1980 Phils highlight fourth induction class

Posted: June 29, 2007

Every championship team has a playoff moment that defines its run. The 1980 Phillies had about a dozen.

There was rookie starter Bob Walk regaining his composure after a very rough start to give the Phillies tattered bullpen a rest and win the World Series opener, 7-6.

Or gritty reliever Dickie Noles dusting George Brett in Game 4.

Or second baseman Manny Trillo's clutch relay throw to nail a runner at the plate in Game 5.

Or Bob Boone bobbling Frank White's popup, only to be saved by Pete Rose for the 26th out in the deciding Game 6.

Or Willie Wilson's empty swing against Tug McGraw for the glorious clincher.

It took the Phillies franchise 97 years to produce that World Champion. It's taken only 4 years for a local group to immortalize them.

The 1980 Phillies, the only group in the club's history to win a title, lead a distinguished group of 14 as the fourth class to be inducted into the Philadelphia Hall of Fame.

Outfielders Garry Maddox and Greg Luzinski represented the Phillies at a news conference held yesterday at Citizens Bank Park. Though the stadium that thundered as McGraw fanned Wilson for that final out no longer stands, the memories of that year still burn bright. Luzinski recalled the late-season heroics of a rookie starter.

"It took 25 guys," said Luzinski, who still ranks fourth in Phillies history with 223 home runs. "Marty Bystrom came up [in September] and went 5-0 at a time when we needed a starter. [Manager Dallas Green] letting Walk go in the first game after [Willie] Aikens hit a couple home runs. We were down, but he let him keep pitching and he settled down. Maybe it was just meant to be, but it took all of us to win."

As wild as the World Series was, the Phillies had to beat the Astros in what was arguably the greatest National League Championship Series in baseball history. The last four games of the five-game set went extra innings. Maddox caught the final out in the series and handed the ball to Luzinski, his outfield mate.

"The older I get, the more I think about what we accomplished," Maddox said. "The way we complemented each other is what stands out in my mind. If we had a weakness, we had someone who could compensate for that."

The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame's annual induction dinner will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Hyatt Regency on Penn's Landing. Call 215-886-6657 (ext. 1) or visit www.phillyhall.org for details. While a permanent home for exhibits is still being sought, the group has an operations site in Northern Liberties.

Among the other inductees are former Eagles defensive end Reggie White and legendary coach Earle "Greasy" Neale. Former Inquirer columnist Bill Lyon and Philadelphia native Jack Whitaker, a giant in network broadcasting, also were honored.

Former Eagles great Frank "Bucko" Kilroy, a product of North Catholic like Whitaker and a pioneer NFL executive, also will be enshrined. Kilroy, 86, is in a Stoughton, Mass., hospital and his health is failing. His brother, Joe, and sister, Mary, proudly represented their sibling.

"He's happy that he has a place in history," Mary Kilroy said poignantly, "and that it is in Philadelphia." *

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