My First Team: 1995 Phillies
By David Mullen
My first memory of being a Phillies fan was sitting on the couch in my house in Philadelphia and watching them lose…over and over again. This happened for quiet a few years and I was growing accustomed to it while other teams kept on winning. At first, I just enjoyed being a fan of baseball but as I grew up, I started to get angry that the Phillies weren’t competing.
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As is such, the first Phillies team that I remember watching was the 69 win Phillies team of 1995 managed by Jim Fregosi. What a terrible year. But, during that year, my love for Harry Kalas’ voice and all things Phillies truly blossomed.
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Jefferies never became the franchise savior many envisioned for the mid-late 90’s Phils (Photo credit: OOTP Baseball)
I realized, in 1995, as a young boy that as a Philadelphia fan I need to learn how to lose, if only because that’s what most of our teams did. However, as my father told me, losing makes winning that much sweeter.
I seemed to recall Darren Daulton behind the plate for many games, until I researched 1995 and found that Dutch had only played in 98 that year. Oh, how our memory can deceive us.
I distinctly remember Harry Kallas enunciating the name of our second baseman, “Mick-ey Mor-an-din-i.” Mickey Morandini also happened to be one of our best players that year, with a .283/.350/.417 slash line.
I remember the excitement as we signed free agent outfielder Greg Jefferies to be our savior. Jefferies was coming off two NL All-Star seasons and had just turned 27 years of age. He was in his prime! He was going to take us to the promise land!
Well, Jeffries played well that year (.306/.349/.448, 11 HR, 35 BB/26 K), but the promised land would never be sniffed during his time with the team.
I remember the wild and crazy Norm Charlton, of Nasty Boys fame, coming out of the bullpen and performing terribly. The lefty was 32 years old in 1995 and appeared to be on the downslope of his career. Until, of course, he was released by the Phillies, signed with the Mariners, and performed extremely well for Seattle in the 1995 playoffs.
1995 was the year I learned how to be a Phillies fan, and that losing was part of that equation, unfortunately. I learned that our teams imitated our city in that they always had quite a few blue collar players who would give it their all every single day (Daulton, Morandini, Lenny Dykstra, and Jim Eisenreich.) Most importantly, I learned to sit down with my father and enjoy the soothing voice of Harry Kalas, and to never take those moments for granted.