Name: Gregory Lynn Legg
Born: April 21, 1960 in San Jose, California
Acquired: Selected in the 22nd round of the 1982 Draft
Phillies Debut: April 18, 1986
Final Phillies Game: June 15, 1987
Uniform Number: 11
About Greg Legg: All Random Past Phillies are not created equal. Some are more forgettable than others. But there are some names that just stick out. When you've got a name like Greg Legg, well, that's pretty tough to forget. Though it was an extremely small sample size, this Phillies "lifer" compiled a pretty impressive career batting average of .409, yet toiled away year after year in the minors while a seemingly endless parade of players came and went with the parent club. Through it all, Legg remained a good soldier and stayed loyal to the Phillies' organization which still employs him to this day.
Legg was a 22nd round selection by the Phillies in the 1982 Draft out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He made an immediate impact in his first pro season, hitting .343 in 44 games for Peninsula in the single-A Carolina League. Legg moved up to AA Reading in 1983, where he hit .306, but slumped to .241 in 1984, splitting that season between Reading and AAA Portland. He would rebound to hit .283 at Portland in 1985, and when Juan Samuel went down with a rib injury early in the 1986 season, Legg got the call to the big leagues. Legg's initial stay filling in for Samuel was brief, as he was sent back to Portland after appearing in just three games. He would go on to hit .323 at Portland for the remainder of the '86 season and earned a callup when MLB rosters expanded in September. Overall, Legg would appear in 11 games for the Phillies in 1986, collecting nine hits in 20 at-bats for a .455 batting average. While no one was mistaking Legg for a superstar in the making, it's hard to overlook someone hitting .455. In 1987, the Phillies moved their AAA affiliation to Maine, which was where Legg began that season. Legg would get another call to the majors in late May, again because of a rib injury to a regular, in this case Mike Schmidt. Legg's impact was much less significant this time around, as he would have two hitless at-bats in three games. Legg would be sent back to the minors in mid-June, where he would spend the rest of the '87 season. In fact, he would remain in the minors through the 1993 season without getting called up by the Phillies. With the exception of 84 games at Reading in 1988, all that time was spent at the AAA level. Legg would call it a career after the '93 season, but he stayed in the family as a coach for single-A Clearwater. The farm system would be ravaged by injuries early in the 1994 season, and with their options limited, the Phillies called on Legg, who came out of retirement to fill in at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He would hit .298 in his final season as a player, finishing with a .308 batting average in 1184 career minor league games, 902 of which were played over parts of 11 seasons at the AAA level. Legg returned to Clearwater as a coach in 1995, and has been part of the Phillies' organization as a coach or manager ever since. He is currently on the coaching staff for single-A Lakewood. Should Legg still be in the Phillies' system in 2011, it will mark his 30th consecutive season as a member of the organization.
Personal recollection: While there isn't an exact day and month to pinpoint, I would have to say my obsession with the Philadelphia Phillies began sometime during the 1987 season. I began playing t-ball that spring and turned seven that summer. My family had already had partial Phillies season tickets since 1979 (we had the Sunday plan until 2001, then switched over to our current 17-game plan), and I was at an age where I could start to develop an understanding of the game. So I guess I took what was already instilled in me to another level. Given that timeline, however, it becomes apparent that I just missed out on Greg Legg. That's unfortunate, because I probably would've been a big Greg Legg fan, given the name and his trials and tribulations through the farm system.
Though I don't have any real memories of Legg as a player, I do remember hearing Dan Baker announce Legg's name on the PA. It isn't often the announcement of a player's name produces a ton of laughs (though I'm sure Rusty Kuntz and Dick Pole among others have generated some snickers), so that's something that sticks with you at such an impressionable age. Legg's loyalty to the Phillies is quite commendable. He always put up decent numbers in the minors, and I often wondered why he never got called back up, especially considering some of the players the Phils were sending out there. It's sort of been the same way since Legg has been a coach in the system, a lot of times when changes were made to the parent club's staff, I wondered if he would get any consideration. But some people are meant to be in certain places, and maybe the minors will always be Greg Legg's calling. Not glamorous, but one could do a lot worse.
That's my story on Greg Legg. Feel free to share any that you may have.