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Carlton then exchanged hugs with teammates. He walked over to the field box next to the Phillies dugout to bring his wife, Beverly, out onto the field. Well-wishers touched him, and he kept mouthing, "Thanks, thanks, thanks." But the stadium was oddly quiet—there was no fanfare, not even an announcement of the historic occasion. Oddly, the winning manager in Carlton's first victory, Red Schoendienst, now a St. Louis coach, was the losing manager this time around because he had to take over for Whitey Herzog, who'd been thrown out in the fifth.
As the media waited outside the Phillies clubhouse, the players gave champagne toasts to Carlton. The trainers chipped in for a magnum of Dom Perignon 1975, and Pitcher Larry Christenson bought a magnum of Taittinger '71. But Carlton, oenophile and mediaphobe, brought his own Methuselah of Laurent Perrier, nonvintage. The huge bottle sat in his locker, even if he didn't.
Outside the clubhouse, Beverly talked about her husband's day. "He got up, walked around the yard, checked the fruit and nut trees, ate steak and eggs and hash browns," she said. "He was very relaxed." She accepted the kiss and congratulations of Phillies owner Bill Giles, who said, "A hundred more."
"Steve would like to play another 10 years," said Beverly, "and as hard as he works, he just might. I wouldn't mind that at all. Baseball's been great to us." When a reporter asked her if there was anything that the world should know about her husband, she said, "Well, he likes Ukrainian food." There you have it, baseball fans.
He just doesn't like attention. He stayed in the trainer's room in private reverie. Pitcher Larry Andersen, who was with the Mariners when Gaylord Perry won his 300th last year, said, "That celebration was a lot different. We had two cases of champagne, and we were spraying it all over Gaylord. Possibly it's a difference in the man, but Steve was very excited when he first came in. At least I'll be the answer to a trivia question in a few years. A very tough one, too."
Carlton's clothes were brought to him in the training room, and he asked that the clubhouse be cleared. When that failed, he requested a police escort through the locker room, and the Costello Ushering Service, doubtless named after the man who asked, "Who's on first?" executed a flying wedge. There went Carlton, covering his face from two vicious photographers and five rabid reporters. Shyness is one thing, paranoia another.
Some would say that the Phillies should go into the playoffs—if they beat out the Pirates—with their hands over their faces. This has been an embarrassing year for the National League East—at the end of last week five teams in the majors had better records than Philadelphia's division-leading 86-70. "I didn't think we were going to win," says Third Baseman Mike Schmidt, who through Sunday had 39 homers, 107 RBIs and a Phillie-record 127 walks—2.16 miles worth. "I didn't think we were as good as Montreal, and I felt that Pittsburgh had just as good a team as we did, and that St. Louis had a chance."
The Phillies' fast finish coincided with a public tiff between Schmidt and Owens. Schmidt said the team was confused and that there was no set lineup. Owens, who had come down from the front office to replace Pat Corrales on July 18, said that too many players cared only about themselves and that some of their statistics made him sick.
"I really didn't think we had the lineup, the foundation to win," said Schmidt. "As it turned out, having no set lineup sort of became our foundation. The guys came out to the park, and if they weren't playing that day, they said, 'Go get 'em today, I'll get them tomorrow.' "
The Phillies kept juggling their personnel until they found the right combination. Their stars were having off years. Leftfielder Gary Matthews, for instance, had 17 game-winning RBIs last year, but only three this year. Second Baseman Joe Morgan came into September batting .201. Centerfielder Von Hayes, who was acquired from Cleveland for five players, has been an utter disappointment. And Rose, poor Rose, had only three extra-base hits since July 1.