Phillies' Alumni Weekend kicks off Thursday
Closer Lidge to retire with club; Schilling to be honored with 1983, '93 teams
PHILADELPHIA -- Great Phillies of the past will be recognized as the team hosts its Alumni Weekend from Thursday through Sunday.
The ceremonies will begin Thursday when former closer Brad Lidge will retire as a Phillie. On Friday, pitcher Curt Schilling -- who won 101 games in red pinstripes -- will be added to the team's Wall of Fame. The 1983 and '93 National League championship teams will also be saluted.
More than 50 former Phillies are expected to be in attendance.
"They sit down and tell stories," said vice president of alumni relations Larry Shenk. "They remember pitches from 20-30 years ago. It's amazing the camaraderie they have and their memory of the games. The fans seem to love it, too."
Lidge will retire a Phillie on the same field where he struck out the Rays' Eric Hinske to capture the 2008 World Series -- Philadelphia's first title since 1980.
The closer spent four seasons with the Phillies, but none was more memorable than '08. Lidge was a perfect 41-for-41 in save situations five years ago, and he also had a 0.96 ERA in the postseason.
"He wanted to end his career as a Phillie, because he had his greatest moment as a Phillie," Shenk said. "We were happy for Brad. I think the fans will go bananas. We have a nice little ceremony planned for him, and he'll be there all weekend. It kind of turns the page of the newer alumni that are going to be in the mix now."
This season marks the 20-year anniversary of the very popular '93 team, which reached the World Series a year after finishing in last place. All fans who attend the Phillies' 8:05 p.m. ET game against the Braves on Sunday will receive a 1993 NL pennant. Members of the 1983 team and local former Philadephia players are also scheduled to be in attendance on Saturday afternoon.
While the 1993 squad is sure to get a warm welcome in Philadelphia, it may be without its leader in Darren Daulton. A well-liked former catcher, Daulton was diagnosed with brain cancer in July and returned to his home in Clearwater, Fla., for treatment. Shenk said he was unsure if Daulton would be able to attend this weekend's festivities, but he noted everyone is hoping "Dutch" can get to Citizens Bank Park.
"We'll have some sort of recognition for him one way or another," Shenk said, "whether he can make it here or not."
Schilling -- who won 16 games for the 1993 Phillies -- will get his spot on the Phillies' Wall of Fame on Friday night. The current ESPN broadcaster spent parts of nine seasons with Philadelphia, recording 300 or more strikeouts in both the 1997 and '98 seasons.
"The record book numbers are there, the 300-strikeout seasons, back to back," Shenk said. "He was close last year, and it was only a matter of time before he was inducted."
Former catcher Mike Lieberthal was inducted last year, and former first baseman John Kruk made it to the team's Wall of Fame in 2011.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.