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Hurdle discusses 1980 World Series in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA -- Back in 1980, Pirates announcer Bob Walk was the Phillies' starting pitcher in Game 1 of the World Series and Bucs manager Clint Hurdle was the Royals' right fielder. In fact, Hurdle got the first hit off Walk.

Hurdle reminisced about that matchup, which the Phillies won in six games, before Monday night's game at Citizens Bank Park.

"Playing in a World Series, that's the culmination of a boyhood dream playing Wiffle ball in the back yard. You always end up in a World Series situation," Hurdle said. "For me it was really special, because then there was no such thing as Interleague Play. So this is the first time you're playing a National League club on a very big stage. And the stage at the time here was huge, 70,000 people [at Veterans Stadium], by far the biggest crowd I'd ever played in front of it. My mom and dad were able to be here, which was really cool.

Hurdle emphasized the emotions that were involved in such a big game in that atmosphere.

"One of the most abstract things I've ever been a part of was in Game 6, when they were getting ready to win and they brought out the horses and the police to encompass the field. That was something I had no history with. And then to actually see them win and that multitude of people, because they had gone so long without a championship. I actually did hang out to check it out just because of the emotion of it.

"They came back to beat us late three times. We had the lead late three times and I think we only coughed up one or two of those in the 162-game season. And we coughed up three in six games. So that part was bitter. To get to play in one, it was fantastic. But little did I know that was the first one of three I'd come up, and [always] finish second. And that's a hard walk away when you get to that point. People say, 'At least you got there.' Well, that doesn't work. It doesn't work all winter and it doesn't work now. You still finished second."

Another connection between then and now: One of Hurdle's Kansas City teammates was first baseman John Mayberry. His son, John Mayberry Jr., started in right field for the Phillies on Monday night.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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