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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Phillies fans remember Lance Parrish as the big free-agent bust of the 1987 season. When he signed with the Phillies, he brought the resume of a six-time all-star with the Detroit Tigers. He brought a World Series ring, three Gold Glove awards and five Silver Sluggers along with him. Expectations were so high, the Phillies coined their slogan “Lance Us A Pennant” for the ’87 season.
The Phillies signed him hoping for the offensive production that Parrish was known for in Detroit. From 1982-85, Parrish averaged 30 home runs per season. He responded by hitting .245 with 17 home runs in the 1987 season, and then followed it with a .215 average and 15 home runs in the 1988 season. Hometown fans were not pleased.
25 years later, as a guest on Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow’s show on 94WIP Thursday afternoon, Lance Parrish said he’s sorry to Philadelphia. “I apologize for not living up to my end of the bargain,” Parrish said. “As an athlete, my objective every year was to be as productive, and as good a teammate and help the cause as much as possible. I truly envisioned myself as a guy who could come over there and get Philadelphia over the hump. To help the Phillies get into that World Series they were hoping to get into. And I was very confident going in that I would be able to put up the same kind of numbers that I did in Detroit. I never did live up to expectations. I know that everybody was counting on me and expecting big things, and I never did come through. It’s a situation that I regret, and I wish I could have performed better, but I apologize to the fans. I feel like I let everybody down. It was a difficult time, but I’ll be honest with you, I had a great time in Philadelphia,” Parrish said.
“Confidence had a lot to do with it,” Parrish said. “I think early on I couldn’t get myself on track, and people were getting a little tired of waiting for me to get it together. I started pressing a little bit, and it just kind of compounded,” he said. “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Parrish said he was originally expecting to re-sign with Detroit instead of coming to Philadelphia. Then something happened; collusion. “Our president at the time, Jim Campbell, pulled the offer off the table. And just said that they were no longer to sign anybody to long-term deals. That they weren’t going to negotiate anymore during the season. And I was shocked.”
Parrish talked about why he chose Philadelphia, his performance as a hitter and devensively, his injuries, and his teammates. You can listen to the entire interview here: