HughE Dillon: Cheers to Charlie Manuel

Plus: the Phillies sign autographs, and Tony Luke sings

Last night I attended the 1210 AM and 610 WIP “Cheers to Charlie” at the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building. Proceeds benefit The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital. For $75, Phillies fans got to meet manager Charlie Manuel. BELOW: Co-host Ike Reese from WIP, and former Phillie great Ricky Botallico, now with 1210 WPHT/Sports radio.

Fans also enjoyed a buffet. There were tables set up so that they could meet, greet and get autographs with Charlie Manuel, as well as Ryan Madson, Kyle Kendrick and Placido Polanco. Although the rules restricted fans from getting photos with the players, some of the guys relaxed the rules. That made these women very happy as they snapped a few shots . BELOW: Michelle Kaulback, Elyse Fiorillo and Denise Gertsen.

The longest line of the night was for Charlie Manuel. At one point, the wait time was 45 minutes, but Charlie took his time with the fans, signing memorabilia and shaking hands. One couple from Ambler, Tom and Judy Kearney (below), told me it was a thrill of a lifetime as they are huge Phillies fans.

Entertainment was provided by local party band Jelly Roll, who were all decked out in Phillies gear. But at one point Philly cheesesteak king Tony Luke performed a song written by Skip Denenberg (on stage too), “And We Call Them Coach,” which is from the soundtrack the 2009 movie The Nail: The Story of Joey Nardone, which starred Tony Luke.

Ryan Madson was a little late getting to the Crystal Tea Room; maybe he was out celebrating. Fans were lined up when he arrived about 30 minutes into the evening. Last year Mad Dog agreed to a 3-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. He kinda does have that quizzical mad dog look.

Stephenie LaGrossa (below) is about to join the Phillies baseball wives club when she marries Kyle Kendrick in November in Napa Valley. Last Sunday she was seen on the finale of Survivor All Stars: Heroes vs. Villains. She is one of the few players to have played in three seasons of the show. At the reunion show she was able to get a plug in for her Old City restaurant GIGI where she met Kyle. She tells me mentioning her restaurant was spontaneous and kinda quirky to do. I told her it was memorable as people in my office were all talking about it the next day.

There are FREE MOVIE TICKETS available for the Tuesday, May 25th screening of Small Town Saturday Night, starring Star Trek’s Chris Pine, at 7 p.m. at the Ritz Five. It was written and directed by former Snackbar server, Ryan Craig.  Ryan will be at the screening for a Q&A. For the free tickets, call Jonathan Makar of Snackbar at 215-545-5655. While supplies last!


Read my daily blog about Philadelphia at or follow me on Twitter @iphillychitchat for up to the minute info on Philly; it’s people and celeb sightings.  Look for this column to run here on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week.