All-Star Week in Durham — Day #3
Today is the day! The Triple-A All-Star Game is here!
I’m all set up in the press box of Durham Bulls Athletic Park getting ready for tonight’s
game. From a Charlotte standpoint, three-time IL All-Star Josh Phegley is all set to play in his second Triple-A All-Star Game. It’s a great honor for him and he’s back after a promotion to Chicago last year had him out of the game. Three full seasons in the Triple-A with the Knights and three All-Star selections! He continues to be the top catcher throughout the International League and his 2014 season has been an exceptional one both at the plate and behind the plate.
From another Charlotte standpoint, there is a great reunion of sorts taking place at this year’s game. Fresno Grizzlies manager Bob Mariano is leading the PCL All-Stars against the IL All-Stars, who have the Columbus Clippers pitching coach Tony Arnold on staff as pitching coach. So, how does that relate to Charlotte baseball you say?
Both Mariano and Arnold played for the Charlotte O’s in the 1980’s and both were roommates during their time in Charlotte.
Props to Bob Sutton of Times News on his great story today:
“Former Burlington pitching coach uses Triple-A All-Star Game as reunion”
Arnold was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th round of the 1981 draft. Just a year later, Arnold made his way to Charlotte and pitched for the O’s in 15 games during the 1982 season. Overall that year, he compiled a 5-6 mark with a 5.22 ERA. The following season, Arnold and Mariano were teammates on the O’s. They remained teammates for three seasons — 1983-’85.
In 1983, Arnold posted a 7-5 record with a 3.29 ERA in 44 games (two starts) for the O’s with a career-high 12 saves that season. Mariano appeared in 65 games for the O’s and hit .265 with three home runs and 28 RBIs.
In 1984, the O’s won their second Southern League Championship and both Arnold and Mariano played for the team that season. Arnold compiled a 7-5 record with a 3.14 ERA in 16 games (12 starts). He threw four complete games and had three shutouts that year.
As for Mariano, he played in a season-high 117 games for the O’s — playing both shortstop and third base. His 321 at-bats were the most he ever had in a season.
The two were back on the diamond in Charlotte in 1985 and while Mariano played just four games with the O’s that season, Arnold put together a solid season with the Bulls. He posted an 11-7 record with a 3.87 ERA with one save in 31 games (18 starts). He also had six complete games that season and two shutouts.
Overall, Arnold played in Charlotte from 1982-’85 and is second all-time in Charlotte O’s franchise history in wins (30), third in games pitched (106), fourth in innings pitched (438.1), tied for sixth in saves (13), and ninth in strikeouts.
Now, the two get to spend a little time with each other before competing in the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game. Reunited in Durham, who knew? Now that’s a great story!
Arnold was in Charlotte earlier this year when his Clippers came to town to face the Knights. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him then, but hoping to talk to him and Bob at some point today before the big game. Batting practice starts at 4:00 PM, so I am headed down to the field.
Stay tuned for some more news and notes from Durham later today and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Tommy_the_V for all of the latest!