KANSAS CITY — They can talk MVP. They can talk Cy Young. But there are a few other awards to come out of this 1985 World Series that should not be overlooked. A little less well known, maybe, but just as cherished by the recipients. Sort of.
May we have the envelopes, please?
THE MISTER ROGERS “WOULD YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?” AWARD: To Cardinals pitcher John Tudor, who, when asked by a reporter why he didn’t seem to be enjoying his Game 5 victory, replied, “Do you want me to punch you in the mouth? Would that make you happy?”
THE MICKEY OWENS “HOW AM I GONNA EXPLAIN THIS TO MY GRANDCHILDREN?” AWARD: To Vince Coleman, the first player to ever known to miss a World Series because of a tarp attack.
THE MARY LOU RETTON “WHEEEE!” AWARD: To Ozzie Smith, whose backflips ought to be on a Wheaties box by now.
THE FRITO-LAY “BETCHA CAN’T EAT JUST ONE” AWARD: To KC’s Steve Balboni, who, despite his hitting slump, never lost his dignity, nor, reportedly, his appetite.
THE AT&T “REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE” AWARD: To KC coach Lee May, who caught George Brett as Brett flew into the dugout chasing a foul ball. Horsing around with slapstick
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY ROLE: August Busch Jr., the 86-year old owner of the Cardinals, who nearly fell off his beer wagon as the Budweiser Clydesdales pulled it around the stadium.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A NON-FEATURED ROLE: Designated hitter Hal McRae, 39, who refused to bad-mouth a system that may have all but kept him out of his last World Series.
THE MARIO LANZA “I’M SINGING AS FAST AS I CAN” AWARD: To Jennifer Holiday, gospel vocalist, whose rendition of the national anthem before Game 4 lasted longer than Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch did in Game 5.
THE “NOBODY LOVES ME, EVERYBODY HATES ME, GUESS I’LL GO EAT WORMS” AWARD: To Joaquin Andujar, who accused the press of writing only about Joaquin The Bad Guy instead of Joaquin The Good Guy. “They never write how I am nice to the clubhouse boy,” he said, in making his case.
BEST ACTOR IN THE ROLE OF A LOYAL FAN: The St. Louis cab driver who, after Andujar lost Game 3, said, “I’d pay his transportation to send him back to South America. Or wherever he’s from.”
THE JUDY GARLAND “A STAR IS BORN” AWARD: To Tito Landrum, who stepped in for the injured Coleman and quickly became the best hitter in the Series for St. Louis.
THE JOHN TRAVOLTA “A STAR GOES PLOP” AWARD: Tie: Andujar and Dan Quisenberry. If they were stocks, you’d have sold them by now.
THE “WHAT ARE WE, CHOPPED LIVER?” AWARD: To the thousands of Royals fans in Kansas and the thousands of Cardinals fans in Illinois, who, by virtue of a road map, were all but ignored by everybody, even though they live closer to the ball parks than nearly everyone in Missouri.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Game 2, ninth inning, two out, Terry Pendleton gets a game-winning double, putting St. Louis up, 2-0.
WORST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Anytime a KC pitcher had to bat. A big dab for the horses, please
THE BRYLL CREAM “BEST GROOMED” AWARD: Tie: 1. Whitey Herzog. 2. Steve Balboni. 3. The Clydesdales.
THE JOHNNY PAYCHECK “TAKE THIS MOUND AND SHOVE IT” AWARD: To Forsch, who lost Game 5, making him 0-3 in World Series play.
THE “SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK” AWARD: To KC’s Lonnie Smith, who got hot at the plate but went stone cold in the clubhouse. Longest quote in eight days: “Go away. I got nothin’ to say.”
THE “HOW BIG A WAD OF CHEWING TOBACCO WILL FIT INSIDE THE HUMAN MOUTH?” AWARD: To Brett. Runner up: Bret Saberhagen.
THE “TAKE THAT, DAVID LETTERMAN” AWARD: To Buddy Biancalana, perhaps the only man to be labeled “red hot” when his batting average rises to .222.
THE RING LARDNER “OHMIGOD, FIVE MINUTES TO DEADLINE AND I STILL GOT A HANGOVER” AWARD: To all the sports writers who decided the only story they could come up with from this World Series was that it was boring. Come on.