1980- the only season in which everything in Philly was perfectly aligned and the Phils brought home a World Series championship. There were plenty of stars on that squad that helped pave the road to victory; Rose, Schmidt, Boone, Bowa, Luzinski, Maddox, and the two pitch-slingers Carlton and McGraw.
Steve "Lefty" Carlton is one of the best left-handed pitchers of all-time. He may have hated the media more than a current left-hander (Kenny Rogers), but he cemented his place in baseball history with some phenomenal seasons in a Phillies uniform from 1972-1986. That enchanted season of 1980 Lefty pitched flawlessly to a 24-9 record with a 2.34 ERA in a workmen's 304 innings pitched while striking out 286 batters...you just don't see yearly performances like that anymore. Carlton liked to start and end games (13 complete games in '80), but couldn't always seal the deal himself. That's where another lefty stepped in and finished business.
Tug McGraw is best known for delivering the pitch that ended the 1980 World Series. This pitch had a much better fate than the Mitch Williams pitch that ended the 1993 World Series. Tug was the Phils closer in his tenure with the team (1975-1984). In the charmed 1980 season he pitched to the tune of a sparkling 1.46 ERA with 5 wins and 20 saves in relief. He had a catch phrase, "You gotta believe", that rang true for the Phillies in 1980. In fact I wear a baseball bracelet with that saying on it. That bracelet was created by his son, country star Tim McGraw, in honor of his father and fight against cancer.
Carlton and McGraw were a true tag team, picking up where the other left off and not stopping until the enemy was properly served. They were like two outlaws from the West slinging pitches at the opposition until the job was done and they could ride off into the sunset victorious. The New Age Outlaws were a dominant tag team in the WWF during the late 90's and early 2000's. The team was composed of "Badd Ass" Billy Gunn and "Road Dogg" Jesse James. They too had a catchy saying just like Tug, "Oh, you didn't know? Yo ass better call somebody!". So, next time you recollect the good old days of the Tug and Lefty era, make sure to think of them as some new age outlaws, because they were bad-ass!