Robin Roberts in 1959

April 1, 1959:

For a few days during Spring Training 1959, famed photographer Marvin E. Newman profiled the Phillies for Sports Illustrated. Amongst the few shots that have surfaced from this session, Robin Roberts is the focal point, and on what would have been Roberts’ 87th birthday, they are presented here. Though the poses are typical, the vivid color and detail make these essential viewing for any Phillies fan.

Photos: Marvin E. Newman

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The Bull Goes to Chicago

March 30, 1981:

Entering the 1981 season as reigning World Series champions, the Phillies were hesitant to mess with a successful formula, with one notable exception: Greg “The Bull” Luzinski. With the franchise since the 1968 draft, Luzinski had become a fan favorite, displaying considerable power from the right side. By 1980, however, The Bull was struggling offensively and in danger of losing his spot in left field to rookie Lonnie Smith. Rumors of his exit continued throughout the off-season, and intensified once the Phillies traded for outfielder Gary Matthews. A week later, Luzinski’s thirteen year career with the franchise came to an end, sold to the Chicago White Sox for $200,000.

Calling himself “a very emotional person”, Luzinski fought back tears at the press conference announcing the deal and believed he would need time alone to come to terms with the trade. Phillies GM Paul Owens had grown close to his outfielder and described the difficulty of trading someone he had known for thirteen years while promising, “he’ll always be a part of the Phillies family”.

After four successful seasons as the White Sox’s designated hitter, Owens’ words proved prophetic. Shortly after his retirement, Luzinski would re-introduce himself to the Phillies fanbase, frequently appearing in commercials and making appearances at the team’s baseball camps. Luzinski can now be found holding court at his “Bull’s BBQ” food stand, located by the left field gate in Citizens Bank Park.

Photo: George Reynolds

Greg Luzinski at the press conference announcing his trade to the Chicago White Sox

Greg Luzinski at the press conference announcing his trade to the Chicago White Sox

Roberto Clemente, Jr.

March, 1984:

Following in the footsteps of a parent is never easy, especially when your father happens to be a cultural icon. Roberto Clemente Jr. understood this better than most, and in 1984, insisted on pursing a career in baseball on his own terms. After achieving a decent amount of success in his native Puerto Rico, Clemente moved to Florida to attend community college and draw interest from the major leagues.

Receiving little interest from his father’s Pittsburgh Pirates, the eighteen year-old signed with the Phillies and was immediately placed in the Gulf Coast League. Team scouts projected Clemente as a line drive-hitting outfielder that could eventually develop power, but he fell well below these expectations. Struggling mightily in the rookie league, the Phillies assigned the young righty to the non-affiliate Gastonia Jets before releasing him outright in 1985. Clemente would attempt to continue his career in 1986 with the San Diego Padres’ A affiliate, but injuries and a lack of desire temporarily convinced him to set his sights beyond his childhood dream. A final attempt with the Baltimore Orioles organization was made in 1989 before a back injury left Clemente temporarily paralyzed.

Today, Clemente follows his father’s legacy in another field: charity work. Since establishing the Roberto Clemente Foundation in the mid-nineties, the younger Clemente has worked with the RBI Program to bring baseball to the inner cities, namely in Puerto Rico and Pittsburgh. Most recently, Clemente has worked with his siblings on “Clemente: The True Legacy of an Undying Hero”, a book chronicling his father’s rise to immortality.

Photo: Bob Bartosz

Roberto Clemente Jr. with the Gulf Coast League Phillies

Roberto Clemente Jr. with the Gulf Coast League Phillies

The Other DiMaggio

March 1946:

History has been kinder to Joe and Dom, but it was oldest brother Vince DiMaggio that first experienced life as a professional ballplayer. A talented but unremarkable centerfielder, DiMaggio landed in Philadelphia by way of a 1945 trade. His initial season as a Phillie was productive, batting .257 with 19 home runs, but he would be traded to the New York Giants in May of 1946, after only six games with the Phillies. Retiring after the season, DiMaggio would opt for a quieter life than his brother Joe, taking work as a salesman and studying the Bible. The DiMaggios would rarely speak until making amends in 1986, shortly before Vince’s passing.

The 1946 season is known as the first year of the “post-war baseball boom”. With World War II ending in September of the previous year, teams found themselves welcoming back players from service. DiMaggio was one of the many veterans on the 1946 Phillies, having built ships for the Navy years earlier. During Spring Training, this photo was staged, with manager Ben Chapman joking that he communicated with the servicemen via walkie-talkie.

Clockwise from left: Vince DiMaggio, Ben Chapman, outfielder Ron Northey and infielder Frank McCormick

Photo: Miami Beach News Bureau

Manager Ben Chapman jokes with Vince DiMaggio, Ron Northey and Frank McCormick

Manager Ben Chapman jokes with Vince DiMaggio, Ron Northey and Frank McCormick

Pete and Pete

March 14, 1980:

During his time with the Phillies, Pete Rose claimed the Cincinnati Reds’ resistance to kids in the clubhouse was one of his reasons for leaving. The Phillies’ clubhouse not only welcomed children, but encouraged a family atmosphere, welcoming McGraws, Boones, Luzinskis and Pete Rose Jr. into what became known as “The Kiddie Korps”.

Much like his father, Pete Rose Jr. had little trouble making his presence felt. During his father’s first spring with the Phillies in 1979, the nine year-old walked into manager Danny Ozark’s office and demanded to know if his father had a chance of making the team that year. “Petey” became a regular around the club, and is seen here with his father during an exhibition game against the Tigers.

The younger Rose would go on to enjoy his own lengthy career in baseball, spending a year and a half with the Reading Phillies.

Photo: AP Laserphoto

Pete Rose and his son Petey on the field during a 1980 exhibition.

Pete Rose and his son Petey on the field during a 1980 exhibition.

A Brawl in 1961

August 8, 1961:

In the midst of a historic losing streak, tensions were high in Philadelphia. During the second game of a doubleheader against the Pirates, a brawl broke out in the sixth inning. The reason for the benches clearing has seemingly been lost, but the newswire noted that the game resumed only after police intervention. The remainder of the game was played under protest, and resulted in something the Phillies had become more than familiar with: a loss.

Photo: AP Wirephoto

The Phillies and Pirates brawl during a 1961 doubleheader

The Phillies and Pirates brawl during a 1961 doubleheader

The Shoulder Wheel

April 6, 1963:

Longtime Phillies trainer Joe Liscio had a reputation for thinking outside the box. In a 1964 article, “Baseball Digest” detailed Liscio’s use of sea kelp, wheat germ and Vitamin B12 injections in treating the team. As the article claimed, “The Phils may not win it all, but they will be excruciatingly healthy”.

1963 saw Liscio introduce the shoulder wheel to the Phillies, designed to strengthen the shoulder and arm. In this photo, Liscio watches closer Jack Baldschun use the mechanism during Spring Training.

Jack Baldschun uses the shoulder wheel under trainer Joe Liscio's supervision.

Jack Baldschun uses the shoulder wheel under trainer Joe Liscio’s supervision.

Reinventing Granny Hamner

February 7, 1957:

For nine years, Granny Hamner had been a familiar face to Phillies fans, serving as the shortstop of the 1950 Whiz Kids. Philadelphia fans quickly took to Hamner, admiring his powerful swing and aggressive style of play. In 1956, the attributes that had made him a fan favorite betrayed Hamner, as he seriously injured his shoulder while diving for a ball. Though his fielding remained consistent, the pain prevented the righthander from swinging an effective bat. An off-season surgery was deemed unsuccessful, and the three-time All-Star’s career was in jeopardy.

In an effort to remain on the field, Hamner made three pitching appearances in 1956, two in relief. Feeling comfortable with the idea, the career infielder opened 1957’s Spring Training penciled in as one of the twenty pitchers. Armed with a fastball, knuckleball and curveball, the Phillies’ new reliever was successful in his debut, pitching three innings and earning the win in an exhibition against the Yankees.

Though the initial signs were encouraging, the experiment didn’t last long. Granny Hamner made the 1957 Phillies as the starting second baseman, only pitching one inning in relief during the regular season. As expected, his swing remained hindered by the injury, and 1957 would be his last season as an everyday player.

Strangely, Hamner would pitch in the majors again, three years into his retirement. While coaching in the Kansas City A’s farm system, the 35 year-old was called to the big club after a rash of injuries to the pitching staff. He would post a 9 ERA after pitching four innings over three games.

Photo: AP Wirephoto

Former infielder Granny Hamner pitches in Spring Training while manager Mayo Smith looks on.

Former infielder Granny Hamner pitches in Spring Training while manager Mayo Smith looks on.

Steve Carlton Re-Signs

January 16, 1973:

It was a salary dispute that brought Steve Carlton to the Phillies before the 1972 season, and the team refused to let it be the reason he left. Following a Cy Young-winning season, often considered one of the most dominant campaigns in modern baseball, the Phillies were determined to keep their ace. To do so required making Carlton the highest paid pitcher in the league; with his new $165,000 salary, the left-hander received a raise of $100,000.

Large contracts often carry a large burden, and Carlton’s was no exception. After a season in which he called his starts “win day”, Carlton struggled throughout 1973, finishing with a 13-20 record while his ERA ballooned by nearly two runs. The struggles continued off the field, as well; always a colorful character, “Lefty” found himself in the crosshairs of the Philadelphia media, who questioned his unorthodox behavior and training methods. The relationship would remain to be tense until it ceased entirely. For the remainder of his career in Philadelphia, Steve Carlton would refuse to speak with reporters.

Photo: AP Wirephoto

Steve Carlton signs his 1973 contract as GM Paul "Pope" Owens looks on.

Steve Carlton signs his 1973 contract as GM Paul “Pope” Owens looks on.

Satchel Paige Joins the Miami Marlins

June 16, 1956:

Though the Miami Marlins are now division rivals, in their original incarnation, they briefly served as the AAA affiliate of the Phillies. From 1956-’58, future Phillies like Turk “Dick” Farrell and Jim Owens served in the Marlins’ rotation, but the most noteworthy Marlin never made it to the big club: Leroy “Satchel” Paige.

By 1956, the soon-to-be 50 year old Paige was struggling to continue his career, largely due to racism and the view that he had become little more than a novelty. Legendary executive Bill Veeck, who had agreed to run the Miami Marlins for friends, was no stranger to Paige, having given the career Negro Leaguer an opportunity to pitch in the majors in 1948. Never one to shy away from promotion, Veeck signed Paige to the Marlins for a salary of $15,000 and a percentage of the gate.

Paige’s introduction to the Miami Marlins was far from smooth. Manager Don Osborn initially resisted the legend’s presence, insisting he would only call on Paige during exhibition games. Veeck responded by offering Miami’s nine best hitters $10 for each hit they managed off Paige. After striking out all nine, Osborn unconditionally added the 49 year old to the roster. Seeking to capitalize upon his new signing, Veek began planning stunts around Paige. Most were trivial, such as the pictured rocking chair waiting in the bullpen, but for his debut, Paige was flown to the field on a helicopter. The incident was a near disaster, as the helicopter lost contact with the tower and nearly rain out of fuel. As the Hall of Famer later put it, “I was so scared. That pilot and me was like husband and wife until we landed.”

Satchel Paige’s tenure in the Phillies organization would last a total of three seasons before ending acrimoniously. By 1958, Bill Veeck had left the team and Paige began clashing with management, largely due to financial concerns. With the relationship beyond repair, the Marlins suspended Paige for what they called his “utter disregard of rules”. The right-hander was denied his release from the team, finishing the 1958 season before both sides agreed to part.

Following the 1958 season, the Phillies ceased their partnership with the Marlins. Paige would bounce in and out of baseball for the next decade, appearing with the Kansas City Athletics for one game in 1965 before retiring in 1966. The Negro League Committee inducted him into the Baseball Hall of Fame five years later.

Photo: Bob East

Satchel Paige sits in his easy chair in the Miami Marlins bullpen.

Satchel Paige sits in his easy chair in the Miami Marlins bullpen.