Kansas City Times - October 23, 1980
Rose and his third Series ring: a perfect fit
First baseman gave Phillies needed spark
By Mike Fish, A Member of the Sports Staff
Pete Rose was always in the picture.
It was a familiar scene for "Charlie Hustle." He had ventured down the road on four previous occasions with the Cincinnati Reds, twice coming away with World Championships. He was the voice of experience, the leader Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter bought to steer his wayward club.
Rose was the Philly chatterbox around first base, a 39-year-old kid. He was the animated character who confronted Royals Manager Jim Frey in World Series Game 4 at Royals Stadium on Saturday, suggesting the skipper forget about the high hard pitch that had just missed George Brett's head and get off the field.
It was Rose, the man the fans love to hate, who was struck by a wadded up paper cup while trotting gamely to the Philly dugout. And it was the ever-alert Rose, scampering to catcher Bob Boone’s side in foul territory and catching the ball after it squirted out of Boone’s mitt for the second out in the final inning Tuesday night.
"The difference for us (Reds), and for the Phillies, was simple,” said Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson, who managed four Cincinnati teams into the World Series in the 70s. '‘It’s experience.
"He (Rose) may not have hit that well (.261), but don’t kid yourself. Him being here has meant a lot to this team. They (Phillies) are an outstanding team, and they finally found the difference.”
Mike Schmidt, whose 2-run single in the third inning gave the Phillies all the runs they would need in Game 6 at Veterans Stadium, was a unanimous choice for Most Valuable Player in the Series. But Rose turned out to be the club's blood-and-guts leader.
Like the Royals, Carpenter’s club had failed to make it out of the playoffs in ’76, ‘77 and ’78. The Phillies are finally winners, just as Rose promised they would be when he signed his 4-year contract two Decembers ago.
"This team learned a lot in the last two months,” Rose said. “It matured and learned how to approach a big series.
"We backed ourselves into a corner, but when you are backed into a corner, it separates the men from the boys. If you watch a person long enough. you’ll fall into the same habits.
“I happen to think 1 have good habits on the baseball field. Last year (the Phillies finished fourth in the National League East Division) was a strange situation. I couldn’t make the difference, nobody could've. We had something like 14 broken bones. Injuries just wiped us out.”
Rose was at his best Tuesday night, collecting three hits in four at-bats. There also was the circus play in the ninth. But when it was all over, when the two teams had safely found their way to their clubhouses and order had been restored on the field, Rose went back with a handful of teammates for one last wave to the crowd.
Rose, his son Pete Jr. on his shoulders, Manager Dallas Green, Larry Bowa and Boone showed the class the Phillies were said to lack.
As for the Series, Rose said he wasn't surprised by his so-so hitting (8-for-20).
“If you just analyze what I did," he said, "it follows a pattern. I hit the ball good against (Larry) Gura the second time and I hit the ball against the guy tonight (Rich Gale) when I saw him for the second time.
"I have a history of hitting good in the playoffs and mediocre in the World Series because I know the National League pitchers and I don’t know the American League pitchers.”
And what Rose pulled off on the field in the frantic ninth inning may have saved the game, the Phillies' first World Championship and the sanity of the entire city. Rose caught the ball that Boone had bobbled, stealing a break from the Royals.
"I've watched him play and he is the only guy who could've caught it," said Royals designated hitter Hal McRae, a former teammate of Rose with the Reds. "It didn’t surprise me at all.
"He once caught a ball in the outfield (with the Reds) that Alex Johnson had, then dropped when he hit the wall. Hey that’s Pete."
SERIES NOTES: Royals center-fielder Amos Otis, 0-for-3 in Game 6, wound up with the highest average (.478, 11-for-23) among the Series regulars. Otis and Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt were tied for second in runs batted in with seven, one behind Royals first baseman Willie Aikens.
It’s all over, including the shouting
The Morning Line, By Mike McKenzie
PHILADELPHIA – Sigh.
It’s over. The game is over. The World Series is over.
The victory celebration may not be. May never be.
When victory came Tuesday night for the Phillies over the Royals, streets soon shook with chaos from the ballpark in South Philly to Center City. Horns honked and fireworks exploded throughout the night. And citizens placed normal Wednesday morning activities on hold to assemble for a parade and ongoing euphoria.
This baseball triumph was ever so special to a community whose first team in the Centennial year of 1876, was expelled from the National League for refusing to make the final trip of the season. A string of equally dismal setbacks piled up from then to now for the Phillies.
By Wednesday, all were expunged.
In the heart of the city, and trailing out south to the Delaware River, people mostly engaged in stealthy noise and hug-ins. Rowdyism was unavoidable. An eager crowd at the subway station outside the ballpark pushed a crippled man down the steps. Many people walked on cars in stalled traffic, denting roofs and hoods. Some climbed atop buses and stripped. A streetlight pole on one corner was bent into an arc, like the Incredible Hulk might bend one. Several windows and lights were smashed. Fire hydrants sprayed passers-by.
Pickup trucks and convertibles invited cramming, and up to a dozen could be seen in some vehicles. Everywhere, shredded paper flew and blew and it became ankle deep at City Hall beneath the majestic statue of Ben Franklin.
“I’d compare it to people who are bottled up in the city, then go to the Jersey shores and act like animals on weekends,” said an employee at the Royals’ hotel, giving only her first name for print, Cindy. “But the best thing happening is the unity. All the racial interaction is great, because we have troubles with that."
Veterans Stadium suffered no damage. A city councilman, John Anderson, publicly praised Philadelphians, "We should be proud because nobody ripped up the field." He didn’t mention that if anyone had tried, any number of attack dogs would have ripped up their arms and legs.
At the parade, in noonday brightness with the Goodyear blimp and cameras overhead, the crush of humanity remained more orderly. Love of team flowed like a tidal wave.
A touch of irony in the adulation stems from the Phillies’ frequent scorn for their public. Shortstop Larry Bowa lashed out at Philly fans in August, calling them the worst anywhere. Pitcher Steve Carlton never speaks to the public, refusing to grant interviews or make speaking appearances.
Phillies backers booed many players — Bowa, Bob Boone, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox — heavily at various stages of the last five seasons.
Jay Searcy, executive sports editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, said his office received many calls wondering why stories reprinted in his paper from papers around the country universally bad-mouthed the Phillies’ personalities. "It was because nobody could find anything good to say about them," said Searcy.
Certain individuals — notably Tug McGraw, Pete Rose, and Schmidt — were personable with the media. But ' Maddox wore a strip of tape over his mouth in the clubhouse. Others turned their backs most of the time. Some who answered were curt and snide. Schmidt, even, is known as Captain Cool and arrogance pervades the roster.
"I don’t think anyone would dislike me if they spent enough time with me,” said Schmidt. "Same for the other guys.”
But the general feeling among the press is the World Series championship couldn’t have happened to a more obnoxious group.
But, so be it. They won, and deservedly. The Phillies earned Wednesday's special celebration dinner highlighted by chateaubriand and Bordeaux.
And the Royals?
They projected a clubhouse mood much less depressed than the usual losing scene after a World Series. They spoke of trying hard, playing well, but not well enough. Someday, perhaps, they will scan back through the 49 strikeouts (including two in the ninth inning and a game-ender in each of the four games the Phillies won), the eight double plays, the 54 runners left on base, the seven errors to the Phillies’ two, the mental lapses in base naming and fielding, and understand better the criticisms they inspired from the nation’s press corps.
"It does no good to say we’re better than we showed," said Hal McRae. "Nobody cares about what we could have done. They just want to know the score."
Philadelphia toasts its latest champions
By the Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — After 98 years of frustration, the city of Philadelphia finally got to celebrate a World Series title Wednesday.
At least 500,000 people lined a parade route through Center City, down the main North-South artery to John F Kennedy Stadium where 85,000 people waited. There appeared to be as many outside who got in their cheering as the motorcade slowly moved into the stadium.
Phillies Owner Ruly Carpenter, General Manager Paul Owens and Manager Dallas Green headed the contingent of players, coaches and club officials riding on flatbed trucks. Every Phillies player except pitcher Ron Reed was in the parade.
A high school band led the parade, which rivaled the celebration accorded the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974 when they won the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.
People lined the sidewalks four and five deep. In some areas they pushed into the street, almost brushing the trucks as they passed. Police, however, quickly moved the people back and there were no injuries.
The most popular player was Tug McGraw, the relief pitcher who appeared in all six World Series games, winning one and preserving two victories. It was McGraw who got the last out of the final game Tuesday night, striking out Kansas City's Willie Wilson with the bases loaded and the Phillies leading 4-1. McGraw beamed and waved as he saw signs "McGraw for President,” and "Tugadelphia."
The fans took pictures. Fathers hoisted little children on their shoulders. Intersections were blocked. Workers on scaffolds of unfinished buildings tipped their hard hats for a job well done.
There was some bottle throwing after the parade at a South Philadelphia High School, but police quickly dispersed the troublemakers. A police spokesman reported few major incidents or arrests.
In the Phillies’ truck, Carpenter, Owens and Green clasped hands. They waved to the crowd. They flashed the No. 1 sign.
At the stadium, Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh said; "Nobody competes with the Phillies today. Philadelphia, Pa., today is the baseball capital of the world."
Pete Rose, who came to the Phillies two years ago from the Cincinnati Reds, told the cheering crowd, "I've been in the Series five times, but there is no doubt in my mind you people are the greatest.”
Mike Schmidt, voted the Most Valuable Player in the Series, said he never saw so many sincere people as he did in the parade. "Take this championship and savor it, because you deserve it,” he said.
The town actually began celebrating Tuesday night after the Phillies won the Series. People poured out of bars and houses to dance and kiss in the streets under a harvest moon. While the celebration was going on, one man was shot and killed in North Philadelphia as a group of 30 to 40 youths fled. Police said, however, it was not clear if the shooting was linked to the festivities.
Cheering fans tell Royals they are KC’s champs
By Kimberly Mills and Colleen Cordes, Members of the Staff
A rowdy blizzard of pride and affection howled through downtown Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon as thousands of hoarse Kansas City Royals fans flooded the streets, treating their team to a four-hour hero’s homage.
Kansas City police estimated the crowd at 85,000. Some fans had cried the night before, but at Wednesday afternoon's parade they acted as if they had never heard about the Royals' losing the World Series.
Instead, in wheelchairs, on foot at ground level, posted high above the madness in trees or at windows scraping the sky, jogging, biking and roller skating, frenzied fans uttered a massive victory cheer to their team — losers Tuesday night but holders of the I980 American League pennant.
When the rally finally started at 2: 10 pm — more than an hour late — 8,000 veterans of the crush surrounded the steps of the Liberty Memorial to screech their love for George Brett, the day's star, and every other member of the Royals organization.
Catcher Darrell Porter echoed the words of other Royals when he told the cheering throng at the rally that the team was good but “you fans are really awesome.”
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The lines had formed before 11 a.m. The crowd at 11th and Walnut stood chafing for a chance to start the celebration. Many eyed the tall tree trimmers attached to several Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department trucks, with workers perched atop waiting to shower confetti.
And then somebody spied another truck still loaded down with bags of shredded paper — and momentarily stopped at a red light.
Dashing into traffic, a drove of secretaries, business executives and children had the cargo divvied up in 30 seconds.
Farther east on 11th, Lorrie Marks herded her two sons and daughter up the hill for a better view. Her children were not, she said, among those officially excused from school for the celebration. However, she said, “It’s important that they learn that it's OK to lose —that’s why we took them out.”
And at Fifth and Grand, the starting point, about 60 vehicles tooted their horns or sounded their sirens, eager for the Royals to arrive. Several high school bands blew some hot tunes while five drummers of the Marching 23rd Street Cobras from Lincoln Academy jammed the sidewalk.
Drillmaster Willie Arthur Smith said he was disappointed by the Series loss. “But they're still champs to us — they’re all champs."
Sally Hill, a bookkeeper for Gooch Brake and Equipment, said that before aha left her office, she had turned a day’s worth of invoice remnants into confetti. “We have to throw it at George, of course’,’ she yelled.
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Finally, at 12:30 p.m., the two team buses from Kansas City International Airport rounded the corner of Fifth and Grand and the first roar erupted.
The players then left the bus and got into individual cars.
“All I can say is we feel like we’ve got a No. 1 team and we know we’ve got No. 1 fans,” said Manager Jim Frey, grinning broadly from an antique Ford as he pumped hands.
“You’ll get there next year, Frey, yes sir,” said one stocky fan as he grabbed Frey’s hand.
But the crowd saved it heart for Brett. A a black Mustang convertible rolled by, with the third baseman obviously absent, groans of disappointment echoed through the street.
Traveling right behind the car, however, was Brett on a steed of another kind, a 13-year-old pinto named Ringo. "He wanted to ride a horse, so I saddled him up and brought him down here," said Rex Purefoy, a Kansas City trick rope artist.
As if dazed by the events of the last few weeks, Brett clung to Ringo and didn’t attempt many of the tricks for which the horse is known.
Clinging to his side for part of the ride was a pretty Kansas City brunette who said she was Brett’s No. 1 fan. “I’ve been chasing him for miles. I went all through the parade at the start looking for him,” Renee Crist said. "And now that I've found him, I'm not going to lose him.”
And as the Royals inched their way along the parade route, confetti, like thousands of snowflakes in October, floated down from hundreds of eager hands at office windows high above.
Drifts soon mounted two feet deep along the sidewalks. Several Royals, their convertibles inundated, tossed armfuls back at the screaming masses. One police escort got his front tire mired in the mounds and finally dug the car free with his nightstick.
Other team members enjoyed their own rousing welcomes. A row of kindergarten students squatting on the sidewalk chanted, “Darrell, Darrell," as their hero, Darrell Porter, passed.
Just behind the team rode Mayor Richard L. Berkley and his wife, Sandy, Jackson County Executive Dale Baumgardner and members of the City Council and the Jackson County Legislature.
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The parade ignited into a fiery rally at the liberty Memorial, where mem here of the teem said they were stunned by the outpouring of affection for a dub that came in second-best.
Brett came forward bearing a trombone he wrangled from a member of the Wlnnetonka Marching Band. “I don't think many of you know I play the trombone,” he joked, and the crowd roared.
What came out of the instrument was not very musical.
“It might not sound good, but it's my version of the greatest fans in the world. OK, maybe my trombone didn’t work, but you did. I love you and I hope I spend the rest of my career here."
And the hometown wonder Frank White explained that the Royals were just taking it one step at a time — the American League Championship this year, the Series next fall.
“We’re sorry we didn’t bring back the world championship, but we think we brought Kansas City a lot of credit and we'll get it in ’81,” pitcher Dennis Leonard promised.
At several points during the rally, small groups throughout the crowd began chanting “A.O.,” only to be told that center fielder Amos Otis was absent. He was the only player to miss the parade.
Another major hero missing was Mr. Royal, owner Ewing Kauffman, who was waylaid at home with the flu, according to his wife Muriel.
“It's great to be back in Kansas City where the fans are the best of any in America,” Mrs. Kauffman said.
And there was, of course, that other disappointment. After the crowds stopped Cheering and the Royals headed home for the long winter, everyone knew that they were not the world champions.
But the day’s tributes lightened that memory for many of the ballplayers.
Jerry Terrell, utility infielder, explained:
"There's no other fans in the world that can take American League champions and make us feel like World Series champions.”