Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 31
w w w.BERKSBAR.org
Otherwise, Schmidt played at least a portion of all the other
Reading exhibition games, even when other Phillies starters
did not attend. In 1980 and 1981, with Schmidt being named
National League Most Valuable Player, both he and Pete Rose
played in the exhibition games, even though in 1980 four other
starters did not come up, and in 1981 all the starters were excused,
with only 16 Phillies making the trip.
In the 1980, game Schmidt was involved in a triple play which
had started with him on second and Greg Luzinski on first. Keith
Moreland flied to center field. Greg Luzinski, trying to advance
second, was thrown out. Schmidt had advanced to third but, after
an appeal, the umpire ruled that he had left too early. Your basic
7-5-4-1-4 triple play!
In the 1981 game, Schmidt homered leading to a 6-4 Phillies
win in front of 10,125 fans who came to welcome the World
Champions, the largest crowd in the history of the stadium. He
said that night, "I wanted play the whole game... I wanted to get
in my at-bats. I'll never forget that this is where it all started for
me, in a Philadelphia-Reading game. I'm glad the people got what
they came to see. And I'm glad I was able to get my swings."
Even in those games where Schmidt did not play the whole
game, he usually batted two or three times before being replaced,
giving the fans multiple opportunities to see him swing the bat.
Asked at the luncheon about his appearances in exhibition
games that did not count, Schmidt said that he thought it was his
job "to represent the team." Several years ago he told the Reading
Eagle, "I also realize (exhibition) game(s) (are) very important
for the Reading organization. Some of those fans here don't get a
chance to get close to ballplayers like they can here." He realized
that even though the games did not count, they still mattered to
Asked about his mentors during the early part of his career
Schmidt listed Dave Cash, Dick Allen, Gary Maddox and Pete
Rose as helping him develop as a player and psychologically. He
talked of how Cash was a dynamic and moving force on the 1974
team that rose from a last place finish the year before, and after
spending a good portion of the season in first place, ran out of gas,
finishing with a record of 80-82. Schmidt talked of how Maddox
helped him in matters of faith, aside from being a great teammate.
Allen was a controversial figure in Philadelphia both at the
beginning and at the end of his career. When he returned in 1975
and 1976, he became a close friend of Schmidt's and took him
under his wing when the young Schmidt was having problems
with confidence. (The day before the luncheon, the Phillies
announced that Allen had been named a "Club Ambassador"
for the team.) Rose also was instrumental in building Schmidt's
self-esteem and confidence by the encouragement and support he
provided while they were teammates.
In Schmidt's autobiography, Clearing the Bases (though
published in 2006, it is still a good read) he related how before a
game on a Saturday afternoon in Chicago in early April of 1976,
Allen took Schmidt aside in the clubhouse, told him to relax
and just have fun that day. For their infield warmups, Schmidt
described how he and Alan threw football passes to each other
and just relaxed. The result that day was dramatic on two levels:
Schmidt hit four home runs and the Phillies came back from a
12 to 1 deficit against the Cubs to win the game 18-16 in 10
innings. That victory sparked a streak where the Phillies would
then win 50 of their next 68 games, setting a pace that would lead
them to win the division.
Schmidt also told about a game-winning home run that he hit
against Bob Gibson on Easter of 1973, a solo shot in the bottom
of the ninth giving the Phillies a two to one victory. Relating
how his home run trot down the third-base line just happened to
coincide with Gibson walking off the mound to the dugout, he
stopped to "just let Mr. Gibson pass." He spoke of the fear Gibson
invoked in hitters, his intimidation factor, and that eventually
Schmidt was indeed plunked by Gibson for reaching too far across
the plate in hitting a single.
After playing his last exhibition game here in 1988, Schmidt
retired in May of 1989. (That was 29 years ago. Oh my goodness.)
He had at least one more Reading adventure. On June 20, 1991,
on "Mike Schmidt Night," when the Reading Phillies retired his
number 24, he was surprised by the unannounced appearance
of Pete Rose, banned from baseball two years earlier and only
recently released from prison. Also surprised was Baseball
Commissioner Faye Vincent, who was not happy about the whole
We wish Mike Schmidt well and look forward to hearing him
on TV in the spring.
At the time of this writing the wind chill is minus 5 degrees,
and it seems that nothing would warm the cockles of the heart of
a baseball fan more than a brief, "Mike Schmidt Quiz."ii
1. Who was the pitcher that served up the most Mike
Schmidt home runs?
2. What two brothers each threw a gopher ball to Schmidt in
the game he hit 4 home runs?
3. What announcer had his greatest home run call, "He
buried it," when Schmidt hit the home run to beat the Expos
and clinch the division in 1980?
4. Of pitchers he faced more than 20 times, against who did
Schmidt have the highest batting average?
5. Of pitchers he faced more than 25 times, against who did
Schmidt have the lowest batting average?
It should be noted that for the exhibition games played between 1969 and 1972
for some reason the Reading Phillies management scheduled a regular season
R-Phils minor league game immediately after the game with the Phillies. During
that time the three lowest gates of the series between the two teams occurred. Once
they stopped the double headers, the attendance generally doubled for the games.
The night of Schmidt's home run, the R-Phils lost the nightcap to Elmira, 4-2.
1. Bob Forsch
2. Rick and Paul Reuschel
3. Andy Musser (Many of his home run calls were, "He's back. He's back....
4. Dick Tidrow .478 in 23 AB
5. Tie at .143 Eric Show 28 AB; Eddie Solomon 28 AB; Steve Renko 35
AB. Steve Renko?
Winter 2018 | 31
Berks Barrister Winter 2018
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks Barrister Winter 2018
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 1
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 2
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 3
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 4
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 5
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 6
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 7
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 8
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 9
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 10
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 11
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 12
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 13
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 14
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 15
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 16
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 17
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 18
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 19
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 20
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 21
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 22
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 23
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 24
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 25
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 26
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 27
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 28
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 29
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 30
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 31
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 32
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 33
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 34
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 35
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 36
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 37
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 38
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 39
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 40
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 41
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 42
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 43
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 44
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 45
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 46
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 47
Berks Barrister Winter 2018 - 48