Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy Baseball Birthday! ...Phil Mankowski

I consider The Natural the best baseball movie ever made, I've seen it easily over a hundred times, and yet, I learned something about the 1984 movie that I never knew...former Detroit Tigers 3rd Baseman Phil Mankowski plays for the New York Knights.

Mankowski plays Knights 3rd sacker Hank Benz, and that fact alone makes him a no doubter for today's Happy Baseball Birthday!

Philip Anthony Mankowski  was born on January 9, 1953, in Buffalo, New York, played high school baseball at Bishop Turner HS, and was the Tigers 9th round selection in the amateur player draft in 1970.

Mankowski made his big league debut at age 23 on August 30, 1976 vs the California Angels, collecting his first big league base hit.

Mankowski played 4 years with Detroit, collecting 185 base hits, 8 home runs, and 85 RBIs in 284 games.

The Tigers traded Mankowski to the Mets in 1979, where he played for 2 years before playing his final game in the big leagues on July 21, 1982.

In 1984 Mankowski won the role of playing Robert Redford's Knights teammate in the Natural, shooting the movie at old War Memorial Stadium in his hometown of Buffalo.

In 2011 Mankowski was elected into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Philip Mankowski!

Play Ball! 

1 comment:

  1. He also won us a trophy as our pitcher at Most Holy Redeemer elementary school.We played neighborhood pick up games at Schiller Park. We attended the same school, he lived just down the street. Many happy memories!