"The reason I love baseball so much is because when I come into a game in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, no one out, and a one-run lead; it takes people off my mind." - Tug McGraw
Frank Edwin McGraw, Jr. was born Wednesday, August 30, 1944 in Martinez, California. At 20 years of age he made his major league debut on April 18, 1965. Drafted by the New York Mets, he would go one to play for them for the next nine years of his career. Then in 1975 he went to play for the Philadelphia Phillies. Playing the last ten years of his career in Philadelphia, he remembered most for his game winning pitch in the 1980 World Series against the Kansas City Royals.
The Phillies were no strangers to the World Series. They made appearances in the in the 1915 World Series and the 1950 World Series. In each series the Phillies came up short, losing in 1915 to the Red Sox and in 1950 to the New York Yankees. In 1980 they were given another chance to finally bring home the coveted title. A tight race between the KC Royals, who also were not strangers to second place, and the Philadelphia Phillies began. The Phillies won Games 1 & 2 at “The Vet” and then went on the road to KC for the next three games. KC took Games 3 & 4, but the Phillies were able to take Game 5 for the lead in the series. Now, back at home for Game 6 Tug McGraw loaded the bases three times in the last two innings but only giving up one run to hold their lead to 4-1. With one out and the bases loaded in the ninth Frank White hit a high foul pop near the Phillies dugout. Catcher Bob Boone got under it, the ball bounced in and out. First baseman Pete Rose was close behind and was able to grab the loose ball for out number two. Willie Wilson was next up to bat only to be struck out. The Phillies won the title!