What drove me into the attic to find this nugget? It was perhaps the depressing news of the weekend that both the Flyers' Mike Richards (torn hamstring) and Phillies' new closer Brad Lidge (tweaked knee), players both of their respective teams depend on, are injured and perhaps out for an extended period of time. Or it could be that I've got my priorities screwed up and would rather look at boxes of old crap that my wife would prefer I throw away or sell.
Either way, contemplating the sporting past seemed preferable to contemplating the present for the home teams.
Today's attic find is a game program from a 1984 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates played on June 9th, 1984. It's also one of the only games I can recall ever seeing Steve Carlton pitch in person. The Phils won by a score of 6 - 5, with Garry Maddox going 4 - 4. The only reason I was able to find the date of this particular game was that I actually kept score of the game. Knowing the final score, it was a simple matter of finding the exact game date, which can be found amongst the extensive records kept by http://www.baseball-almanac.com/.
I used to enjoy keeping score of games and if there was one job I would have liked when I was a kid, it was statistician or official score keeper. It would annoy my father to no end if I had to go to the bathroom or wanted to get something to eat if he had to keep score in my stead. The ironic thing is that it was my Dad that taught me to keep score. The sort of insanity on the part of my Dad would increase as I got older, but this isn't that sort of blog.
I had turned 13 the previous fall and this was the summer between catholic grammar school and high school. As I got older, I found out it was terribly uncool to keep score at the baseball games and the summer of 1984 was probably my last summer of keeping up with the practice. After all, it's tough to keep score at games and look cool. Eventually, the focus in going to games turned to trying to buy beer illegally at the Vet (or other locales), all the while trying to impress the girls who were bored enough to come with us to Phillies games in the first place. Most of the time, it was just a bunch of guys in the upper bowl of the Vet telling dick jokes (not unlike most of the blogs I frequent today), trying to get our one friend's older brother to buy us beer (which he did....for a price).
I have made a vow to myself to attempt to keep score at one game this year that I attend in person in an attempt to capture that innocence just for a couple of hours.
I scanned in both pages I kept score on and they appear below. You'll note a couple of autographs on the one page; it's Pirates catcher Tony Pena and Pirates starter (and former Phil) Jose DeLeon. If I recall, these were really good seats; 200 level (remember: Vet seating meant 200 level was good) on the 3rd base line overlooking the visitor's dugout.