Home > Baseball, Sports > A Game for the Ages

A Game for the Ages

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Tyler Kepner has a piece in tomorrow’s NYT celebrating the Cubs-Phillies game that took place at Wrigley 30 years ago tomorrow. It’s a great story, and it led me to Baseball-reference.com to check out the box score. Be sure to review it. You won’t see many like it. And what a collection of players. For the Phillies: Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Garry Maddox, Tim McCarver, Bob Boone, Tug McGraw. For the Cubs: Bill Buckner, Dave Kingman, Bruce Sutter, Bobby Murcer. The wind was blowing. The Phillies took a 7-0 lead in the top of the first. The Cubs got 6 in the bottom of the first, but the Phillies got another 8 in the third and 2 in the 4th. So now it’s 17-6. No problem. The Cubs got 3, the Phillies 4, the Cubs 7, the Cubs 3, the Phillies 1 — things were calming down. In one last spurt, the Cubs tied it in the bottom of the 8th, 22-22. Finally, a scoreless inning in the 9th And the Phillies won in the 10th, 23-22. They had 24 hits to the Cubs’ 26. But see for yourself at the box score link above.

The Kepner piece gives a taste of what the game was like. I love Dave Kingman. How can someone so mediocre be so good? He had three home runs that day. Here’s how Kepner treats the home runs:

Lamp said the presence of Schmidt motivated Kingman, who homered in the first, fourth and sixth innings with blasts that still resonate.

“The wind was like a hurricane, and Kingman hit one that went up so far, I’ve never seen a ball like that,” Bowa said. “Usually I’d just put my head down, but it was up so high I said, I’ve got to watch this.”

Kingman’s first two homers flew so far, Ashburn said, that if you added them together, they would stretch to Milwaukee. But the third was even more impressive, a towering drive off Ron Reed that touched down on Kenmore Avenue, three buildings in.

“It went over our heads by a mile,” Buhrke said.

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