The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 12

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"The Krukker" Entertains at the
Holiday Benefit Luncheon
By Brian C. Englehardt, Esquire

M

emorable "at-bats" by
Philadelphia Phillies in the 87
All-Star games played to date
have been relatively rare occurrences. They
include John Callison, in 1964, hitting
that three-run homer with the score tied
in the bottom of the ninth inning giving
the National League a 7-4 victory. Now
that was a memorable at-bat, if ever there
was one. Callison's teammates rushed onto
the field to congratulate him and I jumped
off the sofa yelling, "He did it! He did
it!" You can relive the joy of the moment
(Callison and his teammates, that is) on
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=1dRlqjei8s0 .*
Also, Mike Schmidt's two-run homer in the eighth inning of
the 1981 All-Star Game put the National League ahead 5-4 in
what was to stand up as the final score. It was the winning blow
and certainly memorable, but not having occurred in the bottom
of the ninth, it lacks the surrounding drama of Callison's blast.**
The moment is also captured on YouTube: there he is Michael
Jack, putting one in the seats, with Mike Easler of the then-arch
rival Pirates scoring right ahead of him: https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=gNkt_Euayt0.
Third among the memorable at-bats is Dick Allen's second
inning blast to straight away center field (the headlines at the time
as well as his baseball card still called him "Richie") in the 1967
game that represented the National League's entire offensive
output until future Phillie Tony Perez's home run in the top of
the 15th inning gave the National League a 2-1 victory. You can
dispel your winter doldrums (pitchers and catchers report on
February 13) and revisit that moment at: https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=B7ZOnwqYDI4.
And, for those of you keeping score at home, not to be
forgotten is Greg Luzinski's two-run blast in the first inning of
the 1977 game, giving the National League a 4-0 lead on the way
to its 7-5 victory. Although this does not seem to be on YouTube,
if you look at Luzinski's line from the box score:
AB R H RBI
Luzinski 2 1 1 2
...while repeating the phrase "Bull Blast. Bull Blast. Bull Blast...."

several times, it will be just like reliving the
moment.
While these at-bats and home runs
may have their place in All-Star Game
history, for pure theater probably the most
memorable at-bat by a member of the
Phillies was not of the "walk off " variety,
but was rather more of the "walk away"
variety-as in walking away from home
plate after striking out. This of course was
the epic four-pitch at-bat in the 1993 game
by John Kruk, this year's keynote speaker at
the December 2 Holiday Benefit Luncheon
held by the Law Foundation of Berks
County and PICPA Reading Chapter.
Kruk's major league career extended
over ten years, beginning with the San Diego Padres in 1986, then
with the Phillies, then with the Chicago White Sox. A model of
consistency over the course of his career, Kruk batted over .300 in
seven of those seasons, compiling a lifetime average of exactly .300
average, with 100 home runs, and 592 runs batted in. He also was
an exemplar of discipline at the plate, with a career .397 on-base
percentage, averaging just under 65 walks a year.
Highlighting the luncheon along with Kruk's appearance
was the annual presentation of the Sidney D. Kline, Jr. Award
for Outstanding Community Service to Karen A. Rightmire,
President of the Wyomissing Foundation and past president of the
United Way of Berks County.
Answering questions first posed by event Chair Mark
Caltagirone and myself in an "armchair interview" format, then
from the audience, Kruk had the near-record-turnout audience of
500 laughing from the start, not only from his humorous stories,
but from his fine sense of comedic timing. But back to the at-bat
which will live in infamy.
Named to the All-Star team on two previous seasons, Kruk
had been voted by the fans to be the starting first baseman in the
1993 game. When asked about the plate appearance in that game,
which is the single most memorable of his career, including the
4,603 during the regular season, 58 in the post-season, and four
others in All-Star games, Kruk, after some initial reluctance (he
said to me, "Why don't you tell them about it?"), related how,
despite his expressed intention to have no parts of six-foot-ten-

*In 1964 home runs that ended a game were 24 years away from being described as being a
'walk off ', the term first appearing in a 1988 San Francisco Chronicle column by Lloyd Cohen.
**Even if it had ended the game, it was still seven years short of being a 'walk off ' home run.

12 | Berks Barrister


http://berksbar.org/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dRlqjei8s0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNkt_Euayt0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7ZOnwqYDI4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Berks Barrister Winter 2017

The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 1
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 2
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 3
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 4
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 5
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The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 7
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The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 12
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The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 40
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