Schilling relives memories at tribute to ’93 team

PHILADELPHIA — Curt Schilling never won a World Series with the Phillies, but he made his professional baseball career in Philadelphia.

He said as much Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1993 National League Championship team with many of the alumni in attendance throughout the weekend. Schilling met with reporters after the team’s pregame ceremony to relive some of those memories.


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PHILADELPHIA — Curt Schilling never won a World Series with the Phillies, but he made his professional baseball career in Philadelphia.

He said as much Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1993 National League Championship team with many of the alumni in attendance throughout the weekend. Schilling met with reporters after the team’s pregame ceremony to relive some of those memories.


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“I don’t think I have a career in the big leagues if I don’t come here and meet [pitching coach] Johnny Podres,” Schilling said. “A lot of the things that I might have been known for as a player, their roots were here. I lost my father in ’88 and I was desperately seeking some male role models, and [former bench coach] John Vukovich and Johnny Podres were those guys.

“That team today, we’d have to play our home games at Leavenworth and wear ankle bracelets on the road to travel. That was as politically incorrect a group of human beings as ever existed in the game, but it was fun.”

Schilling discussed other topics, too.

Lenny Dykstra: The Phillies did not invite Dykstra to the reunion weekend because of numerous issues, including a recent arrest in New Jersey.

“It’s tough not to have everybody here,” Schilling said. “It’s tough not to have Dutch [Darren Daulton] and the coaches. Life moves at a very unique pace when you look back on it. Unfortunately for Lenny … I’ve actually been in contact with him quite a bit in the past couple months and years. He’s still struggling. He’s battling. He’s had issues and he’s probably the first to take accountability for those things. It’s unfortunate, but it’s more proof that we’re not really different than anybody else, other that what our day jobs were.”

Gabe Kapler: Schilling played with the rookie manager for the Red Sox in 2004, when they won the World Series.

“He was a great teammate,” Schilling said. “A phenomenal teammate, a consummate teammate, a workaholic. I’ve been texting him all year, just been in his ear a little bit, trying to find out from my side what it’s like, what he’s going through and stuff like that. The thing I told people after Opening Day, I was laughing because I’m a pitcher. So I was offended when he was taking his pitcher out after five or six innings. But he’s not going to make the same mistakes twice. I think that’s a huge thing. He’s accountable.

“There’s some [Terry] Francona in him. Terry used to say, ‘You’re fired the day you’re hired.’ They just don’t put that date on your contract. So if you know that going in, you do things your way, which I think Kap is doing. He’s a sponge. He’s always looking for something different and something new. He’s very much on the analytics side of everything and I think he’ll find that middle ground at some point, where every decision won’t be based on exactly what the numbers tell you what you should do in this situation, because there’s a gut feel to it and I think it takes time.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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