WHY PHILLIES FANS WERE IN LOVE WITH TONY TAYLOR, AND VICE VERSA!

Says Todd Zolecki on MLB.com:

Antonio Nemesio Taylor was born on Dec. 19, 1935, in Central Álava, Cuba.

The New York Giants signed him in ’54 before the Cubs selected him in the Rule 5 Draft in ’57. The Cubs then traded him to the Phillies in May 1960.

Taylor was devastated to leave Chicago.

“I didn’t want to go,” he said. “Ernie Banks and I were very close.”

But then Taylor made the National League All-Star team for the Phillies in 1960, and fans fell in love with him. He played such an incredibly good second base that former Phillies broadcaster By Saam coined the phrase “Taylor-made double play” every time Taylor turned one. Taylor made a fantastic defensive play at Shea Stadium on June 21, 1964, preserving Jim Bunning’s Father’s Day perfect game against the Mets. In the second part of his Phillies career, Taylor got a standing ovation whenever he pinch-hit.

Because Taylor could not return home to Cuba in his offseasons with the Phillies, he stayed in the Delaware Valley. He spent his winters working for the Phillies and local companies that hired him for public relations work. He visited countless churches, hospitals and banquets.

“I loved interacting with the fans,” Taylor said.

https://www.mlb.com/phillies/news/tony-taylor-dies-at-age-84

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