In the summer of 1978, Barry Foote was third in the catching depth chart for the Phils behind Bob Boone and Tim McCarver. He started 11 games behind the plate, hitting .178 with just one very important home run. On September 2nd, with the score tied 1-1 in the 10th against the Giants, Foote hit a two-run home run off reliever Gary Lavelle. With a 3-1 lead, Larry Christenson pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th for the complete game victory. The win put the Phillies 3 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates in the NL East, and Danny Ozark's team would eventually go on to win their third straight division title.
I was four (going on five) in the Summer of '78, and I couldn't have cared less that the Phillies jumped into 1st place on June 24th and never relinquished the top spot. In the Summer of '78, I discovered Star Wars, and it was all Star Wars, all the time. My Dad took me that summer to see the movie over a year after it had first been released. I remember being fascinated by the story, amazed at the incredible characters and terrified of Grand Moff Tarkin. I was fine with Darth Vader, but for some reason Peter Cushing just freaked me out.
In a recent visit to his grandmother's house, my 3-year-old son Doug was granted access to my old Star Wars action figures. He's hooked. He wants to know their names. He wants to know who the bad guys are and who the good guys are. He wants to know why Darth Vader is so mean. He wants to know why there's remnants of red shag carpet in the action figure carrying case. He wants a lightsaber. (Actually, I kind of want a lightsaber too.) We'll wait a few more years to show him the movie, but I've already started to tell him the story from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
Doug has told me that this Spring he wants to "play baseball and learn about Star Wars." It's going to be a wonderful, exciting Spring.