Matthew Lovick Walbeck
Mike Lieberthal's season-ending knee injury, suffered on a pick-off play on May 12th, set in a motion a catcher merry-go-round throughout the Phillies system during the 2001 season. Johnny Estrada was recalled from the Red Barons and became the team's starting catcher with Gary Bennett serving as his back-up. The Red Barons, in need of a strong catcher, purchased Matt Walbeck from the Reds on July 11th. Walbeck was a September call-up when rosters expanded, but Estrada and Todd Pratt (acquired from the Mets on July 23rd for Bennett) got all of the playing time behind the plate.
Walbeck received one at-bat with the Phillies, pinch-hitting and singling for Vicente Padilla in the ninth inning in a game against the Marlins on September 30th. A free agent following the season, he'd finish up his 11-year big league career playing two seasons with the Tigers.
Bats: Both Throws: Right Height: 5'11" Weight: 195
Born: October 2, 1969, Sacramento, CA
Drafted: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round of the 1987 amateur player draft.
Major League Teams: Chicago Cubs 1993; Minnesota Twins 1994-1996; Detroit Tigers 1997; Anaheim Angels 1998-2000; Phillies 2001; Detroit Tigers 2002-2003
Professional Affiliations: Chicago Cubs 1987-1993; Minnesota Twins 1994-1996; Detroit Tigers 1997; Anaheim Angels 1998-2000; Cincinnati Reds 2001; Phillies 2001; Detroit Tigers 2002-2003
1 game - Singled in his lone at-bat with the Phillies, 1.000 batting average
Acquired: Purchased from the Cincinnati Reds, July 11, 2001.
Debut: September 30, 2001 - Pinch hit for Vicente Padilla, singling to right off the Marlins' Antonio Alfonseca.
Final Game: September 30, 2001
Departed: October 8, 2001 - Granted free agency, signed as a free agent with the San Diego Padres, January 2, 2002.
2001 Topps #309
Other Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card: 1993 Upper Deck #509
First Topps Base Card: 1993 Topps #812
Last Mainstream Card: 2004 Upper Deck #111
Other Notable Cards: 1987 ProCards #2739, 1994 Topps Traded #69T, 1995 Topps #471, 1996 Fleer #179, 1999 Topps #136, 2000 Topps #162, 2003 Topps Total #315
Sources: Baseball Reference and The Trading Card Database
Phillies Missing Links of the 2000s
1 Kirk Bullinger
2 Chris Pritchett
3 Bryan Ward
4 Mark Holzemer
5 Turner Ward
6 P.J. Forbes
7 Matt Walbeck
This is a continuing series looking at those players who spent time with the Phillies but possess no baseball card proof of their time in Philadelphia. In some cases, the First and Last Mainstream cards listed above have been subjectively chosen if multiple cards were released in that year.