The teams will probably use this, a baseball bat, for their hitting practices. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Tracy Takes on Highly Coveted Hitting Instructing/Drifter Role with Phillies Farm System

Team decides World Champion September call-up is due for honor

In 2008, Bowling Green, Ohio set the standard for Ohio-based wind farms:  one.

But 2008 was a big year for Bowling Green; big enough that attention didn’t settle on the town’s slowly rotating windmills.  Native Andy Tracy was getting a World Series ring.  And there wasn’t anybody Bowling Greenier than Andy Tracy.

Born in Bowling Green, having attended Bowling Green High School, and an alumni of Bowling Green State University, there was no one better prepared for the world by the Bowling Green model than Andy.  His path went through baseball, and he started with the Expos, got bounced to the Rockies, and even wound up in Japan for a year.

Then, eventually, he found himself in Philadelphia, or at least, in the grassy suburbs surrounding it.  After starting in Lehigh Valley in 2008, he got his call in late August, got sent back down, then appeared again during that magical September stretch when everybody is allowed on the roster except fans who leap from the stands and roll into the dugout and try to hide in one of Ryan Howard’s bat tubes.

A line drive shattered his hand bones and he was gone.  But the 2008 season kept on without him, and when it ended, and the rain cleared, the Phillies were world champions.  And Andy Tracy had been one, if only for a quarter of a second.  He went 2-for-4 with an RBI.  In 2009, they moved Rodrigo Lopez out of the way for him.  In 2010, they moved him out of the way for Matt Rizzotti.

Now, Phillies have awarded another of their world champions by promoting him from manager of their Single-A affiliate Williamsport Crosscutters to Drifter/Hitting Coach for the Entire Minor League System.  Basically, Tracy will be the hero who shows up in town just in time to save a team from an offensive slump.  “The Trace,” they’ll call him, because they’ll trace all success back to him.  Or because he’ll leave town without a trace.  Or maybe they’ll skip the nickname thing altogether and focus on hitting.

But the Phillies minor league legend will have nothing but a brainful of tactics and hitting prowess to offer our youngsters.  And if any of them step out of line, he can just point to the ring.  If that doesn’t work, he can use some of the old Andy Tracy wit.

As Andy once famously said in an interview this past summer, “Good, good.  How are you?”

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