Old men! They sure love their baseball.
What? I can say that. I had two grandfathers. And there wasn’t a family event that could transpire without one of them telling a story about riding the trolley to Shibe Park or hurling a catcher’s a mask through “that asshole ump Dan O’Flaherty’s windshield for calling a crooked game.”
I had two very different grandfathers.
But if there is one thing old men love as much as baseball, it is the past. And in the Delaware Valley, Tommy Greene is a man who brings those two things together.
Tommy Greene is, in fact, still up to things, and not just living inside that worn VHS copy of “Whatever It Takes, Dude” sitting at the back of your old bedroom closet. Why, just the other day he was at the 32nd annual Kennett Old Times Baseball Hall of Fame Banquet, a celebration of local legends and a chance to get former Phillies to come to the nearest fire house and give ambiguous, nonthreatening answers.
Greene was one of the guys who basically threw his whole body at 1993 and spent the rest of his career trying to rebuild it and failing. For that, we applaud him. But I can’t imagine, or at least I haven’t heard anything that indicates he is a team insider and can answer questions like “How is Ryan Howard’s rehab coming along?” which he was asked. Have those two ever even been in the same room?
“Other observations he made were that Wrigley Field is the most fun stadium, the Marlins have added some good players, and Barry Bonds is the best hitter he ever pitched to.”
–Southern Chester County Weekly
The article failed to include the phrase “…and a good time was had by all,” but I think we can all assumed that happened before Tommy went back to being the GM of the Monroe Channel Cats.
Now, to get back to my story.
It was the summer of ’72, and Dan O’Flaherty had just finished finding out that I hated him…