The Phillies' Class A affiliate had two long stints in at Duncan Park Stadium in Spartanburg -- from 1964 to 1980 and again from 1986 to 1994. Notable future major leaguers who played in Spartanburg included Larry Bowa, Scott Rolen, Juan Samuel, Ryne Sandberg, Lonnie Smith, Manny Trillo1, Kevin Stocker and Willie Hernandez.
So while I didn't have an opportunity to see any Spartanburg Phillies games during my time in The Palmetto State, I did get to see the old stadium2 and pick up some Spartanburg Phillies memorabilia, such as the 1973 souvenir program pictured here.
The 30-page program has a message from Spartanburg mayor Robert L. Stoddard, a photo of the Spartanburg Phillies' booster club (Hans Walker, president), baseball tips, a full-page photo of Philadelphia pitcher Steve Carlton, and advertisements for Spartanburg-area businesses such as Community Cash, Sugar 'n Spice, Jimmy's Restaurant, Wakefield Buick, The Steeple Drive-In, Wade's Restaurant, and the Regency Health Spa in the K-Mart Shopping Center (which touts its "Inhalation Room" and "Yogi Relaxation Room").
Bedell was a member of the York White Roses in 1964, 1965 and 1966. In 1994, then York Mayor Charlie Robertson controversially hired Bedell as a consultant (for $100 per hour, it was later learned) to help spearhead the effort to bring baseball back to York.
Years later, Bedell argued that he had played a role in the 2006 deal to bring the Atlantic League's York Revolution to the city, and that he was owed a previously-agreed-upon fee for his efforts.
"There are a few seats left on the charter bus trip to Atlanta on Sunday July 22nd to see the Big Phillies play the Braves. Henry Aaaron [sic] needs only 18 more hr's to break the Babe's record. It's on first pay basis so sign up in our business office."Hank Aaron would, of course, go on to surpass Babe Ruth's home-run total on April 8, 1974.
1. I learned something writing this entry. I hadn't known that Manny Trillo was originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies (as a catcher!) in 1968 and thus played for the Spartanburg Phillies in 1969. Later that year, the Oakland A's selected Trillo away from the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft.
2. I also lost a ton of enjoyable tennis matches to good folks like Mike McCombs, Richard Coco, Chris Winston, Ken Bradley and Chris Horeth at the Duncan Park courts.