Camden Courier Post - October 24, 1980
No mystery involved in Phillies’ championship
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
The notion of a world championship in Philadelphia still seems slightly incredible.
Really, it's been nearly 72 hours since the Phillies won the World Series and the idea remains almost as farfetched as it was during spring training. Of course, when you wait nearly a century for it to happen, there has to be an adjustment period.
But it is no dream. The Phillies did defeat the Kansas City Royals in six games to take the World Series. And the guys who paraded down Broad Street on Wednesday were definitely not a bunch of French Canadian hockey players in disguise.
Because it seems too good to be true, there is a temptation to attribute the win to mysterious forces. Maybe fate decreed that it was – at last – the Phillies' turn. Or maybe the Phils inadvertently stumbled upon some magic elixir that turned them into world champions.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There was no mystery to the Phillies beating the Royals. They did it by effectively stopping three key men in the Kansas City batting order: Willie Wilson, Frank White and U.L. Washington.
"The key was," said Phillies Manager Dallas Green, "we kept their three rabbits off the bases – Wilson, Washington and White."
Indeed, if George Brett was the heart of the Royals' lineup, then those three were its legs. Nevermind the devastation Willie Mays Aikens and Amos Otis brought down upon Phillies pitching; the Royals are a running team.
And the best way to stop a running team is to keep its best base runners in the dugout.
"What surprised me," said Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry, "was we showed so much power and they didn't. We never really got our running game going."
Wilson, the K.C. leadoff hitter, is perhaps the fastest man in baseball. With a .326 average and 79 stolen bases, Wilson was an intimidating factor on the basepaths all season long.
Like the Pirates' Omar Moreno and the Expos' Ron LeFlore, Wilson made a specialty out of reaching first, stealing second and continuing on to third as a harried catcher's throw sailed into center field. If the infielders happened to stop the ball, Wilson could always steal third (he was caught stealing only 10 times all year).
Once established on third, Wilson was a sure run with guys like Brett, Aikens and Hal McRae hitting behind him.
The Phillies were hugely successful in keeping Wilson off first... and second... and third. He made 30 plate appearances during the six games and was on base exactly eight times (.267), scoring three runs. He set a World Series record by striking out 12 times, hit an anemic .154 and stole two bases – one less than the Phils' Larry Bowa.
Interestingly, Wilson managed to get on base more than once in three of the games, and two of them were Kansas City victories. The other was the fifth game, when Wilson singled in the fifth and doubled with two out in the sixth. In both instances, he was stranded.
White, who drove the Yankees crazy and was named the Most Valuable Player ot the American League playoffs, hit an embarrassing .080 against the Phillies. He made 27 plate appearances and was on base three times (.111). He stole one base, struck out five times and did not score a run.
Tug McGraw a free agent?
NEW YORK – Tug McGraw, whose steadfast and emotional pitching performances helped the Phillies win their first World Series in 98 years of trying, says he still has not made up his mind about testing the free agent market.
"I have two weeks from the end of the season to officially declare myself a free agent and I've got a meeting scheduled with the Philadelphia people on Monday," McGraw explained yesterday. "But this is a poor time because there's the general managers' meeting and my schedule is suddenly filling up.
"I might be forced into it (free agency) because of the time. I might have to submit the letter just to protect myself. But, if I do declare myself a free agent and test the market, it's only fair to Philadelphia and me to get a ballpark figure about my value. And the Phillies will have the first shot at me anyhow."
McGRAW, WHO saved two World Series games and won another, added, "After the strength I showed them in the last month and a half of the season and the playoffs and the World Series, they can't have any doubts about my ability to help them."
McGraw, 36, was in New York to tape an appearance on NBC's Tomorrow Show.
He was met by a small whirlwind of controversy stirred up when, in the throes of a euphoric embrace by virtually the entire city of Philadelphia, he made a remark about New York City, his former home, that angered many of his one time fans.
McGRAW AND his Phillies teammates were paraded through the streets of the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday, the day after they had wrapped up their triumph over the Kansas City Royals. Then, before 85,000 persons in JFK Stadium, McGraw said, "All through baseball history, Philadelphia has had to take a back seat to New York City, but New York City can take this world championship and stick it."
"The idea was that some of the writers down there covering the Series gave us the idea it was a boring job for them because the New York Yankees weren't in it," McGraw said. "Oh, they expect the Mets to pop in there with a championship once in a while."
Phillies’ trophies on public display
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies' World Series and National League Championship trophies will be on display at the Girard Bank Main Office at Broad and Chestnut Streets starting tomorrow.
The hours for tomorrow and Saturday, Nov. 1, will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fans should use the Chestnut Street entrance on the two Saturdays as the main bank offices will not be open on those days.
Hours Monday through Friday will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The last day the trophies will be displayed will be Nov. 1.
NEW YORK – NBCs telecast of the final game of the 1980 World Series between the Phillies and Kansas City Tuesday night was the highest rated Series broadcast of all time, according to figures released by Nielsen yesterday.
Philadelphia's 4-1 victory over Kansas City drew a rating of 40.0, meaning 40 percent of the nation's sets were tuned in. The telecast received a 60 share, which means 60 percent of the audience watching TV during the time period Tuesday night saw the World Series.
For the six games, the Series, ratings averaged a 32.5, falling short of the 32.8 picked up by the 1978 Series between Los Angeles and the Yankees. That Series went seven games, five of them in prime time. Four of the six games for 1980 were in prime time, when audience levels are much higher than in the afternoon.
Series pays off
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies earned approximately $1.5 million through the National League championship playoffs and the World Series, William Giles, the club's executive vice president, said yesterday.
The club took in $1.1 million in ticket sales during the playoffs and $645,000 during the Series against the Kansas City Royals.
The total revenues for the Series and playoffs were about $2 million, Giles said.