13 January 2014

the john vukovich memorial patch

the phillies have worn memorial patches for most of the past seven years.  back in 2007, they wore a patch for former player, coach, interim manager, and front office executive john vukovich who passed away from an inoperable brain tumor.  you can see the 'vuk' patch on jimmy rollins' right sleeve on his 2009 upper deck icons card
and on his 2008 upper deck goudey card
and on chase utley's 2008 upper deck first edition card
but it is really clear on tadahito iguchi's 2008 upper deck card
vukovich was a first round draft pick of the phillies in 1966.  he was traded to the brewers after the 1972 season, and also spent time with the reds before returning to the phillies in the mid-1970's.  he was  a member of the 1980 world championship team and remained on the roster until his release late in the 1981 season.  he was never a starter, and hit just .161 in his career, but he was good defensively, well liked and played hard.

vukovich immediately went into coaching - first with the cubs and then with the phillies.  his run as a phillies coach extended from 1988 through 2004 (then the longest tenure in club history) before he moved to the front office.  he had been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in 2001 which was removed.  in 2006, he experienced a recurrence and eventually passed away in march of 2007 at the age of 69.

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