Results tagged ‘ Mike Schmidt ’

Beautiful Tribute, Ugly Game

How do you blow a 6 run lead?  Just ask the Phillies.  No doubt, it was an emotional day for all of us in Phillies-land, as Harry Kalas was remembered before the game and pictures and video of Harry were shown in the park between innings.  Kalas Tribute.jpg

His three sons threw out the first pitch and Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  There were numerous salutes to Harry around the park, including the memorial outside the 3rd base gate at the Mike Schmidt statue.  Schmidt was also in attendance at the game and caught one of the pitches from Harry’s sons as did John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins.

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With all the emotions flying about, it just made you wish even more that the Phillies could have pulled this one out for Harry.  I suppose it was just not meant to be.

The game began for me with multiple bad omens, which I happily ignored as the Phillies jumped to a 5 run lead in the first inning.  I was hit in the head twice before the game even started, and not by a baseball. 

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A man above me in the handicapped section actually dropped his 4-foot metal walking brace on my head; what he could have been doing up there to make this happen, I have NO idea.  One minute, I am in my seat reading, the next minute, I am almost knocked unconscious.  After I regained some semblance of lucidity, I handed the metal rod of death up to him; he said he was sorry and that was that.  No one even came over to see if I was ok.  Unbelievable.

As I rubbed my head, now nursing a major headache, another foreign object whacked me in the back of the head, in the same spot!  I looked up and saw a Comcast employee winding up one of those 1 inch thick TV cables, which is what got me the second time.  This jerk did not even blink; he said nothing, pulled the cable away and left!  As you may imagine, I was quite woozy at this point.  I just sat there dazed and confused and, seriously, you won’t believe what happened next.  Some idiot looking for his seat backed up into my row and stood on my foot while he looked around.  He did not move until I lifted my leg and physically removed him from my foot!  I got a very lame, “oh, sorry” as he wandered off.  Clearly, this was not my day.

The game finally began and the Phillies jumped off to 5 run lead with a Chase Utley 3-run homer and a Chris Coste 2-run double.  Perhaps these bad omens were just some sick cosmic joke?  By the 4th inning, the Phils had a 6-run lead.  How could they possible blow this, especially on Harry’s day?  Well, I’ll tell you how; pitching and managing.  Cole Hamels began to self-destruct in the 5th inning, giving up a 2-run home run to the Padres Scott Hairston.  He also allowed 2 more hits and a walk in that inning and was due to bat 2nd in the line-up.  So, did Charlie Manuel remove the tiring Hamels for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 5th?  Nope.  And then he sent Hamels back out for the 6th inning where, as I fully expected, he continued to give the game away; another 2-run home run, just like that.  Now the score is 7-5.

The offense slept through the next few innings as the pen held the Padres down, but then came the 8th inning.  Ryan Madson, who based on last year, appears to be a VERY slow starter, gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk, blowing the save and giving the Padres an 8-7 lead.  This was a disaster and man, did my head really hurt after that.  Greg Dobbs gave us a little hope as he led off the 8th with a single; Rollins bunted him over but then Shane Victorino popped out.  Utley tried to play hero by whacking a single into left field, but then 3rd base coach, Sam Perlozzo, killed the rally by sending the VERY slow Dobbs home, where he was promptly tagged out. 

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Matt Stairs ended the game in the 9th by striking out looking, but to his defense, the last 2 called strikes did not look to be anywhere near the strike zone.

So besides my getting beat up at the game, another Phillies fan had a very similar day; before the game and before the Kalas boys threw their first pitch, an elderly man was invited onto the field to throw a pitch as well.  Just as the announcer told the crowd that this 82-year old man was very brave for attempting to walk out onto the field, obviously because of his health, at that exact moment, this poor guy tripped on the yellow rope the grounds crew laid down for their pre-game preparations and fell flat onto the ground, losing his shoe in the process.

A very scary moment for all of us as we watched him lay there, but he was able to get up with assistance and did still throw the ball, which went about 2 feet.  It was really something to see him even attempt this after such a terrible fall.  Kudos to that fan for toughing it out!  I do hope is okay.  Sorry, I did not catch his name in all the craziness, but I wish him falls on field.jpg

This was a very sad day for the Phillies and their fans all around.  Spirits were lifted though for a while during the 7th inning stretch when all 44,984 people in attendance were invited to sing along to “High Hopes” with Harry Kalas one last time.  The video played on PhanaVision as we all joined in.  It was a beautiful tribute, as I am sure the memorial service will be today as well. 

As promised, here is the photo album from the Harry Kalas tribute on Friday and the game.  There are two pictures that I think you should all see;  Jimmy Rollins was holding Harry’s favorite white shoes and Chase Utley held his blue jacket while Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  I think those shots really sum up the week. 

Photos by Jenn

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More Thoughts On Harry

Yesterday was a very emotional day for many of us; and a new day has had little effect.  I began watching the television coverage this morning of Harry Kalas’ passing that I taped yesterday while I was at the game and I have to say, if I see Larry Andersen cry one more time, I do not think I’ll make it.  I finally had to turn the TV off.

I spoke with many friends today about Harry and they all feel the same loss, even those who knew little about him.  I told one friend a story about how Harry let me keep one of his name tags from an event we attended and then even signed it for me as a keepsake.  She then told me that she had a relative who was one of Harry’s doctors and she had him sign a latex-free medical exam glove for her step-father.  Just more proof that Harry would sign or do absolutely anything for a fan.

Later, I began looking at the photo’s I took from the game yesterday.  I had no idea what I had actually shot until today, as most of the game is a blur to me and the camera acted as a simple distraction.  I came across these of Shane Victorino’s home run at-bat; first he points to the outfield, a’la Babe Ruth; then he watches the ball as it flies out of the park; and finally, in a tribute to Harry, Shane points to the press box after he crosses home plate:Victorino HR 041309.jpg

There was a mix of sadness, deep thought and even some joy in remembrance of Harry on the faces of the Phillies yesterday, which is evident in the photos I took. 

I put together a Photo Album from the game as usual, and I tried to include a few of the lighter moments as a reminder of Harry’s love of the game.

The Phillies are off today and their scheduled visit to the White House has been postponed indefinitely due to Harry’s passing.  Fans continue to visit Citizens Bank Park where a memorial has begun at the feet of the Mike Schmidt statue with flowers, cards, balls and a variety of mementoes.  Photos of that memorial can be seen at Todd Zolecki’s blog, The Zo Zone.

And finally, I would like to leave you with this video that I shot last May, where Harry addressed a group of women at the Phillies yearly Baseball 101 event.  We are all so fortunate to have shared in Harry’s passion and love of baseball over the years.  I will never forget these moments.

Photos by Jenn

Phillies and Mets Unite!

Ok, well not really.  But Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino did participate with David Wright of the Mets yesterday to advance Team USA to the semi-final round of the World Baseball Classic.  In fact, all three Phillies that were still involved with the Classic had a hand in the victory along with Wright.  JC Romero, playing for Team Puerto Rico, did not exactly get the outcome he wished for, but he did play a role in this very exciting game.

By the bottom of the 9th inning, Team USA was losing by a score of 5-3 to Puerto Rico.  Enter, Shane Victorino; Victorino smacked a single down the 1st base line off his own Phillies teammate, Romero, to start the comeback.  Victorino played a huge part in the entire game, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Next up, Brian Roberts singled; Victorino then tagged on a Jeter long fly ball to move to 3rd base.  Enter Rollins, who was issued his 2nd walk of the night to load the bases.  Romero was lifted from the game, shaking his head as he walked off the mound, having given up a hit and a walk to his own Phillies teammates.

Fernando Cabrera came in to relieve Romero, but then proceeded to walk a run in (Victorino), making the score 5-4.  Wright then took over, whacking a 2 run walk-off single, on which Rollins and Roberts scored.  Game over – Team USA wins, 5-6.  See video of the final hit and celebration HERE.

But the most fascinating part of the win for me was seeing Wright, Rollins, Victorino, and even Mike Schmidt, not only get the job done together, but then watching them celebrate together afterwards.  As heated as the Phillies – Mets rivalry has become over the past several years, you never would have known it watching these NL East opponents working together to attain a common goal.  Here is a still shot from the video of the last hit and the celebration:Team USA.jpg

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?  Ok, well, perhaps that is going a bit far… ;o)

Team USA will travel to the west coast after tonight’s game against Team Venezuela, which will determine the top seed.  Team Korea will join them in Los Angeles as well, to prepare for the next round of the Classic.  The final team has yet to be decided; Japan and Cuba will battle tonight for that remaining spot.


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Spring Training Practices Winding Down

P2232834.JPGSo far, the mood in Phillies practice has been very upbeat.  Shane Victorino was all smiles as he tossed balls to children in the crowd earlier today.  Cole Hamels returned to the team, having taken care of his “personal issues” and spirits were high.  There are a few story lines causing some stress among the natives , including the battle for the 5th starting position.  Kyle Kendrick threw a good session today and Scott Eyre helped him keep the mood light.  Either that, or Eyre has mistaken Kendrick for a cute little baby…

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Other developing story lines include the competition among the rookies trying to make the team. 
Jason Donald, who may replace Chase Utley if he has a setback and is not ready to go for Opening Day, is keeping pace with the big boys.  Lou Marson, understanding the team is heavy on catchers, keeps up his hard work in the hopes that he makes an impression for future call-ups.  And Mike Cervanek , who made his major league debut last year after 10 years in the minors and independent leagues, has been hustling to get some attention.  Cervenak could be the right-handed bat the Phillies need, plus he is able to play 3rd, 2nd and 1st bases.  Having been a member of the World Series squad, the coaches already know Cervenak, but this will be a case of perseverance on his part to make the team.

P2232753.JPGWith so many good looking men wandering about the practice fields, it makes you wonder where a few of these guys are getting their hair style advice.  Women do seem to love the beard, but Eric Bruntlett may want to consider a trim.  It’s hair gone wild!  And then in the plain “hair has gone away” category, new Phillie Raul Ibanez may want to consider a new look.  Here are a few for him to “try on.”

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Only one day left of practice before the games begin on Wednesday; the Phillies will take on the Pirates in Bradenton, FL for the Spring Training opener at 1:05pm.  Stay tuned for game coverage!

And on to the Photo of the Day…it’s an unusually chipper Mike Schmidt:


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Phillies Players – Strange, Fun & Unique Nicknames

It has always been a tradition in baseball to assign players a nickname.  Whether that be a descriptive one, a play on words, or just plain weird, most guys seem to get one at some point that winds up sticking with them.  I have compiled a list of nicknames for the 2008 Phillies that I could find and then other Phillies from years past.  I tried to avoid any media-given names and just stick to the stuff the players use amongst themselves.  I also put years by some of the older or more obscure player names.  Hope you enjoy it…have a Happy Holiday!!!

2008 Phillies Players

Brad “Light’s Out” Lidge

Carlos Ruiz – Chooch

Charlie Manuel – Chuck

Chase “The Man” Utley or The Model (given to him by J-Roll) or Chutley (ya know, like my Chutley Smurf :O)PA260205 Smurf.jpg

Chris Coste – Chris Clutch

Cole Hamels – Hollywood Hamels

Geoff Jenkins – Jenks or Brett Favre (he is his long-lost twin :o)

Greg Dobbs – Dober (he actually doesn’t like it, but everyone calls him this anyway!)

Jamie Moyer – Grand Pappy or Dyno (for Dinosaur – given to him by J-Roll)

Jayson Werth – J-Dub or Werewolf

Jimmy Rollins – J-Roll or Papa Smurf (I know this one is accurate because Jimmy told me himself that this is what he was called “back in the day.”)

Juan Carlos Romero – JC (did anyone even know his real name was Juan Carlos or did you read this and go, who is this guy??)

Milt Thompson – Uncle Milty

Pat “The Bat” Burrell

Pedro Feliz – Pete Happy (literal translation of his name)

Rudy Seanez – Action Traction (I have NO idea what this is about)

Ryan Howard – The Big Man or Rhino

Ryan Madson – Mad Dog

Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian

Previous Phillies Players:

Antonio Alfonseca – El Pulpo or The Octopus (because he has 6 fingers on each hand….seriously…I have photos)

Bake McBride (1973-83) – Shake n’ Bake

Bobby Abreu – El Comedulce – The Candy Eater

Chuck Klein (1928-44) – The Hoosier Hammerer

Curt Schilling – Schill

Darren Daulton (1983-97) – Dutch

Garry Maddox – The Secretary of Defense

Gary “Sarge” Matthews

Greg Luzinski – The Bull

John Titus – Silent John

Juan Samuel (1983-98) – Sammy

Kevin Saucier – Hot Sauce

Larry Bowa – Gnat (does this mean he is annoying?)

Lenny Dykstra – Nails

Mickey Doolan (1905-18) – Doc

Mickey Morandini – Dandy Little Glove Man (Is it just me, or is this like the gayest nickname ever?)

Mike Lieberthal – Lieby

Mike Schmidt – Iron Mike or Schmidty

Mitch Williams – Wild Thing and Mitchy-Poo (Harry Kalas coined that one)

Otto Knabe (1905-16) – Dutch

Pete Rose – Charlie Hustle

Plácido Polanco – Polly

Steve Bedrosian (1981-95) – Bedrock

Steve Carlton – Lefty

Todd Jones – Roller Coaster

Von Hayes (1981-92) – Five-for-One

Willie Jones – Puddin’ Head


And as always, feel free to add your own here in the comments :o)

Baseball’s Most Embarrassing Moments

Welcome to Jenn’s next edition of “Strange Baseball.”  Today we will pull out of the closet Baseball’s Most Embarrassing Moments and discover why some of these players belong in Baseball’s Hall of Shame:

– When I first saw Bob Uecker in the movie “Major League,” I thought he was just some wacky sportscaster/actor.  When I was informed he actually used to play in the Majors, the following did not shock me at all:  On September 7, 1967, “Mr. Baseball” did everything wrong that a catcher could possibly do in one game.  He committed one throwing error, had 2 passed balls and was even called for catcher’s interference.  His manager, Billy Hitchcock, later said that he was afraid to leave Uecker in the game, having pulled him in the 7th inning, because he thought Uecker may actually “invent a few more bad things.”

– “Bo Knows…”  Remember the popular saying coined by athlete, Bo Jackson back in the eighties?  Well, on this day, apparently Bo didn’t know baseball:  On September 17, 1986, Jackson got a lesson on what a “balk” was.  Having already had an awful season for the Royals that year, batting .207 and striking out 34 times in 25 games, what happened next was still a bit surprising.  At the plate with a 1-2 count, on the next pitch, the umpire called the pitcher for a balk.  Jackson dropped his bat and ran down to first base.  He later admitted that he had confused “balk” with “walk.”

– May 26, 1992:  On a Carlos Martinez long fly ball, Jose Canseco’s attempt to field the hit turned into a classic blooper reel.  The ball fell right on top of Canseco’s head and bounced over the fence for a home run.  Embarrassed, Canseco tried to play it off like it hit his glove, but the replay never lies.

July 10, 2001 All-Star Game:  Vladimir Guerrero’s at- bat turned into another blooper that will never get old.  Guerrero swung at a pitch from Mike Stanton and his bat splintered apart; the barrel of the bat flew towards Tommy Lasorda, who was coaching third base and whacked him on the hip.  Lasorda fell heels over head, performing a backwards somersault.  He arose unharmed and Barry Bonds ran out on to the field and tried to put a catcher’s chest protector on him.

Donnell Nixon of the San Francisco Giants had his head hung low after a game against the Cubs in 1988.  Nixon was caught stealing twice in the same inning!  Once, he was nailed at second, and for the finale, he was thrown out trying to steal home.

In 1994 during the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week, Larry Walker had the ultimate blonde moment in front of a national audience.  Walker caught a ball with only one out and then, not realizing the inning was not over AND there was a runner on first, he handed the ball to a kid in the stands and started to walk off the field.  When he realized his mistake, he went back to the kid, took the ball back and threw it to the infield.  Too late though; the umpire awarded the runner 2 bases since the ball was technically “out of play.”

– In 1975 during a game in Boston, Milwaukee Brewer Gorman Thomas had possibly the worst day of his career.  Thomas struck-out EIGHT times in a row and even hit into a double play.  The double play earned him a standing ovation from the appreciative Boston fans.  Thomas received an even bigger round of applause and another standing ovation after that as he ran out to centerfield; Thomas  was approached by a free roaming dog who stopped in front of him and proceeded to urinate at his feet.

– During a 1985 Blue Jays game, Jeff Burroughs attempted to slide into second base.  Having some apparent lack of depth perception, his slide stopped short of the base by a full 6 feet and he was tagged out.

– Real-life Wife Swap:  Good friends Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich of the New York Yankees announced during Spring Training of 1973 that they would switch wives, kids and even family dogs.  Peterson remained married to the former Susanne Kekich, but his pitching seemed to suffer and by 1974, he was booed out of New York and traded to the Indians.  Mike Kekich’s union with Marilyn Peterson did not last long; they broke up shortly after the swap.

– On July 27, 1988, Tommy John made THREE errors on ONE play!  The New York veteran pitcher fell apart in a game against the Brewers.  First, he bobbled a slow dribbler to the mound, allowing the runner to take 1st base and another to advance to second; then, he threw the ball to first anyway, which sailed past Don Mattingly’ head; and finally, John cut off the throw from right fielder Dave Winfield that would have nailed an opposing runner at the plate.  And all this happened on 1 play.  John’s explanation for the incident was that there were too many “negative ions in the air” due to an approaching thunderstorm which were interfering with the metal cup he was wearing, thus causing a temporary brain power shortage.

– During a game in 1988, Reds infielder Dave Conception was tossed from the game for blowing kisses at an umpire.

– During batting practice on February 22, 1987, Twins slugger Kirby Puckett was having a great time whacking home runs over the wall at Tinker field, Spring Training home of the Twins.  After a policeman arrived on the scene to demand batting practice stop, it was revealed that the home run balls were landing in a nearby parking lot which was packed due to a tractor pull event.  The balls were smashing windshields and denting cars.  The cop walked over to Puckett and ordered him to stop swinging or he would be arrested.  The Twins were forced to continue practice in a covered cage in the bullpen.

Mike Schmidt was in a slump during his time with the Phillies in 1988.  After flying out to go 0 for 14, he passed Padres 1st baseman, and future Phillie, John Kruk and exclaimed, “Give me a gun.  I am ready to shoot myself in the head.”  Kruk responded with, “Better not.  You’ll probably miss.”  Ouch.

– And one final Phillies moment:  For the ultimate blooper of 2004, Jason Michaels, in an attempt to catch a long fly ball off the bat of Charles Thomas, instead bobbles the ball and tosses it over the wall, giving Thomas a home run.  He and Jose Canseco should get together and compare notes…

The 1994 baseball strike which lasted from 8/12/94 until 4/2/95, wiped out the entire 1994 post-season and World Series and even led to the eventual death of the Montreal Expos.  This was the first professional sport ever to lose an entire post-season due to a labor dispute.  Owners were adamant about a salary cap and the players would not stand for it.  A sad time for baseball.

The Mitchell Report:  The relationship between baseball and steroids was put on display for all to see on December 13, 2007 with the release of the 409-page Mitchell Report.  It disclosed test results and other information on a great number of major league players.  The ramifications of this information have yet to fully play out and may haunt the organization for years to come.

Thank you for reading and as always, please feel free to add your comments below.  What are YOUR favorite “Embarrassing Baseball Moments”? 

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All-Star Week Photos

I have a few photos to post for you as I promised yesterday. First, from the parade, you’ll see Chase Utley saying hello, Mike Schmidt standing and pointing to me (he was obviously excited to see a Phillies jersey as well), a blurry shot of Brad Lidge waving (ugh!) and the Phillies All-Star statue:


Next up, the Home Run Derby…to the right is Chase being introduced; on top is Chase hitting a home run; bottom shots show chase getting his award for collecting the most votes in the NL along with A-Rod who got the award for the AL:

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And finally the Fan Fest…Map of events; Utley’s locker; a few of the memorabilia items on display; Derek Jeter speaks at a clinic:

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More to follow at a later date in a link…

So, 15 innings last night??? Wow! And frankly, we can all thank Billy Wagner for that one. The NL had the lead in the 8th until he blew it. But no, let’s go back even further and thank Clint Hurdle for even selecting a guy who had blown 6 saves this year and putting him on the team to begin with! UGH! And then Dan Uggla could have saved the day later with a man on third and one out, but instead, grounds into the double play and continues on to commit 2 straight errors the next inning and strikes out his next at bat. I have to say, I actually felt sorry for him. That had to be like to worst game EVER for him…poor guy. So ultimately, poor Brad Lidge waited and waited for his save opportunity and got warmed up and sat and warmed up and sat, etc….. By the time he finally got into the game, he must have been tired and still, it was not even a save situation. And so, as it goes many times with closers in non-save situations, he gave up a few hits and, ultimately, the winning run. So sad for Brad…it never should have gone that way for him. Other than that, Chase Utley had a solid game, going 1 for 3.

That’s all for now! Back to the regular season tomorrow…Go Phillies!

Werth-y Of Your Vote!

Well, did I call this one, or what?!  In my April 30th Blog I called for Phillies fans to write in Jason Werth on the All-Star ballot, pointing to his clutch performances all year for this team dating all the way back to the latter half of last season.  You may also recall my adorable photo / voting campaign for him: 
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So then last night, Mr.Werth turns in the most impressive display of the year with 3 home runs and 8 RBI’s, falling only one 2-run homer short of the elusive home run cycle.  WOW.  This puts Werth in a Phillies five way tie for the most RBI’s in a game along with Kitty Bransfield, Gavvy Cravath, Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones and of course, Mike Schmidt.

So, now the question remains, who will start tonight against the right handed AJ Burnett?  You know how Charlie Manual loves to play the right handed – left handed game.  But I really think Werth has earned the starting spot at this point.  If it were me, I’d start Jayson in center, sit Victorino and give Jenkins the start in right…he’s been sitting long enough and Shane has struggled a bit lately.  And this will really give Manual an idea about whether Jayson really is an everyday player.  Can he hit both righties and lefties?  I think he can.  Give him a shot…he’s more than earned it!

Check out my new links off to the right…I have added a link to my You Tube Phillies Baseball 101 page which has some really FUN video!  You can see Jen Utley talk about her relationship with Chase, watch her reveal that he never graduated college (although she says he’s still smart…hee! :o) and what she “thinks” his major was…she can’t quite remember.  FUNNY stuff!  Also hear Phillies coaches give lessons on hitting and pitching; hear all about how the team travels to away games and much more really intriguing behind the scenes access!  Hope you enjoy it…I know I did!  Go Phillies!

Lieberthal is back…

But only for one day…whew!  Kidding aside, Mike Lieberthal, apparently still a big Phillies fan, has decided to retire in Philadelphia.  So, June 1st is the day and I think he should receive a warm welcome back.  In 13 years with the Phillies, Mike put up some good numbers and had 2 All-Star appearances.  The latter half of his career though was plagued with injuries and lacking in RBI production.  I know whenever I attended games, the big joke was that Mike would do just fine at the plate, as long as no one was on base :o)  And remember the days when he’d be in a real funk and Bowa would just refuse to move him down in the batting order so as not to offend him?  Ahhhhh…the sweet frustration of it all still echoes in my brain…

Ok, well let’s just remember the good times and put aside the bad…  In 1999, Mike hit 31 homers and had 96 RBI’s with a batting average of .300 for the year and his first All-Star appearance.  The only other player before him to reach .300 and 30 homers in a season was Mike Schmidt in 1981.  He had another productive season in 2000 and made the All-Star team again.  So, many thanks to Lieby for a long and entertaining career!  And in the spirit of entertainment, I dug through my photo archives and found this one for you…this was taken before I had a “real” camera, but it is not too bad, although I was behind the screen in the home plate section:

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From September 9, 2005:  Where’s the ball?  Where’s my glove?  Where’s my helmet? Ugh! ….By the way, look to the far right…you will see the ball.