Saturday, December 16, 2023

2023 Card-vent Calendar: December 15

December 15, 2023:
1986 Topps #418 Alan Knicely
If you don't have anything knice to say to me, don't say anything at all.

These were the words on a sign backup catcher Alan Knicely had hanging above his locker in the Phillies clubhouse during the last six weeks of the 1985 season.  During that time, Knicely was the victim of no fewer than 14 brutal hazing incidents.  Held in poor regard by his teammates, Knicely required two blood transfusions during this period, was treated for three cracked teeth (two incisors, one bicuspid), and underwent a "complete restructuring" of what team doctors would only reveal was a "very sensitive area."

Knicely's season of horrors officially ended when he was released by Philidelphia on St. Patrick's Day in 1986.  "The Quiet Torment," the Phillies' tradition involving the selection of the single player for bullying and assault over the course of a season, would continue, secretly and unchecked, for the next 19 years.  Only the hiring of Charlie Manuel as manager proved effective in ending the practice.  Manuel's "Quit that grab-ass and let's go play some baseball," is often cited as the watershed moment that allowed the Phillies to turn the corner toward success.


  1. This seems like something Baseball Card Bust would write. Great stuff!

  2. Damn. Sad story. Had no idea about this Phillies tradition, but glad Manuel put an end to it.