Skip to main content

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 85

By the time current Phillies television analyst Gary Matthews Sr. joined Philadelphia as a player, he was already a veteran of eight full Major League seasons. An outfielder, Matthews was named as the National League Rookie of the Year in 1973 as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Matthews debuted in the Majors at age 21 in 1972. Having only played 20 games, as a late season call up, he was still considered a rookie the following season. In 1973, Matthews posted double digits in stolen bases, doubles, triple and homeruns while batting .300 en route to being named the senior circuit's top freshman.

During his years in San Francisco, Matthews, a first round draft pick by the Giants in 1968, continued to be a steady contributor. Following the 1976 season, the Giants and Matthews could not agree on terms for a new deal and Matthews was granted free agency.

Matthews would sign with Atlanta where he became an All-star. His best season as a Brave came in 1979, when Matthews posted a .304 batting average while smacking 27 homers and driving in 90 runs.

In 1981, Matthews was traded to the reigning World Champion Phillies late in spring training for pitcher Bob Walk, who, as a rookie, started game 1 of the World Series in 1980 for Philadelphia. With the Phillies, Matthews filled the void in left field vacated by Greg Luzinski, who departed after 11 seasons with Philadelphia. In his first year as a Phillie, Matthews batted .301 in 102 games of a strike shortened season. He wrapped up his first season with the Phillies on a tear, earning NL Player of the Month honors with a .330 average, 7 HR and 31 RBI in September.

In 1982, Matthews led the league in games, playing in all 162 contests, and batted .281 with 19 homeruns, 83 RBI and 21 steals. In 1983, Matthews' stats declined a bit (.258 avg., 10 HR, 50 RBI & 13 SB), after splitting playing time with Greg Gross in left field. However, the Phillies returned to the postseason for the sixth time in eight years and Matthews would shine, winning the NLCS Most Valuable Player Award after leading the Phils past the Dodgers. In the four game series, Matthews went 6-for-14 (.429 avg.) with 3 homeruns and 8 RBI. The Phillies would go on to lose in the World Series to Baltimore, however.

The following spring, just prior to coming north, the Phillies sent Matthews, along with Bob Dernier, to the Cubs for relief pitcher Bill Campbell and utility man Mike Diaz, who never played a game for the Phillies.

With Chicago, the 33-year-old Matthews helped solidify the team's offense, and assisted with the team's run to win 96 games and dethrone the Phillies as NL East division winners. That regular season, Matthews led the NL in walks (103) and subsequently on-base percentage (.410). He also finished fifth in league MVP voting in 1984. Matthews played 3 1/2 seasons with the Cubs before a trade sent him to Seattle.

After playing 45 games with the Mariners and wrapping up the 1987 season, Matthews retired from playing. A 16-year MLB veteran, Matthews would go on to coach within the Cubs, Blue Jays and Brewers organizations before stepping into the broadcast booth, where he now calls games as a color analyst. Matthews' son Gary Matthews Jr. has played at the Major League level for 12 seasons with the Cubs, Mets, Rangers and other clubs.

______________________________________________________________


You can follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Connect with PhoulBallz.com on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Phillies minor leaguer Burch to use health scare as fuel

Tyler Burch, image- MiLB.com I invite you to visit Patreon.com/PhoulBallz in order to support my work and get access to exclusive interviews plus early access to features and news such as this. A missed baseball season wasn't the only challenge facing righty pitcher Tyler Burch this summer.   With persistent symptoms that began prior to spring training it was ultimately discovered, after the 2020 season was shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that the 22-year-old had developed an autoimmune disease.   As symptoms that included dry mouth and frequent trips to the bathroom worsened, Burch's situation left his doctor puzzled.  And even the physician that conducted his team physical examination at the outset of spring training jokingly referenced diabetes, but did not take the possibility seriously.    The physical impacts subsided somewhat during spring training, as being more active and adhering to the team diet helped alleviate what he was experiencing. Once the base