01/02/2003 11:39 PM ET
Phils to meet Rays in HOF game
PHILADELPHIA -- Larry Bowa's Phillies and Lou Piniella's Devil Rays will play in the 57th annual Hall of Fame Game on June 16 at Doubleday Field. The Phillies will detour to Cooperstown following a series in Cincinnati against the Reds, while the Devil Rays will fly from St. Petersburg after hosting the Pirates.
Bowa served as Piniella's third-base coach in Seattle during the 2000 season. Current Phillies Jose Mesa and David Bell -- and brief Phillie John Mabry -- were members of that Wild Card team, which upset the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS, then lost to the Yankees in the ALCS.
Bowa, 57, remarked during the 2002 season that he would enjoy seeing Piniella across the field when the Mariners visited the Philadelphia during Interleague play on June 3-5. Both men were named Manager of the Year in 2001 for their respective leagues.
In October, Piniella left Seattle to take the helm of the Devil Rays, limiting the pair to match wits for two Spring Training games on Feb. 24 and Feb. 27.
Phillies fans also remember the Devil Rays as the organization that handed them Bobby Abreu, selecting him from the Houston Astros in the 1997 expansion draft then shipping him to Philadelphia for shortstop Kevin Stocker.
This is the first time in history that the game will not coincide with the yearly Hall of Fame induction weekend, which is scheduled for July 26-28. This was due to complications in scheduling the game and the induction during the same weekend. This year's Hall of Famers will be enshrined July 27.
Last year's Hall of Fame weekend included the honoring of longtime Phillies announcer Harry Kalas, who was the 2002 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.
A yearly tradition since 1940, the game will instead be played the day after Father's Day, capping a weekend of events scheduled at the Hall of Fame.
The Phillies will be making their sixth Cooperstown appearance. They last appeared in 1994, losing 4-3 to the Mariners -- also managed by Piniella. The Devil Rays, who played their first Major League game in 1998, will be appearing at their first Hall of Fame game.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com