CD's Connect the Dots...Tugger, Pete and The Pope

It's been a difficult few weeks for the Philadelphia Phillies. Three vital contributors to the 1980 Championship team have been in the news. Paul Owens, the team's architect, and Tug McGraw, ace reliever, both passed away while Pete Rose, the final piece to the championship puzzle, admitted lying for 14 years about allegations that he bet on baseball. Although the stories brought sadness, this poem, sung to "Willie, Mickey and The Duke," is a celebration to what they brought Philadelphia.

Robin Roberts was retired.
Gene Mauch had just been fired.
The late 50's and the 60's were a mess.
Except in '64,
The Phillies were a bore
Bunning, Bennett, Culp, Mahaffey, Short
No more!

We're talking Phillies,
Tony Curry and big Pancho,
Philadelphia Phillies,
Joe Koppe, Lee Walls and Del Greco,
Gamble, Bo Belinsky, Ted Lepcio
Names few fans would ever want to know.

The Philadelphia Phillies before
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

Paul Owens join the organization.
He viewed it with fascination.
He knew he had an overhaul to make.
Drafting and signing players,
With wings and hopes and prayers.
The team he soon would built into a National League power.

We're talking Phillies,
Carlton and Lonborg,
Philadelphia Phillies,
Ken Brett and Tommy Hutton.
Bowa, Boone, Dave Cash and Anderson.
Ruthven, Unser, Sizemore, Christenson.

This team was ready for
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

Schmidty provided power,
Luzinski homered by the hour.
Allen made the order such a threat.
Hebner, Maddox, McBride,
With Martin along for the ride.
The middle of the 70's was a home run bash!

We're talking Phillies,
Underwood and Harmon.
Philadelphia Phillies,
Ron Reed and Gino Garber,
Schueler, Twitchell, Kaat, and Taylor, too.
McGraw was traded to the team as if on cue.

The champs in the making with
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

The Pope now had a foundation,
He built a starting rotation.
Lefty was the cornerstone, of course.
Tugger in the pen,
Yelling, "Put me in, say when!"
Combined with Reed and Garber
to make a bullpen force.

We're talking Phillies,
Brusstar, Lerch and Saucier.
Philadelphia Phillies,
Winning nearly everyday
As Eastwick, Dickie Noles and Nino threw.
Gross, Cardenal and Unser hit a few.
Yet the Reds and Dodgers beat us, too.

They need Number 14 to honor
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

The Phillies made a statement.
They signed Rose as a free agent.
A championship team was nearly complete.
They beat the Bucs and Expos,
Then defeat the Houston Astros.
The Kansas City Royals were the last team left.

We're talking Phillies,
Rookies Smith and Moreland.
Philadelphia Phillies,
Walk and Bystrom lent a hand.
Two Vukovichs, George and Johnny V.
Trillo gobbling up everything you see.

World Champions in the making for
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

The series was a doozy,
Enough to make you woozy.
The Phils, behind the Tugger, won game one.
Carlton won game two,
Hero's Schmidt and Moreland to name a few.
Its time for stalwarts Rose and Tugger to carry
the Phillies through.

We're talking Phillies,
The team Pope put together.
Philadelphia Phillies,
With hitting or with the leather.
Bowa and Manny Trillo turning two.
Phils, 1980 champs, we're overdue!

And we owe so much thanks to
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

Tug McGraw was on the hill
As Boone and Rose avoid a spill.
The Royals load the bases with two down.
Wilson at the plate,
The fans all know his fate,
That Tugger, Rose and Pope were there
To make the day!

We're talking Phillies,
Wilson swings and misses,
Philadelphia Phyllis.
Tugger, Rose and Pope's fondest wishes.
A Philadelphia World Championship,
We are the best!
Defeating the Royals, Expos, Astros
And all the rest.

With appreciation, we thank
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

The latest Phillies news is distressing.
In fact, its quite depressing.
The Pope, he passed away at 79.
Pete Rose admits he lied
In the press he's vilified.
Then Tugger passes on,
We've just lost three dear friends.

So sad, the Phillies,
An Architect, The Pope.
Philadelphia Phillies,
Rose and Tugger gave us hope.
A 1980 Championship team they helped to mold.
No matter the situation, they refused to fold.

A heartfelt Thank You to
Tugger, Pete Rose and The Pope.

Columnist's Note: I welcome suggestions, questions and comments. Please send them to and I will respond! CD from the Left Coast

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