Former Chester County resident co-authors new book on Phillies’ minor league history

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A long-time Chester County resident is the co-author of Life in the Minors, 5th Annual Phillies Minor League Digest, an historical book that details the franchise’s minor leagues from the first affiliate in Hazleton, PA, to the current structure.

The 355-page book, filled with over 170 photos, many of historic significance, is available now in both color and black and white. A portion of the proceeds will go to Phillies Charities, Inc.

Steve Potter, a retired Pfizer executive and long-time former Chester County resident, first published an annual Minor League Digest following the 2016 season, detailing a recap of the Phillies minor leagues and players. Without minor league baseball in 2020, Potter and Larry (Baron) Shenk, a retired Phillies executive, combined to produce a book capturing the history of 115 Phillies minor league affiliates. The foreword is written by Tom McCarthy who began his broadcasting career as the voice of the Trenton Thunder. Jim Peyton is the Editor.

The book also features interviews with Phillies legends about their time spent in the minors, including stories from Dick Allen, Larry Andersen, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Charlie Manuel, Mickey Morandini, Jimmy Rollins, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Wine and Rick Wise. Adam Haseley and multiple current Phillies minor league players also share their experiences in the game. Plus, there are stories from Frank Coppenbarger and Scott Palmer, who each played one game in the minors even though they weren’t professional ballplayers.

“My career concluded with the Phillies, but I intermingled with many of their legends when I was a minor leaguer,” said Pat Gillick, Hall of Fame executive who’s playing career is featured in the book. “My first manager was Billy DeMars. In every league I played, the Phillies had a team. Managers like Paul Owens, Andy Seminick, Frank Lucchesi. I played against guys like Pat Corrales, Lee Elia, Norm Gigon, Ray Culp, John Herrnstein, Dick Allen, Dennis Bennett, Danny Cater.”

“This is really a unique book,” Gillick added. “No other book to my knowledge covers the minor league history of any team.”

The manuscript details every minor league team in Phillies history, from Appleton (WI) to Huron (SD), Magic Valley (ID), Reading (PA) and Walla Walla (WA). Among the many team names are the Mountaineers, Peaches, Manufacturers, Muckdogs, Papermakers, Johnnies, Red Barons, Threshers, Blue Jays, Marlins, Padres. The most prominent, obviously, is the Phillies.

Additional stories are included from other minor league personnel, including managers, coaches, executives and broadcasters.

Continuing photo contributions to the annual digests were made by Cheryl Pursell (Lehigh Valley), George Youngs Jr. (Reading), Michael Dill (Jersey Shore) and Mark Wylie (Clearwater).

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