Last month, at Upton Park Stadium in West Ham, England, a European Cup-Winners’ Cup game was played behind locked doors. The British fans had been so rowdy at the previous match in Spain that international soccer officials banned all spectators from the rematch. Last week at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia when the final game of the 1980 World Series was played, the gates weren’t locked. In the seventh inning, play between the Philadelphia Phillies and Kansas City Royals was halted mounted policemen circled the artificial turf to take up their positions. In the ninth inning, Philly policemen trotted attack dogs to the dugouts.
The Orwellian spectre raised above the Stars and Stripes for a worldwide television audience (prompting Kansas City’s Frank White to comment,
“I’ve never seen anything like it . . . except in Venezuela”) stole the spotlight from a Series punctuated by KC’s Willie Aikens’ four home runs; the clutch hitting of the Series’ most valuable player, Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt; the dramatic relief pitching of Philly Tug McGraw and the Phillies’ first World Series win since the club was formed in 1883—when fans gave apples to the horses and the dogs barked at home. Hal Quinn
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