I admit to being a lifelong Phillies fan through thick and thin, mostly thin. Once again we are having a rare moment, the Phillies heading for the world series.
Since Retired in Delaware talked about his fanship and how he loved the Phillies in the 1950s, perhaps he would enjoy these exclusive photos of the 1958 Phillies. The pictures were taken by my wife and her friends, Mary Lou and Lynn when they were teenagers.
On the left is my boyhood hero, Richie Ashburn. My two favorite players of that time, Ashburn and Stan Musiel of the St. Louis Cardinals. I became a fan of Musiel because my grandfather gave me a Stan Musiel model baseball bat with I was six. But Ashburn was my number one favorite (also his jersey number) because he was on the nearest local team and he played center field.
I admired Ashburn (seen again on the right). He was a fast base runner, a great fielder and a great hitter, but not a power guy. He didn't hit many home runs, but he did win a couple batting titles and retired with an above .300 average. He started out as a catcher.
I first began playing baseball as a catcher, too, only because my grandfather had also given me a catcher's mask. When I got older, most pickup games didn't really use a catcher. You never had enough guys to field a full team. In late grade school, I was a pitcher, until one day I caught a line drive in my solar plexus. Suddenly the outfield looked like a good position to play. I was a contact hitter who seldom struck out. I struck out a couple times and got laughed at and swore I wouldn't strike out again. I probably did occasionally after that, but not very often. I wasn't a home run hitter either. I liked to make acrobatic catches in the outfield in hard ball. I could catch a hard ball well, but for some strange reason couldn't for the life of me catch softballs. Even as an adult playing in a softball league, I could hit, but even with a glove, had trouble catching a softball.
This was not a Phillies player on the left. This was jack Whitaker in 1958, a than local sportscaster on TV. He went on to bigger and better things.
Harvey Haddox was a pitcher, I believe the Phillies got from the Pirates. he was a fan favorite. i always liked him. he was a tough competitor with some bad luck streaks. If I remember correctly, he pitched twelve innings of perfect ball only to lose by one to nothing.
Ed Bouchee was doing pretty well with the Phillies, but then he got arrested for exposing himself to some girls and disappeared from the game.
I'm glad he kept zipped up when my wife and her friends took these photos.
Curt Simmons, the left-handed counterpart to the great Robin Roberts in the 'fifties.
They were a pretty good one-two punch for awhile.
Jack Meyer, another Phillies pitcher. Phillies seemed to have pitchers named Meyer.
Bob Bowman, another of the pitchers.
Andy Seminick was a long time catcher through the fifties for the Phils. he caught in the 1950 World Series.
Rip Repulsky, one of the great flakes of the game and pitcher Don Caldwell.
Another pitcher, Seth Morehead.
I guess the girls weren't able to get Del Ennis, Granny Hammer or Puddin'head Willie Jones to pose.
Anyway, now we have a brand new team to root for and hopefully the 2008 World series won't go the same way as the 1950 Series did for the Phillies. They lost that one to the Yankees in four straight. I still loved the 'fifty Phillies anyway.