Results tagged ‘ Houston Astros ’

Another Little Souvenir

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Yesterday I was going through folders and envelopes full of forms and such from Phantasy Camp, and this little card was sandwiched in-between the piles of papers. Every Camper received two of these complimentary drink tickets upon our arrival. I truly cannot believe I let this one slip away!
Oh well, at the least, I have yet another little souvenir from that incredible trip.
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The Phantasy Camp will be hosting an Alumni Event right after the Opening Day game versus the Houston Astros on April 1st. I’m very excited to get down there and meet up with my fellow Campmates.
(maybe I can use my ticket then…)

12/15/10 – This Day in Legend History… Marty Bystrom, Ricky Bottalico, and Dave Hollins


When I attended Phantasy Camp orientation last month, in addition to Philly sports staple Scott Palmer, I got to meet two former Phillies and current Legends, Dickie Noles and Marty Bystrom. Marty was the first person I got to speak to. Like Scott and Dickie, he was very cordial and, like everyone else, repeated how much of a great time I will have in Florida. Also, at 6′ 5″, he’s a tall drink of water. I could only imagine the extra height he got with that ‘fro and bucket cap. I laugh every time I watch videos of him in 1980 being interviewed by Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn. Their heads are barely in the shot.

On this day in 1976, Bystrom signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent. He spent five seasons with the club, but what he is most famous for is his late season heroics as a rookie in 1980. He arrived in September, started six games and went an impressive 5-0 and a 1.50 ERA. He started two games in the postseason, including the deciding Game 5 in the NLCS against the Houston Astros. He also made an appearance in the 1983 World Series. He only spent six seasons in the Majors before finishing with the New York Yankees in 1985.

In 2000, Ricky Bottalico signed as a free agent with the Phillies for his second stint with the club. This time, he was used as a middle reliever setting up the now established closer, Jose Mesa. Bottalico lasted two seasons before being bumped around by five different clubs before finishing his pitching career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005.

Like Bottalico, Dave Hollins signed as a free agent on this day in 2001, returning to the Phillies for a second time. His return was met with much happiness, but the reunion was short-lived. He only had 17 at-bat’s before having to go on the disabled list for one of the more odd “injuries” that you will hear. A noted diabetic, Hollins was bitten by spiders. This severely aggravated his diabetes and he could not properly return to playing. As disappointing and frustrating this was for him, players and fans, it was good to know that Hollins finished his career where it started.

12/8/10 – This Day in Legend History… Keith Moreland and Dickie Noles


Not only were two Legends traded on this day in 1981, but they both were sent in the same package. Catcher Keith Moreland and pitcher Dickie Noles were sent to the Chicago Cubs, along with pitcher Dan Larson, for pitcher and current San Francisco Giants commentator, Mike Krukow (Krukow was turned around the next year for Al Holland and Joe Morgan, who were key pieces to the 1983 World Series team). Moreland thrived in his new full-time gig as the Cubs catcher, putting up decent power numbers for the Northsiders for six seasons. He made stops in San Diego, Detroit, and Baltimore before retiring in 1989. Even though he was the back-up for Bob Boone, what made Moreland a household name in Philly was his exemplary play in 1980, his first full season as a rookie. He batted .314 with only 159 AB’s. He also came through in the postseason. In his only at bat in the incredible NLCS with the Houston Astros, Moreland hit into a forceout, knocking in a bases-loaded run in the huge 8th inning of fifth and final game.

12/2/10 – This Day in Legend History… Mitch Williams


On December 2, 1993, Mitch Williams was traded to the Houston Astros for pitchers Jeff Juden and Doug Jones. The sound of the crack of Joe Carter’s bat did even stop resonating before Williams was shipped out of town… far from Philadelphia. Unfortunately for Mitch, he could not regain his swagger. He appeared in only 52 more games for three different teams before retiring at the age of 32. Like I mentioned before, he has resurfaced to become one of the most insightful and entertaining analysts on the MLB Network.

Coincidentally, yesterday on the show Hot Stove, they ran a segment about the “memorable returns” of players (popular and unpopular) to their former home fields after going to a new team. They preceded to show Williams’ first return to Philadelphia after the trade on May 27, 1994. Funny enough, Williams entered the game and he hit another Legend, Mickey Morandini, square in the back. Oh so fitting.

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