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08/12/07 9:09 PM ET
Greene, Brogna win alumni event
Former Phils team up to take Alumni Batting Challenge
By Stephen Fastenau / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Tommy Greene never got to pitch in Citizens Bank Park, but he wielded a mean bat there on Sunday. Greene, who suited up for the Phillies from 1991-95, swatted a couple of home runs and put up 77 points to lead all participants in the Phillies Alumni Batting Challenge. He and teammate Rico Brogna combined for 146 points to take home the trophy. "There were pitchers going up there hitting home runs; I was nervous that I wouldn't get one," said Brogna, who played three-plus seasons for the Phillies and is now a scout for the Diamondbacks. The left-handed-hitting Brogna launched three balls into the right-field seats, quelling any nerves. The competition was friendly, but there was some gamesmanship as the team of Mitch Williams and Ricky Jordan threatened for the overall lead. After Jordan put one in the seats, Greene yelled at batting practice pitcher Ramon Henderson to keep the ball down. Henderson, though, kept serving the meatballs that made Home Run Derby champions out of Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard. Jordan couldn't take advantage, finishing with 61 points, but the players recognized Henderson's ability to induce the long ball. "He's legendary," Brogna said. The team of Bob Dernier and Tyler Green finished third out of the three teams. Dernier was a speed threat during his playing days, but struggled in Sunday's event, which didn't require running the bases. Green led off the competition and cranked one out of left field, but his 36 points would finish ahead of only Williams. Williams ignored his struggles and the requisite "Joe Carter" chants and spent time mingling with the other players and signing autographs for fans. The event concluded the weekend-long celebration of the Phillies alumni. Fans lined the rails along both foul lines to see the former players, who did their best to put on a show. "I was just trying not to pull any muscles," Greene said. "I've done stuff today I haven't done in a long time." Greene said afterward that he was a back-to-back champion in the event, which was held at Citizens Bank Park for the first time. Greene's previous title came at Veterans Stadium, with two teams competing. "I have the trophy up on the mantle," he said. "I'm proud of that thing." The event was put on hold for a couple of years at Citizens Bank Park until after the walls had been moved back in left field. There were a number of popups and ground balls, but enough cleared the fences to keep the fans happy. "It's a fantastic hitters ballpark," Brogna said. "It would have been a fun place to hit at."
Stephen Fastenau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.