Former manager Manuel moved out of ICU after stroke

September 19th, 2023

ATLANTA -- Charlie Manuel is talking to family and friends, reading text messages and watching the Phillies on TV following a stroke he suffered Saturday in Florida.

Manuel also moved out of the ICU on Monday, the latest encouraging development for the former Phillies manager.

Manuel was undergoing a medical procedure in a Florida hospital on Saturday when he suffered the stroke. The Phillies said that medical personnel immediately attended to Manuel, 79, and subsequently removed a blood clot. Manuel’s family at the time asked for thoughts and prayers and said “the next 24 hours will be crucial to his recovery.”

Manuel took positive steps forward on Sunday. He spent the day listening to audio recordings from former players Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Brad Lidge and more, which lifted his spirits. He later watched the Phillies’ series finale against the Cardinals on TV. Manuel spent Monday talking to family and friends and reading text messages from numerous well-wishers.

“The Manuel family is very appreciative for every post on social media," the Phillies said on Sunday. "Charlie feels the love from his Phillies family and fans. [Manuel’s wife] Missy believes the incredible support is aiding in his recovery.”

Few people have more experience battling and beating medical issues than Manuel. He had three heart attacks from 1991-98. He had surgery for diverticulitis in 2000, when doctors discovered a cancerous tumor on his kidney. He managed his first games in Cleveland in 2000 with a colostomy bag. He battled Type 2 diabetes. Then, in December 2019, he suffered life-threatening complications from a routine stomach surgery in Winter Haven, Fla. His wife, Missy, told family to come to Florida because Manuel might not survive. Manuel took a medical transport to Philadelphia that Christmas Eve.

He survived again.

“Brutal,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said Saturday about the news.

Thomson said he last spoke with Manuel during a homestand about a month ago.

“He’s great to have around,” Thomson said. “He’s just got that wholesome outlook on life. All that baseball knowledge. When him and [Larry] Bowa get together in Spring Training, I mean, it’s a comedy show. It really is. He’s a neat man. All of our guys, everybody in the organization loves him. We’re all praying for him.”

Manuel, Bowa and their wives this season have regularly sat in the back row of the press box at Citizens Bank Park, where they watch games. There, Manuel loves to chat with anybody and everybody about his favorite topic: hitting.

“He sits next to the cage all day long [in Spring Training] and just watches guys hit, talks to them,” Thomson said. “A very simple approach. He’s great.”

Manuel is the all-time winningest manager in Phillies history at 780-636 (.551), leading the Phillies from 2005-13. He led the team to the 2007 NL East title, taking the Phillies to the postseason for the first time since 1993. It was the first of five consecutive division titles. The Phillies won the 2008 World Series. They lost the 2009 World Series.

His 2011 team won a franchise-record 102 games.

Manuel’s unparalleled success in Philadelphia is why he always gets one of the loudest ovations, if not the loudest, during the Phillies’ annual alumni weekend.

Manuel attended the latest one last month.