Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reader comments: A nice note from the mayor's son

My 1973 Spartanburg Phillies program post from July 19 prompted this nice response from Wesley Stoddard:
"I enjoyed reading this post immensely. My father was the [Spartanburg] Mayor Bob Stoddard you referred to in your article. He passed away in 2006 but we still have his team photos and a good number of team autographed baseballs from the many first games when he was asked to throw out the first pitch of the season. As you may be aware, the team led the minor leagues in attendance one season under GM Pat Williams, who left Spartanburg to become GM of the Philadelphia 76ers and then moved to Orlando Magic of the NBA. My father also threw out the first pitch at the last minor-league game ever played at Duncan Park. (It is now used for American Legion and high school games.) As a child I had the opportunity to see the Big Phillies play Pittsburgh Pirates at Duncan Park in an exhibition game. In the 1950s, our local team was the Spartanburg Peaches and the team was led by Rocco (Rocky) Colavito, who went on to star for the Cleveland Indians."
Thanks so much for sharing those comments, Wesley. Your father's picture from the 1973 Phillies program is pictured above. It was part of his "Message From the Mayor of Spartanburg" on Page 3 of the souvenir program. Mayor Stoddard's full message:
"Spartanburg is a great baseball community and we have been blessed by excellent teams furnished by the Philadelphia Phillies. Baseball is a great American game furnishing entertainment for both young and old. We receive untold national publicity through game accounts in newspapers, magazines, radio and T.V. I salute the wonderful fans of this area for their outstanding support and wish Ruly Carpenter, Howie Bedell and all the Phillies another successful season in 1973. We're proud of 'our Phillies' and invite you to attend the games often."

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