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Daughter of former MVP Konstanty visits CPB

Daughter of former MVP Konstanty visits CPB

Alumni news & notes
Mrs. Helen Rees checked out the photo of her dad, Jim Konstanty, a relief pitcher on the 1950 Whiz Kids and the National League MVP Award Winner that same season, when she and her husband visited Citizens Bank Park on May 12. They received a tour of the ballpark from Scott Palmer, director public affairs for the Phillies. The photo of her dad is in the team's MVP Suite (No. 11), along with images of Chuck Klein, Mike Schmidt, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.

Since Konstanty was a relief pitcher and worked out of the bullpen at Shibe Park, Rees was wowed by the flowers above the Citizens Bank Park bullpens. "There was nothing like that at the old park," she said.

Konstanty went 16-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 1950. He appeared in 74 games and finished 62 of them. While saves weren't a part of the game back then, through computer analysis, he would have had 22 saves. He is the first relief pitcher to win the MVP Award in the NL.

Alumni luncheon for seniors
Tickets will soon go on sale for the Aug. Nine Alumni for Seniors in the Diamond Club. Confirmed alumni include Tim McCarver and Bill Giles, who started Tim on his broadcasting career.

Plans include four more Alumni to be announced soon. Follow the luncheon status right here at

Emotional Burrell
Pat Burrell officially retired as a Phillie on May 19, tossing the ceremonial first ball to his good friend Chase Utley. He received a standing ovation.

Burrell had called Frank Coppenbarger and asked that a VUK patch be on the uniform jersey he would be wearing for the toss. The Phils wore the patches during the 2007 season in memory of beloved coach John Vukovich. When the Phillies sprung, Vuk's triplet granddaughters on the field, Burrell was so moved he cried. Vuk had a lasting effect on many big leaguers.

Burrell will be eligible for the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2015.

Tip of the hat
Goes to Bob Oldis, a catcher on the Phillies in 1962-63 and a coach 1964-66. Now 84, "Oldie" continues to scout for the Miami Marlins, his 42nd season of scouting in the game. He hit one home run in 236 at-bats in the Majors (Washington Senators) and he still remembers the historic moment.

Hall of Fame notes
Three Phillies Alumni will participate in the fourth annual Baseball Hall of Fame Classic events held on Father's Day weekend, June 15-17: in Cooperstown, first baseman Tony Perez, shortstop Desi Reliford and righty Rick Wise.

For more information visit

Fenway Memory
Fenway Park last month celebrated its 100th anniversary. Hall of Fame right-hander Jim Bunning has a fond memory of the Boston Red Sox's home.

"I remember my game on July 20, 1958, the last no-hitter pitched against the Red Sox at Fenway. What made it special and memorable was the fact that Ted Williams made the last out," reflects Jim.

That no-hitter came in a Detroit Tigers uniform. In 1964, he pitched a perfect game against the Mets in Shea Stadium while hurling for the Phillies.

Outfielder Dave Philley died on March 15 at his 557-acre cattle ranch in Paris, Texas. He was 91.

A switch-hitter, Philley played for eight teams in his 18-year big league career, including the Philadelphia Athletics (1951-53) and Phillies (1958-60). He was one of the game's greatest pinch-hitters, compiling 93 hits and a .299 average.

With the Phillies, he set a Major League record for consecutive pinch hits with 9, his final eight at-bats in 1958 and his first at-bat the following season. He holds the American League single-season record, 24, with the Orioles in 1961. (Greg Dobbs holds the Phillies record, 22, in 2008).

Wilbur (Moose) Johnson, a highly-respected baseball scout for some 35 years, died on April 9 in Denver, Calif. He was 82.

Johnson's scouting career included the Phillies, Blue Jays and Padres. In 2009, he was inducted into the Professional Baseball Scout Foundation's Hall of Fame.

Among the players he scouted and assisted in signing are Ryne Sandberg (1978) and John Stearns (1973) while with the Phillies and Roy Halladay (1995) while with Toronto.

Shortstop John O'Neil died April 18, one day before his 92nd birthday. O'Neil spent 45 years in pro ball as a player, player/manager, GM and scout (Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers). Of his 45 years in the game, only one season was in the Majors, 1946 with the Phillies, hitting .266 in 46 games. He was 25 years old and wore No. 27.

Remembering Sam Chapman
Chapman didn't play for the Phillies but had a great 11-year career with the Philadelphia Athletics (1938-41; 1945-51) and Cleveland (1951). He missed time because of World War II.

A dedication of the Sam Chapman Memorial will take place at 6 p.m., June 8, at the Point Tiburon Plaza in Tiburon, Calif. If you are in that area, stop by.

Trivia Question
Which Major Leaguer got the last hit in both Jack Russell Stadium and Veterans Stadium?

Burrell: Ninth-inning single on 3/28/03 (last Spring Training game in JR Stadium) and ninth-inning single on 9/28/03 (Vet).

Larry Shenk is a contributor to