Today in Philly Sports History: McCarver's Grand Slam Single, 1976

Today in Philly Sports History: McCarver's Grand Slam Single, 1976

Before he was the oft-maligned baseball announcer we know him as today, Tim McCarver was a two-time all-star backstop for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 60s--even finishing second in the MVP voting in 1967. By the time he joined the Phillies for the second time in 1975, he was more of a backup (with Bob Boone being the team's primary signal-caller), used primarily by the Phillies as ace Steve Carlton's personal caddy. However, as in his professional broadcasting career, McCarver was prone to occasional on-field gaffes. The most memorable of these came on July 4th, 1976--the night of our country's bicentennial, with the Phillies in Pittsburgh for a double-header. Facing Pirates starter Larry Demery in the top of the second of the first game with the bases loaded, McCarver went yard for what is usually considered a grand slam.

Unfortunately, McCarver was a little overanxious in his excitement--hey, America doesn't turn 200 every day--and ended up passing Phillies center fielder Gary Maddox (unsure of the ball not getting caught) between first and second base, during what should have been his home-run trot. Turns out, umpires don't like it when baserunners do that, and by rule, McCarver was out, leaving him with that rare and dubious achievement, the grand-slam single. (By way of explanation, McCarver supposedly claimed "I didn't pass him, he lapped me," through "sheer speed"). Nonetheless, the Phillies took a 4-0 lead with McCarver's three RBIs, and went on to win the game 10-5, though they would eventually split the doubleheader with Pittsburgh. McCarver's blunder would go on to be a classic baseball blooper, immortalized in one of the Baseball Hall of Shame books as "Tim McCarver's Grand Sob."

The "grand-slam single" has occured two other times in baseball history--most notably in the bottom of the 15th of game five of the 1999 NLCS, when Mets third baseman Robin Ventura was prevented from scoring on his game-winning grand slam by his overzealous teammates, who smothered him in between first and second base. Ventura never touched home and was ruled out.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Darren Sproles can still help Eagles as long as Doug Pederson doesn't get carried away

Darren Sproles can still help Eagles as long as Doug Pederson doesn't get carried away

You probably know the reasons why it didn’t make sense to bring Darren Sproles back like they did on Friday evening. He’s too old. The team needs to get younger. They can’t rely on him to stay healthy. 

How’s this for one reason the Eagles were right to bring him back? 

He can help. 

Yeah, I know Sproles is 36. I know he’s played just nine regular-season games in the last two years. I know he had a minor hamstring injury that turned out to be a not-so-minor hamstring injury last year. 

I also know that the Eagles are better today than they were yesterday. Because as long as Doug Pederson doesn’t get carried way, Sproles can still help the Eagles in 2019. 

That is a key point, though. During his three years as head coach, we’ve seen Pederson at times rely on Sproles a little more than he probably should. If he does that this time around, it might not help. But if the Eagles can settle Sproles into a role where he’s a punt returner and a change-of-pace guy on offense (primarily as a pass-catching threat), this can definitely work. 

Pederson loves Sproles. He hasn’t tried to hide that. At the owners meetings this offseason, when asked about Sproles and the possibility of a return for one more season, Pederson said openly, “I would love to have Darren back.” 

Now that it has happened, it’s up to Pederson to not run his favorite veteran Swiss Army knife into the ground. 

And because the Eagles will enter this season with a former Pro Bowler in Jordan Howard, a second-round pick in Miles Sanders and a Super Bowl hero in Corey Clement also on the roster, it should suppress the temptation to over-play Sproles. 

Sproles will be the Eagles’ punt returner. He can play on third downs. He can be used as a utility-type receiver hybrid on offense. 

I’m thinking somewhere in the range of 8-10 touches max per game is about right.  

Nick Foles got an overwhelming amount of credit for helping the Eagles push their way into the playoffs last season, but Sproles deserves a ton of credit, too. After many had written him off when his severe hamstring injury lingered, Sproles came back in early December and gave the Eagles a spark that helped propel them into the postseason. 

In the last five regular-season games last year, Sproles had 110 rushing yards, 138 receiving yards and three offensive touchdowns. 

The Eagles were 5-1 with him in the regular season (4-1 down the stretch) in 2018 and 6-2 overall. 

And without him, they probably don’t win that Dec. 23 game at home against the Texans. In that one, Sproles became the oldest Eagle ever to have over 100 yards from scrimmage in a game. 

Sproles comes into this season just 162 all-purpose yards behind Tim Brown for fifth in NFL history. If he can stay healthy, he should have no problem easily overtaking Brown in 2019. 

And he might just help the Eagles make another run in the process. 

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