The snow seems to be hitting Reading today, but last night, there was something else that hit Reading — the 2011 Phillies Winter Banquet.
The event, which raises money for Baseballtown Charities, was filled with fans eager to hear about their beloved Phillies. And, thanks to distinguished guests such as Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel, Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg, Phillies Assistant GM Benny Looper, Phillies Assistant GM Scott Proefrock, TV voice Tom McCarthy, and 40-man roster member Matt Rizzotti, fans were able to leave with a great hope for the 2011 season.
As for media, well they flocked to the event as well. There were many stories to be told.
Check out some of the great coverage from last night’s event! Enjoy!
Rich Hofmann, Philly Daily News – http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/rich_hofmann/20110126_Rich_Hofmann__Banquets_a_labor_of_love_for_Phillies__Manuel.html
Rich Scarcella, Reading Eagle – http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=282028
Brian Smith, Reading Eagle – http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=282029
Brian Smith, Reading Eagle, http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=282037
Leroy Boyer, Pottsville Republican Herald – http://republicanherald.com/sports/manuel-no-worries-1.1095624
Mandy Housenick, Morning Call – http://www.mcall.com/sports/baseball/phillies/mc-philliesbanquet-0125-20110125,0,3619316.story
Mandy Housenick, Phillies Files Blog
Dennis Weller, Pottstown Mercury – http://www.pottstownmercury.com/articles/2011/01/25/sports/doc4d3f9e8a77036769391081.txt
Don Scott, Lebanon Daily News – http://www.ldnews.com/sports/ci_17198276
He was drafted by the Phillies in 1978. He spent 1980 in Reading. He’s a Reading Baseball Hall of Famer. His number is retired in Reading. Who is he?
His name is Ryne Sandberg and he’s back in the Phillies organization.
Earlier today, the Phillies announced that MLB Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg will be the manager of Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2011. And, while the R-Phils will have a new manager in 2011 too, and, while I would have loved to see the former R-Phil back in Baseballtown, the fact that he is back in the Phillies organization is a huge plus — even if he’s not in Reading.
Let’s check out the press release straight from Philadelphia:
Sandberg, 51, spent the last four seasons as a manager in the
Chicago Cubs’ minor league system with Class-A Peoria (2007-08),
Double-A Tennessee (2009) and Triple-A Iowa (2010). He led his clubs to
two first-place finishes and, overall, has a managerial record of
284-277-1 (.505). This past season, his first as a triple-A manager,
Sandberg was named Manager of the Year in the Pacific Coast League
after leading the Iowa Cubs to a tie for the best record in the
Northern Division (82-62).
A 2005 inductee to Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame, Sandberg
was a 10-time National League All-Star and won nine Gold Gloves and
seven Silver Slugger awards during his 16-year career (1981-94,
1996-97). He was originally drafted by the Phillies in 1978 and made
his major league debut with the club in 1981, appearing in 13 games.
Sandberg finished his career with a .285 batting average, 282 home
runs, 1,061 RBI and 344 stolen bases in 2,164 games. At the time of his
retirement, his 277 home runs as a second baseman was a major league
The remainder of the Phillies’ 2011 player development staff will be announced at a later date.
As far as Sandberg, and his ties to Reading, In 1980, “Ryno” hit .310 with 11 home runs and 79 RBIs for the R-Phils in 129 games. He, along with George Bell, Mark Davis, Bob Dernier, and Ozzie Virgil, led Reading to a 78-61 mark — one game behind Bristol (Red Sox) in the South Division.
Eleven years later, Sandberg was elected to the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame — the same year Dallas Green was elected. Green, of course, is currently the Philadelphia Phillies Senior Advisor to the GM. On July 2, 2006, Sandberg’s number 26 was retired by Reading.
Sandberg was a great player, and has done a very good job as a manager at the Minor League level, and this moves makes a lot of sense for him.
Earlier today, in a conference call, the former R-Phil had this to say:
“I see this as a tremendous opportunity,” said Sandberg, who also
interviewed for the Boston Red Sox Triple-A manager job at Pawtucket.
“I’m going back to my roots where I learned to play the game as a
major-league player. In a lot of ways, I feel like a young kid again. I
couldn’t be happier about the situation.”