Ron Roenicke made an impression on me as a member of the first Phillies team I was functionally aware of as a utility piece of the ’86 & ’87 teams. I was eight and nine for those teams and that was when I was truly becoming aware as a sentient person. It was not a great time to be “coming of age” as a baseball fan in Philadelphia.
The ’86 Phils finished 2nd in the East a mere 21 some games out of the pennant, and the ’87 team finished 2 games under .500 before the bottom fell out of the whole operation in ’88. But I can still name some of those cardboard legends that patrolled the thinly covered concrete of The Vet. That era of the Phillies is a real “Who’s Who?” Roenicke fits squarely in that team. Part of an outfield corps that included an aging Gary Maddux, and Chris James on a team that included names that stick with me to this day, like Greg Legg, Von Hayes, Shane Rawley, Kent Tekulve and Bruce Ruffin.
Roenicke was exactly everything the Phillies were in those years. Serviceable. A career .238 with 17 home runs puts him right in the middle of Joe Lefebvre and Jeff Stone in the list of “Guys Who Won’t Be in the Phillies Wall of Fame”. But, much like Red Sox fans, Phillies fans don’t need a guy to be good to be remembered. This was my team was Gary Redus and Juan Samuel. I love that team because I was 8 and didn’t know better.
Ron segued into coaching and is now serving as a bench coach for Alex Cora‘s Red Sox.
This return brings our Phillies Frankenset to 27, and completes page 3 in the binder. Take a look at all those returns here.