Results tagged ‘ Tug McGraw ’

Walk-Off Win For Phillies Opening Day

Happy Opening Day!  And what an unusual Opening Day it was for the Phillies.

 

 

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The Phillies sent Roy Halladay to the mound to face ex-Phillie Brett Myers of the Astros.  What initially looked like it might be a bad day despite great pitching, the Phillies pulled out a win in walk-off fashion to open the 2011 season.

 

 

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The first hit off Halladay came off the bat of Myers.  And from there, more drama ensued.  In fact, Myers wound up with two of the five hits Halladay allowed through six innings.  Myers allowed only three hits and one earned run through seven innings.

But for the Phillies offense, hits were few and far between making fans wonder if all the hard work assembling this amazing pitching staff was going to pay off.  If Halladay only allows one run but the offense cannot score any runs, wins will be hard to come by.

Only Ryan Howard and Wilson Valdez got any hits through the first six innings.  The Valdez hit was a double in the third inning, but they were unable to score him.  A bad call at first base where Halladay was called out did not help the situation.

 

 

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Also not a huge help were a strange variety of Phillies mistakes.  Ben Francisco missed a fly ball in right early in the game, prompting chants of, “Bring back Werth!” from the crowd.  Valdez let a ball slip right between his legs and Shane Victorino got caught stealing.  Later, poor Carlos Ruiz took a bouncing relay to the plate in what looks like an uncomfortable position:

 

 

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None of this was good news for the Phillies.  But in the seventh, Myers started to tire and the Phils finally manufactured a few runs.  By the ninth inning, down 4-2, the Phillies probably started to imagine the backlash if they were to lose on Opening Day after Halladay pitched a great game.  Suddenly, the hits started coming.

Jimmy Rollins started off the inning with a single to inspire the team.  Howard, Francisco and Ruiz followed suit.  The hit for Francisco was especially huge as it redeemed him from the previous error in the eyes of the crowd.

Valdez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out.  Visions of the 20 double plays Valdez hit into last year began to haunt the crowd who held their collective breath.  But perhaps the DP curse is over, because Valdez nailed and RBI single to tie the game.

All the Phillies needed now was a hit or a sac fly from John Mayberry Jr.  With his father, former major leaguer John Mayberry Sr., and mother looking on, Mayberry Jr. smashed a 2-2 fastball to center field, over the head of former Phillie Michael Bourn.  Francisco scored and Mayberry had his first major league walk-off hit in his first game ever as an Opening Day roster player.

The walk-off win was the first on Opening Day since May 6, 1974, when Mike Schmidt hit a two-run home run against Tug McGraw to beat the Mets at Veterans Stadium.  But with the high expectations for this 2011 team, this walk-off victory will go down as one of the most memorable in Phillies history.

The stunned Astros team will probably have nightmare’s tonight knowing they face Cliff Lee on Saturday.  Game time is 7:05pm.

Here is the full Photo Album from Opening Day.

 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame 2010 Induction

On Thursday evening, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2010 which included Dick Allen, Hobey Baker, Elizabeth Becker, Tom Brookshier, Ron Hextall, William Hyndman III, Bobby Jones, Leroy Kelly, Lighthouse Boys Club, Tug McGraw, Jim Phelan, Mike Quick, Bobby Shantz, Phil Jasner, Marianne Stanley and Jersey Joe Walcott. These chosen athletes have had exceptional careers in their particular sport, either with a Philadelphia team or having grown up in the Philadelphia area and gone on to an outstand sports career elsewhere.

Also honored were the annual Pride of Philadelphia award winners.  The award is given in recognition of accomplishment by those who made Philadelphia sports fans proud of their town and its rich sports heritage in 2010.  Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was one recipient.  The other winners were the Villanova National Champion Football Team and Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich.

Chooch was unable to attend as he is in Panama visiting family.  Larry Shenk, the Phillies Vice President of Alumni Relations, accepted the award on Ruiz’s behalf.  A fan favorite and clutch performer, Ruiz is well deserving of the honor.

It was an amazing evening filled with Philadelphia legends, their families and friends and a group of very enthusiastic fans who came to witness the event.  The Phillies were well represented not only by Mr. Shenk, but president Dave Montgomery and PA Announcer Dan Baker attended as well, along with the inductees and their representatives.


Shenk Baker.jpgTug McGraw’s
son, actor Mark McGraw, attended the ceremony on his father’s behalf along with his wife and daughter, Tug’s granddaughter.  While accepting the award, Mark spoke of his father’s love of the game, his sense of humor and especially his love of the Philadelphia fans.  Teary-eyed, Mark told the group that one of the only times he ever saw his father cry was when he had “disappointed the fans.”  As to his sense of humor, Mark said that Tug would tease Larry Christenson by asking him if he was going to pitch that day.  When Christenson responded “Yes,” Tug came back with, “So am I!”


McGraw.jpgAnother highlight of the evening was seeing Dick Allen receive his award.  Allen was the first African American to play a full season for the Phillies.  From 1963 to 1969 and again from 1975 to 1976, Allen played hard for the Phillies while enduring racial harassment and even protests by angry fans.  But if you ever have the chance to meet Allen, you will find that not only is he not bitter, he is one of the most engaging and pleasant people around.


Allen.jpgIn fact, Allen simply lights up the room and draws people to him like a magnet.  He is warm, kind and very, very funny.  No one could be more deserving of such an award, both for his performance as a player and his class as a human being.  Allen said it was a “tremendous honor” to receive this award.  It was also a tremendous honor for everyone in attendance just to see Allen, along with his wife, son and grandson, enjoy getting the respect and admiration that he deserves.

Other notable inductees included former Flyers goaltender, Ron Hextall; Eagles wide receiver Mike Quick; 76ers forward Bobby Jones; and Phil Jasner, who has been writing for the Philadelphia Daily News for 38 years:


Hextall Quick.jpgI also got to meet the wife of former Eagle Tom Brookshire, who very sadly passed away earlier this year.  There was another former Eagle in attendance as well;  current NJ congressman, Jon Runyan who made me look like a midget:


I have put together a Photo Album from the event and separated the photos in three categories.  The first one is the dinner reception and candid photos which is followed by photos from the induction ceremony.  And the third folder includes photos of the Hall of Fame museum display, auction items and just some random photos around the hotel.  The photos are all available for ordering if you missed the event or  if you attended and see some you would like as keepsakes.

If you have any questions about the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame or about future events, visit their web site, email them at contact@phillyhall.net or call 215-923-5121.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

 

NLDS Roster Announced


6a00e5513d181b8834013487fe1fcf970c-350wi.pngThe Phillies announced today who will be on the 25-man roster for the NLDS and there are really no surprises.  Those notable players who did not make it include Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez and David Herndon.  Here is the breakdown:

Pitchers

Roy Halladay

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Brad Lidge

Ryan Madson

Jose Contreras

 J.C. Romero

Chad Durbin

Antonio Bastardo

 

Catchers

Carlos Ruiz

Brian Schneider

 

Infielders                            Outfielders

Ryan Howard

Jayson Werth

Chase Utley

Shane Victorino

Jimmy Rollins

Raul Ibanez

Placido Polanco

Ben Francisco

Wilson Valdez

Ross Gload

Mike Sweeney

Domonic Brown

Greg Dobbs

 

 

Going with 10 pitchers instead of 11 allows the Phillies to add more fire power to the bench.  They expect the 3 starters to go deep into games so extra long men in the pen will likely not be necessary.  Blanton will fill the role if needed.

As for Ruiz and Romero, manager Charlie Manuel says both players are fine and ready to play after suffering minor injuries on Sunday.

If you are going to the game tomorrow, here is the information about pre-game festivities and other highlights:

2:00 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Party begins on Citizens Bank Way. Features music by Mr. Greengenes; Highlights include an inflatable obstacle course for children, face painters, an extreme rock wall climb and a Velcro race.

2:35 p.m.
Ashburn Alley opens.

3:05 p.m.
All gates open. Rally towels for all fans, compliments of StubHub.

3:30 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Rally on Citizens Bank Way! Special guests include former Phillies Scott Eyre and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, Comcast SportsNet analyst Ricky Bottalico, the Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls. Music provided by Mr. Greengenes; Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will emcee.

4:40 p.m. – On-field pre-game ceremony begins.

4:44 p.m. – Introduction of Cincinnati Reds.

4:48 p.m. – Introduction of Philadelphia Phillies.

4:54 p.m.  - National Anthem: Sung by country singer Catherine Raney, niece of Tim McGraw, who will be representing the Tug McGraw Foundation.

4:56 p.m.  - Color Guard introduced.

4:58 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Phillies alumnus Scott Eyre.

5:07 p.m.  - Play ball! Phillies vs. Reds game begins.

5th Inning – “Lady PhaPha” makes her postseason debut.

7th Inning – God Bless America: Sung by national recording artist Lauren Hart, a Philadelphia native whose songs have been heard on television series and soap operas.

See you there!

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Announced

Earlier today, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2010.  This 7th class for the Hall will be officially inducted during a ceremony which will take place on Thursday, November 11. 2010.  These chosen athletes have had exceptional careers in their particular sport, either with a Philadelphia team or having grown up in the Philadelphia area and gone on to an outstand sports career elsewhere.

Here are the inductees:

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Several inductees were present at the press conference and spoke with the media.  Closer Tug McGraw played 10 years with the Phillies and is best known for recording the final out of the 1980 World Series.
P7145453k.jpgSadly, McGraw passed away in 2004 from a brain tumor.   His son, Mark McGraw, who currently works as an actor, was there to speak on his behalf. 

Mark McGraw said, “Well I think you all know how much my Dad loved the city of Philadelphia and especially the fans.  And to be honored into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame is an honor for our family, it’s an honor for our Tug McGraw Foundation and Team McGraw which continues on Tug’s legacy and (pause), excuse me, it’s a bit emotional for me, and a very proud moment for Tug if he was here.  And we’re very excited to be honored and representing our father and Tug McGraw into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and we thank them very much.”


P7145439c.jpgFormer Philadelphia Eagles receiver, Mike Quick, also spoke at the press conference.  Quick played 9 seasons for the Eagles and still lives in the area.  He noted that he has been in Philadelphia for 30 years now, which is longer than his time in North Carolina where he grew up.  “To me now, this (Philadelphia) is really home,” Quick said, “My kids grew up here, I became a man here and I am very pleased that the Hall of Fame had decided to invite me as one of the inductees.”


P7145444e.jpgPhil Jasner
is a writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and currently covers the 76ers.  He is to be awarded the “Legacy of Excellence” award and induction into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame for an outstanding career as a sports journalist.  Jasner also grew up in the area and graduated from Temple University.  Always entertaining, Jasner did not disappoint today saying, “I asked Marcia, my life partner, if she’d still love me when I’m old and miserable.  And she said, ‘Of course I do.'”

But the real highlight of the day for me personally was having the opportunity to speak with former Phillie, Dick Allen.  Allen played for the Phillies from 1963-1969 and 1975-1976.  He earned the NL “Rookie of the Year” award in 1964 and was a 3-time All-Star with the Phillies.  His early career in Philadelphia was marred by several personal incidents.

Allen played during a time when racism was still prominent in America and certainly, in baseball.  Allen was subjected to racial slurs and taunting by both fans and fellow players.  In 1965, he got into a fight with a white teammate, Frank Thomas.  Thomas hit Allen in the shoulder with a bat and was released the next day.  Fans blamed Allen for the dismissal of Thomas and his problems were only exasperated by his own temper and demeanor, which were often seen as negative.

However, when I spoke with Allen today after the press conference, I saw a kind, gentle human being with a great sense of humor.  Allen asked if I was going to take his picture and I told him I would.
P7145461n.jpgHe then pinched me on the arm, winked and told me, “You are such a pretty girl, I should be taking your picture.” Ok, so I’ll take flattery wherever I can get it.  But that aside, Allen stayed to speak with reporters for an extended time after the press conference and was gracious and forthcoming with everyone he spoke to.

When asked about his difficulties back in the 60’s, Allen said, “Mother sat me down and had a long talk with me,” and went on to say his mother also taught him about the importance of forgiveness.  Another question arose about the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Many think Allen should be in the Hall, but may have been snubbed because of his earlier temperament.  Allen’s numbers certainly warrant a bid to the Hall.  Allen’s career stats include a batting average of .292, a slugging % of .534, and his on-base % was 378.

When asked about a possible bid for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Allen said, “I don’t even know how that works.  Maybe politics or something like that. I don’t know.  I think everything speaks for itself.  Possibly had I been a little kinder to some of the writers or maybe the right persons along the way, I don’t know.”  But ultimately, he said has always been at peace with everything.  Allen stated, “I played it all and gave it my heart so I am particularly enjoying this,” referring to his Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame induction.

I particularly enjoyed meeting and speaking with Mr. Allen.  I would like to thank him for taking the time to talk to me.  I would also like to thank all the other attendees and especially the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame for inviting me to the press conference.  Congratulations to all the inductees!

For more information on the PSHOF, visit www.phillyhall.org.

 Here is the full Photo Album from the press conference.

Photosby Jenn Zambri Photography

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

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