Jeff Stone was a highly-hyped Philadelphia Phillies‘ outfielder who played the 1980s’ speed game.
Domonic Brown is a highly-hyped Phillies’ outfielder who carries a power bat to the plate. After “Dom’s” solid spring effort, old school fans are hoping that this 25-year-old is capable of exercising Stone’s ghost.
Stone and Brown made their major league debuts when they were 22-years-old. They both bounced back and forth between the major and minor leagues during the first three years of their careers, with Stone’s yo-yo continuing for an even longer period of time. Both players also share the distinction of not being seen as good glove men.
Stone turned 52 the day after Christmas. It’s hard to image that someone who was as fast as a cat has walked across the half-century mark, but time is seen with perspective.
The Phillies’ 1979 amateur free agent seemed destined to help form the core of a renewed nucleus that would enable a golden baseball age to shine through the 1980s. Sadly, Stone never appeared in more than 88 major league games in one season (1985) during a Phillies’ career that ended before the 1988 season began.
Philadelphia went 80-82 in 1987 and then dealt Stone in a multi-player trade to the Baltimore Orioles in spring training the next year. He split time with the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox in 1989 and also played his last big league season with Boston in 1990. Two seasons later Stone ended his professional career by playing for three different organizations, including the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, who were the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate at that time.
Stone’s name evokes memories of unfulfilled potential. More importantly, he’s often referenced as a key figure in a broken era.
The potential symmetry between Brown’s future and Stone’s past is undeniable. Brown however, appears capable of potentially breaking any mirror image to that former Phillies’ prospect by the time he celebrates his twenty-sixth birthday in September.