Hawaiian shirts are a regular fixture of Charlie Manuel’s wardrobe. They fit his vibe perfectly since he spends much of his year in Florida. It was during our conversation with the World Series winning Manager that he and his wife, Missy, argue over colors. He prefers the monochrome color pallets, while she likes to pick out brighter patterns for him to wear.
That’s where our conversation with Charlie at Phillies Spring Training begin. He’s been in Clearwater since Pitchers and Catchers reported to the facility.
We flashed back to the evolution of Spring Training. Charlie’s first major league camp was in 1968, and back then, it was intended for getting all players the out-of-shape players game ready again. Charlie recalled having to go to the hospital during his first camp. Conditioning is a lot lighter nowadays.
Then there was the Tony Bennett story. After a game in Toronto, Charlie met Tony in a hotel elevator. He blurted out, “Hey Tony Bennett, sing us a song.” Tony’s reaction – and the way Charlie recalled it – was hilarious. Second to that story is the time that Charlie met Julie Andrews. To be fair, it was made better by the alternate ending that Steve Morrison imagined.
So what else is Charlie up to once the season starts? He visits PA affiliates in the summer and Florida affiliates during other points of the year. A lot of guys want to talk to him about baseball and aren’t intimidated by him. He is a self-proclaimed top scout in the league. If you’re looking for a tip, Charlie told us that fans should be excited about Johan Rojas in Reading and the younger players currently in the camp.
Great catching up with Uncle Chuck!