Thursday, April 5, 2012

DAHOF Top 100 -- #3 Mike Schmidt

Sprinting to the finish line, hoping to get to #1 before the first pitch is thrown today.

Mike Schmidt is the best player in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies. With all due respect to Brooks Robinson, he is the best overall third baseman in the history of the game. I had the great luck and distinct pleasure growing up and learning to love the game and this team with Mike Schmidt leading the way.

I still get goose-bumps when I hear a recording Harry Kalas tossing out a... "Michael Jack Schmidt" following one of his 548 home runs. He really should have had 549. On June 10, 1974 Mike Schmidt hit what is arguably the longest single in baseball history. He crushed a first inning Claude Osteen fastball off a speaker hanging from the roof at the Astrodome, measured some 329 feet from home plate and 117 feet in the air. Bowa & Cash were on 1st & 2nd and only advanced one base because everyone was caught admiring the blast.

Best memories: Of course the 1980 World Series celebration. Also, growing up in the Midwest the only chances I had to see Mike Schmidt play live was when the Phils came to Chicago. As it turned out, this was a good thing. He absolutely dominated when he came to Chicago, he blasted 50 home runs at Wrigley. On April 17, 1976 Schmidt his four home runs on consecutive at-bats against the Cubs. The Phils won 18-16. Two of those homers came off of the Reuschel brothers (Paul & Rick). On May 17, 1979 he pumped 2 over the vines helping the Phils to an memorable 23-22 win in 10 innings.

Finally (after he retired) Mike Schmidt was elected by the fan as the starter in the 1989 All Star Game. True to his total respect of the game, Schmidt showed up at the game and was introduced with his NL teammates to a resounding standing ovation... but refused to actually play in the game. He was retired. It was someone else's turn.


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