size of a shot glass.
“Its an historic event, and when little Laura up here is old enough to appreciate it, I’ll tell her she was here.”
The crowd’s attitude was summed up by such signs as, “Royals No. 1 in 1981.”
Although team members appeared subdued at the airport, the fans were ecstatic. With the taste of defeat still fresh, the ballplayers strode quickly to waiting buses for the trip downtown and the parade staged by the city.
Foremost among the airport welcoming party was Ms. Louise Gibbs, a freshman at Emporia State University, who along with six of her floormates in South Twin Tower Dormitory spent Tuesday night on the floor of the TWA terminal at Kansas City International Airport, waiting for a chance to see the man who sets her heart aflutter.
“I want to see George Brett,” she said her nervous hands swirling a scrap of paper and a pen. “I want an autograph.”
“I want a kiss,” said Ms. Christy Hladek.
“That goes for all of us," squealed someone behind her.
The team was met by Kansas City Mayor Richard Berkley, replete with a Royals crest on his jacket, and Louise, Christy and friends were undaunted when a crowd-weary Brett smiled and waved but did not stop for autographs.
"Oooh! Look! He’s so cute," one of the crowd shrieked. "Just like on TV.
“I got his picture."
The gleeful crowd struck a telling contrast to the Royals, who brought Kansas City its first bid for a World Series championship.
Wathan’s comment was as cheerful as could be found among the tired players.
“There’s 24 different teams that wish they were in our shoes right now,” he said. Taking a look at the cheering crowd, he smiled and said, “I’ve always thought Kansas City fans were the best in the league.”
Mrs. Peggy Milthaler, of Liberty, sharing a spot in line just behind the girls from Emporia State, was emphatic when she said:
“I think they’re still No. 1, no matter how it turned out. I’m here to welcome the team that beat the Yankees in three straight.”
Next to her was Ms. Norma Parsons, a neighbor of Mrs. Milthaler. “I’ve got a sign up on my garage," she said. “It says, ‘Royals No. 1.’ I may leave it up 'til next year.”
As soon as the game ended Tuesday night, Kansas City police went to work putting finishing touches on their strategy for today.
Phillies’ fans take liberties with victory
By Bill Turque, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – “W.C. Fields can kiss my grits,” the young lady remarked, staggering down Broad Street Tuesday night.
All things considered, there are 5 million or so people who would rather be in Philadelphia today. This hard-bitten, eternally ridiculed city has gone to its limits celebrating the Phillies’ first World Championship after nearly a century of trying.
The three miles of Broad Street, from Veterans Stadium to City Hall, was like a two-day Polish wedding crowded into the space of a few hours Tuesday night and early today. It made Kansas City's Crown Center and Westport celebrations after the American League Playoffs look like brandy at the Yale Club.
Thousands of partiers blocked traffic and skirmished with police most of the night. Beer bottles and firecrackers filled the air, and at least two persons were admitted to hospitals after being hit by cars.
The revelry is only beginning. About 100,000 people are expected at JFK Stadium today after a mid-morning parade of the team downtown. At JFK, fans will listen to music and speeches by Phillies players.
This is a city turned on its ear and, like Royals fans in the aftermath of the playoff victory over the Yankees earlier thus month, there is the feeling here that more than a World Series has been won. This is municipal catharsis, hard-fought vindication after years of being written off as a city of losers and jokers.
“It's really beautiful to see people gathered together like this,” said cab driver Rob Barbiers, viewing the rowdy spectacle from the sanctuary of his cab at Walnut and Broad. “The ball team from Kansas City has no reason to hang their heads low. They did a fantastic job. And they're a damn good ball team for beating the Yankees.”
“I used to go to Connie Mack Stadium with my grandfather when I was 5 years old, and I’m 31 now. That’s a long time,’’ said Tom Snyder, a pipefitter with an oil company.
“It’s unreal, just unreal,” said physical education teacher Joe Turchi. “I’ve waited my whole life to see this.”
It was somehow fitting that this momentous event could not come to pass without touches that some would call uniquely Philadelphia. One was the police contingent of Napoleonic proportions assigned to keep Veterans Stadium rooted in south Philadelphia in the wake of the post-game celebration.
While Willie Wilson struggled to keep a last-gasp Kansas City rally alive with two outs in the ninth, black-booted, riot-helmeted and night-sticked police officers began to cover the perimeters of the field and both dugouts. They were accompanied by mounted police and a large group of German shepherds almost as mean-looking as Pete Rose.
As planned, the force prevented any wholesale damage to the field. But it also tainted the Phillies’ win with an ugly, totalitarian texture. There they were, 65,838 baseball fans about to break their traditional diet of meatless Octobers and they are left to applaud a bunch of snarling German shepherds and police horses depositing manure on artificial grass.
“Rizzo’s not back yet, is he?” asked Turchi, referring to the city’s former law-and-order mayor.
Of course, team and police officials are only taking their cues from past experience with Philadelphia fans. When old Connie Mack Stadium was closed, it was nearly demolished by fans after the last game there.
“The saddest thing to me is having dogs and horses and riot gear in the World Series. I think it ruined the whole thing,” said Frank Kirk, a stockbroker who lives in Olathe.
“It’s the class of the fan,” said one of Kirk’s sidekicks.
Class or no class, night sticks or no night sticks, horse manure or no horse manure, the World Series belongs to a city that has been profoundly hungry for it.
“You wanna get the facts down?” said one Broad Street celebrant. "Just say we’re number one.”
Royals’ bid to rule world is put on hold
By Joe McGuff, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – The reasons the Royals lost to the Phillies in the World Series are numerous and go beyond any one individual, but in the first flush of misery that followed the sixth and final game, Willie Wilson had the distorted feeling the world was pointing at him.
Never mind his regular-season batting average of .326. Never mind his 230 hits. Never mind his 79 stolen bases.
In his tormented state, Wilson was convinced only the World Series would be remembered. They would talk of his .154 batting average, the few times he reached base and his record 12 strikeouts, the last one coming with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth.
In another dressing room, Tug McGraw, Phillies’ pitcher who struck out Wilson in the ninth, was laughing and drinking champagne. Wilson was hurting.
Most Royals were disappointed over losing, but the devastation that marked their three playoff losses to the Yankees was missing. They had beaten the Yankees, they had brought a World Series to Kansas City for the first time and they felt a strong sense of accomplishment despite losing to the Phillies. Having conquered the Big Apple, they would get around to the world at a later date.
Only Wilson was suffering the anguish of personal failure.
“Nobody wants to get here and play bad,” Wilson said in a low voice that had reporters straining to catch his words.
“This is the worst offensive series I’ve ever had. I wish I could say what I did wrong.
“I put pressure on myself by reading that we were losing because I wasn’t getting on base. We had a 4-run lead and lost (game one). We had a 2-run lead in the game we lost in the eighth (game two). We gave it to them Sunday (game five). This game was the only game they took from us.
“I'm disappointed I didn't get on base. I think other people are saying I’m responsible for what happened. I don’t like it because they’re saying the Royals lost because I didn’t get on base. They keep talking about if you stop me, you stop the Royals, but we had leads in the eighth and ninth. Granted, when I get on base it’s easier.”
Earlier, George Brett had said that despite losing, playing in the World Series had been fun for him. His perspective of the Series is one Wilson does not share.
“It stopped being fun for me when I didn’t get any hits or get on base,” Wilson said. “Everyone talked to me about negative stuff, not positive stuff. To me, if I was having fun, the people here would have been yelling and screaming at me. They weren’t saying anything. I didn’t have anybody yell one thing at me.
“Things just didn’t go our way, and they didn’t go my way. If you want to say I lost it, you can say it. What it all boils down to is we lost. I’m a bad loser.”
None of Wilson’s teammates was blaming him. The players were, in fact, speaking of their season in positive tones.
“It's hard to describe how I feel right now,” Brett said. “Losing to a team like Philadelphia is nothing to be ashamed of. I thought we played well. Someone has to lose, and unfortunately we lost. It would have been a lot sweeter to win.”
Dennis Leonard, who started the first and fourth games, was philosophical.
“I’m not going to go home and cry,” he said. “I’m going to think we accomplished a lot of things this year. It would be great to be No. 1, but there’s no shame in being No. 2.”
Amos Otis, one of the Series stars with three home runs and a .478 average, thought the Royals could have won just as easily as the Phillies.
"I thought we should have taken the first four,” Otis said. "We had leads in the two we lost. The fifth game, we should have won that, too."
Paul Splittorff, who earlier was angry because he did not get to start, said he had made peace with Manager Jim Frey and expressed a positive view of being in the Series.
“I think we played a pretty good Series,” said Splittorff, who pitched in relief Tuesday night. “The thing that stuck out for me was the competition. These were two strong-willed teams that didn’t expect to lose. It was like two bulls charging at each other."
For the most part, the Royals said they played well in the Series and, though they didn’t win, this was a good season.
They would not have felt that way had they lost to the Yankees in the playoffs.
Conversely, the Phillies believe their season would not have been successful without winning the World Series.
The most obvious pattern regarding the Royals' losses to the Phillies was an inability to hold leads, with the Phillies coming from behind in their first three victories.
Tuesday night, the Royals were the team attempting to come from behind and they failed, despite having opportunities in the eighth and ninth innings.
Hal McRae came up in the eighth with the bases loaded, two outs and one run home. He grounded out. The Royals had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth, but McGraw retired Frank White on a foul pop and struck out Wilson.
“We can walk across this country or walk around the world with our chins up and say we’re No. 1," McGraw said.
The Royals had a very good season, but as time passes their regret over losing the World Series is likely to grow deeper rather than diminish.
By William D. Tammeus, Staff Writer
WE’D HAVE liked it better if the Phillies hadn’t reigned on our parade.
TO EASE us into the off-season, maybe for the rest of the election campaign the candidates could stuff tobacco in their jaws and spit occasionally.
EVEN SO, we feel sorry for the Phillies. At least the Royals got to come back to Kansas City.
THE SURPRISE was that the Phillies came from in front to win the last game.
NOW THAT it’s over, maybe Tug McGraw will have time to get a haircut.
When World Series takes a break, Royal flush helps relieve pressure
By W. S. Wilson, Staff Writer
When Kansas City flushes, Omer Paxton listens.
When a World Series game is broadcast, Paxton listens very carefully, for nearly all the flushes come between innings. It seems like the rest come during breaks in the action.
To wit: When Pete Rose bunted to load the bases in the third inning in the final Series game Tuesday night, the needle didn’t move.
It held steady as Mike Schmidt walked to the plate.
“See, we’re not using much water there,” said Paxton, chief plant operator at the Turkey Creek Pump Station.
“Everybody is watching. They’re sitting there scrinching up.”
Schmidt's base hit scored two for the Phillies.
Paxton winced. “I’ve never been much of a ball fan 'til this year,” he said. Royals field boss Jim Frey called for Renie Martin to replace Rich Gale on the mound.
While Martin warmed up, fans throughout Kansas City lightened up. The little red needle marking the flow of water through the 36-inch pipe feeding the Blue Ridge relay station turned sharply and scooted up from a rate of 16.5 million gallons per day to 18.5 million gallons per day.
It was what the boys in the pumping business call a TV break.
The flow needle tailed off and the pressure needle gauge climbed — both back toward normal — as Martin worked his way out of trouble. The two indicators changed direction when Gary Maddox hit a fly ball to right field for the third out.
Paxton didn’t need a radio to tell him the news.
"See? The inning is over,” Paxton said. “This thing should start up. Of course, they might wait ’til the Phillies are up to go to the pottie.
“This is our flow. It’s going up. It went from 17.5 and is still going. That was a big one — from 17.5 to 19.2. This is our pressure. Our pressure dropped. Oh boy! look at that — from 91 (pounds per square inch in the pipe feeding the Blue Ridge area) down to 82. It dropped nine pounds.”
The other pump operator on duty Tuesday night was Charlie Byron. Like Paxton Byron’s ear is a finely tuned thing, able to pick up slight changes in the pitch of the massive electric pumps in the pit below their control room, World Series or no.
“I’ll tell you, if you’ve got a good movie, then it really goes,” Byron said. “It goes three or four times that, cause everyone is going at the same time. When they were showing "Roots,” we had the biggest ones. Everybody was watching that one.”
“Shogun,” he said didn’t have nearly the impact of "Roots,” or a good Monday night football game, to say nothing of the Super Bowl or the Miss America pageants.
Baseball’s TV breaks are generally smaller than football’s, say Byron and Paxton, because there are more pauses between nine innings than between four quarters.
On it went through the night. With the end of each inning, the flow out increased and the pressure headed in decreased.
“Yep,” said Paxton, pointing to the neat row of bumps on an otherwise smooth and steady graph of the day’s water flow. "If I’d walk up here and see that and there wasn’t a ball game or a good show, I’d think there was a break somewhere in the line and start checking.”
Royals’ Otis ponders moving on
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Amos Otis weighed his words carefully, but they flowed with the ease of a speech well-rehearsed.
Otis, who had taken his time in the shower Tuesday night following the Royals '4-1 loss that gave the Philadelphia Phillies the 1980 World Series title, did not agonize over the words.
“I'm a center fielder," Otis said. "I won't come back as a left fielder.
"I do not expect to be back as a center fielder," Otis, whose .478 batting average led the Royals in the Series, didn't appear depressed so much as resigned to the fact that after 11 years as a Royal he might have played his last game for Kansas City.
“They’ve been trying to do it (move him out of center field in favor of Willie Wilson) for three years," said Otis. "I had an off-season (.251 average, 10 home runs, 53 runs-batted-in).
"I hope to be back. But I don’t really expect to be back.
"They’ve got a fast-moving star (Wilson) coming along. I went out with a bang in the World Series… maybe somebody else will take me. I’m 34 in April next year, and maybe they want to have a younger team.”
If there was one consistent player for Kansas City in the 6-game Series, it was Otis. He performed without error in the outfield and was a terror at the plate. He regained all the power and glory he was denied during an injury-plagued regular season (Otis missed the first 39 games because of a finger injury and played in only 107 games).
"I think more of the other teams know what I can do," Otis said of his Series showcase. "But still…."
Perhaps more than any of his teammates, Otis was feeling a sense of mission unaccomplished. For some, maybe it was enough to get into the World Series.
Otis wanted to win it.
"The playoffs are just another step to the World Series,” said Otis. "And the World Series, we didn’t win it.
“We beat the Yankees in the (American League) playoffs. But we still didn’t win the big one. So the satisfaction still is not there.”
Otis is in the final year of his contract. If he doesn’t agree to terms with the Royals and sign a new contract, or an extension, he would become a free agent at the end of the 1981 season.
The Royals could trade Otis, but because he has played in the American League for 10 years and spent a minimum of five straight years with the same team, he can veto any trade.
Otis wasn't issuing any list of teams he would be willing to join by way of a trade if an accord cannot be reached. He mentioned the possibility of playing in Japan.
Just what, Otis was asked, would it take to keep him in a Kansas City uniform?
Staying in center field, he responded. But he indicated he might switch to left if the price were right — "a lot more than they’re paying me now.”
And, he said, maybe it will be worked out so he can stay in center field for the Royals. But Otis clearly had doubts.
Loser jokes are filed away; Philadelphia has the last laugh on everyone
By Gib Twyman, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – The ringing words from the book of Leviticus shout from the face of the Liberty Bell: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land and to All the Inhabitants Thereof.”
The bell was first rung to spread the message of freedom for the colonies June 8, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read to the residents of Philadelphia at the rear of Independence Hall.
Today, Philadelphians are proclaiming a new message across the land. "Hey, inhabitants thereof out there," they are saying, "the Phillies are the world champions of major-league baseball."
The Phillies won the 77th World Series with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night over the Royals at Veterans Stadium, taking the Series four games to two.
With that, the Phillies threw off a 97-year yoke that had made them the standard by which all perennial-loser jokes were written.
The Phillies played their first game May 1, 1883, against the Providence Grays before a crowd of 1,200. The Phils lost 4-3, thereby setting the tone for the near-century that followed.
The team moved from Recreation Park through the Baker Bowl and Shibe Park, later known as Connie Mack Stadium, before arriving at Veterans Stadium April 10, 1971.
The sites — and occasionally the names, to protect the innocent — were about all that changed. Losing did not. The Phils won the National League pennant in 1915 and lost the World Series in five games to Boston. They won again in 1950, and were swept by the New York Yankees. Thirty more years passed before the next chance for a breakthrough.
This time Philadelphia didn’t miss. But even in winning, the city showed it is not a place to be confused with normalcy. The clinching scene was unlike anything seen in professional sports in recent memory.
With one out to go and Tug McGraw facing Willie Wilson with the bases loaded, Philly’s Finest began pouring out of the stadium. Some policemen stormed the field with attack dogs, some on horseback. Cherry bombs began going off in the stands. They sent the horses skittering and the dogs straining at their leashes.
Pete Rose shook his head in the dressing room afterward and said, "Now that was unique. I can’t say as I’ve ever seen anything like that unless it was a game in Venezuela or Puerto Rico in winter ball.”
McGraw said the animals framed an unusual perspective for him. “You’ll think this is crazy, probably, but when the dogs came out all I could think of was K-9 Corps. I thought if I don't get Wilson out, I'm gonna be the dog of the Series. In order to prevent that, I've got to go get a K (baseball lingo for a strikeout) on him. That helped me concentrate on what I had to do, because I sure didn’t want to be known as no dog.”
McGraw struck out Wilson.
The events of the evening were overwhelming for most Phillies.
“I’m in a coma. I’m feeling like oblivion right now," said Phils’ third baseman Mike Schmidt, most valuable player of the Series. “Honestly, I can’t speak. I just can’t piece together words about winning this thing.’’
Shortstop Larry Bowa said, “When it got to the eighth inning, I got goose bumps all over my body. I swear I haven’t been nervous in a baseball game since the first game in the big leagues. It was in April 1970 against Ferguson Jenkins and the Cubs. When we ran out to be introduced and I played that day I had goose bumps. I haven't had them since. I was petting frantic. I was just thinking, ‘Please let’s just get some outs.’ Then I started calming myself down a little.
Like many incidents marking the 1980 Series, the Tuesday finish was not marked by calm. One play that stood many Phillies’ hair on end was the second out in the ninth. With pinch-runner Onix Concepcion, John Wathan and Jose Cardenal on the bases, Frank White lofted a popup near the Phils’ dugout. Catcher Bob Boone and first baseman Rose went for it. Boone stabbed it, the ball popped out of his glove and Rose plucked it out of the air.
Rose remembered a similar play against Atlanta when he was with Cincinnati. “Alex Johnson was playing left and I was in center,” Rose said. “Alex went back to take a home run away from Henry Aaron. The ball was over the fence, but Alex just swiped at it. It came right to me and I caught it for the out.
“The great thing about the game, and the reason I remember it — Atlanta won the game in the ninth when a line drive came straight to Alex and it hit him right in the glove and fell to his feet. As we’re trotting off the field after we lost, he turns to me and says, ‘Where were you?’”
The Phils took turns passing bouquets.
“We never really got going until Tug turned it around for us the last month of the season,” said Rose. “He saved a ton of big games for us.”
Rose also singled out a man not even in uniform for the Series. “Sparky Lyle — don’t forget him,” said Rose. “He allowed Green (Dallas, Phils’ manager) to set up McGraw and keep Tug from getting blown away. Plus, Sparky saved some big ones for us the last month to get us in position to catch Montreal.”
Bowa singled out Rose. So have many other people. The theory is that the Phils, despite all their talent, never would have congealed without Rose providing an atmosphere of no-quit baseball.
“I agree, I agree," gushed Bowa. “He was the difference. It’s just a million little things. You’ll be sitting in the clubhouse playing cards and he’ll come by and say, ‘You can't make no money playing cards boys. Let’s go out and take some more infield.'”
Rose said Schmidt would have gotten his vote for the Series MVP. “That's a good choice. When Schmitty hits, we win. It’s that simple.”
Schmidt was 8 for 21 (.381) with six runs scored, seven runs-batted-in and two home runs. He also walked four times and had two game-winning RBIs.
Bowa gave one most-valuable vote to his father. Paul Bowa, 62, called from the family home in Sacramento, Calif., midway through the season. Bowa said it had a “telling effect."
The elder Bowa, in the Phils’ locker room, said: “I just told him (Larry) he wasn't playing up to his capabilities… I told him to forget all the bad publicity he was getting and play baseball.”
Bowa ran afoul of Philadelphians in the regular season when, after the team was heavily booed, he called the fans the "worst in baseball."
"When I came in after that game, probably 25 guys wanted to say that," Bowa said. "I was the only guy who would. But the thing is, see, Philly fans know me. They know how I am. They know I say something like that and then 10 minutes later it's forgotten. The fans and I get along well now.”
When Schmidt and Bowa were asked to characterize the image of the Phillies, they said, “Smug and overpaid." Both laughed. During the Series, the Phils were presented as high-priced, pampered stars. The Royals were described as less self-important and nicer.
“Seriously, that idea of us being the spoiled and pampered players has upset me the whole Series,” said Schmidt. “I know it’s because we have several players who won’t talk to the press.
“But look at me. When we beat Montreal to get into the playoffs, I was drenched with champagne. After we heat Houston (National League Championship Series), I was even more soaked. Here I am, after we win the World Series, the highlight of my athletic career, and I have had two sips of champagne. I’m talking to you. We’ve had a few guys who have reacted to some stories written here about them. Because of that, the whole team is called uncooperative.
“I would have to say that many of the Stories that were written knocking us were probably justified. For the first 5½ months of the season we didn't look like a championship club. But I hope now people can see what this team is really made of, the caliber of players on it.
“Something happened to us the last month of the season. We learned what it takes to win. We learned how to be champions. And for the first time in 100 years, the world has to agree that we are.”
Phils savor victory, Royals savor success
Both teams went into the World Series seeking their first championship. After six games, the Philadelphia Phillies were able to savor that championship, while the Rovals were forced to deal with defeat.
After losing 4-1 Tuesday night in Philadelphia, several Royals said they still considered the season a success because after three failures they had beat the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
Green would like to make Carter a real fan
By the Associated Press
Phillies’ Manager Dallas Green kept walking around the dressing room Tuesday night, shaking hands, hugging family, huddling quickly with some players. His team had just won the World Series.
Green did, however, find time for a brief telephone chat with President Jimmy Carter. It was part humble and part, well, Dallas Green.
“Well, thank you, Mr. President,’’ Green began. “I tell you, we’ve waited a long time in Philadelphia. A lot of people thought this baseball team couldn’t do it. But I think we proved that we are the best baseball team in America….
"Thank you. I hear you’re more of a football buff than a baseball guy. But we’d like to turn you around in Philadelphia. Come up and we’ll teach you to play ball… Thank you. I’ll pass the word on to the players.’’
• • •
Green said today he didn't know whether he would return as manager next season.
“Nobody knows what I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t know. We have to sit down in a few days and decide. I’ll do whatever they want to do, but I prefer not to manage.”
• • •
Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt said he would donate the $5000 scholarship that goes with the World Series’ Most Valuable Player award to his alma mater, Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Told the award includes a $9,000 engraved gold watch, Schmidt, the Phillies’ third baseman, said, “You mean I don’t get a car? I’ve already got a watch. Heck I’ll just trade it for a car.”
• • •
It started in the seventh inning Tuesday night, when nine horses with policemen in the saddle galloped across the warning track at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
Then, with two outs in the ninth and Kansas City’s Willie Wilson at the plate, the canine patrol ar rived and positioned German shepherds just off the first- and third-base foul lines and on top of the dugouts.
Seconds before reliever Tug McGraw struck out Wilson, clinching the World Series for the Phillies, a wall of leather-jacketed helmeted policemen stood poised in front of the stands.
When it was over and the fireworks boomed above, the horses, who had galloped past in the seventh inning, settled around the bases.
Now who would brave all that to cut up a piece of artificial turf as a memento? Only one or two souls made a dash for the field — and they didn’t get far.
Schmidt thinks image of Phillies will change
By the Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt, the Most Valuable Player of the 1980 World Series, said he hoped the Phillies' triumph would forever douse suggestions that they are an arrogant, uncommunicative team which collapsed in big pressure situations.
“I think the charge that we are a ‘choke’ team was eliminated at Houston,” said Schmidt in the wake of the Phillies’ clinching 4-1 triumph over the Royals Tuesday night. “This team is not at all the way a few people picture it.
“I think you guys will agree we have proved ourselves the way we have come back and battled when we were on the ropes.
"Sure, we have had a lot of low points — the freak ways we lost the playoffs (1976, 1977, 1978) and in other big games.
“Let me tell you, this is a team with spirit and heart. Now when spring comes, people will be rushing down to Clearwater — not in Bradenton and St Petersburg."
Schmidt recalled his early problems with the Philadelphia fans.
“In 1978 they booed me out of my shoes. I batted .250 and had 20 home runs. That wasn’t so bad. But they still blistered me.
"I don’t play for image. I don’t want to bring religion into it, but I play for the glory of God.”
World Series record book is revised; Wilson a negative entry
By the Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies’ Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw have led a rewriting of the World Series record book.
Carlton, who won games two and six, became one of many pitchers to post a 2-0 record in a 6-game World Series. No pitcher has scored three victories in a 6-game Series.
McGraw became the first pitcher to earn two saves in a 6-game Series since the current save rule was established in 1969. Pittsburgh's Kent Tekulve holds the all-time Series save record of three, set in a 7-game Series last year.
And when McGraw struck out Kansas City’s Willie Wilson, ending the decisive sixth game Tuesday night, it marked the 12th time Wilson Royals’ outfielder had struck out. Wilson established a Series record, with the previous mark of 11 being held by Eddie Mathews of the 1958 Milwaukee Braves and Wayne Garrett of the 1973 New York Mets.
The Royals’ Willie Aikens became the sixth player to hit four homers in one Series. Duke Snider (Brooklyn) did it twice, and Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Hank Bauer (all New York Yankees) and Gene Tenace (Oakland) did it once. The Series high for homers is five by Reggie Jackson of the Yankees in 1977.
Aikens became the first player to have two 2-homer games.
Dan Quisenberry of the Royals became the first relief pitcher to appear in every game of a 6-game Series, breaking the mark of four appearances set in 1959 by Larry Sherry of Los Angeles and Gerry Staley of the Chicago White Sox. The all-time Series record is seven by Darold Knowles of the 1973 A’s. Quisenberry also finished six games, tying Hugh Casey ’s Series record. Casey pitched for Brooklyn.
Larry Bowa, Phillies' 11-year veteran, set a record for shortstops by starting seven double plays. Phil Rizzuto of the 1951 Yankees held the old record of six.
Bowa also tied a 6-game Series record with three stolen bases, matching the mark set by the White Sox’s Eddie Collins in 1917. Lou Brock (St Louis Cardinals) holds the mark of seven steals (1967 and 1968) in one Series.
Kansas City’s U.L. Washington joined Wes Westrum (New York Giants), Roy Campanella (Brooklyn) and Brooks Robinson (Baltimore) as the only men to hit two sacrifice flies in one Series.
Jose Cardenal endured a record wait before getting into his first World Series. Cardenal, Royals’ outfielder, played in 18 major-league seasons before participating in the Series, tying a record held by Washington pitching great Walter Johnson.
The Phillies and Royals combined for a batting average of .292, breaking the 6-game Series record established in 1953 when the Yankees and Dodgers hit .290. The all-time mark is .300 set by the Yankees and Pirates in 1960.
With Wilson accounting for 12, the Royals struck out 49 times, tying the 6-game Series mark held by the 1944 St. Louis Browns. The 1973 A’s bold the Series record by striking out 62 times.
By contrast, Kansas City also drew 26 walks, tying a 6-game Series mark held by the Yankees of 1936 and 1951. The Yanks walked 38 times in 1947 for the all-time mark.
Symbolizing their frustration, however, the Royals left 54 runners on base during the Series, a 6-game record. The 1935 Detroit Tigers and 1944 Cardinals shared the previous mark with 51.
The combined total of 16 Series double plays, eight by each team, established a 6-game mark.
The Phillies used 10 pitchers, tying the 6-game figure established by the 1953 Dodgers. The 1946 Boston Red Sox used a Series-record 11 pitchers.
For the fifth time in history, both clubs went through the Series without getting a complete game from their pitching staffs. That hadn’t occurred since 1974.
Philadelphia’s Dallas Green became the first rookie manager to lead his club to the world championship since Eddie Dyer did it with the 1946 Cardinals., In the American League Ralph Houk led the Yankees to a world title in 1961, his first year as manager.
After a 50-year wait, Philadelphia finally won another World Series title. The last Philadelphia-based team to win the Series was the Connie Mack-led Athletics of 1930, who beat the Cardinals in a 6-game Series.
Sons add perspective to baseball
By Tom Callahan, Washington Star
PHILADELPHIA – Second-generation ballplayers aren’t playing only for themselves. Maybe that's why they bring a certain perspective to the game and a nice feeling. They have first-hand knowledge of men who played baseball lovingly, for money to be sure, but not just for money.
They know about absent fathers and sour summers, wonderful or worrisome winters, trades and tirades.
More than that they know exactly what their fathers were feeling in those confusing years, and their fathers see that they understand now, and the bond of experience makes them even closer than father and son — teammates.
Ray Boone, who appeared in the 1948 Series with Cleveland, was saying at the Philadelphia Phillies’ workout Monday, “To have your son feeling what you felt so long ago is a beautiful thing. I look at Bob, and I want to tell him to hold onto the feeling as long as he can. That someday there will be an old-timers’ game, and someone will mention a certain ball was hit to left-center, and someone else will say the hell it was.
“Then you’ll almost wonder if you ever really played in the World Series.”
Al Unser never played in the World Series, but he came close. With an Unser and two Vukovich-es on the team, the Phillies sound as though they ought to be in the front row at the Indianapolis 500. But this Al Unser was a catcher on the 1944 Detroit Tigers team that lost the pennant by a game to the St. Louis Browns.
Traveling man or not, Al is the father of eight children. The pick of the litter, Del, grew up to be a traveling ballplayer, too. One of the pretty stories at the World Series this year is that by a circuitous route Del and Al finally got here.
“Winters. I remember,” Del said Monday, “he would have a couple, three jobs, driving a truck, working at a dairy, officiating basketball games. But always he had time to coach the grade-school team.”
For all his 35 years’ journey, Unser never had stopped at a pennant race before. Washington (1968-71), Cleveland (1972), Philadelphia (1973-74), the New York Mets (1975-76), Montreal (1976-79) and Philadelphia again (1979) decidedly and ridiculously were non-contenders. Though Unser did some notable things, such as batting .294 for the Mets or hitting three consecutive pinch-hit home runs for the Phillies (last year), those things really never counted until now.
After a lightly played, 29-hit (total) season, suddenly he has four straight post-season pinch hits, three of them doubles which were indispensable for the Phils.
"I think players’ kids who grew up in the clubhouses know how to behave a little better in the clubhouse,” Unser said. “They understand about never getting too high or low. Then, I've been around old-style guys in my career, like Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard… and Ted Williams.”
Some 30 torn telegram envelopes litter Unser’s locker, a few from every stop along the route. In newspaper talk, Unser has led the Series not only in clutch hits, but also in local angles.
Asked whether, looking back, it's better for a player to stay put or move around, Unser answered, “I don’t think there is a ‘better.’ From '73 to '78, I always came back here just to stay someplace for my kids’ stability. Philadelphia is a neat town. Now they’re in California waiting for their father to come home. But I’m glad for all the places I’ve been because of all the friends I’ve made.”
Contract issues and free agency cloud makeup of Royals’ 1981 club
By Mike DeArmond, Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Joe Burke, Royals’ executive vice president and general manager, said it was an unfair question, but as the Royals looked around the locker room Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium, it was a question that naturally came to mind.
The World Series was lost, the ashes produced by a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in came six. And when the phoenix of the Royals rises next spring, how many faces will be the same? How many teammates will be teammates no longer under the balmy March sun in Fort Myers, Fla.?
“I’ve got a bad feeling,” said pitcher Larry Gura. "The things that I’ve heard, there is only so much the front office is going to take. I’ve got a feeling that a few guys might voice themselves over the winter.”
Only one player, Amos Otis, fit that category Tuesday night as Philadelphians celebrated hard enough to put a new crack in the Liberty Bell.
Otis said he wanted to return in 1981, but had doubts he would be back.
The contract problems of Frank White and Hal McRae were left untouched by those two players. Pete LaCock, eligible for free agency, said it would be a few days before he addressed the issue of his return to the Royals. Darrell Porter, also eligible for free agency, said simply, “I would like to be back. I hope to be bac.k”
White, with three years to run on his contract but still wanting a new deal, said: “I haven’t really thought about it for a while now. I'm not going to think about it now.”
Said McRae, who has two years left on his contract and also wants more money: “I don’t want to comment on that. That’s for you to comment on. I just work here.”
Burke, who holds the key to the return of Otis, LaCock, Porter, White and McRae, said, “I think that’s an unfair question to ask right now. Give me a couple of weeks.”
Otis, who has one year left on his contract, helped his cause by leading all hitters in the Series with a .478 batting average (11 for 23).
“He’s gotta be happy, because he struggled all year and then he showed in the Series, he let people know that he can still do the job,” McRae said of Otis.
No one proved more eloquent on the subject of the team’s future than outfielder Clint Hurdle.
“I would like to see the team remain intact,” Hurdle said. “Some situations will probably have to be worked out. But everybody should be happy we got where we did.
“They (the front office) might give it (the money) up. Who lows?
“But we have the nucleus here to remain on top for three or four more years.
“A couple of players (White and McRae), if we lose them, we could be in trouble.
“I would hope Frank White will be here. Because if we lose Frank White, I’m telling you, it could mean a lot of ballgames.
“People don’t realize,” said Hurdle, “but I’ve been fortunate enough to play behind the man. I’m still looking for an ‘S’ (as in Superman) on his chest.”
McRae's value to the team is just as great. He hit .294 this season and .375 in the Series. But more important to the Royals is the leadership McRae provides.
“I would hate to see McRae go,” Hurdle said. “The guy gives us something in the clubhouse that we really need.
“It’s like listening to your grandpa. You listen. You don’t talk. You don't ask questions. You just listen, and with big eyes. The guy knows so much about the game, it's remarkable.
“If you’re going to look it up in Webster’s — designated hitter — it’s going to say ‘Hal McRae.’”
While the city of Kansas City and the Royals settle back to appreciate their first American League pennant, it may be too early to look ahead to “next year.” But with question marks concerning so many important players, perhaps it is not too early to think of 1981.
Is there life after World Series loss? Answer is yes
By The Star’s Staff
Tuesday, 11 pm: a dog was barking, leaves were falling, the moon showed almost full in the sky.
The Royals had lost the World Series. The world continued to turn.
Kansas City relaxed. There were no drunken brawls. No partying in the streets. No honking horns or traffic jams.
“I’m glad it’s over,” said Det. Charles McKinnie of the Police Crimes Against Persons Unit. “I couldn’t take this every week."
His feelings apparently were shared by many Kansas Citians. Police officials said they received no reports of any unusual incidents during or after the Royals bowed to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in the final game of the Series.
For a few nail-biting moments Tuesday night, it looked like the Series story might come to a different end. Customers at the Blarney Stone Pub, 3801 Broadway, were ready to scream, shout and knock down the walls as the Royals loaded the bases in the ninth inning.
But a Pete Rose catch and three strikes ended all hope, and the Irish pub grew quiet as the television announcer confirmed what had been evident — the Phillies had taken the World Series.
Ms. Elizabeth Johnson, an art student, stood outside the doorway. “I’m not disappointed," she said. “I’m proud that the Royals got as far as they did.”
Many shared that view.
The folks at the Bigger Jigger at 71st and Troost mostly talked and joked ignoring the game on TV. The discussion covered topics such as the quality of flyswatters.
At Michael Angelo’s, 6307 Brookside Plaza, the television screen in the wall was dead and gray, a closed eye. "Go ‘way leave me alone,” it seemed to plead.
The patrons were experiencing the same withdrawal. Only at the last booth was there animated conversation.
"The Royals have always been good enough except when the money was on the line,” asserted Charles Tobin, a New York Yankee fan who has called Kansas City home since ‘73.
New York lost the playoffs, he said, only because “they can’t win ’em all.”
"The Phillies are scrappers, and they were hungry. Steve Carlton is another Whitey Ford. (Rich) Gale was just outclassed. He never had a chance.”
There was no way to find the rest of Kansas City Tuesday night. It had crawled home to its shell. Across the street at Nick’s, the television had been snapped off, too. Ms. Mary Harris had only two customers to attend to.
"I thought it was the best World Series I’ve ever seen,” said the 61-year-old owner, who grew up only 60 miles from Philadelphia. “It was too bad they couldn’t give it to both of ’em.”
At the Waldobar, 7428 Wornall, a picture of George Brett hangs right under that of John Kennedy. Bartender Bob Fairchild said that Royals George Brett and Jamie Quirk used to come into the neighborhood tavern a lot. Not because it’s such a great place, he added modestly, but because they played basketball at nearby St. Elizabeth School.
“I’m sure they get drunk once in a while. They’re human. But never in here. Nice guys.” Only a half dozen customers remained. Regulars, Fairchild said, who showed up after the dejected sports fans had dragged themselves home.