Reporting Matt Leon
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By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pedro Feliz spent just two years with the Phillies, but it was a great two years to be in South Philadelphia. Of course he was the starting 3rd baseman on the 2008 World Championship team and the 2009 team that won the National League pennant. Now 37, Feliz is still playing baseball, but he’s across the river, playing third and batting cleanup for the independent Atlantic League Camden Riversharks.
So far in 2012, Feliz has shown he can still hit the ball – batting .331 in 38 games with the Riversharks, with seven home runs and 26 runs batted in.
“Trying to go in there and do my best,” Feliz tells KYW Newsradio. “Been working lately, so gonna try to keep doing it. Feels very good to be playing and doing what I’m doing.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Pedro Feliz:
Feliz will always have a special place in Philadelphia history, as it was his RBI single in Game #5 of the 2008 World Series against Tampa Bay that snapped a 3-3 tie and gave the Phils a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish. The win, of course, gave the franchise its second ever world title. Feliz had a similarly clutch moment in the ’09 series. His solo home run in the 8th inning of the critical Game #4 against the Yankees tied things up at 4. But the impact of the that hit faded away quickly as the Yanks scored three in the 9th off Brad Lidge to win 7-4. New York took a three games to one lead and would go on to win the series in six.
Despite that disappointment, Feliz looks back at his time with the Phillies fondly.
“Two great years that I had there with a group of guys and I had fun. Especially that 2008 World Series Championship. Can’t ask for more than that. That was a great time.
“All the way from the beginning, it was a big battle we were having (in ’08), and we fought together. Just to see the connection that we had with each one in the clubhouse and in the field. You see the direction you’re moving to, and I think the best thing – the connection that we had with each other in the clubhouse and the good group that we had together.”
Feliz has eleven years in the big leagues to his credit. The first eight came in San Francisco. That run included a role with the 2002 team that lost the World Series to the Angels. Now, this is actually Feliz’s second stint in Camden. He played 72 games last year in a Riversharks uniform before signing with the Padres and finishing out the season with their Triple-A team in Tucson. He hasn’t played in the majors since hitting .218 in 2010 for the Astros and Cardinals.
“It would be awesome if I get the chance to get back up there (to the Major Leagues), so I wouldn’t say no to that situation. But I’m just doing my best and if somebody thinks I can do it again, to get back up there, I would be happy to do it. And I believe in myself that I can do it.”
But if that call doesn’t come, you get the sense that Feliz is at peace with how it all has played out.
“Time will tell. I mean I feel good with my career, I won’t complain. Happy with what I’ve been doing in the game. If I can get back I’d be happy. If I don’t get a chance to get back, what am I gonna do? Just go home and spend time with my family.”
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.