Phils' Manuel's mother passes away
Skipper in dugout for Game 2; Victorino loses grandmother
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, whose mother died Friday morning, decided -- after some reflection in the hours that followed -- to stay with the team for Friday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers.
June Manuel, 87, who lived in Buena Vista, Va. -- in the same house where she raised Charlie and his 10 siblings -- passed away Friday after a brief illness. She was born on Jan. 1, 1921.Charlie Manuel, 64, watched batting practice, but canceled his scheduled pregame news conference on Friday afternoon. A team spokesman said Manuel learned of his mother's death while meeting with his coaches in his office Friday morning. The team flew to Los Angeles after Game 2, and it is unknown whether Manuel was on that flight. "As an organization, we're all about family first," Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We left it up to Charlie as to what he wants to do. We support him. I can tell you that I know he loves this team and his players. I'm sure there's no place that he'd rather be. He's a baseball man. That's who he is." June Manuel raised 11 children, with Charlie the third oldest. Charlie's father, Charles Sr., passed away at 43, when Charlie was 19. "I can't imagine a better person in the world than my mother," Manuel said in 2005 in a contribution to MLB.com's Mother's Day coverage. "I hope everybody's mom is like mine. She's been very special to me, and I've been very lucky to have a mother like her."
Manuel accepted condolences from members of both teams, including Dodgers manager Joe Torre."The Phillies organization is saddened by the news of the death of June Manuel, the mother of our manager," Phillies president and CEO David Montgomery said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to Charlie and the Manuel family at this most difficult time. Mrs. Manuel instilled the qualities of hard work, loyalty and a caring good nature that we have come to respect and appreciate from our manager and friend."
Most Phillies weren't surprised to see Manuel in uniform."She was praying for us to be here," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said.
A sad day grew worse after Friday's game, when center fielder Shane Victorino's father informed him that his grandmother had passed away. Irene Victorino, who was in her native Hawaii at the time, was 82.
Victorino's father learned of the news earlier in the day, but waited to inform his son until after the game. So, just before Victorino prepared to enter a news conference to talk about his game-saving catch in Game 2, his father pulled him aside to relay the somber message.
"It's obviously been a tough day around here, but you know what? It's about baseball," Victorino said. "Charlie stayed strong. He kept us all strong."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.