Tag Archives: Veteran’s Stadium

Fangraphs ranks Citizens Bank Park poorly for "walkability"

Citizens Bank Park isn’t an easy place to walk to for fans
(Photo: Matthew Veasey)
If you’ve ever been to Citizens Bank Park you know that it is a gorgeous ballpark. Tremendous sight lines, a 360-degree open main concourse that allows you to have a view of the action as you walk around nearly the entirety, and some of the best ballpark food in the game.
I wax nostalgic at times for Veteran’s Stadium. After all, it was there that I was introduced at age nine to the Phillies and Major League Baseball when the glittering new facility first opened near my South Philly home back in 1971.
But even that nostalgia isn’t enough to overcome the truth, one that I recognized the very first time that I stepped foot in the new place for an exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians prior to the start of the 2004 regular season. Citizens Bank Park is better than The Vet ever was in every way imaginable.
Back in 2012 for a piece at Bleacher Report, Kyle Yahn describe it perfectly when he said: “There is not a bad seat in the entire stadium. Whether in the nosebleeds or right behind home plate, the fans are always right on top of the action” and “The food at Citizens Bank Park is incredible.
One concession made by the powers-that-be in the Phillies ownership group and with the city of Philadelphia was the actual location of the ballpark itself.
In the pre-planning stages, there were discussions regarding and even plans drawn up regarding the possibilities of moving the new ballpark out of South Philly to locations either near Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River or adjacent to the Center City area.
Those locations would have been in walking distance of restaurants, shops, and clubs already in place. And new such spots certainly would have opened up to service ballpark patrons for Phillies games, concerts, and other events.
However, traffic and parking infrastructure was already in place at what had become known as the Sports Complex. The Vet, the Spectrum, and JFK Stadium had stood for years in the location along Pattison Avenue just east of Broad Street.
As the now Wells Fargo CenterLincoln Financial Field, and Citizens Bank Park were planned, the final decision was made to keep each of the major sports facilities right there. As they sprouted up, the older facilities were torn down. Finally, a food and drink entertainment facility known as “Xfinity Live” was also opened up in the area.
The distance from the Sports Complex to any of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, including to those downtown shops and restaurants, is the main reason that Fangraphs just placed Citizens Bank Park at 24th of the 30 facilities in Major League Baseball in their “Walkability” rankings.
This was a major drop from just five years ago, when Citizens Bank Park ranked 14th in that same index. This time around, CBP was given a ‘Walk Score’ of just 38. This placed it in a tier called ‘Car-Dependent’, meaning that most errands from the immediate ballpark area would require a car.

Carson Cistulli put together the rankings for Fangraphs utilizing information from the “Walk Score” site. His main purpose was to find, as he stated:

“…which ballparks, by virtue of their location, might best lend themselves to human scale…because they are based on proximity to shops and cafes and other services relevant to daily life.“

The overwhelming majority of fans who make their way to Citizens Bank Park and any of the other venues at the Sports Complex do so either via car or by taking public transportation. There is an extensively used Septa ‘Broad Street Line’ subway stop right at the location, and a pair of entrances/exits for I-95 within a short drive.

Ashburn Alley along the CBP outfield is an open-air food court and kids entertainment area.
But walking to a neighborhood or downtown restaurant, bar, or shop outside of the Sports Complex is a bit of a hike. Center City is roughly six miles to the north. You would have to walk over three miles to reach the clubs and shops along South Street. And those types of sites along Penn’s Landing are at least five miles away.
Fortunately, Citizens Bank Park has enough of a variety of restaurants and other eating establishments inside to satisfy the need of any fan. And if it’s a sports bar-clubbing-party vibe that you want, you can walk right across Pattison Avenue to Xfinity Live.
When I was a pre-teen and teenager, my friends and I frequently hiked up to Veteran’s Stadium to take in a game. It was only about a mile-and-a-half or so from our homes along the 2nd Street neighborhood of South Philly. Folks from that area can and do still take that walk today.
While our gorgeous South Philly ballpark might not rank high in “walkability” by some measures, while you won’t find folks walking to or from the park from places outside of South Philly, it has everything that any baseball fan could possibly want.
Whether the Phillies are doing well or playing poorly, Citizens Bank Park is one of the most beautiful places to watch a game in all of baseball. With some of the best food and nicest amenities available, don’t let a poor ‘walkability’ score ever keep you away.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Citizens Bank Park finishes 24th on Fangraphs ‘Walk Score’ Index

Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning Passes Away

Jim Bunning was one of baseball’s all-time greatest pitchers. The former Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies star passed away today at age 85.
In 1996, Bunning was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. He won 224 games during his big league career, and was the first to win more than 100 games in the National and American Leagues. The right-hander was also the first to strikeout over 1,000 batters in both.
He also pitched a no-hitter in both leagues. With the Phillies in 1964, he tossed the seventh Perfect Game in Major League Baseball history. It came at Shea Stadium against the host New York Mets. He was the father of seven children at the time.

Heaven got its No 1 starter today. Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to family.

Bunning was born on August 23, 1931 in Southgate, Kentucky. He attended high school in Cincinnati and was a star multi-sport athlete. He then attended Xavier University.

BUNNING WITH THE TIGERS

As Ralph Berger wrote for SABR, the Detroit Tigers wanted Bunning. Therefore, the club made a unique arrangement with his parents. The Tigers allowed Bunning to finish his schooling while pitching in the minors.
In May of his freshman year, Detroit Tigers scout Bruce Connatser told Jim’s father that the Tigers were interested in signing Jim. The parents had no objection to his playing professional baseball, but they wanted him to finish college. The Tigers agreed to let Jim finish the spring semester before reporting for baseball – meaning he would miss spring training for the next three years. The club also agreed that his first minor-league team would be Richmond, Indiana, of the Class D Indiana-Ohio League, less than an hour from home. The Tigers gave Bunning a $4,000 signing bonus and a $150-a-month salary. With the bonus, he bought an engagement ring for Mary Theis, his childhood sweetheart. Now that he was under contract to a professional baseball team, his basketball scholarship at Xavier was canceled, and his parents paid for the balance of his college education.
Bunning would go 118-87 over parts of nine seasons with Detroit. He tossed his first career no-hitter in 1958 against the Boston Red Sox. Bunning won 17 games for a 101-win Tigers in 1961. That club finished second in the American League pennant race.

BUNNING WITH THE PHILLIES

In December of 1963, Bunning was traded by the Tigers along with catcher Gus Triandos. Detroit received star outfielder Don Demeter and a young pitcher named Jack Hamilton.
The righty would put together an 89-73 mark over six seasons in Philadelphia. He won 19 games for the Phillies ill-fated 1964 team. That club collapsed down the stretch, finishing in second place.
He was a 5x AL all-star with Detroit and a 2x NL all-star with the Phillies. Furthermore, he was the 1967 National League Cy Young Award runner-up. The award voted that year to Mike McCormick of the San Francisco Giants.
He led the American League in strikeouts in both 1959 and 1960. His 253 punch-outs in 1967 led all of baseball. Bunning recorded 2,855 strikeouts over the course of his career.
In December of 1967, Bunning was dealt by the Phillies to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Coming to the Phils were pitcher Woodie Fryman, infielder Don Money, and two others.

RETURN TO PHILADELPHIA

Bunning pitched during the 1968 and 1969 seasons with the Pirates and Dodgers. He then returned to the Phillies as a free agent in December 1969.
Bunning pitched in relief in the penultimate game at Connie Mack Stadium (formerly Shibe Park) on September 30, 1970.
On Saturday, April 10, 1971 he drew the starting assignment. It was the first Phillies game in the history of Veteran’s Stadium. Bunning got the win in a 4-1 Phillies victory over the Montreal Expos.
That 1971 season would prove the final in Bunning’s big league career. He was elected to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1984.

BUNNING’S POLITICAL CAREER

Moving into politics, he was elected to the Fort Thomas, Kentucky city council in 1977.
In 1983, Bunning lost as the Republican candidate for Governor. But he remained a major player in Kentucky politics.
In 1986, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He served as a U.S. congressman through 1999.
Bunning was then elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky. A noted conservative, he served as a Senator until 2011.
Bunning suffered a stroke in October of 2016. His death came as a result of complications due to the effects.

MEMORIALS AND FAMILY

Per Fox19 in Cincinnati, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell released the following statement.
“Senator Jim Bunning led a long and storied life. From his days in the major leagues to his years as my colleague in the Senate — and the many points in between, from the City Council to the House of Representatives — Jim rarely shied away from a new adventure. This Hall of Famer will long be remembered for many things. A perfect game, a larger-than-life personality, a passion for Kentucky, and a loving family. Elaine and I offer our sincere condolences to Mary and the entire Bunning family.”
Here in Philadelphia, he is a baseball immortal. His retired number 14 is displayed at Citizens Bank Park. Richie Ashburn (1), Mike Schmidt (20), Steve Carlton (32) and Robin Roberts (36) also have retired numbers.
Bunning is survived by the former Mary Catherine Theis. The couple was married for 65 years. Per Wikipedia, the couple had five daughters and four sons. They also had 35 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren as of 2013.

Phillies MLB All-Star Games: 1996

There were many differences between the 1976 and 1996 MLB All-Star Games, which were held two decades apart at the same venue of Veteran’s Stadium in South Philadelphia.
For the host Phillies, the biggest difference was that the ’76 game had come while the team was emerging as a contender with a number of talented players throughout the roster. 
The team would win the NL East in that Bicentennial season for the first of three consecutive division crowns.
By contrast, the ’96 Phillies team was a losing squad in every way you could define such a team. 
They would finish 67-95 in last place in the NL East, and aside from the oasis provided by the 1993 ‘Macho Row’ NL champs, the franchise was in the midst of 14 out of 15 losing seasons.
My own life situation had changed drastically as well. Back in ’76, I had enjoyed many of the Bicentennial events in Philly as a 14-year old, and had watched that year’s All-Star Game on TV.
By ’96 and the 25th anniversary of Veteran’s Stadium, I was a grown man of 34, and was able to attend the MLB All-Star Game FanFest held at the new Pennsylvania Convention Center. It was a wonderful event
, with numerous displays and activities for all baseball fans.
Jul 26, 2015; Cooperstown, NY, USA; Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. waves to the crowd during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies at Clark Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
As for the game itself, there were a number of notable events prior to and during the game. 
First, as the American League team picture was being taken, a mishap resulted in Baltimore Orioles ‘Iron Man’ shortstop Cal Ripken Jr breaking his nose.
Typical of Ripken, who was still in the midst of his record consecutive games played streak that he had set the previous September and that would ultimately reach 2,632 games, he was patched up and played on.
During the pregame introductions, the 62,670 Phillies fans on hand in true Philly fashion playfully and lustily booed Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Joe Carter, who had beaten the Phils with his famous walkoff home run in the 1993 World Series.
Jun 27, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Hall of Fame pitcher unning throws a first pitch prior to a game with the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
The honorary “first balls” were thrown out by the living Phillies Hall of Famers, led by pitcher Jim Bunning, who was elected that year. Joining Bunning were Robin RobertsSteve CarltonMike Schmidt, and Richie Ashburn.
This was also the 15th and final MLB All-Star Game for “The Wizard of Oz”, Saint Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith
The crowd gave Smith a rousing ovation when he entered the game as a substitute in the middle innings, chanting “Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie” in respect for the future Hall of Famer, the best defender to ever play the position.
Only one Phillies player was selected for the National League team that season, closer Ricky Bottalico. ‘Ricky Bo’ had 20 Saves at the break, with a 49/19 K:BB ratio, and had allowed just 29 hits over 42.1 innings to that point in the season.
The NL starting lineup featured what may one day turn out to be as many as 6-7 Hall of Famers, one of whom would not be the leadoff hitter, center fielder Lance Johnson of the New York Mets.
Following Johnson in the order for the senior circuit were shortstop Barry Larkin of Cincinnati, left fielder Barry Bonds of San Francisco, and 1st baseman Fred McGriff of Atlanta.
Local native, catcher Mike Piazza of the Mets, hit 5th and was followed by right fielder Dante Bichette of the Colorado Rockies, Atlanta 3rd baseman Chipper Jones, and 2nd baseman Craig Biggio of Houston.
Apr 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinal former player Ozzie Smith waives to the fans before the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The starting pitcher for NL manager Bobby Cox of the Braves was his own John Smoltz
Among the NL reserves was future 2009 Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez, who was just starting out on his own Hall of Fame career.
For AL skipper Mike Hargrove of the Cleveland Indians, two of his own were in the starting lineup, leadoff man and center fielder Kenny Lofton, and cleanup hitter and left fielder Albert Belle. He also had four future Hall of Famers to write in.
The AL starters also included Wade Boggs of the Yankees hitting 2nd, with 2nd baseman Roberto Alomar of the Orioles batting 3rd, and Mo Vaughn of Boston hitting 5th at 1st base. 
The man known as ‘Pudge’, catcher Ivan Rodriguez, was batting 6th. Ripken would bat 7th, while his Orioles teammate right fielder Brady Anderson hit in the 8-spot.
On the mound, the assignment to open for the American League went to Tribe starting pitcher Charles Nagy, who was in the midst of five consecutive seasons winning 15 or more games. 
Coming out of the AL bullpen would be a pair of future Phillies relievers in Jose Mesa and Roberto Hernandez.
Much as with the 1976 game at The Vet, the NL jumped on top early and never looked back. Johnson led off the bottom of the 1st with a double, moved to 3rd on a ground out, and scored the game’s first run on an RBI ground out by Bonds.
Piazza, an area native from Norristown, PA who had roamed the aisles and ramps at The Vet on numerous occasions as a kid, led off the bottom of the 2nd inning with a mammoth solo homer to left field.
Four batters later, Henry Rodriguez of the Montreal Expos, pinch-hitting for Smoltz, would score Jones with an RBI single and the NL had a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 3rd with Chuck Finley of the Angels on to pitch, Piazza laced an RBI double to right-center, scoring Larkin with a run that opened up a 4-0 lead for the National League.
Bottalico came on to pitch the top of the 5th inning, giving the Phillies fans something to cheer in the midst of a bleak summer. The Fightins’ closer struck out Rodriguez swinging to start off his appearance, then retired Ripken on a fly ball to left.
With two outs, Anderson grounded to new 3rd baseman Ken Caminiti, whose error put a runner on base. But Bottalico then got pinch-hitter Jay Buhner to line out to center field, ending his lone inning with no damage.
Pedro came on for the top of the 6th and allowed two hits, as well as a stolen base from Lofton, but got through his inning unscathed as well.
Caminiti made up for his error when he led off the bottom of the 6th with a solo homer. Bichette doubled one batter later, and would score on a Biggio ground out that upped the NL lead to what would prove to be the final 6-0 margin.
This would turn out to be the only MLB All-Star Game in history in which no batters were walked. In the end, the hometown kid Piazza would be named the Most Valuable Player off his 2-3 performance.
This would also mark the first MLB All-Star Game in which that award was presented by Bud Selig, who was then the Chairman of baseball’s Executive Committee. He would not be named the formal Commissioner until 1998.
That was the fourth and final time to date that Philadelphia has played host to the MLB All-Star Game. The city has hosted twice at Shibe Park, and twice at Veteran’s Stadium. Now, when will Citizens Bank Park get its chance to finally host the midsummer classic?

Phillies MLB All-Star Games: 1976

The city of Philadelphia has played host to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game four times in the 83-year history of baseball’s midsummer classic.
In both 1943 and 1952 the game was held at Shibe Park, with the NL taking the first by a 5-3 score and the AL coming back with a 3-2 victory in the second game at the old ballpark at 22nd and Lehigh that would later be renamed as Connie Mack Stadium. The Phillies were listed as the official hosts of the 1952 game.
The last two times that the game was played in here in 1976 and 1996, Veteran’s Stadium was the scene of the festivities. Citizens Bank Park has yet to do the honors.
Let’s take a quick look back at that Phillies-hosted affair in front of 63,974 fans including the President of the United States at The Vet during the celebration of America’s Bicentennial in the summer of 1976.
It was a great time for both the city and for the team to be hosting the game
. Of course, Philadelphia is one of the most important historic cities in the United States, and thus having one of the American pastime’s showcase events here as the nation was celebrating its 200th birthday was almost a no-brainer.
For the team’s part, the Phillies had begun emerging over the last 2-3 seasons as legitimate contenders in the National League after nearly a decade of futility.
With the opening of Veteran’s Stadium in 1971, the trade for Steve Carlton in 1972, and an influx of homegrown talent the team was primed to make a run at the NL East Division crown that summer. In fact, they would capture that crown, and the next two in succession as well.
Rose helped Luzinski & Schmidt finally get over the playoff hump
Luzinski started and Schmidt was a reserve for the National League in the 1976 MLB All-Star Game at The Vet.
As a nod to their emerging talents, the Phillies placed five players on that 1976 NL All-Star squad, with left fielder Greg Luzinski elected by the fans as the starter in left field.
Joining ‘The Bull’ on the NL roster were 3/4 of the team’s starting infield: 2nd baseman Dave Cash, shortstop Larry Bowa, and 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt
Catcher Bob Boone was on the team, and their manager Danny Ozark served as a coach.
Only manager Sparky Anderson‘s ‘Big Red Machine’, who were the defending World Series champions and would go on to win another that season, placed more players on the squad. 
The Reds had seven NL All-Stars, including future Phillies Pete RoseJoe Morgan, and Tony Perez.
Appearing as reserves with the NL squad was former Phillies pitcher Woody Fryman, then of the Montreal Expos, former and future Phillies pitcher Dick Ruthven of the Atlanta Braves, future Phillies 1st baseman Al Oliver, and outfielder Bake McBride, who would be dealt to the Phillies the following June.
Rose, Ruthven, and McBride would all go on to become key contributors to the Phils’ 1980 World Series championship squad.
Luzinski was slotted into the 5th spot in Anderson’s starting lineup. Rose led off followed by 1st baseman Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Morgan hit 3rd and center fielder George Foster hit cleanup.
Larry Bowa
Shortstop Bowa was one of four Phillies players to serve as reserves in the 1976 MLB All-Star Game for the National League.
Behind Luzinski came Reds’ catcher Johnny Bench, Cubs’ right field masher Dave Kingman, shortstop Dave Concepcion of Cincinnati, and the starting pitcher was Randy Jones of the San Diego Padres.
The American League, managed by Darrell Johnson of the Boston Red Sox, featured starters from six different teams, three from the Detroit Tigers. One of the AL reserves was former Phillies infielder Don Money.
Leading off for the AL was one of those Tigers, left fielder Ron LeFloreRod Carew of the Minnesota Twins was at 1st base and hit in the 2-spot, while Kansas City Royals 3rd baseman George Brett hit 3rd.
Batting cleanup was New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson, with Fred Lynn, the reigning AL MVP and Rookie of the Year of the Red Sox, hitting 5th position. He was followed by shortstop Toby Harrah of the Texas Rangers, right fielder Rusty Staub of the Tigers, and 2nd baseman Bobby Grich of the Baltimore Orioles.
On the mound and batting 9th for the junior circuit was the most colorful player of the season, pitcher Mark Fydrich. 
‘The Bird’ was known for talking to the baseball, walking around the mound, and other histrionics, and was in the midst of a season that would see him win the AL Rookie of the Year Award and finish 2nd for the league’s Cy Young Award honors.
Robin Roberts served as the NL ‘Honorary Captain’ for the game, with Bob Lemon receiving the honor for the AL. 
This was the first MLB All-Star Game at which both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Canadian national anthem of “Oh, Canada” were both played, and both have been played at every game since. The first pitch was thrown out by U.S. President Gerald Ford.
In the actual game, the NL bolted out to an early lead, scoring twice off Fydrich in the bottom of the 1st inning. Rose led off with a single and came around to score on a triple by Garvey, who then scored on a one-out grounder by Foster to make it a 2-0 game.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Morgan singled with one out, and Foster then crushed a two-run bomb deep to left-center field off Catfish Hunter of the Yankees to double the lead to 4-0.
The AL got one back in the top of the 4th when Lynn pounded a pitch from the Mets’ Tom Seaver out deep down the right field line to make it a 4-1 game.
BobBoone00000_20080626272
Boone went 0-2 at the plate, but was behind the dish at the end as the NL wrapped up a 7-1 win in the 1976 All-Star Game at The Vet.
In the top of the 5th, the home crowd was pleased to find both Bowa and Boone inserted into the lineup. 
Cash and Schmidt would enter the game the following inning, the same frame that Money, the man Schmidt had replaced at the Phils’ 3rd base position a few years earlier, would enter for the American League.
In the top of the 7th, Luzinski would finally be lifted for pinch-hitter Ken Griffey after an 0-3 performance. The Phils’ contingent would go a collective 1-8, with only Cash producing a base hit.
That hit from the Phillies veteran leader came to lead off the bottom of the 8th against California Angels lefty Frank Tanana. Perez drew a walk to follow Cash, and the Phils’ 2nd sacker then moved over to 3rd base when Bill Russell hit into a doubleplay.
With two outs and the score still at 4-1, Griffey delivered an RBI single to score Cash. Cesar Cedeno of the Houston Astros then stepped in and blasted a two-run homer deep into the left field stands off Tanana, blowing the game open to a 7-1 lead for the NL that would hold up as the final score.
As pitcher Ken Forsch wrapped the game up in the bottom of the 9th with a 1-2-3 inning, retiring Money, Chris Chambliss, and Amos Otis in order, only Boone and Cash remained on the field for the host Phillies and the National League.
That would mark the last time that the Phillies would host the MLB All-Star Game for two decades, when the popular exhibition contest among baseball’s top stars would finally return to Veteran’s Stadium in South Philly for one final time.

Phillies Fall Classics VIII: 1993 World Series Game Five

It appeared as if the clock was about to strike midnight on the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies worst-to-first Cinderella season. 
After splitting the first two games in Toronto, the Blue Jays had won the next two games at Veteran’s Stadium to take a 3-1 stranglehold on the World Series.
In Game Three, the Jays’ powerful lineup had laid waste to the Phillies, demolishing them by a 10-3 final. 
But what happened in Game Four was even more debilitating to the Phils’ collective spirit.
After the Blue Jays scored three times in the top of the first off Tommy Greene, the Phillies bats decided that they were not going to let Toronto run away and hide again, answering with four of their own off Jays’ starter Todd Stottlemyre.
Through four innings, the Phillies led 8-7 in what was developing as a slugfest. Little did the fans that night at The Vet know, they hadn’t seen anything yet. 
Over the next three innings, the Phils powered their way to a 6-2 advantage, taking an overall lead of 14-9 on the scoreboard.
Up by five runs going to the top of the 8th inning, the Phillies were just six outs away from tying the World Series at 2-2. 
And then the Blue Jays’ bats, silent for most of the previous four innings, finally awoke, and with a vengeance.
Toronto scored six times in that top of the 8th to re-take the lead at 15-14. Just as suddenly, perhaps demoralized by the unrelenting pressure, the Phillies’ bats went silent and scoreless. 
ESPN would rank this 9th on their “10 Greatest World Series Games” list.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, they ended up on the losing end, and so entered Game Five needing to win just to stay alive.

Phillies’ manager Jim Fregosi would send Game One loser Curt Schilling to the mound, where he would be facing off in a rematch with Toronto’s Juan Guzman
In that series opener at SkyDome, Schilling had been staked to leads of 2-0, 3-2, and 4-3, but he was unable to hold any of them.
During the 2013 regular season, the 26-year old power righty had finally begun to emerge as the big-time starting pitcher that he would become over the next decade or so. 
He led the Phillies’ staff with 34 starts, 7 complete games, 235.1 innings, and 186 strikeouts in what was the second of nine seasons in red pinstripes.
On the exact 13th anniversary of the only World Series championship clincher in Phillies’ franchise history, Schilling would deliver the next chapter in my Phillies Fall Classics series.
On a damp, unseasonably mild night in South Philly, Schilling was in command almost from start to finish. He would get in a bit of a jam in the top of the 8th innings, but pitched his way out of it. Almost single-handedly, he would will the Phillies back into this series.
With their young ace firing on all cylinders, it was up to the Phils’ offense to find a way to get to Guzman. 
In the bottom of the 1st, they manufactured a run for an early lead. Lenny Dykstra, the team catalyst all season, led off with a walk and then took off to steal 2nd base. When Toronto catcher Pat Borders threw the ball away, Dykstra ended up on 3rd. He would score one batter later on a ground out by John Kruk, and the Phillies had a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Darren Daulton led off with a double into the left center gap, and came around on a two-out RBI double off the bat of rookie shortstop Kevin Stocker
That lead held, and held, and held, as Schilling and Guzman battled into the 8th with that same 2-0 sitting on the scoreboard.
In that top of the 8th, the Jays’ bats, held to just three scattered hits and three walks to that point by Schilling, finally got to him. 
It was the bottom of the order that got the big righty in trouble, as Borders and Rob Butler each singled to start things off. 
Jays’ skipper Cito Gaston had sent speedy Willie Canate in to pinch-run for Borders, and he had zipped to third base on Butler’s hit.
Now the top of the order came up in the form of future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson
With runners at first and third and nobody out, Henderson grounded back towards Schilling with Canate breaking for the plate. Schilling quickly threw home to Daulton, and Canate was caught in a rundown, Daulton exchanged throws with 3rd baseman Dave Hollins, and Canate was out at the plate.
Schilling still had the tying runs on base. But he first struck out veteran center fielder Devon White swinging, and then got another future Hall of Famer, 2nd baseman Roberto Alomar, on a grounder to Phils’ 2nd baseman Mariano Duncan to end the threat.
In the top of the 9th, with the score still just 2-0 in favor of the Phillies, the Blue Jays would send a trio of dangerous hitters to the plate. 
With Schilling already having thrown more than 130 pitches, Fregosi chose to try to ride his big horse all the way home.
Schilling began by getting Joe Carter on a fly ball to short center field that was handled easily by Duncan. Then he retired John Olerud on an easy grounder to short, Stocker firing to 1st baseman Kruk for the second out. 
The last chance for Toronto was yet another future Hall of Famer, Paul Molitor, and Schilling got him to punch a liner to Dykstra for the final out of the ball game.
The Phillies had cut the Toronto Blue Jays lead in the World Series down to 3-2. They were back in the series, but were still kicking themselves over the big blown 8th inning lead a day earlier. 
Had they put that one away, they would now lead the series. Instead, despite this Schilling gem, the Jays would go home to Toronto just a win away from a 2nd consecutive world championship.
These never-say-die Phillies would not simply shrink away in that Game Six, and would in fact take a lead into the bottom of the 9th. 
However, as every baseball fan now knows, Joe Carter beat Mitch Williams, and Toronto beat the Phillies in the World Series.
But before that happened, Curt Schilling delivered the first in what would be a career full of memorable postseason performances that may some day help him become the only member of that wonderful 1993 Phillies team to reach the Baseball Hall of Fame.