Results tagged ‘ Harry Kalas ’

Friday the 13th Phillies Nightmare

When one of your ace pitchers gives up 3 runs in the first inning, you know it is going to be a bad day.  Add to that having the Mets in town, the 3rd anniversary of Harry Kalas’ death and the fact that it is Friday the 13th and things look pretty grimm.

Not that Cliff Lee pitched too badly.  He made a few mistakes and the Mets lowered the ax.  Making matters worse, the Phillies knuckleballing nemesis R.A. Dickey was pitching for the Mets.  Although, the Phillies did collect 11 hits; they just failed to score.

The one happy moment in the game came when rookie Freddy Galvis smashed his first major league home run.  Grinning in the dugout afterwards as the team gave him the silent treatment, Freddy did not have to wait too long for some congratulations.  Jim Thome strained to keep a straight face and was eventually the first to give Galvis a bear hug.

But after that, the nightmare continued for the Phillies.  On his 29th birthday, Hunter Pence received the gift of going 0-for-4.  And although Jimmy Rollins had 3 hits, he made a huge defensive blunder in the 9th inning, bobbling an easy double-play ball.  Rollins did not recover and both runners were safe.  That mistake led to another run for the Mets.

The Mets had their share of goofs as well.  Daniel Murphy collected a fielding error and catcher Josh Thole did something I have never seen before.  In the 2nd inning after hitting a single, Thole ran to 2nd on a Dickey sacrifice bunt.  Then unexpectedly, Thole, who was safe at 2nd, began trotting back to 1st base as if the bunt never happened!

Before Thole realized his stupidity, the Phillies tagged him out on his way back to 1st.  This will be a classic for the MLB blooper reel.  Maybe Thole was trying to make the record books with an unprecedented “reverse steal?”  Whatever the reason, he does win the award for dumbest baseball play ever.

But even that bit of entertainment cannot soften the blow of a sad 5-2 loss to the lowly Mets.  Oh well, tomorrow is another day.  Better than that, tomorrow is NOT Friday the 13th.

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Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

Former Phillies broadcaster Andy Musser Passes Away at Age 74

A Phillies broadcaster for 26 years from 1976 to 2001, Andy Musser, 74, passed away on Sunday.  Musser called games not just for the Phillies, but also the Eagles, 76ers and several other organizations throughout his career.

Phillies fans will remember that Musser worked alongside Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn and Chris Wheeler in the booth.  Wheeler is the last remaining broadcaster of the foursome.

Musser was a Philadelphia-area native and an Army veteran, making him a popular home-grown addition to the Philadelphia sports circuit.  He worked as a broadcaster during many great moments including two World Series, two Super Bowls and two Masters Championships.  Musser also called the division-clinching Mike Schmidt homer in 1980.

This is another sad day for the Phillies family.  Musser was well-liked and respected and he will be missed.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time.

The memorial service for Musser will be held at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, 625 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Donations may be made to the church in lieu of flowers.

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Photo by Tom Gralish / Philly.com

Hurricane Irene Weekend Photos

The following are some photos I took while bored at the ballpark on Saturday and also some shots from my neighborhood showing some hurricane damage.

To start with, I finally saw the new Harry Kalas statue.  It was nice being able to take photos without a huge crowd:
 

And here are some nice rainy shots of the tarp, wet fans, a bunch of bird taking over the wet field and the flag poles, minus most flags as a wind precaution:
 

Next, I went to see the new John Kruk Wall of Fame plaque and also stared at empty seats for a while for lack of anything else to do:
 

Once the game was finally called, I drove south into Delaware to get home through Hurricane Irene flood warnings, tornado warnings and some pretty impressive downpours.  Here are some sights from my neighbor in the aftermath, including a small lake in my front yard, very large trees tipping sideways, a sink hole in the yard and some fallen tree branches:
 

Aside from some water in the basement though, all went pretty well down here.  So, how about you?  Tell me in the comment section where you live and what the damage was from the hurricane.

The tomorrow, with any luck, Phillies baseball will resume again.  Game time in Cincinnati is 7:10pm with Cole Hamels pitching.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Halladay Gives Up Lead in 9th As Phillies Fall to the D-Backs

The Phillies began a 3-game series tonight with the Arizona Diamondbacks who currently hold first place in the NL West.  As expected, it was a very tight game between two very good teams.

With Roy Halladay coming in to the game with two extra days of rest due to a rain out and an off-day, things looked good for the Phillies.  But while Halladay was solid through eight innings, he was unable to hold down a slim 2-1 lead in the ninth.

Halladay has completed so many games and held down so many leads in the past, it probably seemed right to hand him the opportunity again.  But with no outs in the ninth, Halladay gave up two straight singles.  Then Lyle Overbay, in only his second game with the D-Backs, smacked a bases clearing double to take a 3-2 lead.  Overbay was a one-man wrecking crew, going 3-for-4 in the game with 3 RBI.

Prior to this, the Phillies had given away many opportunities on offense, which really put them into this jam.   While most Phillies struggled at the plate, Halladay contributed two hits, including his first career extra-base hit with a double to right.  But both times, Halladay advanced to third and was left stranded.

Chase Utley had three hits, but two of those came with two outs in the inning and all three times either Ryan Howard or Hunter Pence struck out after each of his hits.  Pence left the bases loaded in the third inning for what was the Phillies best shot at breaking the game open.

In the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Ruiz walked and Michael Martinez bunted him over to start the inning for a potential comeback.  But pinch hitter Ross Gload, who has not had a hit since July 28, struck out.  Jimmy Rollins then struck out to end the game with a 3-2 loss.

Halladay has come through for this team too many times to be counted.  It was a real shame that his teammates could not bail him out the one time he needed the help.

The Pence streak was also broken today.  Previously, if Pence did not hit the Phillies did not win and vice versa.  Tonight, Pence had a hit, but the Phillies did not win.  Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Before the game today, the Phillies unveiled the new Harry Kalas statue outside of Harry The K’s at the ballpark.  The unveiling was originally scheduled for this past Sunday, but the game was rained out.

 

Jimmy Rollins and former Phillies ace, Steve Carlton, presided over the unveiling.  The memorial sculpture was requisitioned by and paid for by Phillies fans and given as a gift to the Phillies in Harry’s honor.   It features Harry holding a microphone while leaning on a baseball bat and he is wearing his 2008 World Series ring.

The statue is a testament to how loved and respected Kalas was in Philadelphia and the impact he had on many lives.  While he will always be missed, this sculpture is a beautiful way to keep Harry in both our hearts and in the ballpark, right where he belongs.

 

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Photo: Phillies.com

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Swat the Nats with Some Big Sticks

In his second start back since coming off the DL, Roy Oswalt looked healthy and in control.  Thanks to an early lead given to him by the offense, he was able to relax and really settle back into the rotation.

Through seven innings, Oswalt gave up three runs on six hit and a walk for a quality start.  While Oswalt pitched, the Phillies offense did more than their share to help out.

Ryan Howard continues to rip the cover off the ball.  Tonight he went 2-for-4 with four RBI, including a 2-run homer.  That puts him at 95 RBI on the year, which leads the league.

 

Also with a multi-hit night, Shane Victorino shows no signs of slowing down.  He is now batting .313.

The Phillies scored runs in a variety of ways tonight, taking advantage of Nationals errors, running the bases well and taking walks.  Oswalt walked twice, and one of those forced a run home.  Pitcher John Lannan lasted only three innings, allowing seven runs, six of which were unearned due to Nats bloopers.

By the eighth inning, the Phillies has the game well in hand, leading 8-3.  Only, there was still one issue.  Hunter Pence did not yet have a hit.  And as has been the trend since Pence joined the team, if he does not hit, the Phillies do not win.  Pence alleviated all worries of a Nats comeback with an RBI-single in the 8th.  Whew!

Michael Stutes pitched the final two innings to secure the Phillies 11-3 win over the Nats, splitting the series at one game apiece.

The final game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 1:35pm which is to be preceded by the unveiling of the new fan-funded Harry Kalas statue.  However, the weather is calling for a lot of rain, threatening the game.  Cross your fingers!  If the rain holds out, I will return with photos.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies History: Shaving Cream Pies

The post-game shaving cream pie to the face has become a celebratory Phillies tradition over the years.  One reader wanted to know where it all began.  In my own experiences, I have been able to trace the practice as far back as 1993 where it happened on a semi-regular basis.  Here are a few shots from 1993 where Mitch Williams pied Andy Ashby.  You can see the pie in mid-air as Ashby tried to avoid contact during his post-game interview with Harry Kalas:

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Usually when a player gets a game winning, walk-off hit, they can expect to get pied.  However, sometimes this prank is also carried out following any outstanding performance.  For instance, on June 2, 2002, pitcher Robert Person hit two home runs in a game against the Expos, the first of which was a Grand Slam.  The result?  7 RBI for Person, a win for the Phils and yes, a pie to the face.


Howard pied.jpgIn the 1990’s, the pie incidents were sort of random.  But when Tomas Perez joined the Phillies in 2000, he became the “official” Pie Guy and for the next 6 years, he did not miss a beat.  Perez pied everyone.  And his teammates loved him; Perez was riot in the clubhouse, keeping things loose and fun.  And for me personally, Perez was the nicest, most approachable player I had ever met.  I always stood in the same place before games and Perez took notice.  All I had to do was wave at him, and he would run right over.  We spoke before many games and I got countless autographs from him.


Tomas.jpgThe day the Phillies released him in 2006, we had a conversation about his tenure in Philly during batting practice.  I told him how glad everyone was that he was still with the team and that his smile always brightened my day.  Literally, ½ an hour later, he was released.  :O(

Not only was I devastated, but so were Perez’s teammates.  Ryan Howard said after the game, “I will miss the pies in the face.”  And catcher Mike Lieberthal, another frequent pie’ing victim, added, “He is one of my favorite players I ever played with.  He was not only a good player, but he kept everybody loose and is one of the best personalities I have ever been around.”


pies in face.jpgWith the departure of Perez, the torch was passed to Shane Victorino who became the new Pie Guy and has been basically in charge of the prank ever since.  Although, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs and others have been known to help out on occassion.  And these days, no one is safe from the Pie Guy:


Victorino pies.jpgIn fact, some pie pranks are not even reserved for the playing field.  This pie attack occurred during an interview with Brett Myers and Kyle Kendrick on NBC’s Today Show.  The attack starts at about 2 minutes, 45 seconds into the video:

And some players even get double teamed; check out Carlos Ruiz:

There are some varying opinions on the pie pranks.  Some players think it is funny; some are not so thrilled about it.  As for the fans, I have heard everything from how funny it is to how stupid it is.  One fan told me it is annoying because it ruins the post-game interview.  Others wonder if it could be dangerous.  And yet others look forward to it and find it entertaining.  What do you think?  Feel free to comment below.

What I can tell you is this; the Pie Guy is a Phillies tradition that does not appear to be going away any time soon.

 

Photo credits: Ibanez, Howard, Perez by Jenn; Ashby & Williams by Diana Dickerson; Rollins: NY Daily News; Victorino: CBSsports.com; Lieberthal: http://www.usat-rockymountain.org

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Golf Classic

This past Tuesday, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame hosted their 4th annual Golf Classic at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club.  The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Philly sports history which inducts new members annually. 

The golf event was attended by many Philadelphia stars, including former Phillies, Flyers, 76ers and Eagles, along with broadcasters and other special guests.  I was asked to be the photographer for the event, which was in honor of the memory of Harry Kalas.  This is a tribute table with a few of Harry’s belongings and memorabilia:


P6012679a.jpgThe day included a putting contest, lunch, shotgun golf round, live and silent auctions, a million dollar hole-in one contest and the “High Hopes” reception and dinner.  Much of the time was spent by chatting with VIP guests as well as enjoying the golf course.  By the way, former Phillie Darren Daulton promised me the Phillies would be snapping out of their current funk very soon.  I am holding him to that.

From top to bottom, left to right, here is Darren along with Greg Luzinski, Terry Harmon, Andy Ashby, Tyler Green, Mike Mamula (former Eagle), someone I do not know and Dickie Noles.  If you know who the mystery guest is, feel free to let me know ;o)


Former Phillies.jpgOther sports were represented as well.  This next photo collage includes former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, former Eagles player Chuck Bednarik who was showing me his bent finger, former Eagles Eddie Khayat and Vince Papale and former Flyer, Bernie Parent, possibly the most entertaining man on the planet.  If you have never met Bernie, you are missing out on a real treat.  The man is a ball of energy and funnier than most professional comedians:

 

Philly legends.jpg

I have tons of other photos which show many other big stars from the day and all of the events that went on.  Feel free to check that out.  Thanks to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame for inviting me!  It was a memorable day.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Lose A Legend But Win The Game In His Honor

The Phillies pulled out a win today, although it was with heavy hearts.  One of the best Phillies pitchers of all time, Robin Roberts, passed away today at age 83 of natural causes.   Roberts played for the Phillies from 1948 – 1961 and in his entire career he had a 3.41 ERA over 676 games which included 305 complete games. 
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Roberts was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976 and has been a regular around the Phillies for all these years.  Roberts returned to Philly every year for annual induction ceremonies, special events and attended Spring Training each year as well.

Actually, Roberts was scheduled to attend a golf and dinner outing in honor of Harry Kalas in just a few weeks, along with many other Hall of Famers.  I have been invited to the event and was very much looking forward to seeing him and having the opportunity to chat with him.  But more than being very saddened by this news for that reason, I am terribly sorry for his family and the entire Phillies organization.  My heart goes out to everyone who knew him.  He was a very special individual.

But the game went on today despite the sad news and the Phillies won it for him.  With the 1950 pennant hung at half mast and a black drape around Robert’s Wall of Fame plaque, Roy Halladay took the mound and was a true professional, as usual.  Against the Cardinals, he pitched 7 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, Halladay was not super sharp, but still extremely effective. 

Halladay walked 3 batters and had a lot of base runners; in the 7th inning with two outs and 2 men on, it even looked like manager Charlie Manuel may pull him from the game.  Manuel went out to the mound but with a stern look on his face, Halladay convinced him that he could finish the inning.  And with that, it only took one pitch to Matt Holliday to end it.  This guy is amazing.

Jayson Werth had a special connection to Roberts as they grew up in the same town and spoke about that often; Werth channeled his grief into a huge game at the plate.  He hit 2 doubles and a 3-run homer in the game.  Werth did commit an error in right field when the wind and sun helped him drop a fly ball, but no one was complaining after his offensive output.

Carlos Ruiz had a 3-hit day as well with Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard collecting 2 hits each.  Ibanez hit a solo homer in the 5th for the 900th RBI of his career.  The opposing pitcher, Kyle Loshe, lasted only 4 innings and allowed 5 of the Phillies 7 runs, although 2 were unearned due to errors.  Actually, it was a sloppy game all around defensively with each team committing 2 errors a piece.

The umpires did not have a clean game either.  Andy Fletcher, who played the villain in Game 1 of this series, had another blooper today.  While trying to turn a double play, the Cards Albert Pujols had to jump off first base to catch the ball for the 3rd out of the inning.  Replay showed that as Wilson Valdez crossed the bag, Pujols was in mid-air and not on the bag.  Valdez was called out by Fletcher who refused to argue with Manuel after the play and walked away.  The home plate umpire had some questionable calls as well, but Halladay handled him with a quick chat after the 5th inning.

So the Phillies walk away with a 3 games to 1 series victory over the Cardinals, the best team in the National League.  Although now, the Phillies have just 1 less win than the Cards and hold a 2 game lead for first place in the NL East.  Tomorrow at 7:05pm, they will begin a 3-game series with the Braves and Jamie Moyer will pitch.  The Phillies will begin wearing #36 patches on their jersey’s tomorrow as well in honor of Robin Roberts.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Missing Harry

As I began walking out of Citizen’s Bank Park after yesterday’s win, the familiar sound of Harry Kalas’ voice broke into “High Hopes.”  Fans sung along as they wandered towards the exits, high fiving other fans as they went.  Then I remembered; Tuesday would be one year since we lost Harry.

One year ago today I was at the game in DC, staring up at the press box when I heard the news.  Hard to believe he was gone; still hard to believe one year later.  Jenn & Harry.jpgIf you are a Phillies fan, Harry was your friend, whether you had met him or not.  He loved each one of us.  Those of us who knew Harry personally feel privileged have to been able to spend time with him and will never forget those special moments.

Earlier today, I remembered a few years back when another fan approached Harry and told him it was her birthday.  Without skipping a beat, he asked what her name was and then broke into song with, “Happy Birthday.”  That is the kind of giving person he was and why he will always be missed.

 

 

 

…In case you missed it earlier, here is the full Photo Album of the Home Opener yesterday.

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

 

Polanco Injured; ESPN Writer Loses His Mind

In the 3rd inning of today’s Phillies-Pirates match-up in Bradenton, FL, Placido Polanco tripped on the pitcher’s mound trying to catch a pop-up.  He limped off the field and is said to have a right knee strain.  Initial reports are that it is not serious and Polly should be back in action in 3 or 4 days.  This is first real injury for the Phillies in camp thus far and we hope it is the last.

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

The other interesting news came from Buster Olney of ESPN this week; he claims that his “sources” had reported that the Phillies were talking about swapping 1st baseman with the Cardinals. 
Howard laughing.jpg
That’s right, in Olney’s alternate universe,
Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols would trade places.  Perhaps Olney’s “sources” were aliens from Mars?  Or maybe it was just the little voices inside his head who yearn to see Olney locked up in a padded room?

The odds of this sort of swap happening are astronomical; it is not even a fair trade.  No offense to Howard, but clearly Pujols is the better overall player.  Yes, Howard is from St. Louis, but this is no reason for the Cards to think they would get him cheap.  And the Phillies could never afford Pujols.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was so perturbed at the news, he flat out called Olney a liar.  “It’s ridiculous,” Amaro said. “It’s unequivocally false. It’s unfair to Ryan. It’s unfair to the organization to have to answer the questions.”

Halladay Human

Despite all the drama, the Phillies went on to win today by a score of 5-1.  Roy Halladay gave up his first run of Spring and also walked two batters; all this means is we now have proof that the man is not a robot.  I think we can all live with the 1.00 ERA.

Languishing Lefties

While the starting pitching looks good, some of the relievers do not.   JC Romero will not be ready for Opening Day so one of the young lefties will need to step up to fill the void.  DSCF7008a.jpgHowever, neither Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona or Mike Zagurski have looked ready to do so thus far.  Bastardo has allowed 3 runs over 2 innings of work; Escalona has 5 runs allowed in 3 innings; and Zagurski only made 1 appearance.  He is still trying to get back in the groove after Tommy John surgery.  One of these three lefties will need to show that they can do the job and right now, it does not look good.

Pet Peeve of The Week

So many MLB teams these days have radio and TV announcers that leave a lot to be desired.  Realizing that Philly fans were spoiled for decades with the great Harry Kalas, it may be an unfair comparison.  However, during the Phillies-Pirates match-up today, a Pirates announcer took “unprofessional” to a new level.  Tim Neverett, hired in December 2008, does play-by-play for the Bucos.  And today, he did not win any brownie points from Philly fans.

In the middle of the 4th inning, Neverett began praising the team’s mascot, the Pirate Parrot and mentioned how he was harassing Philly fans in the stands.  He went on to say, “I think the Parrot likes this.  There’s no better group of fans to tease than the Philadelphia fans…(pause)…Because there’s no worse fans.  The same people who boo Santa Claus are now getting it from the Pirate Parrot.”

First of all, the Santa Claus incident was in 1968 at an Eagles football game.  Get over it.  Secondly, there are “no worse fans?”  Seriously?  Apparently, Mr. Neverett must be a world traveler who has first-hand knowledge of such things.  While I am not going to waste time comparing Philly fans to experiences I have had elsewhere, I will say that such a general statement is both ignorant and rude. 

A small segment of fans of ANY team are bound to be obnoxious and disruptive.  That is human nature.  You expect to hear this sort of prejudice from those obnoxious fans, not from the radio announcer who is being paid to be objective and professional.  You want rude?  Ok then, BOO YOU Mr. Neverett!  You should be ashamed.

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Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

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