Macho Row Phlashback: 1983 World Series – Game One

June 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

The 1983 Phillies, nicknamed the “Wheeze Kids” for their average player age of 32, were fueled by a mini reunion of The Big Red Machine, with Pete Rose, Tony Perez, and Joe Morgan reuniting.

Lead by MVP Mike Schmidt, the Phillies pulled away from the Pittsburgh Pirates for the NL East in September. In the playoffs, they got their revenge against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.

Waiting for the Phillies in the 1983 World Series was a tough Baltimore Orioles squad. With a young Cal Ripken Jr. and a powerful Eddie Murray, both of whom finished 1-2 in the AL MVP voting respectably, the Orioles eliminated the Chicago White Sox to advance to their first World Series since 1979. In that series, the Orioles blew a 3-1 series lead on Pittsburgh to lose the championship in seven games.

We start our phlashback with a look at Game One, played in Baltimore.

1983 World Series

Baltimore Orioles (98-64) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (90-72)
Game One: Phillies win 2-1, Take 1-0 Series Lead

Looking to win their second World Series in four seasons, the Phillies started things off on the road. Taking the mound was John Denny. Even at age 30, Denny was considered the young kid on the mound compared to the aging veterans on this Phillies squad. Opposing him was Baltimore’s Scott McGregor.

Leading off for the visiting Phillies was Joe Morgan, who reached first base safely on an error to give the Phillies some momentum right from the start. That momentum was quickly taken away when Morgan was caught stealing second base. Pete Rose struck out swinging and Mike Schmidt lined out to end the inning.

Baltimore’s lead off hitter, Al Bumbry, lined out on the first pitch he saw, but Jim Dwyer was much more patient. On a 3-2 count, Dwyer gave the Orioles a quick 1-0 lead with a solo home run to right field. Denny gave up one more hit in the inning before moving things to the second inning. Baltimore would hold that lead until the sixth inning.

Baltimore’s McGregor did an excellent job of keeping the Phillies off the bases and protecting the 1-0 lead. A Morgan single in the fourth inning was all the bats could get off of McGregor as the Baltimore pitcher did not issue a walk in that same time.

But that changed in the sixth inning. After retiring the first two batters, Morgan, seemingly the only Phillie who could hit McGregor, tied the game with a solo home run to right field. With the home run, Morgan became the second oldest player to hit a home run in the World Series.

With Denny pitching some fantastic baseball of his own and keeping the Phillies in the game, the batters had to do something to reward Denny’s performance. Gary Maddox did just that with a lead-off home run in the eighth inning on the first pitch he saw.

Perhaps McGregor was bothered by the delay in the game as President Ronald Regan gave a traditional interview that ran long. The three-minute delay may not have seemed like much, but Orioles fans probably have to wonder about it. In any event, the home run gave the Phillies the lead, which they would take in to the bottom of the ninth inning.

Looking to lock up an important road victory in Game One, Phillies manager Paul Owens handed the game over to the 1983 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year, Al Holland. Holland had taken the closing role from 1980 closer Tug McGraw.

Holland had a tough task in the ninth inning but he prevailed. Leading off was Cal Ripken Jr., followed by Eddie Murray, both of whom were retired by Holland. After getting pinch hitter Garry Roenicke to fly out to deep left field, Holland had handed the Phillies a 2-1 victory.

The aging Phillies put up a hard fight in game one to take the important road victory right from the start of the World Series. The Orioles were resilient and tough to put away. They rebounded to give the Phillies some fits before heading back to Philadelphia.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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