Tag Archives: Larry Andersen

Mariners and Phillies have a long and at times pivotal trade history

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Jamie Moyer was an important pitcher in both Phillies and Mariners history

The Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners appear to be on the verge of a significant trade. If the rumors are true, this deal should be announced at some point later today.

In the deal, the Phillies would reportedly be sending first baseman Carlos Santana, young shortstop J.P. Crawford, and possibly a prospect to the Mariners in exchange for shortstop Jean Segura and a relief pitcher.
Assuming the deal is indeed completed, this would be the 11th trade between the Phillies and Mariners. It would mark the 16th transaction overall involving the two clubs dating back to even prior to Seattle playing their first-ever game as an expansion team in the 1977 season.
In that initial Philly-Seattle transaction on November 6, 1976, the Mariners purchased the contract of pitcher John Montague from the Phillies. It would be the last transaction involving the two clubs for nearly seven years.
On July 29, 1983 the Phillies purchased a 29-year-old righty relief pitcher from Seattle, one who would help them nail down the 1983 NL East crown and National League pennant. That reliever would spend parts of the next three years with the Phillies before a trade to Houston.
He would return as a free agent to help the 1993 Phillies win their next NL pennant, and has grown to become a beloved figure as a broadcaster with the team. I’m talking about none other than ‘LA’ himself, Larry Andersen.

More than four years later the Phillies and Mariners completed their first-ever actual trade. The Phillies sent popular veteran outfielder Glenn Wilson and a reliever who would become one of baseball’s best over the next decade, Michael Jackson, to Seattle in exchange for outfielder Phil Bradley and a prospect.

Following a couple of minor deals in the early-1990’s, the next interesting Phillies-Mariners trade came at the non-waiver deadline in the 1996 season. Veteran lefty starter Terry Mulholland was dealt to the Mariners in exchange for shortstop prospect Desi Relaford.
Mulholland and another lefty obtained by Seattle from the Boston Red Sox that year, Jamie Moyer, would help a Seattle team that featured Ken Griffey Jr. Alex Rodriguez, and Edgar Martinez make a late charge before finishing in second place to the Texas Rangers in the AL West. Relaford became the Phillies starting shortstop for a couple of years before yielding the position to Jimmy Rollins.
There were a couple of minor deals between the two teams over the next few years, but it would be a decade before another impact trade. That one came down on August 19, 2006 when the Phillies obtained Moyer for a pair of inconsequential prospects.

Moyer would become a key starter with his hometown team as the Phillies won the first four of what would be five consecutive NL East crowns. The crafty veteran lefty was a member of the starting rotation with the back-to-back National League pennant winners, including the 2008 World Series champions.

CliftonLee-792040.jpg

Cliff Lee was dealt to Mariners in December 2009, something for which many Phillies fans never forgave GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
A little more than three years later the two clubs swung another big deal involving a left-handed starter. This time it was the Mariners getting the better of the deal when they acquired Cliff Lee in exchange for three prospects, none of whom ever made an impact with the Phillies.
The Lee trade is considered one of the best in Mariners history. Meanwhile, for Phillies fans it was bittersweet, coming on the same day that the club had acquired Roy Halladay in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Lee would ultimately return a year later as a free agent. He would finally team with Halladay and help the 2011 Phillies compile the best regular season record in franchise history as a member of the ‘Four Aces’ rotation with Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt.
That Lee trade nearly a decade ago is the last significant deal between the two organizations. There has been one prior trade between the two teams during the terms of current general managers Matt Klentak and Jerry Dipoto.
On March 11, 2017, Klentak sent a minor league first baseman named Joey Curletta to Dipoto and Seattle. In exchange the Phillies GM received ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte, who is now a free agent.
Sometime on Monday we will get the details of the latest trade between the Phillies and Mariners. While the two clubs don’t make many deals, they have proven significant on occasion. Only time will tell whether this deal falls into that category or proves relatively insignificant over the long haul.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as Phillies and Mariners have a sporadic but at times significant trade history

Remembering the 1993 NL champion Phillies in their silver anniversary season

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Daulton was the acknowledged clubhouse leader of the 1993 NL champions

The Philadelphia Phillies are officially feting the 2008 World Series championship team this weekend.

On the 10th anniversary of the historic season which concluded with that team winning the second title in franchise history, it is wholly understandable and appropriate.
However, there is another beloved Phillies team celebrating a big anniversary this year.
In fact, as someone who has been following the team closely since Veteran’s Stadium opened in 1971, I’ve always maintained that the other anniversary team provided the most fun single Phillies season that I ever experienced.
Sure, the 1980 and 2008 Phillies teams both won the World Series. I attended Game Two of the 1980 Fall Classic as an 18-year-old. I was at the parade celebrations for both championship teams.
I was inside JFK Stadium in October of 1980 when Tug McGraw told New York to “take this world championship and stick it!” I was videotaping at 15th & JFK and captured a fan making a memorable climb up a light pole on Halloween in 2008.
But for all the drama, excitement, and ultimate thrill that those two clubs provided, there was never a more fun Phillies season from start to (almost) finish for me than the one provided by the 1993 team.
It almost seems lost in all the excitement over the 10th anniversary of the 2008 club, but this is now the silver anniversary for the 1993 National League champion Philadelphia Phillies team.
Yes, it has been 25 years now since that mullet-wearing, scruffy-bearded, ‘Macho Row’-led crew stormed through baseball. In a March 2012 piece, Mike Bertha at Philadelphia Magazine summed up that unforgettable season perfectly:

“It began with a bench-clearing brawl at spring training. Then, over the course of 103 total wins, 49 extra innings, 12 playoff games and some late nights (or, more accurately, early mornings), the 1993 Phillies seduced the city. Fans spent the summer flocking to the Vet to watch their appropriately nicknamed “Animal House,” both captivated and agog as the Phillies stampeded through the National League and then marched through Atlanta to earn a date with the defending-champion Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series.”

The Darren Daulton Foundation operates today in the name of, and as a memorial to, the namesake captain of that Phillies team. The foundation provides financial assistance to those who suffer from brain cancer and brain tumors. On June 8, they held a reunion celebration for the 1993 team.
Our own Kevin McCormick here at Phillies Nation reported on the event and those in attendance back in June:

“…the pennant-winning team showed up for the event, including: Tommy Greene, Jim Eisenreich, Larry Bowa, Milt Thompson, Ben Rivera, Mickey Morandini, David West, Tony Longmire, Curt Schilling, and even Danny Jackson who arrived after throwing out the first pitch at the Phillies-Brewers game across the street. Fans in attendance got to meet the players, take pictures, get autographs, and chat with the guys throughout the night.”

Morandini, who shared second base duties with Mariano Duncan, eventually became a minor league manager and then a big league coach with the Phillies. He remains on the payroll as a popular club ambassador.
Five of the men who were in uniform and playing important roles that summer are no longer with us, including Daulton. The catcher and leader of that ball club died a year ago this coming Monday following a four-year battle with brain cancer.

Also now gone off to play on that “Field of Dreams” in the sky is their raspy-voiced manager Jim Fregosi, along with three members of his coaching staff: John VukovichJohnny Podres, and Mel Roberts.
Phillies fans still get plenty of first baseman John Kruk (TV) and reliever Larry Andersen (radio) as members of the current Phillies regular broadcasting crew. Andersen and Daulton hold the distinction of being the only players to appear with the Phillies during both the 1983 and 1993 pennant-winning seasons.
Greene was a member of the 1993 starting rotation, joining Schilling, Jackson, Rivera, and Terry Mulholland. He and shortstop Kevin Stocker can be found chipping in work as a broadcaster and analyst respectively at times.
Some of the more popular members of that hard-charging ball club have become embroiled in controversy over the years. Beginning with nine seasons in Phillies pinstripes, Schilling built a strong Hall of Fame résumé as he continued his career helping the Diamondbacks and Red Sox to World Series victories.
The MVP of the 1993 NLCS victory over Atlanta, Schilling’s shutout in Game Five of the World Series that year is one of the greatest post-season pitching performances in Phillies history. Some now find him controversial as an outspoken conservative political and social commentator.
Mitch Williams was a respected analyst with MLB Network before he was fired in 2014 after an altercation at a youth tournament. Williams filed a lawsuit and was ultimately awarded a $1.5 million judgement in June of last year.
Lenny Dykstra finished as runner-up to Barry Bonds in voting for the 1993 National League Most Valuable Player. ‘The Dude’ or ‘Nails’ as he was alternately known blasted dramatic home runs in both the NLCS and World Series that year.
Over the ensuing decades, the now 55-year-old Dykstra has fallen the farthest and hardest. In May of this year came his latest incident, arrested in New Jersey after allegedly pointing a weapon at an Uber driver and threatening to blow the driver’s head off. Cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy were found on him by responding police.
Some members of that 1993 team are already immortalized by the organization. Bowa, previously honored in 1991 for his role as a player, would be joined by Vukovich (2007), Daulton (2010), Kruk (2011), and Schilling (2013) on the Phillies Wall of Fame.
It was a completely unexpected, fun summer filled with wild, walk-off wins, some in the wee hours of the morning. Numerous seemingly unlikely heroes stepping up to deliver pivotal hits or make clutch plays at crucial moments. A wild band of misfit characters playing the parts and winning the hearts of Phillies fans for decades to come.
They fell just two games short of the ultimate prize. But even that was nothing to hang their heads about. The Toronto Blue Jays finally ended their magic with Joe Carter‘s walk-off home run in Game Six.
That Toronto club, already defending World Series champions, put a trio of Hall of Famers on the field in Rickey HendersonPaul Molitor, and Roberto Alomar, as well as a handful more all-stars. The 1993 Phillies were within a big blown lead in Game Four and Carter’s heroics of pulling off their most stunning victory of all.
As you justly honor and remember the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies this weekend on the occasion of their 10th anniversary, take some time out to also recall that 1993 Phillies team. A silver anniversary is just as worthy of celebration, especially this one.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as “World Series winners not the only beloved Phillies team celebrating an anniversary

Book Review: "The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball"

The next in my book reviews feature specifically deals with the Philadelphia Phillies and the 133-year history of the ball club.

No one alive today is more qualified to dig through that history and present it to the fans than the man who has been around to see more of it first-hand than anyone else, the former head of the Phillies’ public relations team, Larry ‘the Baron’ Shenk.

In his second book on the team, “The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits“, Shenk delivers by presenting story after story that will hold the interest of any true Phils fan.

Shenk has been a Phillies fan since his youth in the early 1950’s, when Baseball Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts were leading the club in the post-Whiz Kids years.

Shenk first applied for a public relations job with the team in the same year that I was born, 1961, and eventually landed that position a couple of years later. We’ll explore more of his background in a separate interview piece coming soon.

The Fightin’ Phillies” is broken down into eight sections, with a foreword written by Phillies broadcaster Larry Andersen in which the former player briefly covers his own career in the game
, including the Phillies 1993 NL Champions.

The first section, “Historic Performances”, covers everything from the very first Phillies game in history on May 1st, 1883, a 4-3 loss to the Providence Grays at Recreation Park, on through Cole Hamels‘ final Phillies start, the lefty’s no-hitter last season against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

In between there are stops along the way at ‘Grover Cleveland’ Pete Alexander‘s 16 shutouts in the 1916 season, Jim Konstanty‘s 1950 NL MVP campaign, Jim Bunning‘s 1964 Father’s Day perfect game, Pete Rose breaking Stan Musial‘s NL career hits record in 1981, Jim Thome‘s 400th career homer in Citizens Bank Park’s first season of 2004.

He blends in historic performances from all of the Phillies greats that you would expect in this chapter. The big games of Mike SchmidtRyan Howard, and Chase Utley. The fantastic pitching performances of Steve CarltonCurt SchillingTommy GreeneTerry Mulholland, and Roy Halladay.

Think you know everything about the Phillies? Okay, do you know who Roger McKee was, or what he did in a Phillies uniform on the final day of the 1943 season that is so historic? I had never heard of McKee before reading this book. After reading it, you’ll know as well.

In “1915 Phillies“, the book’s second section, Shenk leads you on a tour of that historic season in which the Phillies won their first-ever National League pennant and advanced to the World Series while introducing us to the entire roster.

A roster of only 23 players and a rookie manager etched their place in Phillies history by winning the franchise’s first National League pennant in 1915. The league’s most dominant pitcher and leading power hitter anchored the champions who started the season with an eight-game undefeated streak, a club record that still exists.” ~ Shenk

The book’s third section covers “Wall of Fame Legends” in which he briefly bios each of the 37 individuals enshrined out on Ashburn Alley, including Dick Allen.

Dick was a gifted athlete and quick and strong with great base-running instincts. While swinging a 42-ounce bat, he hit some of the longest homers in Connie Mack Stadium history.

The fourth section, “Phillies Potpourri”, contains brief write-ups on each of the players who have won the Cy Young Award, NL MVP, and NL Rookie of the Year while with the team. He introduces here the nine pairs of brothers who have played for the club, including Baseball Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty and his brother Tom Delahanty.

In that fourth section, Shenk, the Phillies’ official historian, treats us to his own “50th Anniversary Team”, selecting his favorites from the 1883-1933 years, not including any Hall of Famers or Wall of Famers. Included among them is right-handed pitcher Charlie Ferguson, who was kept from becoming one of baseball’s all-time greats only by the fickle finger of fate.

“Unbreakable Records” is the book’s fifth section where he lists such feats as Lefty O’Doul‘s 254 hits in 1929, Chuck Klein‘s NL record 158 runs scored and 170 RBI with the 1930 Phillies, Roberts’ 28 straight complete games over the 1952-53 seasons, Carlton’s 15-game win streak in 1972, and Howard’s 58 home runs in 2006, and many more feats, both good and bad.

The sixth section is “Spring Training Homes“, where Shenk takes fans back in time through the nine different states that have hosted the Phillies while the club was preparing for an upcoming season, beginning with Washington, North Carolina in 1902 on through Clearwater, Florida, which has hosted spring training since 1947.

In 1943, due to World War II travel restrictions, the club trained at Hershey, Pennsylvania under a rookie manager, Baseball Hall of Famer Bucky Harris.

Before the first workout, Harris laid out his rules: midnight curfew under penalty of $25, no horseplay, every hitter must sprint to first during batting practice, pitchers must shag fly balls, and no card playing for large stakes.”

In the book’s seventh section “Philadelphia Homes”, the author takes us through the five ballparks that have hosted the Phillies in the city, beginning with Recreation Park at Columbia Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets. It had dimensions of 300 feet to LF, 331 feet to CF, and 247 feet to RF. The final game there was held on October 9th, 1886, and the ballpark was demolished in 1890.

Last summer in my full-time profession, I had the opportunity to work for two weeks out in the area around this historic Phillies location, and searched at various times for the historic marker that I believed had to be in place to mark the location. There is none. Amazing.

The final section of this book just might be the best. “Behind the Scenes” takes fans, well, behind the scenes of the Phillies operation and ballpark. It gives us a description of the specific jobs that keep the show running, as well as some introductions to individuals who fill those positions.

Ever wonder how the club decides who will throw out a ceremonial first pitch or sing the National Anthem? Curious as to how Greg Luzinski operates his “Bull’s BBQ” joint? Who does all of the gorgeous Citizens Bank Park landscaping, sets up the team’s travel arrangements, feeds the team on game days, cleans the uniforms? It’s all here.

The Fightin’ Phillies” is the perfect book for any Phillies fan. At 294 pages, you can read it all in one sitting, or perhaps enjoy it even more and find it easy to follow if you just want to take a few pages at a time at your leisure. It is certainly a must for your home bookshelf or the reading files on your favorite device.

Phillies Abandon AM Radio

The Philadelphia Phillies will have no AM radio broadcasts in the 2016 season for the first time since the introduction of the medium.

Under the terms of a new contract reached with CBS Radio earlier this week, any 2016 Philadelphia Phillies games over radio, whether from spring training, during the regular season, or any possible postseason action, will be broadcast by sports talk station WIP at 94.1 FM.
Phillies games began broadcasting over the radio in 1936, and in those early days it was only road games that were heard by local fans. 
Those early owners, not only with the Phillies but all around baseball, were concerned that radio broadcasts of home games would reduce attendance.
The Phillies actually took part in the first Major League Baseball game ever broadcast over the radio, as the visiting team. 
That game took place on August 5th, 1921 when the Phils dropped an 8-5 decision to the host Pirates in Pittsburgh. The game was broadcast over KDKA and featured announcer Harold Arlin.
That fall, Grantland Rice and Tommy Cowan called the first-ever World Series broadcast over radio. 

The series featured the rival New York Giants and New York Yankees, and was broadcast over both KDKA and by WJZ of Newark, New Jersey. Neither broadcaster was actually present for the games, but based their calls on telegraph reports.
In 1936, the Phillies first introduced road game broadcasts over the local WCAU radio station, with Bill Dyer and Dolly Stark making the calls. 
Stark was the first Jewish umpire in modern baseball history, working in the National League from 1928-35 and again from 1937-40.
In 1939, a voice that would become legendary in Philadelphia baseball history took over the microphone. That year, Byrum Saam began calling the Phillies games, and he would continue through the 1949 season. 
Saam had already begun calling games for the AL’s Philadelphia Athletics in 1938, and would work both team’s broadcasts in a dual role for a dozen seasons.
Saam was forced to choose for the 1950 season due to an increased work load of travel with the two teams, and chose the A’s due to a long time friendship with owner Connie Mack
Of course as luck would have it, the Phillies enjoyed their magical ‘Whiz Kids’ pennant that year.
Saam returned to the Phillies when the Athletics moved to Kansas City in 1954, and would remain in the Phils’ booth into the television era. 
He called games through the 1975 season, the final five years teaming with Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn.
Ashburn and Kalas were the Phillies main voices of the team for generations of fansthrough 1997, until Ashburn’s death late that season. Kalas passed away in the booth while preparing for an early season 2009 game in Washington.
Since the 2006 season, former pitcher Larry Anderson and Scott Franzke have been a part of the broadcasting team, with Flyers’ announcer Jim Jackson serving as a backup as well as a pre and post-game host. 
Over the last decade the team of ‘Fanzke & LA’ have become beloved by the fans as a popular tandem for a new generation.
Now Franzke and Anderson will be heard only on FM radio. WIP has already been airing the Phillies games, and those had previously also been simulcast over AM on WPHT 1210. 
Now for the first time since taking the radio airwaves 80 years ago, there will be no Phillies baseball over the AM bands.
Per a report by Neil Zoren for Digital First Media, the move is logical. WIP is a local sports station, while WPHT is more geared towards a political and news station. 
With this move, CBS shores up WIP’s place as sports haven while freeing 1210 to cater more to its core audience,” wrote Zoren.
For Phillies fans there should really be nothing truly noticeable. Most have likely been listening over WIP in recent years any way. 
But this serves notice to any fans who might still happen to flip around the AM dial: when the Phillies begin broadcasting their first spring training game in a couple of weeks, don’t search those AM airwaves. For the first time since the Great Depression, you won’t find them.

Phillies Announce 2016 Spring Training Guest Instructors

The Philadelphia Phillies have invited a group of former big leaguers to participate in spring training as guest instructors.

Continuing a decades-long tradition, the club has decided to bring in seven alumni during the course of 2016 spring training and the Grapefruit League season.
This year’s group will feature:
Mike Schmidt – the greatest player in Phillies franchise history and arguably the greatest all-around 3rd baseman to ever play the game, Schmitty appeared in parts of 18 seasons with the club from 1972-89. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, and has been a guest hitting instructor at spring training with the Phils since 2002. The now 66-year old Schmidt also has coaching experience, having spent the 2004 season as manager of the Phillies’ High-A Clearwater club in the Florida State League. Schmidt, whose first-ever big league game was the subject of a pieceduring our Phillies History Month here at TBOH back in January, also serves as a television broadcaster with the club during regular season Sunday home games.
Charlie Manuel – the manager of the 2008 World Series championship team who guided the club to five consecutive NL East crowns from 2007-2011 turned 72 years old just last month. Manuel was the manager for parts of eight seasons from 2005-12, and currently serves as a senior advisor to new general manager Matt Klentak. He was previously both a hitting coach and manager with the Cleveland Indians. He has an overall career big league managerial record of 1000-826, with a 29-22 postseason record. As a player, Manuel appeared in parts of a half-dozen big league seasons, and another half-dozen in the Japanese professional league.
Jim Kaat – having turned 77 years old back in November, he pitched in parts of 25 big league seasons across parts of four decades.

Kaat pitched with the Phillies from 1976-79, and was a regular member of the starting rotation during the 1977-78 seasons in which the club won a then-record 101 games each year. Kaat won a Gold Glove in each of those two seasons, and was the winner of 16 Gold Glove Awards during his career, including a dozen in a row from 1962-73. He finished 4th in AL Cy Young Award voting the year before coming to the Phils, and finished 5th in the AL MVP voting in 1965. Kaat was also a 3x All-Star. On retirement, Kaat became a broadcaster, and is a 7x Emmy Award winner. Just last year, he was considered by the Veteran’s Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Needing a dozen votes, he received 10, falling just two short.

Greg Luzinski – now 65-years old, “The Bull” is a regular fixture around Citizens Bank Park at his namesake Bull’s Barbecue joint out in the right-center field concourse area. One of the most feared sluggers of the 1970’s, he was with the Phillies from 1970-80, starting with the final year in Connie Mack Stadium, and ending with the first-ever World Series title in franchise history. He finished as the runner-up for the NL MVP Award in both 1975 and 1977, was a 4x NL All-Star, and was a middle-of-the-order threat as that 1970’s era team grew from also-ran to regular contender. He was the 1978 winner of MLB’s Roberto Clemente Award for sportsmanship and community involvement.
Dave Hollins – the 3rd baseman on the 1993 National League pennant winning ‘Macho Row’ team, and one of its key figures. Hollins appeared in parts of a dozen big league seasons, and was with the Phillies from 1990-95, and again at the end of his playing career in 2002. With the Phils, he was an NL All-Star during that magical ’93 summer, and he received NL MVP votes during the previous year when he had a career-high 27 homers and 93 RBI. The now 49-year old Hollins spent the 2004 season as hitting coach with the Mets’ AA Binghamton affiliate in the Eastern League, and currently serves as a scout with the Phillies.
Larry Andersen – the now-62-year old Andersen will be down in Clearwater anyway in his role as a member of the regular broadcasting team, a role that he has filled since the 1998 season. Andersen appeared in parts of 17 big league seasons, including two separate stints with the Phils from 1983-86, and again in 1993-94. This makes him the only player to appear with both the 1983 and 1993 Phillies NL pennant-winning teams, both of which lost in the World Series. He also reached the NLCS with Houston in 1986, and with Boston in 1990. He was famously traded straight-up in August 1990 for a likely future Hall of Famer, Jeff Bagwell.
Matt Stairs – elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame last February, Stairs will turn 48 years old in late February. He spent parts of 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, and is the all-time leader with 23 pinch-hit home runs. He spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons with the Phillies, helping win the ’08 World Series and an NL pennant the following year. Of course, Phils’ fans will always remember him for his famous pinch-hit home run “deep into the night” to win Game Four of the 2008 NLCS in Los Angeles.
The Phillies pitchers and catchers are due to report to Bright House Field in Clearwater by February 17th, with the full squad including position players having to report for workouts beginning the follow Tuesday, February 23rd.