As we continue our year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Philadelphia Phillies 1980 World Series championship here at The Bell, I’m brought back to my personal dealings with the skipper who brought home that first-ever Phillies world championship.
I’ve been going to spring training since 2007 and Dallas Green was always there with a ready wave to the fans. The man possessed a smile and a booming laugh that once you heard it, you would never forget it.
Green could often be seen on the second floor of the Carpenter Complex, looking down from the covered balconies that are cantilevered out over the fields. I used to joke that with his white hair, booming voice, and his record of success with the team, it was almost as if some baseball god was watching over the team.
I had the privilege of saying hello to the Phillies 1980 manager many times but only got to talk to him once. That was for a book signing that Green held for his autobiography, “The Mouth That Roared: My Six Outspoken Decades In Baseball” back in 2015.
I hadn’t originally planned on attending the Phillies Grapefruit League game that day, but decided to go after learning that Green would be signing. I hurried over to what was then Bright House Field, bought a ticket to the game, and got in line.
When it was my turn, I purchased the book and brought it to him to be signed. I recounted to him that I had “played sick cough, cough so I could skip school cough cough and watch the parade on television.” I also asked him, “Please don’t tell my mother, I never admitted to skipping school for the victory parade.” I was rewarded with one of those never-to-be-forgotten laughs for which he was famous.
￼￼￼I think that story had made an impression with him. After that day I was privileged to get a head-nod and “hello” every time that he saw me at the Carpenter Complex.
As I was writing this, I was speaking with my husband, “Baseball Ross“, about our favorite Dallas Green stories, and he recounted that one year Green had shown up to the Carpenter Complex sporting a sling on one arm. When asked by a fan what happened, Green replied, “Fell out of a palm tree!” as he walked away, laughing.
That laugh was so special. Every once in a while now, when the weather is just right and there’s a nice breeze along the side of the Paul Owens building, I think that I hear a hearty laugh. I turn and look up to where Dallas Green used to stand on the balcony to watch the games, and while I don’t see him, I like to think he’s still up there, watching over Phillies spring training, just like he used to do for so many years.