Reading Eagle - September 23, 1980

Phils Charge to 1st


Carlton Keeps Haunting Cardinals


By the Associated Press


The Steve Carlton trade – now, that’s one the St. Louis Cardinals have lived to regret.


Talking about coming back to haunt your team, Carlton has been a continuous nightmare for the Cardinals since they swapped him to the Philadelphia Phillies for Rick Wise eight years ago.


The left-hander has a mountainous 29-8 record against St. Louis – more victories than any Cardinal southpaw has totaled in that time – including Monday night’s 3-2, 10-inning triumph with Tug McGraw’s last-inning relief help.


“I don’t think there’s a more powerful pitcher around today,” said Phillies Manager Dallas Green of Carlton, now 23-8. “It was a super effort in a real clutch game.”


The Phillies’ top pitcher led their charge into first place in the National League East. The Montreal Expos, 4-2 losers to the Pittsburgh Pirates, dropped into second place, a half-game off the pace.


“We’ve worked hard all year to get here and we’re tickled to death to be here,” said Green. “We felt all along that we belong here.”


In other NL action, Houston defeated San Diego 4-2; Atlanta beat Los Angeles 7-2; San Francisco whipped Cincinnati 7-3 and Chicago stopped New York 3-2.


Carlton scattered eight hits in nine innings, allowing the Cardinals just single runs in the first and eighth innings.


The Phillies scored their winning run in the 10th when pinch hitter Keith Moreland delivered Larry Bowa from second base with a double. Bowa had singled off reliever Kim Seaman, 3-2, to lead off the 10th and was sacrificed to second by Bob Boone before scoring on Moreland’s hit.


Earlier, Mike Schmidt had a solo homer for the Phillies in the fourth inning, his 42nd of the season.

SportopicS: McCarver Not First


By John W. Smith


James Timothy McCarver returned to the field in September for the Philadelphia Phillies to become the first major league catcher ever to play in four decades, according to the publicity about the event.


But that’s not quite true. He’s the second catcher ever to play four decades, though the first who had all his decades in this century.


Ironically, it was another catcher with the initials of JTM, James T. “Deacon” McGuire, who got to four decades first. McGuire also holds the record for most seasons played in the majors, 26. He made it to 26 because of baseball’s only one-team player strike.


McGuire broke in with Toledo of the American Association (a recognized major league) in 1884 at the age of 20. He was still spry enough to catch 49 games with the Yankees in 1906 at the age of 42, (He had missed the year of 1889, however.)


He managed the Red Sox and Indians in 1907-1911, and got into seven games in ’07, two in ’08 and one in ’10. That gave him 25 years, with no expectation of returning.


Supported Cobb With Strike


But on May 18, 1912, the Detroit Tigers went on strike in Philadelphia because of the suspension of Ty Cobb by the league after a fight. To avoid a forfeit and the resultant fine, the Tigers fielded a team comprised largely of Philadelphia area collegians, but including a couple of Tiger scouts.


McGire, at age 47, caught the game and even got one hit in two times at bat. The A’s won by 24-2.


Alousius J. Travers from St. Joseph’s College, a future priest, pitched the whole game for the Tigers, a 25-hitter. He’s in the record book forever as having allowed more runs in any one game than anybody in American League history, or in either league in this century.


That one game in 1912 gave McGuire his 26th year, or one more than Hall of Fame second baseman Eddie Collins, who had five hits in that game. Collins played six games with the A’s in 1906 at the age of 19 and three games with them in 1930 at the age of 43. Twelve of his 25 years were spent with the White Sox.


Collins is one of the 10 players who broke in after 1900 who have played in four decades. He’s been the only one who did not start his career in a year ending in “9.”


Minoso Returned at 53


Tim’s return may be a gimmick, but it’s not as big a gimmick as the one Bill Veeck pulled with Minnie Minoso in 1976. Minoso, who had last played in 1964, went 1-for-8 in three games with the White Sox in ’76 at the age of 53.


The two most successful players in their fourth decade year were Early Wynn and Ted Williams, both in 1960. Wynn was 13-12, 3.49 for the White Sox at age 40 (he played three more years) and Williams hit .316 with 29 homers in 310 at bats for the Red Sox at age 42 (his last year).


McCarver, who for several years was the designated talker for Steve Carlton as well as his catcher, has taken on a new role – DODH (designated on-deck hitter).


Dallas Green has sent him out to the circle in the pitcher’s place a couple of times, while waiting to see what the No. 8 hitter would do before deciding on whether he wanted a hitter or a bunter to go up.


You can bet that Timmy will have some good lines about that when he returns to the booth next season.