Philadelphia Inquirer - January 1980

January 1, 1980

So what else is new for ’80?


By Bill Lyon, Inquirer Staff Writer


Things that will happen in 1980, guaranteed....


Pete Rose will hit .300. At least.


Billy Martin will punch someone.


Jimmy Connors will do something obnoxious.


Muhammad Ali will talk about coming out of retirement.


Steve Carlton won't open his mouth and Howard Cosell won't shut his.


Jimmy the Fraud, er, Greek, will continue to be wrong more often than he is right.


There will be rumors that Wilt Chamberlain is returning to basketball... all of them started by Wilt Chamberlain.


People will keep forgetting that Larry Holmes is the WBC heavyweight champion. Or is it the WBA?


Jack Nicklaus will turn 40, will be reminded of it several hundred times, will be written off, and then he will win the Masters and everyone will shut up.


Gordie Howe will say, ahh, what the hell, and play one more season.


Tracy Austin will be described as a "veteran." Tracy Austin is 17 years old.


Most people who go to a hockey game will never actually see the puck go into the net.


Steelers will win


Everyone will root for Houston but Pittsburgh will win the AFC, and then absolutely destroy either Tampa Bay or Los Angeles in the Super Bowl.


TV will continue to show those promos of Dr. J dunking and Darryl Dawkins shattering backboards... and the 76ers still will not win the championship.


Nolan Ryan will pitch another no-hitter, come down with a sore arm, and be through for the season before July.


Tony Franklin will kick a 65-yard field goal. Several hundred kids will break their bare toes trying to imitate Tony Franklin.


The Flyers will finally lose a game, oh, say, around Feb. 27. They also will win the Stanley Cup.


The Phillies will not win their division.


Harold Carmichael will catch a pass in each of the Eagles' 16 regular-season games, extending his streak to 128.


Bill Walton will not play a game, will retire and sign on as a consultant for Dr. Scholl.


Undefeated again


Bear Bryant will moan that this, honestly, really is the year he runs out of talent. Alabama will go undefeated.


c the Ohio State quarterback, will win the Heisman Trophy. Woody Hayes will say that he was only kidding when he said all those nasty things about the forward pass.


The Boston Marathon will be limited to the first 50,000 entrants.


Philadelphia and Boston will continue to be the two best sports towns in the country.


They will continue to promote soccer as the coming sport, and the games still won't draw flies.


Women's pro basketball will succumb to the same fate as pro indoor team tennis and pro indoor lacrosse.


The Indianapolis 500 will draw 300,000 spectators. Seventeen of them will actually know who won the race. A week later, 16 will have forgotten.


The biggest rip-off in sports will be the mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby.


Arnold Palmer will not win a golf tournament. Again.


'No tomorrow'


Before the seventh game of the World Series, the seventh game of the Stanley Cup and the seventh game of the NBA Championship, someone will observe, in a burst of brilliance: "There is no tomorrow."


George Allen will still be a coach without a team.


Dick Vermeil will only go home on Sunday nights.


Philadelphia fans will lead every league in booing, but for sheer lunacy, the New York crazies will still be in a league by themselves.


There will not be one single foul called in an NBA game that goes unquestioned or unprotested.


Finally, one thing that will not happen in 1980: A pro athlete, who travels for free, eats for free, is paid more in a year than most people see in a lifetime, who is pampered, catered to and has never known the quiet desperation of grinding out life one day at a time, will sigh and say: "You know, I'm really lucky."

January 5, 1980



Phillies outfielder Garry Maddox expects 64 local pro athletes to take part in his bowling program to benefit the Child Guidance Clinic on Jan. 17 at Camden, N. J Former Colorado football coach Bill Mallory was named head coach at Northern Illinois.... Julius Erving of the 76ers is third in voting for the Eastern NBA all-star team with 89,061 votes. Leading are two Atlanta Hawks, Dan Roundfield (97,895) and John Drew (96,447).

January 8, 1980



Help from his friends


Manager Dallas Green and several Phillies players will go to bat for a friend Thursday night. Ed Compton voluntarily closed down his Log Cabin restaurant at Haddon Township, N. J., when a a number of diners became ill last month. He called in local and state health agencies, who found nothing amiss after an investigation lasting more than a week. The place has reopened and Green will be there for a 7 p.m. autograph party, along with general manager Paul Owens, Garry Maddox, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Mike Schmidt, Randy Lerch, Bob Boone and other players. Admission will be free.

January 9, 1980

Four pitchers picked by Phillies in draft


Compiled by The Inquirer Staff


Tony Ghelfi, an 18-year old, 6-foot, S-inch righthander, was the first of four pitchers selected by the Phillies in yesterday's two phases of the annual January baseball free-agent draft.


"Has a good strong arm with very good velocity," reported scout Don Williams of the Iowa Western College student who was the 14th pick.


Another righthander, 6-5 Ron Richardson, 18, from Albany, Ore., and Linn-Benton Community College, was taken on the second round.


Both selections in the secondary phase, which covers free agents who were drafted previously but didn't sign – where the Phillies picked 18th – were lefthanders: Jim Harris and Steve True.


The rest of the draft, being held in New York, will be finished today.


The Chicago White Sox made 20-year old Bill Luzinski, the brother of Phillies outfielder Greg Luzinski, their first choice in the regular phase, which is for junior college players, college droputs and high school. seniors graduating in January.


The Atlanta Braves, as one of their selections, picked righthanded pitcher Scott Patterson from Haddonfield, N.J., who pitched last season for Long Beach (Calif.) Junior College. The 6-2, 175-pounder was an all-Group 1 shortstop at Haddonfield as a sophomore, enrolled at Rutgers in 1976 but changed his mind and went to Valencia Junior College in Florida. There, he was 7-1 with an ERA of less than 1.00 before going to California – reportedly at the urging of a coach at Southern California.


The Toronto Blue Jays had the draft's No.1 pick and used it to select and sign 6-6 righthanded pitcher Colin McLaughlin, who compiled a 12-2 record and a 2.30 earned run average for the University of Connecticut-Storrs last year.

January 13, 1980

Why spring training is threatened


By Allen Lewis, On Baseball


It is sometimes difficult to comprehend the changes baseball has seen n the past quarter-century and, especially, in the last decade.


For more than half a century, baseball was played in the same major, league cities, largely under the same Owners. Babe Ruth and the lively ball caused the greatest changes until the 1950s. Then, franchises began to move, the major leagues expanded and baseball headed for its greatest popularity.


In no area has there been greater change than in the matter of money, and that snowballed in the last few years with the advent of free agency.


Consider that back in 1955, the minimum salary in the major leagues was $6,000 and the average salary a mere $14,000. The average attendance per club was slightly over one million and the gross income just over $2 million.


By 1972, the minimum salary was up to $13,500 and the average to $32,500, with 18 players making $100,000 5r more. Attendance had climbed only minimally, but revenue from radio-television contracts in some cases matched ticket-sale income.


By 1976, the average salary had reached $50,000; by 1978. it was at $95,000; last year, it hit $125,000.


In 1970, there were 10 players making at least $100,000, including three still-active players, Carl Yastrzemski, Pete Rose and Willie McCovey. In 1972, the total had risen to 18; in 1973, to 23.


Then came the decision which enabled players to become free agents by playing out their option year, and salaries soared as never before following the first re-entry draft of free agents after the 1976 season. By 1978, there were 78 players making $200,000 or more. Last season, more than 100 players were in that bracket.


Attendance hit a record 43 million last season. Network-television revenue, a mere $3,250,000 back in 1961, was $92,800,000 in 1979, the final year of a four-year pact. The 1980 contract should pass $125,000,000. (In addition, of course, individual clubs get millions for local telecasts.)


Maybe the best examples of how things have changed is demonstrated by these figures:


After the 1943 season, the Carpenter family bought the Phillies for $400,000. In 1955, the club's 25-man payroll was $360,250; in 1977, the club's 25-man payroll was $3,497,900. And that, of course, was before the signing of Pete Rose.


Even allowing for inflation, those are whopping increases. In the 1950s, stars were drawing $225,000; in 1979, bench-warmers were paid 10 times as much.


The escalation of the last few years has many owners worried that the game is headed for financial trouble. Apparently, it also has them ready to endure a work stoppage if they do not get some relief in their current negotiations with the Major League Players Association.


On the other side, Marvin Miller, the brilliant executive director of the Players Association, maintains that the owners never had it so good.


Unless something unexpected happens to bring about an agreement soon, it's almost certain that spring training will be delayed. And the championship season itself is in jeopardy.



The answer to last week's Trivia Question: Tom Seaver, with 235 victories from 1967 through 1979, and Iron Man Joe McGinnity, with 219 from 1900 through 1908, are the only 200-game winners in this century who never had a losing season.


This week's Trivia Question: Which last-place major league team finished closest to first place in games behind?

January 20, 1980

Major league experience not the best teacher for pilots


By Allen Lewis, On Baseball


In baseball, they are twisting George Bernard Shaw's words. Instead of "He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches," the game's bigwigs evidently believe, "He who did not succeed as a player will succeed as a manager."


At midseason, 1946, in the first season after World War II, there wasn't a manager in the big leagues who hadn't played in the majors, and the 16 managers' average number of years as a player was nine. By 1955, Allen Lewis on baseball. that average had dropped to six. In 1980, it will be less than one.


Only four of the 26 managers in the coming season were long-time major league regulars. The three who work in the National League – Joe Torre of the Mets, Ken Boyer of the Cardinals and Bill Virdon of the Astros – were regulars for more than a decade. The fourth, Jim Fregosi of the Angels, was a regular for eight seasons.


Three of the current managers in each major league never played a single big league game, and none of the 16 others played regularly more than three years.


Of the three managers who were pitchers, only Dallas Green of the Phillies ever won a big league game. In 185 games, Green posted 20 victories against 22 defeats. Tommy LaSorda of the Dodgers was 0-4 in 26 games, George Bamberger of the Brewers 0-0 in 10 games.


Not surprisingly, infielders are favored when managers are selected. Of the 20 managers who played in the major leagues, 13 were primarily infielders, two were catchers and two were outfielders.


But those who do the hiring appear to be on the right track. In the last 20 years, 26 of the 40 pennant-winning teams were managed by men who either never played in the major leagues or who were regulars no more than three years. In the last 10 years, 15 of the 20 pennant winners were piloted by men with less than four seasons as regulars. Since division play began in 1969, only 13 of the 44 division winners have been managed by men who had been major league regulars at least four seasons.



The answer to last week's Trivia Question: The 1973 Phillies, who finished 11½ games behind the Mets in the National League's Eastern Division, wound up closer to first place than any other last-place team. Dave Bernstein of Norristown was first with the correct answer.... This week's Trivia Question: What player, who played only one defensive position in his entire major league career, played the most big league games?

January 28, 1980

Today’s sports calendar


Writers toast the athletes


What do Wilbert Montgomery, Pete Rose, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Don Paige have in common?


They will all be honored tonight at the 76th annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Awards Dinner.


The affair, the oldest of its kind in the United States, begins at 6:30 at the Cherry Hill Hyatt House. The Eagles' Montgomery, who will fly in directly from the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, will be honored as 1979's outstanding pro athlete. Paige, the Villanova middle-distance runner, will receive the outstanding amateur athlete award.


Others to be honored include the Phillies' Rose (athlete of the decade), the Steelers (team of the year) and many other local and national sports figures. As always,the climax of the evening will be the announcement of the winner of this year's most courageous athlete award.

January 29, 1980

The man of the 70s:  It’s Rose


By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer


The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association has been holding its annual awards dinners for 76 years, and until last night it never had given anybody an athlete-of-the-decade award.


But there's a first time for everything, right? So the association unveiled its highly prestigious, totally unprecedented and fervently coveted athlete-of-the-decade award and presented it to the Phillies' Pete Rose.


Whereupon Rose looked it over and said, "Thanks. This is a helluva lot better than the one I got today at lunch time."


Well, um, you're welcome.


Actually, you probably didn't need Pete Rose to tell you that there are at least as many awards banquets in the country as there are restaurants that serve roast beef and green beans.


But somehow, the Philadelphia affair is a little special, if only because it's the oldest. If every town in the U.S. A. bigger than Altoona decided to copy the formula, it's not Philadelphia's fault.


Montgomery gives thanks


Last night, at the Cherry Hill Hyatt House, the Philadelphia Sports Writers went through their act again, honoring Rose and 41 other national and local sports figures.


The Eagles' Wilbert Montgomery received the pro-athlete-of-the-year award and proceeded to thank about a thousand people, not the least of whom were his offensive line.


He didn't remember to thank the Wright Brothers. But he should have, because if they hadn't invented the airplane, Montgomery never would have made it back from the Pro Bowl in Hawaii in time for the dinner.


Another Eagle honored was quarterback Ron Jaworski. He received the not-necessarily-coveted Good Guy Award, given to the area athlete who has been most cooperative with the press.


"Can you believe this – an NFL quarterback getting a Good Guy Award from sportswriters?" Jaworski said, feigning shock. "Dan Pastorini, eat your heart out."


Quinn nods in


Flyers coach Pat Quinn was there, too, even though he had arrived from Winnipeg yesterday at 11 a.m. Asked when he arrived in town if he was planning to catch some sleep, Quinn said, "No, I think I'll hold off and sleep tonight at the dinner."


Among the missing was the Eagles' unofficial mascot, Bird Brain, who was denied admittance at the door, even though he had bought a ticket. No explanation was given.


Villanova middle-distance runner Don Paige and the Flyers' Bobby Clarke received the other two major awards. Paige was honored as the year's outstanding amateur athlete. Clarke was the surprise winner of the Most Courageous Athlete Award. In 1974, Clarke also won the Outstanding Pro Athlete Award, making him the first person ever to win both.



Finally, the Camden Courier-Post's Bob Kenney was honored as the writers' "good guy," presented for special contributions to the Sports Writers Association.