Now He’s The Act

Remember when Charlie Manuel became Phillies manager? Early-on critics said he didn’t know how to manage. Well, he managed his way into the Wall of Fame.

Toyota Alumni weekend has become a very popular event for fans and our former players. It certainly will continue that way. Charlie will be here and so will a new, younger generation of Alumni.

In speaking with him, he’s really excited and tremendously honored. “I had great support from ownership plus Ed Wade, Pat Gillick and Ruben Jr. This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the players. You know that, right? Hey, this is good.”

Once a fan target, he’s now revered and as popular as a rock star. “The years I spent in Philadelphia were some of the best of my professional career and I owe a lot of that to the fans.  I have said this before, but they are the best in the game.”

Normally, a three-year waiting period following retirement is required before an Alumnus can be placed on the on-line ballot. The Phillies waived that regulation and by-passed the fan ballot this year as they had done in 1989 and 1990 when Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt were inducted. The greatest pitcher and greatest player in our history deserved the exceptions. As the greatest manager, Charlie deserves the same respect. Fan balloting will return in 2015.

For years Charlie witnessed the WOF act. Now he’s the act.

Charlie joins Dallas Green as the only managers in the Wall, managers of world-champion clubs in Philly. Both have white hair. Guess that comes from managing.

Individual tickets go on sale February 13, the first day of spring training, a day Charlie’s missing for the first time since 2004. Alumni weekend will be a hot ticket.

So will be the fifth annual Alumni Luncheon for Seniors on Friday noon, August 8. More information on that event, including ticket sales, will be forthcoming during the season.

We were privileged to be around this humble man for eight-plus seasons. He took us places we’ve never been. Thanks for the ride, Charlie.

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