Charlie Manuel remembers the first time he saw Ryan Howard work out in left field. How could he forget?

With Jim Thome blocking his ascent to the big leagues at first base and the Phillies looking to get Howard’s bat in the lineup, the team briefly experimented with the slugger as a left fielder.

Hey, if Pat Burrell and Greg Luzinski could do it, certainly Howard could, too.


“I remember we wanted to see him play and I went over to the minor league field to see him in left field,” Manuel recalled. “I said to myself, ‘I don’t think it’s going to work.’

“When I saw him run out there I thought first base all the way.”