On May 14, 2006 I wrote this letter to sportsletters@phillynews.com. It is in reference to the catch that former Phillie Aaron Rowand made while crashing into the fence at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Yes indeed, Aaron Rowand did make a great “PLAY” last week against the Mets when he caught the ball and then broke his nose running into the centerfield fence. Notice, I said “PLAY” and not “CATCH.”

Rowand ran full speed and made an “Over The Shoulder Grab” and paid the consequences when he hit the fence. Not to diminish his effort but “Over The Shoulder Catches” are made quite frequently. Just watch Sportscenter and see Jim Edmonds do it at least once or twice a week.

Perhaps we should say that Rowand made a very Courageous Play by sacrificing his body to catch the ball.

After reading all of the newspapers, watching all of the sports shows and hearing about it on Sport’s Talk Radio, the catch is being looked at as being one of the “Greatest Ever” by a Phillies player. To me the words Play and Courage are associated more with football than baseball.

I have been following the Phillies for almost 50 years and the GREATEST CATCH I ever saw by a Phillie was in 1997. It was made by a rightfielder named Tony Barron, a scab player in the spring of 1995 and whom the Phillies would later sign.

In ’97 a shot was hit to Barron’s right and headed for the gap when Tony sprinted as fast as he could and at the last second took off and dove. His body was fully extended with all of his limbs off the ground aka, “Superman” and amazingly caught the ball while still in the comic book character’s pose. So here’s my unoffical vote for Tony Barron, for making the Greatest Catch in Phillies History. Does anyone else recall? I know some people who do and say the same thing.

NOTE: While watching FOX TV’s Best Damn Sport’s Show recently, the topic was the best 50 catches in Major League history. I am proud to say that Tony Barron’s catch was on the list. I believe that it was listed around number 25-30. Aaron Rowan’s made Honorable Mention. No other Phillies were on the list.

Players and Fans Cheated Again

Playing in a stadium that sells out more than Cabbage Patch Dolls on Black Friday,the Phillies organization once again failed to come through prior to the trade deadline. Having a roster with two formers MVP’s, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins along with stars like Chase Utley, Pat Burrell and Cole Hammels, who by the way are all home grown talent. The Phillies brass showed that they obviously don’t care about their players or their extremely loyal fans. Seeing players like C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Rich Harden move on to contenders must be real frustrating to both the players and the fans. The bottom line for this team is “Money”, and not a World Series and that is a real shame. The reprecussions of this will be at the termination of star players contracts when they will opt to move to a team that will spend the extra dollars to deliver a championship. The owners should know that the window of opportunity does not come along that often and as a result they must surpass their budget to be a real World Series candidate.