Charlie Manuel is 69 years old today, though in West Virginia standards, he’s actually still a teenager.
That state is full of rambunctious 68-year-olds, creaking their rocking chairs, lurching onto the porch in the middle of the night with their antique pistols because they thought they heard a mountain lion, and remembering things from the previous month. It is not until their 110th birthday that they are expected to settle down and retire to the bed.
But Charlie is still out there, hunting cougars by moonlight and coaching former division champion baseball teams. And despite every attempt to give the Phillies a relevant news story this week, his job is in no way as threatened as his Eagles counterpart’s was.
In fact, his career is taking off. In a few weeks, Charlie will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I’ll spare you any jokes about him getting into Cooperstown because if you’re reading this site you probably at least have a basic understanding of how that system works. The Hall of Fame in question is the Bridgeton Sports Hall of Fame at the South Jersey All-Sports Museum. Plans are in the works to induct Mike Trout and Jimmy Rollins in future years, joining guys like “Goose” Goslin and Willie Mays’ glove.
I’m not sure, but I don’t believe baseball’s only manager older than Charlie, Davey Johnson, has ever been voted into Bridgeton, which makes you kind of wonder what that guy is even doing with his life.
So we salute Charlie today, for the World Series championship, playoff runs, hearty laughs, indecipherable colloquialisms, squirrel meat, and good times.