Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1963 Topps #318 Gene Mauch MG

Astros 6, Phillies 5 (10)
Spring Training Game 12 - Tuesday Afternoon, March 13th in Kissimmee
Record - 5-6-1

One Sentence Summary:  Brian Bixler's walk-off three run home run in the bottom of the tenth negated Domonic Brown’s blast from the top of the inning and gave the Astros a 6-5 win.

What It Means:  The offense was held in check by Astros pitcher Livan Hernandez, who pitched five scoreless innings.  Cole Hamels pitched well too, allowing just a run over his five innings of work.

What Went Wrong:  The Phils kept trying to maintain the lead, but a trio of non-roster invitee relievers – Raul Valdes, Brian Sanches and Jeremy Horst – allowed runs in the seventh, eighth and tenth innings.  Horst was on the receiving end of Bixler’s walk-off home run after he had allowed two men to reach.

Brown's tenth inning home run partially redeemed the rough day he had in left as he misplayed a few balls.  Despite his defensive struggles, he's now 5 for 16 this spring at the plate with two triples and yesterday's homer.

Featured Card:  My Dad liked to often tell the story of how he visited Spring Training in Florida in the summer of 1969 and struck up a conversation with then-Expos manager Gene Mauch.  The Expos were in their first year of existence, and Mauch was at the helm.  Knowing my Dad, there's a good chance he and Mauch just politely nodded in each other's direction upon making eye contact.  But each time Dad told the story, I noticed his conversation with Mauch grew longer and more robust.  I've been thinking of my Dad a lot lately, so the card featured here today is for him, in honor of his one and only Spring Training visit.  In recent years, we often talked about jumping on a plane and heading down to Clearwater for a few games, but we never did.  Granted, we definitely saw our share of Phillies games together at The Vet and Citizens Bank Park over the years, but it would have been nice to have shared a beer with him at Frenchy's.  If we had, I'm sure at some point, Dad would have turned to me and asked, "Did I ever tell you the story about the time I met Gene Mauch?"


Jim from Downingtown said...

My Dad took me to several games at Connie Mack Stadium back in the late 1960s.

I don't think he came along to the Vet whenever I went, until 1 game in late September 2003. My Dad and I (along with my brother and my 2 sons) went to opening weekend at Citizens Bank Park in 2004.

(My Dad passed away the following January.)

Jim said...

It's definitely nice to have the memories.