In '83 Series, a vintage performance

The post-game celebration of the Orioles' 1983 World Series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies remains etched in traveling secretary Phil Itzoe's mind. The team ran out of champagne, and he had to find more.

When the first five cases had been consumed, Itzoe rushed to the Stadium Club in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium and bought two more, sent one to the Orioles' wives, who were in a waiting room, and the other to the locker room.

After everybody piled into four buses for the ride to Memorial Stadium, where rejoicing Orioles fans waited, the caravan had a police escort the entire way -- first Philadelphia's finest, then New Jersey's, Delaware's, Maryland's and finally Baltimore's.

In the middle of the caravan, driving the Pontiac Trans-Am he won as the Series MVP, was catcher Rick Dempsey, his wife, Joanni, and Itzoe's son, Josh. At every Route 95 overpass in Maryland, fans waved and held signs.

"Dempsey had to be the first MVP who ever drove his own car in a victory caravan," Itzoe said.

Under Joe Altobelli, their first new manager since 1968, the Orioles drew 2 million fans for the first time and registered their eighth first-place finish, sixth American League pennant and third world championship.

After losing the Series opener, they won four straight, the last three in Philadelphia, where the Phillies had recorded the best home record in the major leagues that year.

In the second game in Baltimore, Mike Boddicker, just as he had in the playoffs, pitched the Orioles out of an 0-1 hole, becoming the first rookie to win a three-hitter in a Series.

"He had such control," Jim Palmer said, "it looked like he ran to the plate and put the ball where he wanted." Boddicker didn't walk anyone.

In the first game in Philadelphia, the Orioles beat 300-game winner Steve Carlton. Three Cy Young Award winners pitched that night (Mike Flanagan, Jim Palmer and Carlton), two of them future Hall of Famers.

Palmer, who had appeared only as a pinch runner in the playoffs, was the winner in that game with two innings of scoreless relief, the day before his 38th birthday. He became the first pitcher to win a Series game in each of three decades.

"It was my biggest thrill since winning two at Hagerstown on the rehab assignment last summer," Palmer said dryly.

Yes, he says in retrospect, "It was a miserable year. I hurt my back in spring training and went to the minors for a while. I was just happy to be at the Series, watching other people play."

In Game 4, Rich Dauer ended a 1-for-25 post season slump with three hits and three RBIs in a 5-4 win that gave the Orioles a 3-1 Series lead.

Before the finale, starter Scott McGregor had a sleepless night, thinking about how the Orioles had squandered an identical Series lead in 1979 and lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"We never expected to go to Philadelphia and win three straight," said McGregor, who would become the third Orioles left-hander to clinch a Series, joining Dave McNally (1966) and Mike Cuellar (1970). "I tossed and turned all night. I was like a schizo."

McGregor felt much better when Eddie Murray awoke from a 2-for-16, no-RBI slump with majestic home runs in the second and fourth innings, sandwiched around Dempsey's bases-empty shot.

"I thought, 'Oh, boy, Eddie's here,' " McGregor said.

So were McGregor, who pitched a five-hit shutout, and MVP Dempsey, who had four doubles and a home run in the Series and threw out Joe Morgan twice in three steal attempts.

"Dempsey told me he had played 15 years and never been that hot," Flanagan said.

Dempsey helped neutralize future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who was 0-for-8 in two games against McGregor and 1-for-20 in the Series.

"We never gave into him, never gave him a chance to hit an outside fastball," Dempsey said. "We knew he was the core of their power, and our pitchers threw the ball exactly where I put my glove."

Outfielder Al Bumbry's remembers Garry Maddox's line drive that settled into shortstop Cal Ripken's glove for the final out -- "to Cal's right, head high." That is his fondest memory of the Series.

Remembering the moment

"I was broadcasting with ABC that Series. Those were my boys out there, and I was proud of them."

-- Earl Weaver, who had retired as Orioles manager the year before

"That Series meant a lot to me. It was my final year as league president and we had won the All-Star Game, the only one in my 10-year reign. A World Series win made it doubly sweet, especially after we had lost four straight to the National League."

-- American League president Lee MacPhail

"There was a pattern. The three Series we were supposed to win, we lost. The three we were supposed to lose, we won."

-- Retired third baseman Brooks Robinson, referring to wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966, the Cincinnati Reds in 1970 and Phils in 1983 and losses to the New York Mets in 1969 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971 and 1979

"We had vets who gave us one more good year -- Jim Palmer, Ken Singleton, Al Bumbry. We thought 1982 was the end for them, but every game they played like it was their last."

-- Bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks

"When we won the division, there was a lot of excitement. We enjoyed that so much, we wanted more."

-- Relief pitcher Tippy Martinez