7/23/10 – Milt Thompson
Word came last night that the Phillies fired former player and hitting coach Milt Thompson. This current 2010 squad has become a mirror image of the 1979 team, and unfortunately, as it goes in professional sports, someone… usually the coaching staff… has to take the fall. (On a side note, I’m proud to say that I made this 1979/2010 comparison a full month before longtime Philadelphia sports writer Bill Conlin did in this article). What really makes me sad about this organizational move is now, there may be a chance Mr. Thompson may not be a part of this year’s Phantasy Camp. Last year, he was scheduled to be there to impart his hitting wisdom, but could not be there as he was attending the wedding of Jimmy Rollins. I have a special place in my heart for Milt as a Phillies fan. He first played for the team from 1986-1988. Milt was a fantastic player and had arguably his best season ever in 1987. Sadly he was traded to the Cardinals in 1989, but returned to the Phillies in 1993. So just like Larry Andersen, Milt has the interesting distinction of playing for the Phillies in the ’80’s, leaving, then returning for that fantastic ’93 season. Nothing made me happier when he was hired in 2005 to be the Phillies’ hitting coach. Under his tutelage, the Phillies became a major offensive machine, culminating in three division titles, two World Series appearances and one World Championship. His reaction to his firing exemplified class. No bitterness. No anger. Just business. Milt, you are a Philadelphia Phillies legend.