Reading Eagle - October 23, 1980
100,000 Honor Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Kansas City Royals General Manager Joe Burke said he hadn’t “seen anything like it since World War II,” as some 100,000 baseball fans lined downtown streets here in a ticker tape parade honoring the team.
The Royals returned home Wednesday after their World Series loss and vowed to sweep the world championship in 1981.
“The Royals are taking it one step at a time,” Frank White, the team’s golden-glove second baseman, told a throng of screaming supporters at a rally in a downtown park. “This year, the American League pennant. Next year, the World Series.”
The team, along with coached and Royals officials, attended the rally after snaking through the downtown area in an emotional homecoming. They arrived home on a late-morning flight after the Philadelphia Phillies won 4-1 Tuesday night to take the World Series in six games.
The scene resembled a snowstorm as the parade passed between tall buildings on some downtown streets. Office workers threw open their windows and dropped handfuls of shredded paper on the players, who rode below in open cars. Police conservatively estimated the total crowd for the welcoming festivities at 100,000.
One woman had kept her children out of school to join the celebration. “It is important that they learn that’s it’s OK to lose – that’s why we took them out,” she explained, referring to the team’s World Series loss.
Star third baseman George Brett rode in the parade on a horse decked out with a black and silver saddle. The loudest cheers came when he rode up in front of the stage at the rally at the Liberty Memorial.
Brett, loose and joking with the crowd. offered to play a song in honor of the fans, on a trombone borrowed from a member of the high school band. “Is may not sound good, but it’s my version of ‘The Greatest Fans in the World.’ Brett said before blowing a few sour notes.
Many Fans Pay Tribute
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Chanting, shouting, delirious with championship fever, more than half a million fans paid tribute to the team that gave the city its first World Series victory in 98 years.
At least 500,000 people lined the city’s main north-south artery Wednesday for a parade to honor the Philadelphia Phillies, who clinched their first world championship baseball title Tuesday night over the Kansas City Royals.
The caravan, with a high school band blaring at the lead, ended at John F. Kennedy Stadium where 85,000 fans gathered for the Phillies’ victory ceremony.
Spectators lined the sidewalks four and five deep. Thousands waved pennants and held homemade signs aloft. Tons of confetti streamed down from rooftops as fans screamed in a glorious din for the Phillies.
Fathers hoisted little children on their shoulders. Construction workers watched from scaffolds and tipped their hardhats for a job well done.
At Broad and Snyder Streets, a south Philadelphia intersection that was swamped after the victory, Phil DiBattista surveyed the scene and remarked, “It’s really bringing the people together, just like when the Pope came up Broad Street.
“The Pope came and gave us love. And now the Phillies are giving it to us again,” he cheered.
Phillies Manager Dallas Green and general manager Paul Owens lifted their arms throughout the parade as players Pete Rose, Larry Bowa and Tug McGraw shouted “We’re number one” to the delirious fans.
The parade’s most popular player was McGraw, the relief pitcher who sauntered in many times in both the National League Playoffs and the World Series to close out the opposition.
He beamed and waved as he saw signs, “McGraw for President,” and “Tugadelphia.”
At the stadium, Gov. Dick Thornburgh told the excited throng, “nobody competes with the Phillies today. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, today is the baseball capital of the world.”
Mayor Bill Green said, “This is the greatest baseball team in the world and you are the greatest fans in the world… we’re number one, and nobody does it better.”
The crowd cheered, but the constant refrain was, “We want Tug,” until the relief pitcher was introduced to a standing ovation from the fans.
Mike Schmidt, voted most valuable in the series, told the crowd, “Take this championship and savor it, because you deserve it.”
Center city banks were closed during the parade, and there were empty desks in the public and parochial schools.
“A lot of classrooms are empty,” said a school spokesman. “We don’t have figures… this hasn’t happened in 98 years, and, well, kids will be kids.”
Schmidt, Carlton, Trillo Are Named UPI All-Sars
NEW YORK (UPI) – Home run and RBI leader Mike Schmidt and 24-game winner Steve Carlton of the champion Philadelphia Phillies were the leading vote getters on the 1980 UPI National League All-Star team.
Second baseman Manny Trillo of the Phillies also was elected to the team Thursday in the annual postseason survey of 50 sports editors and writers from around the country. Also named to the squad were three members of the Los Angeles Dodgers, two of the St. Louis Cardinals and one each of the Montreal Expos, Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs.
Schmidt received 49 of a possible 50 votes while Carlton had 48 votes. One voter selected Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves as his third baseman.
Rounding out the team were catcher Gary Carter of the Expos with 28 votes, first baseman Steve Carlton of the Dodgers with 28, shortstop Garry Templeton of the Cardinals with 38, outfielders Dusty Baker of the Dodgers with 35 votes, George Hendrick of the Cardinals with 28 and Jose Cruz of the Astros with 23.
Jerry Reuss of the Dodgers was selected as the second starting pitcher on the squad while Bruce Sutter was chosen the relief pitcher.
Schmidt led the league with 48 homers and 121 runs batted in while hitting .286 while Carlton had a 24-9 record, a 2.34 Earned Run Average and 286 strikeouts in 304 innings.
Carter’s elected as catcher ends virtually a decade of domination of that position bu Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds and Ted Simmons of the Cardinals. Carter won out at the position with .264-29-101 offensive figures. – topping Bench and Simmons out. Carter won out at the position with a offensive relief with .264-29-101 offensive figures – topping Bench and Simmons in both homers and RBI.
World Champ Phillies Discard ‘Chokers’
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies will never be the same. They need never again wear the label “chokers” because, finally, they wear the label “World Champions.”
“For a long time we carried that label as chokers,” Phils shortstop Larry Bowa complained. “People said we choked, but there wasn’t a guy on this team that choked.
“All of the problems we had were the same as everybody else, the same problems that Kansas City had, the same problems every team has,” Bowa said. “With this team, though, everything is magnified.”
The Phillies were born in 1883, one of baseball’s original franchises. Until 1980, they had been in only two World Series, 1915 and 1950, but they had never won. In 1941, the Phillies lost 111 games for a .279 winning percentage. In 191, they set a major league record by losing 23 consecutive games.
In 1980, however, all those years were forgotten – as Bowa said, “We had some ghosts to put to sleep” – and with their 4-1 victory Tuesday night over Kansas City in Game Six, the Phillies claimed their first World Series title.
“Frankly, I thought it was going to be the same old thing until August,” Bowa said. “I’m the first to admit, we didn’t play good baseball, offensively or defensively.”
In August, the Phillies finally overtook the Montreal Expos and Pittsburgh Pirates, who had exchanged the National League East Division lead most of the season. The Phillies clinched the pennant in their last series of the season in Montreal.
“They talked about the smug, overpaid Phillies,” Mike Schmidt, the Series’ Most Valuable Player, said. “They said the Phillies don’t put out. I just hope now that we get the credit as a team we deserve.
“I want to make a point. People claimed this was a dull World Series,” Schmidt said. “Well, maybe after our playoff series with Houston, it seemed like it, but you can’t see better baseball in a World Series, better pitching or hitting. There was no sloppy baseball in this series, and anybody who says this was a dull World Series ought to have his head examined.”
“So many people in this organization have worked very hard and waited so long,” (Dallas) Green said. “That includes scouts, front office people and everybody connected with the organization.
“I’ve been a Phillie for 25 years, and I know what a special feeling it is. We’ve all waited a long time for this,” said Green, who took over as Phils manager last summer from Danny Ozark. “It finally came down to the players getting together and grinding it out.”