Kingman, of course, has been the power behind this modest glory, but as First Baseman Bill Buckner says, "It's not a one-man team." Chicago batters have made their hits timely ones, the starting pitchers have been solid, if not overpowering, and the relief pitching is first-rate. Dick Tidrow, a Yankee castoff, has found new life in the Chicago bullpen (he has an 8-3 record), and Sutter's darting split-fingered fastball has carried him to 28 saves, tops in the majors.
But if the Cubs are to make a run at the pennant—they last won one 34 years ago—Kong will have to lead them. "He can carry that club," says Met Pitcher Dock Ellis, "and he's going to have to. I don't believe you can win a pennant playing day games in Chicago. It's going to get hot and those guys are going to get tired. But Kingman will still be hitting them out."
It remains to be seen whether Kingman can keep body and soul together for an entire season. "Baseball is an uncertain life," he has said. "I don't think people know how hard it is to get to the big leagues. They don't understand the pressures of this job. They don't know what it's like. They don't know what I'm like. They only know what they read."
But they know how you can thunder-crunch a baseball, Dave, and windows or no windows, they don't really want you to stop. Train the gun on Waveland Avenue and let loose the cannonade.