Every baseball season has moments that we will always remember. Looking back at anniversary moments and record performances ranging from 1919 to 2009, there are many that Phillies Alumni will cover monthly during this season.
We begin with an April moment that sent Phillies Nation into mourning.
April 13, 2009
While preparing for a game in Washington, beloved broadcaster Harry Kalas collapsed in the press box at Nationals Park and died soon afterward. Mr. Kalas was 73. Phillies president David Montgomery said, “We lost Harry. We lost our voice.” The Phillies decided to play the game, a 9-8 win in the Nationals’ home opener.
Mr. Kalas broadcast the first National League game in the Astrodome (1965) while with Houston. It was against the Phillies. With the Phillies, he broadcast the first and last games at Veterans Stadium and the first game at Citizens Bank Park. And in 2008, he got to call a World Series championship for his Phillies.
He threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the 2009 season opener on April 5 vs. Atlanta. Eight days later, he died.
April 16, 1959
Dave Philley, a 39-year-old switch-hitter, collected a Major League-record ninth straight hit as a pinch-hitter (eight in 1958) as Phillies dropped a 7-3 decision in Milwaukee. He finished with 92 career pinch-hits for a .301 average. An outfielder-first baseman, Philley played 18 years in the Majors with the White Sox, Philadelphia A’s, Indians, Tigers, Phillies, Giants, Orioles and Red Sox.
April 20, 1989
Third baseman Mike Schmidt’s first-inning double in Pittsburgh’s Three-Rivers Stadium off Mike Dunne broke Richie Ashburn’s club record for career hits (2,217). Ashburn broke Ed Delahanty’s record (2,211) on Sept. 19, 1959 at Connie Mack Stadium.
LARRY SHENK IS AUTHOR/EDITOR OF THE PHILLIES.COM ALUMNI SECTION AND PROVIDES REGULAR MINOR LEAGUE REPORT PIECES FROM HIS PHILLIES INSIDER BLOG. PHILLIES INSIDER PIECES RE-PRINTED AT PHILLIES NATION BY PERMISSION OF LARRY SHENK. PHILLIES ALUMNI PIECES WITH BY HIS PERMISSION ALONG WITH APPROVAL FROM MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES.
MORE PHILLIES NATION HISTORY:
- Top 10 Philadelphia Phillies home runs in Citizens Bank Park history
- Big-name free agents Lance Parrish and Gregg Jefferies didn’t work out for Phillies
- Winner or loser?: The Jonathan Papelbon trade with the Washington Nationals
- Philography: Mike Schmidt
- There was once a Philadelphia Phillies pro football team