Former Phillie Dallas Green died Wednesday at the age of 82.
Green is the definition of a Phillies lifer. He was born in 1934 in Newport, Delaware, which is just 30 miles from the Sports Complex. He never left Delaware as a kid, attending nearby Conrad High School, and then the University of Delaware in Newark.
Of course, he signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1955 as a 20-year-old. He was 25 when he pitched his first game with the Phillies, starting against the San Francisco Giants and tossing 5.2 innings while allowing six earned runs. He pitched his first five years with the Phillies and did it all. He started, closed and came in for middle-relief if needed. He then went to the Washington Senators and then the Mets. But Green ended his eight year career in 1967, making one more stop for the Phillies. He pitched a total of eight games, and retired at the age of 32.
After Green retired, he became a manager in the Phillies farm system. He then became the farm director under General Manager Paul Owens. The late 1970s core was developed under Green’s watch.
Green is credited with getting the Phillies over the hump in 1980, winning their their first ever World Series championship. Green took over late in 1979 for Danny Ozark, who contrasted each other greatly in managerial styles. Green’s ‘in your face’ style led the Phils to a 19-11 record, but was not enough for a playoff berth. In his first full season as a major league manager, Green won 91 games, winning the division in wild fashion as a Mike Schmidt extra-inning home run lifted the Phillies into the playoffs. The Phils went on to play a historic NLCS vs. the Houston Astros, and then went on to defeat the Kansas City Royals in six games to make Philadelphia a City of Champions.
Green then moved on from the Phillies after the 1981 season to the Chicago Cubs, where he became the general manager. Green is also credited with bringing the Cubs back to relevancy in the 1980s. He sure fleeced his former team on a deal that landed him, at the time, future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg into his lap. It is considered to be one of the most one-sided trades of all-time.
When the Delaware native left Chicago, he went back into managing. After an endorsement from George Steinbrenner, Green managed the Yankees for a year in 1989 and the Mets for four more in the mid-’90s. Green never made it back to the playoffs with either team.
In the late ’90s Green came back to Philadelphia where he held the title of special adviser until his passing.
Dallas Green put his imprint on the Phillies franchise for seven decades, in more ways than one. He did it as a player, a manager, director and front office member while with the team and against it. Of the two World Series championships the Phillies won, in a span of 28 years, Green was a part of both, and had two rings to prove it.
That’s remarkable to think about.