Sunday, February 07, 2010

1980 Phillies phlashback…

   The Phillies team waited a long time for the first World Championship to be brought home to Philadelphia. 1980 wasn’t the first World Series the Phillies were ever in, but it’s the team that won it first. Isn’t it odd that the losers of the World Series aren’t held in the same esteem as the team that wins?, but that’s the way it is. Last year’s appearance for the Phillies was a great milestone of back to back, but sadly it won’t be held in the same regard as the 1980 or 2008 team. The first World Series the Phillies were in was in 1915, a very long time ago. The Phillies played the Boston Red Sox and lost to them 4 games to 1. Players such as Grover Cleveland Alexander and a young 20 year old kid named Babe Ruth played in that World Series, and it was the first World Series that a President of the United States threw out a ceremonial first pitch to start off the series.

   The second World Series attempt by the Phillies came 35 years later, in 1950. The team the Phillies would face in that World Series was the powerhouse New York Yankees. The Yankees fielded players named: Joe DiMaggio, Phil Ruzzuto, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. The Phillies had their own stars: Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn, Dick Sisler, and Jim Konstanty  It would be the 15th World Series win by the Yankees up to that point, and only the second World Series appearance by the Phillies. The Phillies lost the 1950 World Series, 4 games to 0. The regular season had the Phillies drawing more fans than any other team in baseball of the 8 teams, 1,217,035 saw baseball that year in Philly’s Shibe Park. Fast forward 30 more years, and the stage was set for yet another run at the elusive World Series championship for the Phillies and their fans.

vlcsnap-2010-02-07-11h54m01s36           The 1980 Phillies celebrate as they head toward the 1980 World Series

Games 1 and 2 in Philadelphia

   The year of 1980 wasn’t that great of year in the Philly area, the US was at odds with Iran this year, and with Russia. There are no PC’s around and certainly no cell phones called iPhones. Information came from your local newspapers and television. The Phillies were in the World Series just four years after Philly celebrated the Bicentennial year of the birth of the United States. Fans were anticipating the Phils winning but the games had to be played out first. Tug McGraw came into Game 1, and saved the first game win for the Phillies at home with an impressive 7-6 win over the Kansas City Royals before 65,971 fans at Veterans Stadium.

vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h03m40s190 Tug McGraw stares in for the signs in Game 1 of the 1980 World Series

     The Kansas City Royals in 1980 wanted to win in the worst way, their team had a lot of stars of the day in their own right. Dan Quisenberry, George Brett, Willie Aikens, Amos Otis, and Willie Wilson. The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series, with a Game 3 victory at home. The Phillies won the first two at home, with Steve Carlton getting the win in Game 2 by the score of 6-4 before 65,775 fans. “Shake and Bake” McBride was a hero in Game 2 as well as Game 1 for the Phils, Mc Bride got keys hits in the first two games leading to Phillies wins.

“Shake and Bake” Bake McBride was a hero for the Phillies in 1980

Game 3 and 4 in Kansas City

     The Phillies had an all star lineup that included Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, and Greg Luzinski, and Garry Maddox. The Fightin’s stumbled on the road in Kansas City, as the Royals came back strong to win Games 3 and 4 in Kansas City with impressive wins. The Series was all tied up for Game 5 to be played in Kansas City during the late afternoon. This afternoon World Series is something you don’t see anymore. In the age where television revenue rules over baseball proper.

vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h31m09s45      George Brett and Willie Aikens weren’t about to go down quietly in Games 3-4 for Kansas City

Game 5 in Kansas City

          Game 5 was a pivotal one in the series, at this point it was any team’s to win. The series was tied 2-2. In Game 5 it was Mike Schmidt who put a two run homerun over the fence, again Bake McBride was a hero, he was called safe on a bunt that Willie Aikens couldn’t handle the throw from. Schmidt layed into the pitch from the Kansas City pitcher, Larry Gura. It was Schmidt’s second homerun in this World Series.

vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h39m22s112 vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h39m30s184
Bake is called safe at first in Game 5 and then Mike Schmidt puts a long fly out of the park for the Phillies early lead

  Game 5 would be a battle though, and the Royals battled back to take control of the game. The Phillies were down 3-2 in the 8th inning and it looked as though they would lose this game in K.C. as well.  Willie Wilson smacked a long fly into right center, Bake McBride’s relay throw to Manny Trillo was perfect and the Royals runner, Darrell Porter from first base, was thrown out at the plate and ended the inning for the Royals. The momentum of the game shifted, but the Phillies still had a lot of work to make things happen for them.

   It was the top of the 9th inning and Dan Quisenberry was on the mound for the Royals, and Mike Schmidt led off, he scorched a ground ball off the Royals third baseman, George Brett.

vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h53m36s195 vlcsnap-2010-02-07-12h54m23s162
 Schmidt scorched one off of George Brett to reach base in Game 5, 9th inning
    Phillies awesome pinch hitter Del Unser was next, he smacked a double down the right field line to score Schmidt and tying the game. Unser was sacrificed to third and Manny Trillo  drilled a line drive off of Quisenberry to score Unser and give the Phillies the lead. This wouldn’t be all though. The Royals still had to bat in the bottom of the 9th and they loaded the bases on Tug McGraw. McGraw then struck out Jose Cardinal to win the game for the Phillies as the Royals left them loaded at home in the important Game 5. Phils win this one, 4-3.

Game 6 at Veterans Stadium

        At 11:29 pm, the Phillies won the World Series after winning Game 6 on October, 21st 1980. The team that needed 98 years to win their first World Championship had done it. Steve Carlton again gets a win for the Phillies for his second of the series, and McGraw earned the save before 65,838 at Veteran’s Stadium.
        Of course the road wasn’t all that easy again. Remember the play that is etched in the minds of many Phillies fans of the team that saw the game in 1980 and again in replays for those who didn’t see it live? The play was when the Royals had the bases loaded, and though down, they remained a threat in this Game 6, there was a fly ball hit foul off of the bat Royals player, Frank White. It was chased down by Bob Boone, and also pursuing was Pete Rose who miraculously caught the foul as it bounced out of Boone’s glove.

vlcsnap-2010-02-07-13h08m20s80 The Boone bobble and then Rose grabbing it and running away with his caught foul ball was classic that rivals a lot of great Phillies momentsvlcsnap-2010-02-07-13h08m47s90    

     The Phillies were finally World Series Champs after a long, long, wait. It would be repeated in 2008 with a new crop of stars and players who wore the Philly pinstripes.

No comments:

Post a Comment