Monday, December 26, 2011

DAHOF Top 100 -- #79 Gary Matthews

Not many people know this... it was Phils teammate Pete Rose that came up with the nickname "Sarge" for Gary Matthews. Pete told Gary "...You take command. You step up like a Sargent..." as a compliment to his natural leadership skills.

Drafted in the first round of the 1968 draft (17th overall pick) by the Giants, "Sarge" played 16 seasons in the majors, including three with the Phillies (1981-83). He was the Most Valuable Player of the 1983 National League Championship Series when the Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to the World Series. Sarge hit .429, jacked three home runs, and drove in 8 runs to end the Dodgers post-season dominance of the Phillies. The '83 playoff performance was even more surprising, because he had such poor regular season numbers (.258 with 10HRs).

In addition to his NLCS MVP trophy, Gary won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1973 and was a member of the NL All-Star team in 1979. He appeared in the NL Division Series with the Phillies in 1981, the NLCS and World Series with the Phillies in 1983 and the NLCS with the Cubs in 1984.

Best remembered by Phillies & Cubs fans for saluting the fans in left field. It has been as a Phillies announcer he has made the biggest impression on me. He has one of those "local" announcers style and attitude that has really grown on me. His insights and quirky observations as a former player are great and his voice will always remind me of the current "golden age" of Phillies baseball.


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