We remember the Chiefs Super Bowl team and the Royals World Series team, but we may not remember all the players — even some of the heroes of the moment. Here are two of them.
Right tackle Dave Hill’s tenacious play was critical to the Chiefs’ 23-7 upset of Minnesota in Super Bowl IV. Hill and tight end Fred Arbanas were assigned the job of blocking Vikings star defensive end Carl Eller and exploited Eller’s hard-charging tendencies in springing Frank Pitts loose three times for big gains on end-around plays.
The key play came midway through the third quarter after Minnesota drew to within 16-7. The Chiefs, facing third-and-seven, crossed up the Minnesota defense with the reverse, and Pitts followed Hill’s crunching block and picked up the first down. That led to the game-breaking touchdown pass from Len Dawson to Otis Taylor.
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“I just played like I usually play,” Hill told The Kansas City Times after the game. “I changed things a little. He’s not a guy who beats you to death; he likes to use finesse, quickness, so every once in a while, I’d fire out, keep him guessing on what I was going to do.”
Hill retired after the 1974 season and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1997. Hill, 64, lives in Moody, Ala., where he is in the automobile auction business.
With one out in the ninth inning, Dane Iorg cracked a bases-loaded, two-run single that kept the Royals alive in the 1985 World Series as they beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1. That was Game 6 at Royals Stadium, and everyone knows what happened in Game 7: The Royals blanked the Cardinals 11-0 for the championship.
First, though, the miracle comeback was made possible when pinch hitter Jorge Orta beat out an infield single, a controversial ruling by umpire Don Denkinger that had the Cardinals howling. Steve Balboni hit a pop foul near the Cardinals’ dugout, but first baseman Jack Clark overran the ball and it dropped. Balboni then singled to left, putting runners on first and second with none out. The Royals tried a sacrifice bunt, but Jim Sundberg bunted too hard and Orta was forced out at third. No matter. St. Louis catcher Darrell Porter was charged with a passed ball, sending runners to second and third. Hal McRae was intentionally walked, leaving it to Iorg to settle matters. His single to right field was his only hit in the World Series, scoring pinch runner Onix Concepcion and Sundberg.
“After I hit the ball, my first thought was, ‘I hope the second run scores,’ ” Iorg told The Star after the game. “Then I stopped between first and second and just looked at the play at the plate. I saw the call. Jubilation.”
Iorg, 54, now lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah. A degree from Brigham Young University, completed after his baseball career, led him to work in wholesale lumber sales.
— Randy Covitz/The Star — Holly Lawton/The Star