My friend Phil pitched the longest game

Published 3:23 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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There is probably not a bigger fan of East Carolina than Sue Francis, but if you walk into Phil Edward’s office, he will run a close second. He has as much or more Pirate memorabilia as anyone. From baseball to football he and Tori (his beautiful wife) have collected a lot over the years. He has pictures and plaques decorating his office. Whit Powell would appreciate this, he has an article that proves he played American Legion baseball for none other than the legendary coach Al Vaughn. He played on the team with Dwight Flanagan, another Pirate great.

I have known Phil since my youth and the days of playing baseball on Eleventh Street in front of Donnie Water’s house. We played alongside of Julian Dudley, Lee Drake, Joe Stalls, Phil Flemming, Robert Flemming, William Neal Martin, Bobby Hardy and Woody Hardy. Phil was an outstanding pitcher in high school and holds the record for the longest game pitched in North Carolina. He and Mike Caldwell dueled for 19 innings. Mike later played at NCSU and in the major leagues with Milwaukee.

Phil was an outstanding basketball player too. His shot from the corner was deadly. I bet he doesn’t know this, but I was guarding him the day I hurt my knee. I was playing like Ricky Webb from Greenville and Coach Chapin told me not to let Phil shoot and I went down on that tile floor. What a memory.

Joe Stalls invited me and Phil to spend the night with him. Joe lived beside the Game Warden and he was the only one who had firecrackers at that time. We had to go see his stash. We waited till late that night and visited the Game Warden’s shed. He had cherry bombs, M80’s and firecrackers to scare up ducks with. Young boys didn’t know. We didn’t take any, but of course, our dads were called that night.

Phil is one the nicest people that I have ever met. He is a CPA in Washington and I get to see him at least once a year at tax time. He and Tori work together in Washington, but live in Greenville, so he can be close to East Carolina. That’s right, they live there so they can get out of town once they get through with tax season.

Phil and Tori are special to me because we go way back just like Tommy, Burger, Joe and many others. Tori is the brains of the group because we were blessed with athletic ability not beauty and certainly not brains. Just boys growing up together and friends for life.

It was the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.! The Original Washington!