A preview article for Game Three of the 1980 World Series. The Phillies had managed to take both the first two games played at Veterans Stadium (their home field 1971-2003), and thinks looked a bit bleak for the American Champion Kansas City Royals. In this article, the Phils' wins were partially attributed to the home field fans. The Royals seemed confident that they would right the ship back in their own home digs of Royals Stadium. And they were mostly right: the Royals would win the first two games in Kansas City, making the fifth game there one of great importance.
|From The October
16, 1980 edition of The Doylestown Daily Intelligencer:
Royals Anxious To Return To Fans In Kansas City
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Kansas City, here they come as fast as taey can. And you had better believe the Royals anxious retreat home has nothing to do with those "crazy little wornen there" immortalized by Wilbert Harrison.
What the Royals are anxious to get back to are the home town fans waiting to cheer them on to a turnaround in Game 3 of their World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I think the fans have a good influence on us at home," Royals Manager Jim Frey said after watching his team drop its second straight to the Phillies, 6-4 Wednesday night. "I think it'll jack our players up."
Perhaps they are clutching at straws, but the Royals seem to think fans were a big difference in the Phillies' back-to-back, come-from- behind Series victories.
"The fans here helped Philadelphia a lot," Royals' reliever Dan Quisenberry said after the Phillies hammered his usually untouchable sinker-balls all over the field of Veterans Stadium for a four-run eighth inning and the Game 2 victory.
"They're not as bad as the Yankees fans in New York; they're more creative." Quisenberry added. "But the fans do help them, and it will be nice to get back to our fans. We need a pickup."
The Phillies no doubt will find the Royals' comments about Philadelphia's loyal fans extremely ironic. During their rollercoaster regular season, the Phillies played better on the road, and many observers felt the reason was because of the brutal, prone-to-booing skeptics in the homefield stands. The unbridled enthusiasm of the World Series crowds is an anomaly and not something the Phillies counted on.
But if the Royals are clutching at straws, you can't blame them, especially since their latest loss was followed by news that star hitter and third baseman George Brett may miss the rest of the Series because of hemorrhoids. And they are not accustomed to losing — they ran away with the American League Wrest and swept the Yankees three straight in the AL playoffs — especially not in the fashion they did here.
"We thought we had this ballgame," Frey said. "We were up two runs (thanks to Amos Otis' two-run double and John Wathan's sacrifice fly in a three-run seventh) and we had the guy who's been doing it for us all year out there on the mound."
What made the loss harder to take Wednesday night was the fact that they failed to capitalize on unexpected wildness by Philadelphia ace Steve Carlton. who blamed his problems on slick baseballs. Carlton walked six and allowed 10 hits but still managed to come out a winner. The Royals made his triumph easier by hitting into four double plays.
"It sure was frustrating," said Royals starter Larry Gura, who gave up two runs on four hits over the first six innings. "With any luck at all we could have had six or seven more runs. We just couldn't stay away from the ground ball."
And so the Royals hope to find some luck and some inspiration at Royals Stadium Friday night.
"We have battled back before," said pitcher Dennis Leonard. "If we lose, we won't lose without fighting. We can score runs and it can be done."