News From Terre Haute, Indiana


July 8, 2013

Chicago, Chicago ... Josh Phegley’s town

TH catcher smacks second career homer

CHICAGO — Since he was promoted to the Chicago White Sox on Friday, Terre Haute native Josh Phegley has been the toast of his hometown.

But excitement over Phegley isn’t just confined to Vigo County. The 25-year-old catcher is the next big thing for the White Sox, too.

After Phegley earned his first career hit, RBI and home run in his first Major League Baseball series at Tampa Bay, South Siders were excited about phenom Phegley.

A home run on Monday in his home debut at U.S. Cellular Field didn’t hurt that cause one bit.

The buzz was evident Monday long before the White Sox hosted the Chicago Cubs in a crosstown rivalry game. There were so many Chicago media members staked out at Phegley’s locker in the White Sox clubhouse that his first home press availability was moved to the White Sox dugout.

It’s just another milepost on a road paved with excitement for the former Terre Haute North and Indiana University catcher.

“I’m excited. Getting the call in Tampa was a real quick hit. It hit me really fast. I think coming back it’ll maybe be more of a nervous feeling playing at home. Probably a pretty good crowd with the crosstown rivalry, but I’m ready to go,” Phegley said.

Rain delayed the start of the White Sox-Cubs game for 29 minutes — a contest that was itself rained out on its original May 28 date — and it concluded after the Tribune-Star’s press time.

The pre-game gully washer might have taken some of the sting out of the crowd, but not the appreciation White Sox fans expressed for Phegley.

He was received warmly in his pregame introduction. Batting eighth in the lineup against the Cubs, Phegley got a loud cheer from White Sox fans as he came to bat in the third inning.

The reception became rapturous shortly thereafter when he hit the first pitch he saw from Matt Garza into the second row in left-center field at U.S. Cellular Field. The 393-foot blast was Phegley’s second of the season.

Per usual, Phegley was business-like as he took batting practice for the first time at U.S. Cellular Field. The media crush and myriad questions from Chicago and Terre Haute media alike were taken in stride and rolled off of him easily.

It’s an approach Phegley has used to maximum effect all season. When Phegley didn’t go north with the White Sox after spending the spring with the big league club, he didn’t pout, he bore down at Triple-A Charlotte.

Phegley’s .316 batting average, 15 home runs and 41 RBI in 61 games for the Knights became too much for the struggling White Sox to ignore, especially given that starting catcher Tyler Flowers was having trouble breaking the Mendoza Line.

It was all a testament to Phegley’s determination.

“You see how guys are when they go down and they put in the work and produce. He did something a lot of guys dream of. He went down and produced and forced the hand to earn your way to the top. I think it’s exciting for him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

It’s been a whirlwind four days for Phegley. Though he was anticipating a call-up, he was caught off guard when it occurred. Charlotte was on a two-game road trip to nearby Gwinnett, Ga. … and Phegley’s didn’t pack clothes for a weekend trip.

Phegley overcame the sartorial conundrum and made the most out of its maiden series against Tampa Bay. In his debut Friday, Phegley earned his first career hit, a RBI single in his second at-bat. He later knocked in another run via a sacrifice fly.

On Sunday, Phegley hit his first career home run — off reigning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price no less — and it accounted for Chicago’s only run in the game.

“I think getting a hit in the first game was huge to get a monkey off your back. It took a couple of innings behind the plate and then I settled in there,” Phegley said. “The home run in my second game was a huge blessing. It’s exciting and I’m enjoying every moment of it.”

Phegley would be enjoying his start more if the White Sox were winning. The Pale Hose were swept in the weekend series at Tropicana Field.

“It’s a little bittersweet getting my first hit, RBI, and then my first home run the next game. I’m trying to settle in, but at the same time, it’s about winning games,” Phegley said. “It’s tough to kind of celebrate within myself when we know this team needs wins.”

Ventura said he will play it by ear as far as how to balance playing time between Phegley and Flowers for the rest of the season.

White Sox bench coach Mark Parent — who put in 13 years behind the plate for seven Major League teams — said Phegley will be given ample opportunity to succeed.

“He’s been given a pretty good opportunity to show what he can do. Tyler Flowers runs the game pretty well. [Flowers] is struggling at the plate and his shoulder is barking a bit, so [Phegley] will get some time and we’ll see what he can do,” Parent said.

In the meantime, Phegley has heard about the support coming from his hometown and he has been humbled by it.

“I’m proud to hear those people are behind me. I’m from Terre Haute and I’ll always represent them. I really appreciate the fans back there,” Phegley said.

The White Sox go back on the road to Detroit and Philadelphia before the All-Star Break. The White Sox return to U.S. Cellular Field on July 19 as they open a three-game series against Atlanta.


Text Only | Photo Reprints

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Strong finish: Megan Ramer, center, poses for a photo with Jimmy Smith and Tony Tanoos after she won the girls 15-17 championship flight of the 2014 city junior golf tournament on Thursday at Rea Park. Ramer was also presented the 2014 Travis J. Smith Outstanding Junior Golf Award.

  • Ramer, Kuppler claim junior city golf titles

    Megan Ramer and Colton Kuppler were two winners in the junior city golf tournament concluded Thursday in sunny, warm conditions at Rea Park.
    Both golfers claimed titles in the 15-17 age division for the first time while Ramer and Andrew Granda were two of the winners in the 2013 tournament.

    July 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rex return from All-Star break with a win at Danville

    The Terre Haute Rex returned to action on Thursday in winning fashion as they defeated Danville 4-1.

    July 11, 2014

  • Terre Haute North knocks off Clinton for District 4 9-10s title

    Visiting Clinton had a 1-0 lead — that could have been bigger — as the championship game of the District 4 Little League tournament for 9-10 all-stars neared its halfway point Thursday night at Terre Haute North’s park.

    July 11, 2014

  • Roundup: Wayne Newton defeats Rockville by 7-1 score

    Wayne Newton Post 346 picked up its third American Legion baseball victory in as many days Thursday night at Terre Haute North, downing visiting Rockville 7-1.

    July 11, 2014

  • SPT 070914 RAMER CHIP.jpg Kuppler, Ramer hike leads in city junior golf tourney

    Champions for the 2014 city junior golf tournament will be decided today in the final round of competition at Rea Park.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • wallace.jpg Wallace wins UMP feature

    NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Justin Allgaier led the UMP Modifieds 20-lap feature race through eight laps Wednesday night at the Terra Haute Action Track. But former NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace found an opening on the bottom of the back straightaway and went on to win the race.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • odum.jpg Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patton stays hot at Martinsville Fair

    Freddie Patton Jr. was the leader for the second day in a row in harness racing action at the Martinsville Agricultural Fair.
    The ace driver and trainer was in the bike for two winners and was nipped at the finish in a third race with 2-year-old trotters and pacers in the seven races on the card run in sunny, pleasant conditions.

    July 9, 2014

  • Terre Haute North Little League wins pair, advances to title games

    Terre Haute North’s Little League All-Stars won in two different age divisions Wednesday evening at West Terre Haute’s park, propeling both teams into District Four tournament championship games.
    In 11-and 12-year-old action, North defeated the host team 11-4 as Taneer Pittman went 3 for 4 with a pair of home runs and Kaleb Hannahs also went 3 for 4 with a double. For West Terre Haute, Trenton Broderick went 2 for 3.

    July 9, 2014

  • Riley All-Stars ready for Cal Ripken tournament play

    The Riley Recreation League for Cal Ripken youth baseball has announced its all-star teams and schedules.

    July 9, 2014

Local Interest
High School

Indiana Pacers' Jake Odum (23) takes a shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder during an NBA summer league basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018

    Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.

    July 9, 2014

  • mundy.jpg College report: Former Patriot runner Mundy is ‘proud to be a Hoosier’

    After redshirting the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year, Chanli Mundy was eager to do one thing recently as she prepared to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Oregon. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being able to wear an IU uniform,” she said last week prior to making her cross-country trip.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers

    Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.

    July 7, 2014

  • Terre Haute's A.J. Reed joins Manziel as an SEC Athlete of Year

    University of Kentucky baseball star A.J. Reed of Terre Haute and Florida softball standout Hannah Rogers have been named 2013-14 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to a voting by the league’s athletics directors.
    “A.J. and Hannah are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have been successful in their endeavors. They are fine representatives of their universities and this conference.”

    July 1, 2014

Sports Columns
Pro Sports

Indiana Pacers' Jake Odum (23) takes a shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder during an NBA summer league basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

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