Reflecting back on the 2012 season, the one I’ve labeled, “the season of disbelief,” it reminded me of another such season in Phillies history.
1976-77-78 we won the eastern division crown and failed to make it to the World Series each year. (There was only one round of postseason play before the Series back then).
During the winter meetings in 1978, we had the biggest free agent signing, Pete Rose, $3,225,000. He was the missing link to get us to the World Series. Leader, Mr. Hustle, plenty of postseason experience with the Reds.
Fresh from back-to-back 101 win seasons in ’77-78, we finished fourth in 1979. Late in that season, Danny Ozark was replaced by Dallas Green. The elusive World Series title finally came in 1980.
The “season of disbelief” has carried over to other teams in the postseason:
**The Reds hadn’t lost three in a row at home this season until the NLDS.
**The Giants have hit the fewest homers among the postseason teams yet they hit three in one game in Cincinnati to win a game.
**The Giants starting pitching, supposedly their strength, has struggled but they are now 1-1 in the NLCS. Last night was the first time their starter lasted into the 6th inning.
**Without Pujols and Furcal, the Cardinals keep on winning, including a giant come-from-behind clincher over the Nationals. Twice they were down to their last strike and yet won that game.
**The Nationals, owners of the most wins in the league, saw their season end in disbelief.
**The Orioles had won 16 straight extra inning games and were 76-0 after the eighth inning until they ran into the Yankees.
**Ibanez is the first player ever to hit three homers after the eighth inning.
**The Yankees can’t hit. Cano leads the way with 2-32.
**The Rangers, in the World Series the last two years, were eliminated by the Orioles in the wildcard playoff.
Adam Greenberg and Fred Van Dusen have something in common. They are the only players ever to be hit by a pitch in their lone big-league at-bat.
It happened to Greenberg seven years ago while with the Cubs. Van Dusen, 1955 with the Phillies.
The Marlins brought Greenberg back during the final game of the season to pinch hit. They also flew in Van Dusen and his wife for the special occasion.
There’s a great story in www.phillies.com/alumni about these two guys. Check it out.
Today, closer Jack Baldschun, 76 and catcher/broadcaster Tim McCarver, 71.
A reminder you can follow the day-by-day adventures of Phillies postseason history and fondest postseason memory of Alumni on www.phillies.com/alumni.