Hatborough, Pediatrician – This is the ninth inning of Citizens Bank Park and the Philadelphia Phillies’ relievers are still on it. They have already blown one lead, with the Jeurys Familia and Seranthony Dominguez dropping the Homers to seventh. Now back, the game starts with about Corey Knebel.
Miami Marlins wins it, 11-9, and from her living room sofa here in the suburbs, Matt Edwards sighs.
“It’s really hard to name some of these guys,” he said.
That’s true: Phyllis is the only national league team that has not played in the playoffs in the last 10 years, and their bullpen is an annual adventure. Nostalgia can be an attractive escape (beer also helps) and no one mentions the past as much as Edwards, a 45-year-old telecommunications salesman, with his wife, Sheryl, two young sons, Big Denmark – and praying downstairs. Bathroom for relief Phillies pitchers.
“We know full well we were not one of five starters or any of the guys on the field,” said Chad Durbin, who spent four seasons as a Phil Slayer. “But, you know, we had our moments. So when we remember, we touch it. ”
Durbin recorded 225 games for the Phillies, including the post-season, with an average mileage of 4.07. He has given the pitch to five other teams, but as far as he knows, none of their fans have a picture of him in the bathroom. As you can probably guess, Durbin is not even in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame in New York.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “But I’m in the relief room.”
The relief room Edwards calls his bathroom because that’s where a person goes to relax. Here’s the joke.
Edwards played third base in the Little League and left the field in men’s softball. His sons are not pitchers. His favorite active player is the first bassman, Reese Witherspoon of Phyllis. But just like a comedian who finds endless material because of his commitment to the cause, Edwards has created a brand around players who do not receive respect and esteem.
“I remember opening a pack of cards, looking at my mustache and thinking, ‘Oh, this is Mike Schmidt,’ and no, this is Dan Shutzeder,” he said at his home office, which is full of artefacts that don’t fit. 3 feet to the corner 8 feet to the museum.
“But it was the joy of passing the cards, the attempt to find that boy. Now I don’t want Mike Schmids or Bryce Harpers. I want to beat guys like Shatzer, Andy Carter and Amalio Carrenio because no one does that. Celebrating a little boy that no one remembers is more memorable than talking about the stars because everyone knows about them.
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“Calm down, okay? Do not try to seduce everyone. The shots are boring! Besides, they are fascists. Throw a few ground balls, it is more democratic. “
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“No one knows about Tyson Brummet. He is one of the coffee-loving guys. That’s why this cup of coffee was made – enjoy coffee with Erskin Thomason.
Edwards reaches for a cup fitted to the black-and-white face of Thomason, who received his ninth innings of defeat on September 18, 1974, in his only major league appearance. The final statistical website, Baseball Reference, uses a blank image that has a question mark next to Thomason’s name. That would be a curse for Edwards.
He knows that Thomason was the subject of an NFL Films documentary and that the filmmakers who followed him all season somehow missed his only play and had to shoot footage. He also knows that Brammet played one game in 2012 and later died in a plane crash. He knows that Carter was sent off in the first game of the Premier League, and Carenio – in the last.
And, of course, he knows that Shutzeder spent many years as a physical education instructor in Illinois High School.
“If you look at this guy, you can imagine him in a sports suit with a whistle around his neck,” Edwards said. “It’s awesome. Who sings his song from the top of the mountain? If not me, then who? ”
For Edwards, there is sincerity in satire. He remembers when the Mets introduced a schoolmate, how exciting it was that the Big League team wanted someone they knew. Less than 23,000 people have ever played a game in Major; You can place them in all the old veterans’ stadiums, with more than 40,000 seats.
They all have stories that if they were to relieve the Philistines, Edwards believes his mission is to bring them down. Edwards, a chief English specialist at the University of New Hampshire, reads his subjects extensively, collects fun facts about each one, and arranges them by date on his computer. He sends several tweets a day A modest group of followers With a few famous names – at least for the famous Edwards.
“He loves Tom Hume,” said Scott Eyre, a left-wing specialist in the late 2000s, referring to the glasses of the right in the 1980s. “He would probably have died if Tom Hume had gone to the relief room.”
Eir did so, in early 2020, after seeing an autograph there. (Edwards wore his Hume T-shirt for the occasion.) Erie, who only knew Edwards from Twitter, became the first sedative to actually relax in the Relief Room. This was natural because he hung out with Edward for hours, after 1 a.m., drinking beer, opening old packages of cards, and telling tales about Chuck McElroy, Dan Plesack, and other deserving people he knew.
Pilgrimage to see the Phillies Fan Bath, it is safe to say that Eyre could not do anything about it. A Californian now living in North Carolina, Eyre once had a trade ban point in Philadelphia. When Cubs sent him there in 2008, he asked John Liber, a teammate who played in Phyllis, what he expected.
“He says, ‘Friend, you will like them there and they will love you,'” Eir said. “I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, “You are a boy on your feet and you are who you are.” And it was exactly like that. If you go out and do your job and make mistakes, they will still love you. “They want to yell at you for a while, and that’s good.”
Eir realized the essence of Philadelphia fans: they always expect victory, no matter the circumstances, and also want to be heard. Then failure feels like a personal insult and allows fans to be irritated. But they capture players who give no excuse and sincerely show that they care.
Mitch Williams, the only surviving man to lose Homer, lost the World Series to Joe Carter of Toronto in 1993. Williams, known as a wild item, is a folk hero for Phillies fans and is duly received in Relief. Room.
“At an easy level, it’s a mullet and a headscarf and things like that, but it was destroying it every time,” Edwards said. “His anger, his machismo, how he was spinning around. It could be said that he did not want anyone to walk, he just wanted to shoot the shots and pull everyone out. But he was responsible and it is very big. “
Williams is among those few famous reliefs in the Edwards Gallery. Most have had little influence, such as Kyle Abbott, Josh Lindblom and Wally Ritchie, who follow Edwards on Twitter. They are among the 300 looks that line the bathroom walls, mostly on baseball cards, but in dozens of larger photos, such as a picture of Rennie Martin above the mirror.
“There’s something new here,” Edwards’s mother, Joan, said when she noticed it. “He looks straight at me and I do not like his face.”
Martin only played briefly for the Phillies, but Edward loves the fact that he appeared in Kansas City in the 1980 World Series Clincher when Tug McGraw closed out Phil’s first championship. Then again, in 2008, Edwards’s father, Jim, hung two photos above the toilet: one for McGraw and the other for Brad Leigh, both celebrating in October.
Edwards bought the house from his father a few years later, kept photos of McGraw and Lige, and added everything else – Spark Lily depicted soap, Ron Reed commemorative soda, quadrilateral Kleenex dispenser Porfi Altamirano, Warren Brusstar. , Tom Hilgendorf and Barry Jones.
The cabinet handle is Don Carman’s broken bat barrel; A retired Phil supervisor sent it to Edwards. Greg Harris, a two-way comforter, captioned his photo: “Using both hands in the relief room.” Artist Dick Perez, once the official artist of the Hall of Fame, presented an original portrait of Hilgendorf – the hero of Edwards, who once rescued a drowned boy from a swimming pool.
“And then the whole ’10 cents beer night in Cleveland,'” Edwards said. “He has a brain with a stool, a blood clot – and then in the game he meets six batteries and gets six outs!”
If you need some time in the Relief Room, there is a basket with vintage magazine numbers like Philies Today, Steve Bedrosian and Jeff Parett with firefighters on the front. Here is a collection of McGraw comics from the 1970s and the Guess-The-Mustache flip book. (Failure to recognize Altamirano results in automatic loss of full letters.)
There are likely plans to expand the Relief Room, Edwards said, if he and Sheryl are able to move the washing machine out of the mud room nearby. However, for the time being, Edwards needs a place for his latest treasure: Toby Borland, the game-wearing rods of the 1990s. His friends, Brain and Mike Carroll, bought them on eBay for $ 30.
The brackets easily fit into the wall above the toilet, which is mostly an empty space. But that stretch is sacred, said Edwards, who is strongly reserved for removal from championship teams. The phylloxera has improved recently, but still recovered from a slow start. They may need to summon the spirit of McGraw to make this their year.
“It’s like Cheryl: ‘There are so many places here, do something else with it,'” Edwards said. ᲐThat’s exactly the point. This is my optimism: I am going to fill this wall. “