PHILADELPHIA – Harry Kalas loved to tell people that “you never know what you’re going to see at the old ballpark.”
Harry the K knew that funny, crazy, bizarre, once-in-a-lifetime things happened on the field. Here are some of the more memorable ones in Phillies history:
1. Tommy Lasorda beats up Phanatic
Aug. 28, 1988
Dave Raymond was the original Phanatic. He explained in “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Philadelphia Phillies History” why Lasorda smacked him around that evening: “Steve Sax would get me his jersey all the time. When Tommy was telling the clubbie, ‘Don’t give the Phanatic my jersey,’ Steve Sax would steal it and say, ‘Don’t tell I gave it to you,’ because they loved to see Tommy get [upset]. They would all be laughing and Tommy would be yelling obscenities. And that led up to the fight. I thought Tommy was playing along. I didn’t know he actually was getting more mad and more upset. And then he finally came out and tackled me and started to beat me up.”
2. John Kruk wants no part of the Big Unit
July 13, 1993
Johnson threw a pitch over Kruk’s head (not intentionally) in the All-Star Game, which got Kruk’s heart beating a little bit. He had no chance the rest of the at-bat, taking a couple futile hacks before striking out to end the inning. The normally stoic Johnson even cracked a smile at Kruk’s reaction.
3. Phillies fans mock Craig Kimbrel
Sept. 27, 2014
Fans behind home plate mock Kimbrel’s set position before he throws pitches to the plate. Kimbrel was not rattled. He still recorded the save in a Braves win.
4. Mike Schmidt wears a disguise
July 1, 1985
Schmidt ripped Phillies fans to a Montreal reporter in Montreal in late June. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Schmidt’s words traveled to Philadelphia. Schmidt and his teammates feared for their lives when they opened a series against the Cubs at Veterans Stadium. But then Schmidt grabbed a wig that relief pitcher Larry Andersen kept in his locker and put on a pair of sunglasses from teammate Steve Jeltz. He trotted out to first base in disguise, diffusing the situation. "I thought Schmitty loosened up the whole ballpark," Gary Matthews told reporters after the game. "I thought he turned around what could have been a tense situation. Hey, this is why they call this 'The Show.' We're all actors."
5. Mitch Williams’ 4:40 a.m. ET walkoff
July 2, 1993
In the second game of a doubleheader that started at 1:32 a.m., “Mitchie Poo” singled to left-center field to score Pete Incaviglia in the 10th inning. Williams’ hit itself wasn’t comical, but the time it happened certainly was and the play is burned into the minds of Phillies fans because of the pure joy in Kalas’ call.
6. Phillies pull the tarp in Colorado
July 8, 2007
A crazy storm blew through Denver, which caused a delay during a game between the Phillies and Rockies. As the grounds crew tried to pull the tarp onto the field, massive wind gusts took over and the grounds crew lost control of the situation. The Phillies were still in the dugout and stormed onto the field to help. Maybe the good karma helped them win the National League East a few months later.
7. Phillies torch the field
Sept. 10, 2018
Because of an unexpected weekend rain and bad weather that followed, the Phillies could not get the infield dirt at Citizens Bank Park to dry out before a Sept. 10, 2018, game against the Nationals. The grounds crew even took blow torches to the dirt, but they could not make the field playable. They played a doubleheader the next day.
8. Cliff Lee is not impressed
Oct. 28, 2009
Lee’s favorite word might be “whatever.” He carried that look on his face when he nonchalantly caught a popup in Game 1 of the World Series.