Wilmington Evening Journal - September 5, 1980

Phils’ Walk sees dream come true at last


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


LOS ANGELES – Just about every Wednesday night Bob Walk would fill his orange, 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner with friends, put the pedal to the metal and cruise down Van Nuys Boulevard to Los Angeles.


"Most of the time we'd end up at Dodger Stadium," Bob Walk said last night. "We used to have a lot of fun. I guess we were lucky we never got thrown in Van Nuys jail. We were a rowdy group."


Bob Walk would sit high up in the cheap seats in the left-field pavilion and look down on the plush Dodger Stadium field.


"I never thought much about pitching at Dodger Stadium, but I had a great desire to go down on the field, walk out to the mound and see what it was like," he said. "That was something I thought a lot about."


Once, in 1974, shortly after the gangling Walk graduated from Hart High, he and five other schoolboy athletes made the trip to Dodger Stadium. Beer flowed and they all became tipsy and Bob Walk threw a tennis ball onto the field.


Then, Bob Walk was thrown out of the stadium.


This story undoubtedly is being read all over Southern California today, but Walk finally got his chance to examine the Dodger Stadium mound last night and after dreaming about what it would be like all those years, he made the most of his opportunity.


The rookie right-hander gave the Phillies seven superb innings, defeating the Dodgers 3-2 thanks to another fine relief stint by Tug McGraw.


Mike Schmidt's eighth career homer off Dodger ace Jerry Reuss, a two-run, first-inning shot and Greg Luzinski's solo blast in the seventh off reliever Bob Castillo gave the Phils all their runs.


Walk was trying to nail down his first career shutout when the Dodgers erupted in the eighth.


After Davey Lopes singled to left and the count went 2-0 to Jay Johnstone, Manager Dallas Green figured Walk had had it. In came Warren Brusstar, who got Johnstone to fly to center on a 3-1 pitch.


"When they were changing pitchers I asked Tommy Lasorda if I could swing 2-0 if I got a good pitch from Brusstar," said Johnstone, who earlier had a double and a single. "He said no. Then, Brusstar throws a strike over and a ball and jams me with a sinker 3-1 and I flied out."


Brusstar, the hero of Tuesday night's 13-inning victory in San Francisco, threw a low sinker to Dusty Baker, but the left fielder went after it and golfed it out of the park for his 27th homer and two Dodger runs.


Steve Garvey followed with a single to left, Ron Cey struck out and when Rick Monday sent Garvey to third with a single to left, Green brought in McGraw.


With McGraw coming in, Lasorda sent Joe Ferguson up to bat for catcher Mike Scioscia.


The press box was buzzing with the confrontation, because it was only nine days before in Philadelphia when Ferguson, who was being intentionally walked by McGraw, reached across the plate and slapped a two-run single to right. McGraw then hit Bill Russell and both benches emptied.


But this time McGraw got Ferguson to pop out to the shortstop, ending the threat. McGraw also pitched out of a two-out jam in the ninth after Lopes singled to center, getting old folks Manny Mota to ground out.


Mota was making his first appearance after being reinstated as an active player. He had been a coach all season.


The victory ended a seven-game Dodger winning streak. The last time they had lost was last week in Philadelphia when Steve Carlton won his 20th game.


For the Phils, the victory was the fourth in a row and gave them a 6-2 record on this 11-game road trip. It also kept them in first place, a full game in front of both Montreal and Los Angeles.


Walk, whose record is now 10-4, said he found his mind wandering at times last night.


"I tried very hard to keep my concentration," he said. "Every once in a while I felt my mind wandering. I had to talk myself a little bit into going after one hitter at a time. Sometimes I was thinking about the next hitter or the next inning. I had to bear down."


Walk had 20 friends and relatives in the crowd of 41,864 including Denny McCune, one of the "rowdies" from that day in 1974 when Bob was ordered out of the stadium.


"I was the only guy who got thrown out that night," Walk said. "I thought about the incident before the game tonight, but it didn't cross my mind during the game. I know we're in a close pennant race, but I thought more about getting a chance to pitch in Dodger Stadium than I did about that.


"When Dallas came out to get me in the eighth, I had about had it," he said. "I don't know exactly what I was doing wrong, but that inning I felt like I was dragging my arm. I think I do that when my arm gets a little tired.


"I wanted a shutout real bad, but as long as we won I cannot complain. This was an important game because it was the first one of this four-game series. We wanted to get off on the right foot."


EXTRA POINTS - The Phils have now won three straight one-run games and their season record in that category is finally even at 23-23...0n July 28, they were 16-20...They are 12 games over .500 for the first time this year and are assured of another winning road trip...They're 34-32 away from the Vet...McGraw and Russell clowned about their incident in Philadelphia before the game... McGraw wore an army helmet and a combat jacket and Russell boxing gloves during a television interview...When Johnstone doubled and Baker was safe at first on Schmidt's error in the sixth, the Dodgers had runners on first and second with nobody out...Garvey fouled out and Ron Cey hit into a doubleplay... There was grousing in he Dodger clubhouse by some of the players who felt Garvey should have been asked to sacrifice the runners with a bunt...The Phils loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Castillo struck out Schmidt and Greg Gross...Steve Carlton faces Don Sutton tonight.