Allen Lewis, long-time writer and columnist for the Inquirer, put together this conglomeration of stories for the Inquirer. What is striking to me, first of all, is that the first blurb is factually incorrect. Perhaps a better word is incomplete: Lewis (or at least his fact-checkers) forgot that Phils' ace Steve Carlton had pitched in two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1967 and 1968), starting (and losing) a game in 1967 and relieving two in 1968. The other blurb that interested me was that George Steinbrenner planned on challenging Marty Bystrom being allowed on the Phils' post-season roster (he was a September call-up) in court. Would have earned him some attention, anyway.
|From The October
13, 1980 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer:
The 'No Name' Astros Had An Edge
More players than Phils with Series experience
By Allen Lewis
HOUSTON- Although the Astros are supposed to be the no-name club of the National League, they have more players with World Series experience than the Phillies. Second baseman Joe Morgan played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1972, 1975 and 1976 World Series; infielder Rafael Landestoy played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 Series, and Nolan Ryan pitched for the New York Mets in the 1969 World Series. The only Phillies with World Series experience are first baseman Pete Rose, who played in the 1970, 1972, 1975 and 1976 Series, and Tug McGraw, who pitched in the 1973 Series. Tug was with the Mets in 1969, too, but did not see any action.
The ground crew at the Astrodome earned its money over the weekend. Because of the length of Saturday's National League Championship Series game between the Phillies and Houston Astros, the football game between Houston and Texas A&M did not start until 11:43 p.m., and the teams weren't able to take the field to warm up until almost 11 p.m.
It took that long to make the transition from baseball to football, removing the mound, inserting the goal posts and lining the field. Then, when the football game ended well after 3 a.m., the ground crew had to wrok until past dawn to prepare the field for last night's pennant-deciding contest.
The game was not transferred to another city because Houston coach Bill Yeoman wanted the home field advantage, and would not play the game in the Rice stadium because he felt the ticket transition would be too difficult. It was worth it for Yeoman since his team won.
It was the first college football game played over two days since the Yale-Springfield game in 1891. That one, played in New York's Madison Square Garden, started shortly before midnight.
The injured Astros catchers made remarkable recoveries overnight. Alan Ashby, the regular who suffered a separated rib a week ago in the playoff game at Los Angeles in a home-plate collision with Dodger catcher Joe Ferguson, said last night, "I'm ready to play. I can swing the bat right now. Throwing might be my only problem." And Luis Pujols, who had to leave Saturday's game because a foul ball off the bat of Mike Schmidt severely bruised the outside of his right foot, was in the starting lineup. After Saturday's game, manager Bill Virdon feared he might have a broken bone.
Virdon planned to ask for permission to add Alan Knicely, 25, the only catcher on Houston's 40-man list, if the Astros had to go into the World Series minus a receiver. Knicely spend four years in the farm system as a pitcher, then became a catcher with Columbus, Ga., in the Double-A Southern League last season, hitting 33 home runs. With Tuscon, the Houston Pacific Coast League team this year, he hit 28 homers.
NOTES: It doesn't matter now. But the hot rumor last night was that, if there had been a Yankees-Phillies series, New York owner George Steinbrenner would have gone to court to get the Marty Bystrom-Nino Espinosa ruling overturned. Steinbrenner is a little more excitable than the Astros brass.... Before last night, the last National League playoff game in which Rose didn't get a hit was the second game of the 1973 Reds-Mets series. The next came when Rose got into the the celebrated fight with Bud Harrelson. He also went 2-for-4. He had hit in 13 straight games going into last night. That tied Greg Luzinski's major league playoff record for longest streak. Rose also had hit in the Phillies' last nine games (15-for-31, .484) going into last night.... This series had a chance to break the record for fewest runs in a five-game playoff (31, by the Mets and Reds). The two teams had scored all of 24 in the first four games. The Astros also had a chance to set a record for lowest batting average by a team winning a five-game series (.220 by the Mets). They batted .202 for the first four.... Nolan Ryan insists he's an easy pitcher to catch even though he does throw harder than most. "I throw that light ball," he said, "not like Joaquin's (Andujar), which has a lot of movement.... Umpire Doug Harvey, who had to make the final ruling in Saturday's confusing catch-or-trap looper to the mound, says these last eight days have been his toughest since he's been in baseball. Not only did he work the plate last Sunday and again Monday in Los Angeles when the Astros beat out the Dodgers for the pennant, but he also had Saturday's nail-biter that included a 20-minute argument.... Astros outfielder Gary Woods, a fine prospect when signed by Toronto as a youngster, was about to quit baseball this season until Houston moved its Triple-A farm club from Charleston, W. Va., to Tuscon, his hometown. He batted over .300 before being recalled by the Astros and enjoyed his finest pro season.... In the first 23 major league Championship Series, no team has ever won the first, fourth and fifth games.... McGraw says Marty Bystrom has the presence of a veteran. "He has great composure, and his mental approach to the game is far advanced, compared to most rookies. Nobody knows how good he can be."
Also contributing to this story was staff writer Jayson Stark.