News From Terre Haute, Indiana


July 10, 2013

Failure in baseball? Not for Phegley

Terre Haute native never had any doubts he could succeed at baseball’s highest level

CHICAGO — I thought baseball was supposed to be a game of failure?

That’s what I’ve been told through the years and that’s what watching 41 years of baseball has affirmed time and again.

You know the saying … you’re a big success at the Major League Baseball level if you hit .333? Which is the statistical glass half-full way of saying you fail to get a hit 66.7 percent of the time?

The adage is supposed to be doubly true of rookies.

Funny … I watched Josh Phegley make his home debut on Monday for the Chicago White Sox against the Chicago Cubs.

And I’m just not seeing this whole failure thing.

Phegley continued the memorable start to his career against the Cubs. On the first pitch he saw from the Cubs’ Matt Garza, an estimable pitcher with a 3.45 ERA, Phegley hammered it into the left-center bleachers at U.S. Cellular Field bleachers.

“It’s good to show that I can come out and produce and get some runs for my team. Obviously, I’ve hit two solo home runs, but I’d like to get that hit with a run on-base. Getting those hits have helped me settle in,” Phegley said.

It was his second career home run. In his third career game. The blasts came against Garza and reigning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price.

Records go back to 1921 and Phegley was the quickest White Sox rookie to hit a home run in back-to-back games since Magglio Ordonez did it in his second and third games in 1997.

Phegley had already received appreciative applause from the White Sox fans. After the home run, they were convinced they had a phenom in their midst.

Again … remind me what this failure thing is all about?

Phegley also flashed his defensive skills behind the plate. In a bang-bang strike ’em out, throw ’em out in the seventh inning, Phegley had the throw with a twist. After Starlin Castro whiffed, Phegley’s snap throw to first base was dead solid perfect to Adam Dunn who swiped out surprised Cubs baserunner Julio Borbon.

“Seeing him kind of jump, I knew I had to make a throw to either bag. I was on my toes and ready once I saw him move, I knew I could throw behind him. Dunn was there and made a good play,” Phegley said.

Phegley has managed to achieve a milestone of sorts in all three of his Major League games to date. He earned his first hit and pair of RBI in his debut. He hit his first home run in his second game.

Even if failure wasn’t obvious to his observers, Phegley was irked by his second at-bat in the fifth inning. On a 3-0 count, he grounded out 6-3 on what was likely would have been a walk.

“It was a tight game and I tried to put us ahead a little bit. Maybe I was too aggressive. It would’ve been ball four down. I kind of shot myself in the foot on that one,” Phegley said. “Maybe I shouldn’t get so geeked up and see a better pitch.”

OK. So he earned a mulligan.

Good or bad, Phegley has maintained an even keel, a sort of quiet confidence that is likely a surprise to Chicago observers who haven’t been around the rookie catcher.

It’s not surprising to me at all. Whether it was at Terre Haute North, or for his national runner-up American Legion team or when he was at Indiana, Phegley has always had a good head on his shoulders. Even if it seemed things weren’t going well for him or his team, you got the impression that Phegley never deviated from plan, which was to succeed and reach the highest level.

So he did. Again, that failure thing, when does it kick in?

He’ll need his inner strength. While Phegley shined Monday, the White Sox gave ample evidence as to why they sit in last place in the American League Central. Phegley’s success highlights the White Sox failure — he accounts for five of the White Sox seven RBI in their last four games.

“The home run was nice, but it would’ve been better if we came out on top,” Phegley said.

There will be turbulence out of Phegley’s control too. Even he sensed it Monday when he spoke of having new teammates as the season progresses. The flagging White Sox will clearly be sellers when the MLB trade deadline approaches later this month. Roster turnover is not easy for a rookie on a team that doesn’t really have an obvious veteran leader to begin with.

Then again, Phegley has made a lot of tough things look really easy so far. There’s no doubt in him, so there’s not much cause for anyone else to doubt him either. Even if baseball is a game of failure.

Just don’t tell Phegley. He never got the message.

Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or Please follow Golden on Twitter @TribStarTodd.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza 55 on the stop: Indiana State's Connor Underwood tackles North Dakota State's Sam Ojuri during the Sycamores' loss to the Bison on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Local Interest

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterOuch: Defending Men's City Chamion Tom Jones reacts to a missed putt on the 6th hole at Rea Park Saturday morning. Jones is seeking his 9th Men's title.

High School
  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff

    Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

Sports Columns
SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

Pro Sports

It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

Terre Haute Rex
Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News