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Dodgers and Philadelphia in the playoffs, October 4, 1977

October 7, 2008 | 10:00 am

Note the Dial Torgerson byline in a story datelined Jerusalem. Torgerson and freelance photographer Richard Cross were killed in Honduras on June 21, 1983, when their car drove over a U.S.-made landmine evidently placed by Nicaraguan forces.
1977_october_04_sports By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

Looking back at The Times on Oct, 4, 1977, when the paper looked ahead to the playoff series between the Dodgers and the Phillies:

--Don Merry writes about Dodger starter Tommy John, who threw out the first pitch in the 1974 series against the Pirates with his right hand. It had been only two weeks since the left-hander had the innovative operation that's now referred to as Tommy John surgery. "I'd much rather see Frank Sinatra throw out the first ball," says John, who will face Steve Carlton in the opener.

--Charles Maher talks with Philllies Manager Danny Ozark, a former Dodger coach. "From what I've read their only weakness is that Tommy Lasorda has been putting on weight," Ozark jokes about the Dodgers.

--Both teams have power to spare. The Dodgers became the first team with four players (Steve Garvey, Reggie Smith, Roy Cey and Dusty Baker) who each hit 30 or more home runs. The Phillies are led by Greg Luzinski (39 home runs) and Mike Schmidt (38), who are profiled by the Washington Post's Thomas Boswell.

--The Dodgers are 2-3 favorites to win the series and face the Yankees, who are favored to defeat the Kansas City Royals.

--Lasorda says he's pulling for the Yankees: "It's strictly a personal thing. Billy [Martin, Yankees manager] and I are friends."