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Going Tangential

February 9, 2023

I met the brilliant Robin Williams once. It was the day Rod Steiger, another of the brilliant vintage, (once we had Ray Scott, yet another great as lead Supe announcer) had died.

Williams talked of Steiger being his friend. Some day “bitter old me” will write a book and add what else he said. I wish I knew how depressed Robin was as I hope I would have offered hope and my friendship though he was a proven great and I a forever dreamer.

In honor of Robin, let’s get tangential (think the repeat a la Olivia’s “Physical”).

The lone previous Phil vs K.C. ‘offs clash was also a final, a Phils 6 game triumph in the ’80 World Series.

You get “last out” credit knowing Frank “Tug” McGraw struck out Willie Wilson to end it. It was a (4-1) Phils win and lead when Pete Rose snagged a deflection off catcher Bob Boone’s glove as he (Pete, who exemplified playing the game right yet is denied you know what…) backed up the play.

Boone got a title. Neither son Aaron or Brett had one. Eagles’ coach Nick Sirianni met his wife Brett (an appropriate K.C. name as the Royals great star George has “Brett” as a surname) while coaching in K.C. with the Chiefs.

Back to the ’80 World Series and its key moment, among many such, but when #5 of a (2-2) series is on the line with the trailing by one run, home team up with 2 outs and runners at second and third facing #’s 6 and potential #7 on the road, I will say that is key!

Enter a fine player named Jose Cardenal, who would be involved in an eerily similar game situation 16 years later as a Yankees coach under the great Joe Torre.

In ’80 Tug fanned Cardenal the batter, Philly went home up (3-2) and titled.

16 years later, the Yankees with Wettland (John) not Rivera on with a (1-0) lead in a (2-2) World Series that was to shift to “Yankee Land” for the 6th and potential 7th, Luis Polonia, who 4 years later again helped the Yankees “title” with a big hit in game 1 of their World Series vs the New York Mets, was up, 2 outs, runners at second and third.

Mr. Cardenal positioned the long lanky, so annoying if you rooted vs him, thus he was a tremendous player, Paul O’Neill perfectly.

O’Neill made a fine catch on Polonia’s fly ball, the Yankees went home up (3-2), in what was all road team wins through 5 games, and they “homed” a first crown in 18 years in #6.


Left to right, Rod Steiger and Marlin Brando. For some reason the fates said it IS you, Burkhardt. 

As he and the fates tell jokes, I say “deal.”



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