Log In

Reset Password

Remembering the 2011 Phillies’ playoff team

The Phillies’ recent ride to the World Series will be among their more memorable ones in their history.

A lot of people will remember the legendary run in 1980 that finally brought Phillies fans’ the golden ring they sought.

Then there was the 1993 rag-tag, Jim Fregosi bunch that lost an emotional World Series, but captured the hearts of Phillies’ fans along the way.

In 2008, Charlie Manuel took the likes of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels, and brought the Phillies’ faithful another crown.

They nearly pulled it off the following year as well, but A-Rod and the Yankees got in the way.

All of those teams hold special memories for Phillies’ fans.

But how many of you remember the 2011 team? They were the last Phillies’ team to be in the postseason before this year.

In this week’s version of my Yesterday column – dedicated to reminiscing about local pro and college teams as well as some pop culture items from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and sometimes beyond – I will take a look at the 2011 Phillies along with some early November games and memories from the past.

The Long Drought ... It had been an 11-year postseason drought before this season’s World Series run.

The 2011 Phillies had a 102-60 record. Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Raul Ibanez were mainstays in the lineup. Do you remember Placido Polanco? The versatile infielder proved to be invaluable.

Hamels was part of a sturdy five-man staff with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Vance Worley (those names should stir some memories).

Ryan Madson recorded 32 saves in the pen that featured Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes among others.

The Phils couldn’t keep the momentum from that year going, however, as they began to slowly slide down the mountain. They fell back to 81-81 in 2012, and the retooling would soon begin.

Tragedy in the Nets ... It was Nov. 10, 1985, when the Flyers were informed of the tragic loss of goalie Pelle Lindbergh, who was killed in an automobile accident. The 26-year-old Lindbergh died in a single-car accident five months after leading the Flyers to the 1985 Stanley Cup Finals and winning the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

It was determined that Lindeberg was legally intoxicated at the time of his accident when the Porsche he was driving ????(in which he hit a school wall)???? in Somerdale, New Jersey.

Tony, Buddy and the Body Bags ... During this week in Philadelphia sports history, two notable Eagles’ personalities made their mark.

On Nov. 12, 1979, Eagles’ barefoot kicker Tony Franklin boomed a 59-yard field goal in the closing minutes of a 31-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. It still remains one of the longest kicks in Birds’ history.

Eleven years later on the same day in 1990, the fabled “Body Bag” game took place at the Vet in the Eagles’ 28-14 victory over the Washington Redskins. The Eagles and controversial coach Buddy Ryan knocked out Redskins’ quarterbacks Jeff Rutledge and Stan Humpries (If you played Fantasy Football then, you remember them). Overall, the Eagles “knocked out” eight Washington players.

The Eagles won five of their last seven and finished the season 10–6 and earned a wild card playoff berth. Meanwhile,The Redskins also won five of their last seven to finish the season 10–6. Ironically, the Redskins would return to Veterans Stadium and defeat the Eagles in a Wild Card playoff game, 20–6.

Order Those Backboards ... On Nov, 13, 1979, Sixers’ center Darryl Dawkins broke his first backboard in a game in Kansas City, thus adding to his nickname, “Chocolate Thunder.”

Dawkins was the first NBA player to shatter a fiberglass blackboard with a dunk. He later did it again against the Nets the same year.

If you remember, Dawkins later became a fixture in the Lehigh Valley as the head coach of the Lehigh Valley Dawgs professional basketball team.

Number Retired ... It was Nov. 15, 1985 when the Flyers honored Bobby Clarke a year after his final season with the club.

The team retired his No. 16 jersey and also unveiled the Bobby Clarke Trophy, awarded annually to the team’s MVP. Clarke scored 358 goals and had 852 assists (1,210 total points) in 1,144 games for the Flyers.

Another Classic Game ... First released in 1971 and then re-reissued in 1977, Talking ABC Monday Night Football was in a league of its own.

Talking Football had a pretty conventional football field playing board with sliding plastic clips to show yardage progress and first down markers. There was a small scoreboard and a place to mark downs and quarters.

The gimmick was in the tiny plastic records that made the game “talk.”

Play began with the offensive player selecting from one of the 10 “standard” play or three “special” play records. The chosen record was inserted into a little handheld player, and then the defensive player rotated the record to a defensive play.

Once plays were selected, a lever was pressed and simulated audio recordings of announcers calling the play would play in combination of the offensive and defensive selections. The result of the play would be recorded on the field and the next play would be set.

Breakfast of Champions ... Since we were very young, Wheaties has always being labeled as “The Breakfast of Champions.”

Wheaties began having famous pro athletes on the cover of its boxes beginning with Lou Gehrig in 1934.

In 1976, Olympic decathlon winner Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn) was on the cover - marking a return to pro athletes on the box for the first time since Baltimore Colt running back Tom Matte in 1968. During the 1980s, Mary Lou Retton, Pete Rose, and Walter Payton were well recognized covers.

At the Movies ... In November 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America released its movie ratings - G, M, R, and X - for the public to attend films.

As young teenagers, we would sometimes have trouble just getting into an “M” rated movie and “R” movies were out until when you were 17. Forget about the “X” ones.

On this Date ... On Nov. 15, 1976, Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s The Night (It’s Gonna Be Alright) topped the music charts. If you were watching TV at that time you might remember “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.”

That’s ‘Odd’ ... On Nov. 13, 1970 ... Felix Unger was asked to leave his place of residence. That was part of the opening from the “Odd Couple” TV series that ran on ABC from 1970-75.

Felix and Oscar were the perfect match. It was a Friday night staple for me when I was in middle school.

One of the best remembered episodes of the series was “Password” when the two play on the popular game show.

Do You Remember ... Every week, I will recall a former player, manager, coach or media personality from yesteryear.

Do you remember Vince Papale? The former Eagles’ wide receiver was viewed as the Eagles’ version of “Rocky.” Papale was a suburban Philadelphia high school star who made the Eagles’ roster at age 30 in 1976 after two seasons with the Philadelphia Bell of the WFL.

Papale played with the Eagles from 1976-78 before a shoulder injury forced his retirement before the 1979 season. His rise to fame was highlighted in the film “Invincible” released in 2006.