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The following excerpt is taken from the upcoming Philly2Philly sports book “A Snowball’s Chance: Philly Fires Back Against the National Media.”  
 
In this particular chapter, Joe Vallee battles the stereotype that Philadelphia is a tough place to play. To do this, he enlists the help of Phillies legend Larry Bowa.

Check it out!
 

 How many times have you heard people say at the bar, water cooler, or even in your own home “The money he gets paid, he should hit that ball out of there with his eyes closed.” Philly fans can be tough, but we want the best from our players. If you think we’re too hard at times on somebody like Ryan Howard, let me introduce you to the likes of Chris Gratton, Lance Parrish, Gregg Jefferies, Andy Ashby, Steve Everitt, and Adam Eaton These players didn’t have half of Howard’s talent, but they are on the long list of many who didn’t live up to expectations after signing very nice, lucrative deals.

 

While there have been plenty of athletes who couldn’t cut it here, there are also some who became legends in this town and will be forever loved by the Philly fans.

 

One of those players is Bowa, a former Phillie who was not immune to hearing boos at times despite his legendary status he established for himself on those great Phillies teams of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The fans gave Bowa the business when he and the Phillies struggled in the early part of 1980, before he finally turned things around that summer. Those boos however, quickly turned to cheers that October, as Bowa’s .375 average and record-setting seven double plays in the 1980 World Series was a major factor in the Phillies raising the trophy for the first time in their long-suffering history.

 

After finishing his career with the Mets in 1985, Bowa became a longtime Phillies coach and manager. His hard-nosed style of play combined with his fiery temperament almost make it seem like he was destined to play here. Bowa never took a play off, and gave it everything he had on the field in every capacity he served as a Phillie. I can still hear the chants of “Larry, Larry” whenever he came on the field to show his displeasure at an umpire’s bad call during his managerial tenure. Yep, it’s safe to say Phillies fans “got” Bowa, and Bowa “got” the fans right back.

 

“My relationship with the fans (in Philly) is really good. You play hard, give it everything you have, and let them (the fans) know you’re passionate about the game and you’ll do nice there,” says Bowa, now an analyst for MLB Network. “You have to be mentally tough to play on the east coast. When things go bad, that’s part of the game. If you get booed, that’s the way it goes. But when you do well, it also goes to the other end of the spectrum—the fans (in Philadelphia), they’re unbelievable. You like coming to the park every day when there’s enthusiasm and energy in the stands. That’s the way Philadelphia was when I played and managed there.”

 

Now contrary to what the general population thinks, Philadelphia doesn’t boo everyone.............

 
 

“A Snowball’s Chance” will be released next week. On Monday, December 17th, the authors will be on hand at Chickie’s & Pete’s (Packer Ave location) selling the book at 9pm!

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