World Series notebook: Boddicker started O's rolling; hats off to Weaver, Matthews
By the time the World Series ended, Mike Boddicker's overpowering pitching performance in Game 2 had receded in memory. But despite the parade of Oriole stars that emerged thereafter, Baltimore's rookie right-hander really struck up the band with his critical 4-1 victory.
After losing the opener, the Birds had to win the next game or fall behind 0- 2 with the Series shifting to Philadelphia. Boddicker came in and did the job, just as he'd done in the playoffs, pitching the first Series three-hitter in 64 years. It started the pendulum swinging in the Orioles' direction, just as other Boddicker efforts had done during the regular season, when he helped stopped the charging Yankees and Tigers with the division race heating up. Then in American League championship series the 26-year-old silenced Chicago's thunderous bats with a record-tying 14 strikeouts.
Mike's rural upbringing helps make his fairy tale season all the more appealing - and appropriate, too, since the Orioles traditionally play the John Denver hit ''Country Boy'' during the seventh inning stretch. After his selection as the AL playoff MVP, Boddicker was given a choice of a sports car or a pickup truck. He took the latter, since it was better suited to life back in Norway, Iowa, where he will work at a grain elevator for $4.50 an hour during the off-season.
* A multi-player swap Baltimore made with the Yankees seven years ago looks mighty good now. The Orioles acquired catcher Rick Dempsey (the Series MVP) and pitchers Scott McGregor and Tippy Martinez, the team's top starter and reliever respectively, in exchange for a where-are-they-now bunch, including current Oriole coach Elrod Hendricks.
* The on-target analysis and comments offered by Earl Weaver were the highlight of ABC's Series coverage. Weaver, Baltimore's manager for many years, was able to share his thorough knowledge of the game, and the Orioles in particular, without ever sounding like a cheerleader.Earl resigned as a consultant to the club right before the World Series started in order to avoid a conflict of interest.
The low point of the network's coverage may have come in the locker room after the Series clincher, when post-game interviews were virtually preempted by attention to a lengthy congratulatory phone call from President Reagan.
* The Phillies of 1984 may lose their look of the Big Red Machine revisited. The trio of players who once played for the Cincinnati ''Machine'' - Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez - could be expendable. Both Rose and Morgan had a respectable World Series, but the Phillies might not want to resign these high-mileage veterans for the kind of money they've been making. Rose is 202 hits shy of Ty Cobb's record 4,191.
* When Edward Bennett Williams was preparing to buy the Orioles in 1979, there was speculation that the club might wind up splitting home dates between Baltimore and Washington D. C., where Williams is a prominent lawyer and part-owner of the football Redskins. After purchasing the club, Williams was probably tempted to move the franchise when a passing freight train prevented his quick exit onto Interstate 95 following one night game. On a subsequent trip, however, Baltimore Mayor Donald Schaefer had a policeman follow Williams to learn his route and advise him on a better option.
* Kudos to Philadelphia outfielder Gary Matthews for two of the best defensive plays of the Series. Though known for turning every catch into an adventure, he leaped high to rob John Shelby of a wall-scraping extra base hit in Game 4 and made a beautiful backhand grab of a sinking liner off Cal Ripken's bat in Game 5. If there were a better play than either of these, it belonged to Baltimore's John Lowenstein, who literally reached over the fence to take away a Bo Diaz homer.