The Phillies annual Alumni Weekend came to an end today with a huge series win against the World Champion Cardinals. The 11-inning, 8-7 walk-off win was the cherry on top of a great weekend at Citizen’s Bank Park.
Vance Worley took the mound again, despite needing elbow surgery for bone chips. The injury appears to be taking a toll on the Vanimal who struggled again, going 5 1/3 innings with 4 runs allowed.
The Phillies offense started off strong with 3 runs in the 1st on a triple from Chase Utley. In the 4th, Ryan Howard added a solo homer. But each time the Phils scored, the Cardinals answered and they took a 4-4 tie into the 8th.
With 3 errors in the game, the Phillies still had some nice defensive plays, and others that fell short. The play at the plate below where Matt Holiday is called safe was a real bummer:
More disappointment was to follow as Michael Schwimer turned a 4-4 game into a 7-4 deficit for the Phils in the 8th, allowing the 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk.
But just when it looked like the game was over, Erik Kratz got up to his new-old tricks again. With 2 runners on and 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th, he smashed a home run to left to tie the game up again.
But Kratz was not done yet… In the 11th, he started off the inning with a double. Sadly, the double was erased when Jimmy Rollins, who had the day off prior pinch hitting in the 8th, hit into a fielder’s choice. J-Roll later redeemed himself by stealing 3rd, which turned out to be the key to winning the game. Juan Pierre hustled down the 1st base line to beat out an infield single which scored Rollins for the walk-off win!
Pierre has been one of the few bright spots for the Phillies this year. It is hard to imagine not resigning him in the offseason, but that drama will play out later…
As for the Alumni in attendance, they had a lot of fun, especially Mike Schmidt who shot hot dogs into the crowd. You will have to see it to believe it:
There were many other appearances as well, including John Kruk announcing the line-ups, Dick Allen and Tony Taylor changing bases, and eight former Phillies, including Larry Andersen, Gary Matthews, Ricky Jordan, Ricky Botallico and Von Hayes singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on the field during the seventh-inning stretch.
Botallico, always an amazing sport, even wore the Phanatic’s jersey to entertain the crowd.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
On Monday night, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association held their 106th annual awards banquet in Cherry Hill, NJ. The PSWA honors athletes in every sport around the Philadelphia area. The event is usually hosted by the great Harry Kalas, but sadly, he is no longer with us. This same event last year was the last time I spoke with Harry. This year, the PSWA invited his son, Todd Kalas, who spoke with great affection and admiration about his father. I have video of the speech that you can watch below.
The tone of the banquet was still very upbeat and in usual PSWA style, many great athletes and coaches from the area were honored in grand fashion. The Phillies were awarded “Team of the Year” which was accepted by Charlie Manuel and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. accepted the award for “Executive of the Year.” Former Phillie and current advisor, Dickie Noles was given the “Humanitarian” award and Von Hayes was there also as a guest.
The next set of photos are of Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr., me with broadcasters Scott Franzke and Tom McCarthy and Phillies PA announcer, Dan Baker.
The following video shows speeches from Todd Kalas, Amaro and Manuel. Note the “jokes” about the Cliff Lee trade; Amaro playfully blamed it on Charlie. Sorry Ruben, I fail to see the humor. Ok, don’t get me started on that…here’s the video:
There were plenty of other sports icons in attendance, including the 76ers Willie Green who got the “Good Guy” award, Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Eagles player Brent Celek who was named the “Outstanding Professional Athlete” of 2009:
We also heard from Andrew Bailey who was given the “Native Son” award; Bailey grew up in the Philly area and won Rookie of the Year for the American League in 2009 as the closer for the Oakland A’s. Ruben asked who his agent was and tried to steal him away…no success I’m afraid.
The MVP of the Army Navy Game, Ricky Dobbs, was also honored as well as Jay Wright, head coach of Villanova basketball, Fran Dunphy of Temple basketball , the 1960 Eagles and many others. The full list of honorees can be seen at the PSWA web site. I also put together a Photo Album from the event which shows many of these people as well.
The highlight of the night may have been comedian Joe Conklin who does impressions of his favorite Philly sports figures. His Cole Hamels impersonation is hysterical. Take a look:
And finally, here is clip of a program that will air this Thursday at 11pm on 6-ABC Philadelphia. The show is about the Phillies Off-Season and will include some photos that I took during the 2010 Phillies Cruise last month :O)
If you live in the Philly area, set the DVR or tune in at 11pm on 2/4/10.
Photos by Jenn