A "preview" of Game 1 of the 1980 World Series, with the acknowledgement that the game had already started when the story went to press. Lots of talk about Bob Walk, with a meniton of the designated hitter being used in the World Series. The story said that Dallas Green was expected to use Del Unser in the role, while the DH ended up being Greg Luzinski, who went 0-for-3.
|From The October
15, 1980 edition of The Syracuse Post-Standard:
Phillies Hope To Take Opener In 'Walk'
The United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Rookie Bob Walk took the mound for he Philadelphia Phillies opposed by Dennis Leonard of the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night in the opening game of the first "artificial" World Series in history.
Walk, the first rookie to start the opening game of the World Series since Joe Black'of Brooklyn in 1952, was selected for the prestigious assignment by Manager Dallas Green because he was the only member of the staff not used, in the bitterly-contested five-game National League Playoff Series against Houston.
The rookie right-hander pitched well for the Phillies during the regular season after being brought up from the minors in the middle of the summer. He was 11-7 with a 4.56 earned run average but did experience periods of wildness and has been known to get nervous in pressure situations.
However, Walk said he was prepared for the task even though he had not pitched in 12 days.
"I have no concern over my control," said Walk. "Hopefully, I will have put things back together."
Green said his club was primed for the Series.
"We've never been better prepared," he said. "We've got the greatest team atmosphere in a long time."
Leonard, a 20-game winner and winner of the second game of the three-game American League playoff sweep against the New York Yankees, said he knew very little about the Phillies other than what he had seen on television in their series with the Astros.
"I know they have some power with (Mike) Schmidt and (Greg) Luzinski," said Leonard. "We neutralized the Yankees' power and it is our job to keep the ball in the ball park."
This year's World Series marked the first time in history that all the games will be played on artificially-surfaced fields. Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium, however, is more conducive to home runs than Royals Stadium in Kansas City.
Although the Royals were better known for their speed than the long ball, Manager Jim Frey felt his club could compete with the Phillies in home runs at Veterans Stadium.
"People think we're a speed club only but we play in a tough park to hit home runs," said Frey. "We've got four or five guys who can hit homers. I think balls fly out of here better than in Royals Stadium."
The Royals also should benefit from the use of the designated hitter in this year's Series. The rule is used.in alternate years. Hal McRae is one of the American League's best designated hitters and was an instrumental part of the Royals' offense during the season with a .297 batting average and 83 runs batted in.
"I know they will be using one (a designated hitter) also," said Frey. "But I'm glad we've got our DH in the game. Hal McRae is an important part of our ball club."
Green was expected to use lefthanded hitting Del Unser as his DH against Leonard in the first game. Unser batted .264 during the regular season but had two big hits in the Phillies' pennant-winning game against the Astros Sunday night.
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 65,000 was on hand for the opening game, which began under clear skies with temperatures in the 40s.
Game 2 was scheduled for Philadelphia on Wednesday night with the Series switching to Kansas City for games Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday.
If the sixth and seventh games are necessary, they will be played in Philadelphia next Tuesday and Wednesday nights.