Gobble Gobble – It’s Thanksgiving! Although the holiday is more associated with the sport of football, for the third year in a row I bring you an article that puts a Phillies-centric spin on the day.
The Phillies Thanksgiving Story
Did you know the Philadelphia Phillies have never lost a game on Thanksgiving? Sounds impossible, but it’s true!
That’s a lot better than their tally on Halloween, when the Phillies lost every single game they played. On Memorial Day, a holiday on which the Phillies have lost countless games over the years, including a loss to the Blue Jays – a team from Canada – I’m not even getting started! – in 2022.
A salute to Turkey Stearnes
What better way to enjoy Thanksgiving than talking about a guy nicknamed Turkey? Most readers may not be familiar with Norman “Turkey” Stearnes, but he was one of the greatest players in the Negro Leagues. The Hall of Famer outfielder’s 18-year career included a year-long streak with the Philadelphia Stars. Unfortunately, this was the one season in five years that he didn’t make the All-Star team.
Now that Major League Baseball is recognizing Negro League accomplishments, he shares the record for most times he has led his league in triples with six. That performance, along with his two batting titles and career OPS of 1,034, was enough to earn him induction into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Scenes from the Phillies Thanksgiving party
John Middleton threw a pre-Thanksgiving party for some members of the Phillies organization. Thanks to my super-secret source within the organization, I received a transcript of the event.
Gathered around a table are John Middleton, Dave Dombrowski, Sam Fuld, Kevin Long and JT Realmuto.
Middleton: I want to thank you all for joining me tonight. Because we’ve had such a great year, I wanted to celebrate with a special dinner. First and foremost, a special mention to Dave Dombrowski, who not only put together a pennant-winning team, but also planned this event.
Dombrowski: A big Thanksgiving dinner is what winning organizations do. You should have done this years ago!
Middleton: The guy who came before you told me we didn’t have to spend money on a Thanksgiving dinner. He said it couldn’t compete with the Dodgers’ dinner, so we shouldn’t even bother.
Dombrowski: Thankfully, those times are over. And to ensure this was the best dinner ever, I spared no expense.
Middleton: No expense spared? Wait, I said we have limits…
Dombrowski: limits? Limits apply to teams like the Marlins. wanna be like the marlins
Fuld: Nobody wants to be like the Marlins, Dave.
MiddletonMission: Well… of course not, but I’m worried about how much it all costs. can i see the bill
Dombrowski: If you insist. (gives him a detailed bill)
Middleton: You spent how much? And look at the tax!
Dombrowski: As I told you before, the winners don’t have to worry about the tax. right Sam?
Fuld: Absolutely, David. Never worry about the tax.
Middleton: But if we spent so much this year, I don’t know how many resources we will have for years to come.
Dombrowski: The coming years? You can not worry about the years to come! Just worry about how much fun you’re having this year! Maybe the future will be good? Maybe it won’t, and some of us will just go and go somewhere else, like Nashville, and others will have to figure out what to do this year. right Sam?
Fuld: Sounds like a great plan, Dave!
Dombrowski: I think we owe Kevin Long a special thanks. I saw these potatoes in the store and they didn’t look that good. But Kevin said he could fix them.
Long: (hands Dombrowski a bowl of mashed potatoes) What do you think?
Dombrowski: (tastes the potatoes) Hey, that’s not bad! what do you think
Fuld: You are 100% right Dave. you are good
Dombrowski: You know the green beans didn’t work for me before, do you think you could check them out too?
Long: I’ll try! (walks into the kitchen with the green beans)
Realmuto: Mr. Middleton, I just wanted to say that I appreciate you inviting me to this dinner on behalf of the players.
Middleton: Of course, JT If you’re the best catcher in baseball, you’ll get special perks. Speaking of which, I have something that will make this dinner even better for you.
Realmuto: What is it?
Middleton: They invented that special juice that makes every Thanksgiving dinner taste better when you squirt it on your arm. And I wanted you to be the first to try. (hands Realmuto an injection)
Realmuto: Wow, that sounds amazing. (He’s about to inject the syringe into his arm, but stops just before it reaches his arm.) Wait a minute… Is that the COVID vaccine? I’m not falling for that!
Middleton: Ha, okay, you got me. But one day I’ll get you!
Kevin Long walks in carrying a plate of green beans
Long: I think I figured something out. What do you think?
Dombrowski: (takes a taste) Mmm…much better. You did it again! what do you think
Fuld: You’re right, as always, Dave.
Rob Thomson enters the room with a turkey on a platter
Thomas: Here is the turkey.
Middleton: The turkey? But I didn’t hear the timer go off.
Thomas: I decided it was finished and needed to come out now.
Middleton: Are you sure? It really seemed to be cooking. It feels like you made a mistake taking it out prematurely.
Thomas: (shrugs) Uh. I’ve been doing this all year, so why stop now?
Middleton: (chuckles) That’s our Philly Rob! Dig everyone!
say thank you
There was a time that year when it seemed like the Phillies might never make the playoffs again. But not only did they make the playoffs, they even collected a National League pennant. Even better, I got to witness the final game of the NLCS, which featured one of the most iconic moments in franchise history.
Being a Phillies fan hasn’t always been easy, and most of the last decade has been downright awful. But every once in a while, the franchise delivers those moments that make you thankful you’re a Phillies fan.
From everyone at The Good Phight, I want to wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving Day!