Aaron Nola was the Philadelphia Phillies’ first round pick in this year’s amateur draft. The seventh overall selection in the draft, Nola received a $3.3 million signing bonus when he agreed to a contract in June and was assigned to the Phillies’ Single-A team in Clearwater, Florida.
Nola made 11 starts in the Florida State League before being promoted to Double-A Reading to finish the season. When the Fightin Phils visited Trenton to end the season on Labor Day weekend, Nola signed the Autograph Card pictured above for me.
While many younger players don’t like to sign the blank cards, Nola had no problem with it (perhaps because he has yet to appear on a baseball card since turning pro.)
Nola finished his first season with a combined record of 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA, 45 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 55.1 innings. If he continues to progress at this rate, an appearance in Philadelphia before the end of 2015 might not out of the question.
Bartolo Colon continues to laugh at Father Time, Travis d’Arnaud had a three extra-base hit game and Juan Lagares showed signs of rediscovering his lost hitting stroke.
But before you get caught up in fake pennant race fever, keep in mind that the Mets are still four games under the .500 mark at 51-55. They’re in fourth place in the NL East, one game behind the Miami Marlins, seven games behind the Atlanta Braves and 7.5 games behind the Washington Nationals. The Wild Card race isn’t much more realistic… the Mets are 6.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, with four teams between them and the San Francisco Giants, who would currently make the playoffs with a 57-48 record.
If they Mets hadn’t waited until July to start playing well…. who knows? But let’s enjoy the winning while it lasts and hope that they are building towards something that will bear fruit in 2015.
Here is my call to the Mets organization and my fellow fans – let us honor the woman who brought us our Mets. She is probably the most important person in the history of our team, because without her we wouldn’t be here. Lets do something about it. Giver her a gate, give her a day, give her the respect she deserves. Fans, if you don’t know about her, learn about her. … Let us honor our past, so when we celebrate, it is that much sweeter. LGM!
Fregosi was a great player for the Los Angeles/California Angels in the 1960s and later went on to manage them. But east coast fans are more likely to remember him for one of two things.
On December 10th, 1971, the New York Mets sent a pitcher named Nolan Ryanand three other minor leaguers to the Angels in a trade to acquire Fregosi. Although he had been an All-Star shortstop, the Mets got Fregosi with the idea that he could be their answer at third base, and it did not work out well. Ryan became a star, winning 138 games and pitching four no-hitters for the Angels before departing as a free agent at the end of the 1979 season.
Phillies fans will remember Fregosi as the manager who presided over the “worst-to-first” turnaround of the 1993 National League championship team.
“Jim Fregosi was not only one of the most respected men in baseball, he was a great man,” Lenny Dykstra told CSNPhilly.com. “He was a player’s manager. He had that special gift as a manager that made you want to get to the field and play your ass off for him. Jim Fregosi was the reason that 1993 was one of the most exciting years in Philadelphia sports history.”
Fregosi had been good about signing autographs for collectors who wrote to him and asked. I got my 1973 Topps baseball card signed in 2007.
New Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg will highlight the Lakewood Blue Claws’ annual Winter Banquet on Wednesday, January 22nd at Woodlake Country Club in Lakewood.
The baseball Hall of Famer will be joined by current Phillies players and Blue Claws alumni Darin Ruf and Jonathan Pettibone. Tickets for the event are $40 and all proceeds will benefit BlueClaws Charities and their Community Partners Program.
To purchase tickets, call JoAnne Bell at 732-901-7000 extension 100.