Product DescriptionStubble scruffed up their chins. Tobacco wads ballooned their cheeks. The 1993 Philadelphia Phillies had the look of a slow-pitch softball team itching to kick some serious butt. They did kick butt, too, on and off the field. “They lived the life of professional baseball players as fully as it can be done,” manager Jim Fregosi said. Though they weren´t a photogenic bunch, their mugs were everywhere, on “Baseball Today,” on David Letterman, and on “Saturday Night . . . More >>

More Than Beards, Bellies and Biceps: The Story of the 1993 Phillies

  1. I absolutely loved this book. The author brought me back to a time when the Phillies were on top of the world and had the Philadelphia area and soon, the whole country, rallying around them. They called themselved ‘gypsies, tramps and thieves’ and even though they were, to a certain extent, they were also great ballplayers who cared about winning and each other. I love sports books and what I especially love about this book is all the behind the scenes stories off all the athletes. They were a bunch of jokesters and the pranks and the one-liners they pulled on each other were hilarious. But they knew when to put the jokes aside and just go out and play ball. I also loved the sidebars from the Phillie Phanatic. It was good and inciteful to see the game from his viewpoint as well.

    What this book showed me is that all the talent in the world is not totally necessary to having a winning team. You just need a bunch of guys who think they can win and have fun with each other and have complete trust in each other to breed success. That is what that team had and what the book truly showed.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. J. Redfern says:

    This book brought back some great memories of an unforgettable team, the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies, told by the author and many members of the organization as well. It also gives good information about the years preceding the magical ’93 season, with Lee Thomas taking over as general manager in 1988, then acquiring players like Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, and Terry Mulholland in 1989. It also captures the public outcry during the winter between the 1992 and 1993 seasons, when the Phils negotiated with several high-priced free agents such as David Cone and Kirby Puckett, but ended up with retreads such as Danny Jackson and Pete Incaviglia.

    Things quickly came together in spring training, and it carried over to the regular season. The team got off to a fast start, and went on to win the National League East, holding first place for all but one day during the season. In the National League Championship Series, the Phils upset the heavily-favored Atlanta Braves. Many Phillies players detested the Braves, feeling they didn’t respect the Phils or any other team in general. The book ends with the World Series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays and the immediate aftermath, followed by a “where are they now?” listing of the team’s players.

    Also included are a series of anecdotes from Tom Burgoyne, the main man inside the Phillie Phanatic costume since 1994. Burgoyne was the backup Phanatic to Dave Raymond during the 1993 season. Though many are not relevant to the main story, they are entertaining nonetheless.

    The only problem I had with the book, and it is a minor one at that, is that it plays up the Philadelphia-New York rivalry a little too heavily. Had the Phillies and Mets been battling for the NL East title that season, or if the Phils had met the Yankees in the World Series, then this would have been an interesting aside. As it was, the Mets lost 103 games in 1993, and the Yankees were in the beginning stages of what would become yet another dominant run (as of this writing, the 1993 postseason was the last one to not include the Bronx Bombers), so this angle seems a little out of place.

    All in all, an excellent read, especially for those of us who enjoyed that magical ride and have been waiting ever since for the next one.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. This is really two books in one. The white pages which depict the ’93 team, and the gray pages which are stories about the Phanatic’s exploits since 1978. The white pages are very, very good. There are lots of quotes from the major people involved, and the author does a great job of weaving them in with the story of the season. On the other hand, the gray pages are beyond worthless. I recommend this book, but just read the white pages. It serves as a reminder of what it means to have a baseball team to be proud of in Philly. The only downside is that as you read it, you will probably become angry at the current Philles roster. You’ll catch yourself wondering. . . “why can’t these guys play this way. ”
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. chris says:

    This was one of the greatest teams I’ve seen in my lifetime! I don’t think there will ever be another group like them. This book really captures what it was like from the beginning to the end of the ’93 season! I couldn’t put it down!!!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a great book for every die hard Phillies fan as it takes you back to the magical ride of 1993. Burgoyne provides a unique ‘insider’s look’ at the 1993 team and recaptures the cavalier spirit and ‘never say die’ attitude this team embodied. Interspersed througout his narrative are several anecdotes about the players as well as some of the more infamous moments of that summer. These anecdotes heighten the reader’s understanding of the players, the team as a whole and the dynamic that captured the city. This is a must read for all of the fans of Danny Jackson and the ‘DJ Pump Me Up’, John Kruk (“I ain’t an athlete, lady. I’m a ballplayer. “), Pete Incaviglia, Nails, Wild Thing, Darren Daulton and his ‘Ghetto Row’ and the rest of this motley crew. You can’t help but get excited about being a Phillies fan-past, present, and future, after reading this book.
    Rating: 4 / 5