Tug McGraw received many accolades in the 1980 post-season, and they were all well-deserved. After struggling mightily in 1979, McGraw returned from an injury in the second half of 1980 and was nearly unhittsable, earning 20 saves and logging a 1.54 ERA (including a staggering 0.52 ERA after the all-star break). With his appearance in Game One, McGraw had appeared in all six of the Phils' post-season games, and he earned his third save of the playoffs. He got a break of sorts afterward, appearing in just three of the last five games, earning a win (and suffering a loss) and a second save.
|From The October
15, 1980 edition of The Annapolis Capital:
McGraw Becoming Baseball’s ‘Iron Man’
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Old "Iron Wing" came to the rescue of "The Kid" and the Philadelphia Phillies had their first World Series victory in 65 years.
"I used my Peggy Lee fast ball twice," exulted Tug McGraw, the Phillies' free-spirited bullpen ace who came into the game in the eighth inning and got six quick outs after Willie Aikins' second home run had chased 23-year-old rookie Bob Walk.
It marked the sixth straight game, the seventh in eight days, in which McGraw's indestructible left arm had saved the Phillies from possible 1980 extinction.
"Isn't your arm sore?" someone asked after the Phillies' fence-hurdling 7-6 victory.
"Look," said McGraw. "The catcher has to throw every day. The infielders have to come out and take practice. The bullpen pitcher has to be prepared to come in every time there is an emergency. He has to be strong. It's the nature of the job."
"Isn’t the job mostly mental?" a reporter asked.
"If it was mental, I'd go into the locker room and soak my head in ice," McGraw snapped.
He is a guy quick with his screwball and quick with the quip — this long-haired, uninhibited reliever who virtually whistles while he works.
He worked hard but with dispatch Tuesday night just as he has in his 16 years in the majors, twice helping the once futile New York Mets gain the World Series with his "You Gotta Believe" philosophy.
Walk, a gangling young right-hander from Newhall, Calif., had started the game, giving up two homers for four runs in the first three innings. But he settled down and held the free-swinging Royals in check until Aikins unleashed his second two-run homer in the eighth.
After striking out formidable Willie Wilson for the final out, McGraw raised both arms in a victory sign and then strode off the mound—his long hair flowing and his glove hand beating a tattoo on his left leg.
The record Philadelphia crowd of 65,791 roared ecstatically.
Prodded, the flaky left-hander acknowledged that he had nicknames for his four pitches — fastball, curve, slider and screwball.
"My favorite is the Peggy Lee fastball which I sometimes take something off. You know, as Peggy's song goes, 'Is That All There Is'"
He said he had a Bo Derek ball which conforms with the sex attraction of the perfect 10.
"My Cutty Sark ball is one that sails," he said. "And there's the John Jameson ball which goes straight, the way I like my Irish whiskey. Then the home run ball is the Sinatra ball, 'Fly Me to the Moon.'"
McGraw said he used a Peggy Lee slider to force pinch hitter John Wathan to hit into a double-play, ending the eighth inning and his John Jameson fast ball to strike out U.L. Washingon and Willie Wilson for the final outs in the ninth.