Remembering Phillies Legend Dallas Green

Today was one of those days where my aching “Frankenfoot” was just too painful for me to bear weight so as I rested I decided to read Dallas Green’s book, “The Mouth That Roared.”

After his passing this week, I feel doubly lucky that when I bought the book, I bought it directly from him.  Two years ago, he had a book signing at then Brighthouse Field. I bought a ticket specifically to see Dallas. 

This is what I wrote at the time:

Dallas Green is now a member of the Phillies front office, but is most recognized as the manager of the 1980 World Series winning Phillies team. He’s often around the Carpenter Complex and he too, often says hello to me in passing. He recently had a book signing of his book, “The Mouth That Roared-My Six Outspoken Decades in Baseball.”

I purchased a book and when I got to the table to have it signed, I recounted to Green that as a young child I was *cough, cough* “sick” the day of the World Series parade so that I could stay home and watch it on television. I asked him to “not tell my mother I faked illness to see the parade” and he had a hearty laugh.

Dallas Green laughing at me telling him about faking illness to watch the 1980 World Series victory parade on TV.

He even left a nice inscription in my book.

Dallas Green laughing at me telling him about faking illness to watch the 1980 World Series victory parade on TV.

When I read that inscription today, it really hit me, it felt like while he is gone, that big personality will go on, carried on in his book and in the memories of us who loved seeing him at Spring Training and at games.    

RIP Dallas Green, Rest In Peace.

March 7, Must Be World Series Manager Day

As a Phillies fan, I consider myself lucky that I have met both World Series winning managers, Dallas Green and Charlie Manuel. Here’s the funny part I met them exactly one year to the day apart.

Last year on March 7, Dallas Green was having a book signing of his book, The Mouth That Roared. It was held on the concourse at Brighthouse before a game. Ross got a great picture of Dallas laughing at a story I told him of how I told my mom I was “sick” on the day of the World Series celebration parade so I could stay home and watch it on tv.

  
He laughed heartily when I asked him not to tell my mom I “faked being sick.”

Today, exactly one year later, I finally met Charlie Manuel.

  
I think March 7th is a good day. I’ve been trying to get a picture with Charlie since 08 so I’m one happy fan.

Because They Got Personality

When I started to write this blog today THIS SONG kept playing in my head. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.

In the last two weeks, I’ve encountered three Phillies LEGENDS: Dickie Noles, Dallas Green and Dick Allen and had three totally different experiences.

Dickie Noles was a relief pitcher with the Phillies, Cubs, Rangers, Indians, Tigers and Orioles. (Interesting side note: Noles is one of only four players in baseball history who was traded for himself. In 1987, he was traded from the Cubs to the Tigers for a “player to be named later.” 33 days later, the teams were unable to reach an agreement and Noles was returned to the Cubs, thus completing the “trade for himself.”)

Noles is now a Employee Assistance Professional and pitching coach. He spends a good portion of the year in Clearwater working with the young players and over the years I’ve gotten to know him to the point, that when he saw me last week he called out, “Good morning, Sunshine.” He has a stellar reputation among the younger players, many of whom refer to him as “my brother”.

Dallas Green is now a member of the Phillies front office, but is most recognized as the manager of the 1980 World Series winning Phillies team. He’s often around the Carpenter Complex and he too, often says hello to me in passing. He recently had a book signing of his book, “The Mouth That Roared-My Six Outspoken Decades in Baseball.”

The Mouth That Roared Dallas Green

I purchased a book and when I got to the table to have it signed, I recounted to Green that as a young child I was *cough, cough* “sick” the day of the World Series parade so that I could stay home and watch it on television.  I asked him to “not tell my mother I faked illness to see the parade” and he had a hearty laugh.

Dallas Green laughing at me faking illness to watch the 1980 WS parade.

Dallas Green laughing at me faking illness to watch the 1980 WS parade.

 

He even left a nice inscription in my book.

Gail-Enjoy the book + baseball stories--Dallas Green

Gail-Enjoy the book + baseball stories–Dallas Green

Both of those are great and memorable encounters that I will cherish. One of these days I’ll ask Dickie Noles for a picture and I know he will take the time for me.

Over the years, I have had many encounters with the greats and have always come away feeling like they valued me as a fan. What happened last week really left me feeling badly.

Dick (Richie) Allen was a seven time All-Star, AL MVP in 1972, two time AL Home Run Champion and the AL RBI Champion in 1972. I truly appreciate his contribution to the game and when I saw him exit the office building at the Carpenter Complex at the end of the day of practice,  I realized that his birthday was the day before so I took a minute to wish him, “Happy Birthday.”

He stopped and laughed before thanking me for remembering. He was laughing and made a little small talk. (Let me state that there was very few people left at this point of the day…mostly just players leaving.) I worked up my courage and politely asked if we could have a picture taken together. What happened next left me gobsmacked.

“NO! You’ll just sell it. Here, take my card you can see all the pictures you want of me on my website.” He shoved the card into my hand and walked away.

The card he shoved in my hand before walking away.

I was flabbergasted. First why would I sell a picture that had both of us in it? Who would want to buy a picture with me in it? Second, I would have been happy if he had said, “I’m sorry, I’m not in the mood,” or “Not today, thanks.” Instead he accused me of wanting to take a picture to sell?

It left me feeling like I’d been kicked like an unwanted puppy. I “get” that it may get tiring always being asked to have your picture taken, but come on, did he have to accuse me of wanting to sell the picture?

It’s really hard to take when you find out that one of the people you’ve long respected turns out to be, frankly, not worthy of your respect.

It left me feeling “Where is the Love?”

It’s the Freddy Galvis Show

Freddy Galvis is the man of the hour. With the Jimmy Rollins trade, Galvis has been the one to watch…and it seems that everyone IS watching. For Galvis, he seems to be putting on a how-to clinic and showing he deserves the starting role.

Below, hitting instructor Mike Schmidt offers pointers as Galvis enters the batting cage.

Mike Schmidt offers Freddy Galvis Hitting advice as Galvis enters the batting cage

Mike Schmidt offers Freddy Galvis Hitting advice as Galvis enters the batting cage

Freddy Galvis relaxes for a moment while awaiting fly balls

Freddy Galvis relaxes for a moment while awaiting fly balls

When I say everyone has their eyes on Galvis, I mean everyone in the Phillies’ front office as shown below where they are watching Galvis during infield drills.

Ruben Amaro (black hat), Ed Wade (white hat), Charlie Kerfeld (red hoodie), Dallas Green (white brimmed hat) and Pat Gillick (red hat) look on as Galvis puts on a show

Ruben Amaro (black hat), Ed Wade (white hat), Charlie Kerfeld (red hoodie), Dallas Green (white brimmed hat) and Pat Gillick (red hat) look on as Galvis puts on a show

Galvis

Galvis

Galvis

Galvis

Like the star of the show, Galvis even signed autographs. You see, last spring a friend of mine came a cross a bat of Galvis’ that had been discarded since it was broken. My friend knew what a baseball fan I am so he rescued it and I returned home from a Spring Training game last season to find it gleaming in the late afternoon sun on my front porch. So today, I took my very first game used bat to the field with the goal of getting it signed.

After Galvis finished batting, I asked if he could sign before he went to the outfield…he said he’d get me when he was finished, however, he was called to the half field to practice in front of the brass so he could not return.

Later, Baseball Ross saw him over at the Carpenter Complex taking bunting practice, again in front of the brass, so I trotted over there. When he was done, he saw me and came over. I have to say this is one of the most meticulous autographs I’ve ever gotten and I am so appreciative that he did such a great job.

Freddy Galvis Bat

 

To put the proverbial cherry on my “sundae”, I happened to run into a friend who “restores” broken bats. My friend can take a broken bat (even one that’s unstable like mine) and work his magic to make it look almost like new. He offered to work on the crack on my bat so I won’t have to worry about it splitting in the future. There’s not many people in this world I’d trust one of my prized possessions to, but this guy’s the best. So in a few days I’ll have a really nice piece for my collection.

I’m so glad I have the opportunity to spend every day in the sun at Spring Training. It’s one of the best things I know.

 

Spring Training Day 2

I have a post up at my regular site summarizing today’s activities….I will likely transfer most of it here later, but for right now, if you click HERE you can read it and see pictures as well as HUNTER PENCE taking batting practice, YES I have video