No Wall of Fame for Konstanty


By Jim Poole

Although he may be first in the hearts of longtime local baseball fans, Jim Konstanty is apparently only fifth in the hearts of Philadelphia Phillies fans.
The star relief pitcher of the early 1950s and decades-long resident of Worcester finished fifth in the Phillies' Wall of Fame voting last week.
The Wall of Fame in the Phillies' Citizens Bank Park features plaques and displays of popular players from the team's past.
Mr. Konstanty and 11 other past Phillies were on this year's ballot, and fans could vote online on the team's official website.
Contacted Thursday, Larry Shenk of the Phillies' front office confirmed that Mr. Konstanty finished fifth in the voting.
But so far, the Phillies haven't announced the winner.
"The winner won easily," Mr. Shenk wrote in an email. "Not sure when we will announce the winner as that decision rests with the Communications Department."
Helen Konstanty Rees, Mr. Konstanty's daughter and an Oneonta resident, generated a campaign for her dad in late January.
She received plenty of support, just not enough votes for the pitcher.
"But I did hear so many wonderful things about Daddy from friends," she said Sunday. "That was a nice side effect."
In a conversation with Mr. Shenk, Ms. Rees suggested that the Phillies form a veterans category so that older players might have a chance to be on the Wall.
Mr. Shenk said the Phillies considered that idea but are keeping with their current format that's been in place since 1978.
Disappointed but still game, Ms. Kontanty hopes the Phillies keep her dad's name on the ballot for next year's voting.
"It's not over yet," she said. "There's the power of positive thinking, you know."
Mr. Konstanty died in 1976 and is buried in Worcester.

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Other candidates for the Phillies' Wall of Fame were Rick Wise, Jimmy Wilson, Pat Burrell, Larry Christenson, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber, Tony Gonzalez, Mike Ryan, Fred Luderus, Ron Reed and Pinky Whitney.