Samuel joins Phillies as third-base coach
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Wait, I thought that he was going for Davey Lopes’ job???
PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies announced on Thursday they have hired Juan Samuel to be their third-base coach and outfield instructor.
Sam Perlozzo, who served as the team’s third-base coach the previous two seasons, will move from third to first base and handle the club’s baserunning instruction. The Phillies hired Samuel because Davey Lopes, who handled the team’s outfield and baserunning duties as first-base coach the previous four seasons, left the organization following a stalemate during contract negotiations.
Samuel and Perlozzo join pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer on the 2011 coaching staff.
“I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan’s stature to our coaching staff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in a statement. “He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of Phillies history, and I’m looking forward to him passing on his knowledge of the game to our players. He’s a great addition to our organization.”
There were indications Samuel would return to Baltimore next season as its third-base coach, but the sides never finalized a deal, and the Phillies wooed him to Philadelphia.
Samuel, 49, was the Orioles’ third-base coach from 2007-10. He also served as interim manager this season after the Orioles dismissed Dave Trembley. Samuel also served as a first- and third-base coach with the Detroit Tigers (1999-2005).
Samuel, a three-time National League All-Star, played with the Phillies from 1983-89 and was inducted into the organization’s Wall of Fame in 2008. He hit .259 with 161 home runs, 703 RBIs and 396 stolen bases in 1,720 games for the Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Royals, Reds, Tigers and Blue Jays.
He is the 34th man in franchise history to both play and coach for the Phillies.
Okay. Let me get this straight: Juan is joining the staff to replace Davey Lopes, but, he is going to be the team’s third-base, not first-base, coach, and will also work with the outfielders, while Sam Perlozzo will now become the team’s first-base coach and will be handling the baserunning duties?!? Anyone else besides me confused by this arrangement? Okay, guys, you better know what you’re doing since I think Juan should be the one handling the baserunning duties and vice versa. I’ll guess we’ll all see how it works out during the ’11 season.
With that said, welcome back, Juan.
That’s how the player known for his hustle and determination went into the Phillies Wall of Fame, as its 2008 inductee on Friday. The career moments also showed Samuel with a constant smile, a common aspect of his personality.
“This is special,” Samuel said. “It’s mind-boggling to me that every time I visit a town I’m visiting, people recognize me as a Phillie. I’m proud of that.”
Surprisingly, Samuel didn’t slide headfirst onto the podium to accept the honor. The mountain of black hair that used to barely fit under his cap has been replaced by short graying hair.
Smiling as he listened to roars from the Citizens Bank Park crowd, Samuel became emotional when thanking the fans. With tears streaming down Samuel’s cheeks, he stopped mid-sentence to wipe his eyes.
Just then, it seemed the gravity of sharing a stage with nine Phillies greats who were present — Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts and Jim Bunning, plus Bob Boone, Tony Taylor, Dick Allen, Greg Luzinski and Dallas Green — finally sunk in for the team’s 30th inductee to the Phillies Wall of Fame.
“Some of the guys I played with, some coached me and some I watched play on my black-and-white TV in the Dominican,” Samuel said. “It’s special that they’re here to share this moment with me.”
Samuel, 47, debuted in 1983 and had an exciting combination of power and speed. His 28 homers in 1987 stood as a record for homers by a second baseman until Chase Utley broke it in 2006.
Samuel remained with the Phillies until June 18, 1989, when he went to the Mets in a deal that brought Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell to Philadelphia. He was crushed to leave the city, and still considers himself a Phillie nearly 20 years later.
“I do,” said Samuel, who is the third-base coach for the Orioles. “There’s so many people here that I know very well that I keep in touch with. I want this team to go as far as it can and win a championship for those folks. I follow them.”
Samuel said that most of his memorabilia is from his days with the Phillies — uniform jerseys, his Silver Slugger Award from 1987, the ball from his first hit and first home run. Memories.
“Sammy was the most exciting player on the Phillies in the early ’80s. He had power, average, great arm and speed to burn,” Schmidt said. “He hit in front of me and created RBI situations every game. He was my young son’s favorite player through the ’80s.”
The applause for the popular Samuel seconded that notion. Many came out on 8-8-08 to honor the player who wore No. 8.
“Perfect, Samuel said. “Somebody must have planned it that way. This is a good day.” (H/T Phillies.com)
And Juan Samuel now joins the likes of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Tony Taylor, Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts into the Phillies’ Walk of Fame. And I’m happy to hear that he’d loved playing baseball in this city and that he still follows the team. Hey guys, can we quit embrassing yourselves in front of Juan? I’m just saying!!! As I’d said when it was announced that he would be joining the Walk of Fame that it was a shame that the Phillies couldn’t get into the post-season while he was playing here.
The Phillies announced Monday that Juan Samuel will be inducted as the team’s 30th member of the Wall of Fame. The former second baseman spent his first 6 1/2 seasons in Philadelphia, stealing 246 bases from 1983-89 and making two All-Star teams.
Signed by the Phillies on April 29, 1980, Samuel debuted on Aug. 24, 1983. Batting leadoff, he tripled in his second at-bat. The next season, he set the organization’s single-season and rookie records with 72 stolen bases on his way to 105 runs scored and 191 hits. He also set modern club records for triples (19) and at-bats (701) in a season. Both marks were broken last season by Jimmy Rollins.
He became the first player in Major League history to reach double digits in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases in each of his first four seasons.
Samuel, 47, is currently coaching third base in Baltimore, and will attend the pregame ceremonies for the Aug. 8 game against the Pirates. All fans receive a commemorative poster of Samuel, courtesy of Toyota.
Fellow Wall of Famers Robin Roberts (1978), Jim Bunning (1984), Steve Carlton (1989), Mike Schmidt (1990), Dick Allen (1994), Greg Luzinski (1998), Tony Taylor (2002), Bob Boone (2005) and Dallas Green (2006) are expected to be in attendance.
Wall of Fame balloting annually begins with online voting on phillies.com during Spring Training. A total of 15 Phillies Alumni are on the ballot. The top five vote-getters are then presented to a special Wall of Fame Selection Committee that chooses the inductee.
The other four finalists this year were Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk and Greg Gross.
Samuel remained a fan favorite until June 18, 1989, when the Phillies traded him to the Mets in a deal that landed Dykstra. In 16 seasons, Samuel hit .259 with 396 stolen bases and 873 runs. (H/T Phillies.com)
Nice to see Sammy get the nod this year. Can’t wait to see what his plague will look like.