Sunday, August 12, 2012

1999 Metal Universe #39 Mike Lieberthal

Cardinals 4, Phillies 1
Game 113 - Saturday Night, August 11th in Philadelphia
Record - 51-62, 5th Place, 19 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The bats were held in check by Jake Westbrook and Cliff Lee couldn't escape trouble in the sixth as the Phillies lost to the Cardinals, 4-1.

What It Means:  The two teams will play the rubber match this afternoon.

What Went Wrong:  The Phils had two hits in the first two innings, and then were shut down without another hit until the sixth.  Lee pitched a decent ballgame until the sixth when he allowed a three-run home run to Matt Holliday.

Garry Maddox
Featured Card and Field Report:  We were there last night and we witnessed yet another Phillies loss.  The best part of last night's game (by far) was the pre-game ceremony and the introduction of about 30 ex-Phillies players.  It was great to see some of my personal favorites such as Larry Christenson, Ricky Jordan and Larry Milbourne.  We also got to see Garry Maddox outside the ballpark, prior to the game, at his annual Stephen Starr-Garry Maddox Barbecue Challenge.  In a bit of a role reversal, Steve Carlton caught the first pitch from his former personal catcher, and new Hall of Famer, Tim McCarver.

The star of the weekend however was new Wall of Fame inductee, Mike Lieberthal.  Lieby gave an emotional acceptance speech prior to Friday night's game, thanking his ex-teammates along with the late, great Harry Kalas and John Vukovich.  He spent the majority of his 14-year career with the Phillies, playing in 1,174 games with the Phils between his debut in 1994 and his last season with the club in 2006.  He appeared in 38 games with the Dodgers in 2007 before his retirement.  Lieberthal's 1,139 games behind the plate is the most in franchise history, ahead of Red Dooin (1,124), Bob Boone (1,095) and Darren Daulton (965).  It's fitting that Boone was the person who inducted Lieberthal into the exclusive Wall of Fame club.

This is a card from Lieberthal's best year, 1999, in which he went to the All-Star Game, won a Gold Glove and hit career highs  in home runs (31) and RBIs (96), while batting .300.

The Phils are now 3-6 in games I've attended this season.  As we were leaving the ballpark, Jenna pointed out that Kevin Frandsen, Nate Schierholtz and Erik Kratz now have giant 2011 Topps-style baseball cards appearing in the starting line-up outside Ashburn Alley.  And a spot check at a few different vendors confirmed that the Phillies have not yet released version 2.1 of their team-issued postcard set.

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