Quotes, notes and anecdotes from last week’s World Series Trophy Tour.
With Week 3 about to kick in, the trophy continues its merry way around Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. So far, 1,250 miles, over 9,000 fans and four states, PA, NJ, DE and Nevada. Florida is in next month’s schedule as is Arizona.
One of the give-away items this season is a Charlie Manuel Bobble Head (April 28 is the date). Charlie got to see the model for the first time on Tuesday. “Pretty good. I definitely look slimmer which is good,” he laughed.
Charlie appeared at the York (PA) Sports Night and experienced a first. Jim Seip of the York Daily Record covered the event which included the following ancedote:
Sam Steckline of Red Lion, PA, approached Manuel for his autograph. You’ll never guess what Sam wanted Charlie to sign. The 56-year-old Steckline had purchased his own red, white and blue Phillies-themed urn. “That’s my team. I don’t feel like wasting land. So, I’m all set when I die,” said Steckline. When Charlie tipped the urn on its side to sign, George Trout, the Sport Night’s emcee joked: “I thought something was going to spill out all over the table.”
Banquets hosted by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Reading Phillies were sold out. Stops the previous week at two of our other minor league clubs, Lakewood and Williamsport, were also attended by fans in record numbers. A year ago, Reading’s event attracted 550 fans; this year, 870 tickets were sold. Fans got their picture taken with the Trophy at each event.
In Reading, Charlie asked the fans to boo, something he’s done every year at the banquet. When they booed, he came right back laughing, “See you will even boo a World Champion.”
Steve Esack in the Allentown Morning Call wrote a story about the trophy’s afternoon visit to Bethlehem before the evening banquet. “This is like the most beautiful trophy in sports,” Vince Fazio, 51, of Whitehall Township, was quotes.
In the same article, 92-year-old Elda Brune of Plainfield Township, sitting in wheelchair, said: “You want to touch it, you want to hold it, you want to get close to it. I love the Phillies.”
From the Reading Eagle, Michelle Park’s story included comments from fans. Donna Jones of Kutztown, “It looked like something for a champion. I just think it’s great that Reading could have this in this area, that Berks County can see it.”
Michelle also quoted Ryan Anthony, 17, from Wyomissing: “It was cool seeing them with the World Series and I figured it would be cool just to see the trophy in person. This is what we’ve accomplished. This is the treasure.”
On Friday morning, Ruben Amaro Jr., Charlie, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley were in the Diamond Club for a breakfast Q&A with nearly 200 season ticket holders, many of whom got a chance to get their photos taken beside the trophy.
During their answers, Ruben, Charlie, Shane and Chase admitted the Phillies have a chance to repeat. They also acknowledged it will be difficult because every team will be gunning for the World Champions. “Yea, teams will come after us,” said Charlie. “But, champions can play anywhere against anybody. If we lose today, come back tomorrow and win. This team has a lot of talent and determination and that goes a long way.”
Sports Illustrated had a photographer, Al Tielemans, follow Charlie during the week for a future feature story in the magazine. Charlie’s on a roll, signing urns, having a bobble head and appearing in SI.