Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Phillies All-Time Bad Load Pitching Staff

I reviewed the Phillies All-Time roster to look for the biggest loads either by reputation or because there name was synonymous with booze. Here is your Phillies Bad Load pitching staff and their bullpen catchers:

Chief Bender (16-17) - The bender is a period of at least three days of continued drunkenness. Why three? Because the weekend is two days long. It's that third day (quite possibly a workday) that all bets are off, when eyebrows start to raise, when tongues start to cluck, when the amused laughter turns into whispers of concern.

 John Boozer (62-64 and 66-69)- A boozer is a person who is fond of drinking...sounds familiar.

Johnny Lush (04-07) - A lush is one who drinks to excess. Johnny twirled a 6 Inning No-hitter in 1906. No word if he was PUI (Pitching Under the Influence)

 Brett Myers (02-09) - Bad Load Brett was the reigning Bad Load of Philly sports for more than 5 years..he narrowly beat out Pat 'The Bat" Burrell in 2006. The drunken hillbilly slapping around of his wife on a Boston corner put him over the top to stay until his departure in the 09 offseason.

Dickie Noles (79-81 and 90) -  In 1983, Noles' alcohol problems began to surface. He and a teammate drunkenly assaulted a police officer after a game and Noles severely injured his left knee. Noles spent 16 days in jail, was forced to enter alcohol rehabilitation, and was forced to pay a substantial amount of his baseball earnings in an ensuing civil suit. In 1987, Noles earned a dubious distinction in Major League Baseball history of having been traded for himself. Noles was traded from the Cubs to the Tigers for a player to be name later. Several months later, the teams were unable to agree on what player Chicago would receive, and so Noles was shipped back to the Cubs, completing a deal in which he was traded for himself..

Tug McGraw (75-84)  - "Tug McGraw was the epitome of what Philadelphia was all about - a hard worker, dedicated, he never gave up. The picture of him jumping off the mound after the last out (of the 1980 World Series) is one of the most memorable moments in Phillies history. He was truly a great person, and he'll be sorely missed." - Larry Bowa  Saint Patrick's Day was one of Tug's most favorite days. Every year I honor him and pour a shot of Jameson for him and leave it on my table or the bar. Just my way of making a tribute to him on a day he and I love.

Kevin Saucier (78-80) - I hear his name and think of two things. One is hitting the sauce and the second is I remember a Roy Roger's (or was it Geno's) 1980 World Series glass with all the Phils' signatures on it. Saucier's was the most elaborate..next to that Nino Espinosa.

Warming the pitchers up in the bullpen will be two well known loads:

Bob Uecker (66-67) - My favorite quote of his was , "One time, I got pulled over at four a.m. I was fined seventy-five dollars for being intoxicated and four-hundred for being with the Phillies."

'Irish' Mike Ryan (68-73 and 80-95) -  What I loved and remembered most about Irish Mike was the fact that he was ALWAYS the first man out of the bullpen in the event of a fight. I honestly remember a game where he beat the batter to the mound after a Phillies player was plunked.

So who was left off the list? Do you have any favorite quotes or stories about the above players? Saint Patrick's Day is coming up, so maybe you will throw on that #45 jersey and pour the Tugger a shot of that rare 'ole Mountain Dew?


  1. Grover Cleveland Alexander's drinking exploits were pretty legendary

    If you were including other position players, you'd have to find a place for Harry Budson "Bud" Weiser, who spent time on the team in 1915 and 1916

  2. Hack Wilson wasn't a pitcher, and only had a short tenure with the Phillies, but there is a pretty good story about him. During one home game at Baker Bowl, he was nursing a particularly bad hangover. At one point, the Phillies made a pitching change. When time was called, Wilson leaned up against the 60' high tin right field wall and dozed off. The pitcher being removed from the game wasn't happy about getting pulled, and fired the ball to the outfield, loudly hitting the tin wall. Wilson sprung awake, got the ball and fired a strike to second base