This year marks the 25th season of Harrisburg Senators’ baseball returning to City Island. To commemorate the anniversary and honor all of the ballplayers that have played here for the last 25 years, I’ll be posting interviews throughout the season with members of each of those past teams.
Today, we continue the series with Andy Tracy. Andy made his mark in Harrisburg over the course of a year and a half as a Senator during the 1998-99 seasons where he set single-season records for home runs and runs batted in. The corner infielder went on to play in 149 major league games (as most recent as two years ago with the Phils) and is currently with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A Reno Aces.
What are your fondest memories of playing here in Harrisburg?
Andy Tracy: Well obviously I was there for two championships, ’98 and ’99. Just enjoying the community and how much they come out and supported us. Coming over to City Island which is a great venue to play baseball on just having a stadium out on the island. Enjoying coming to the field every night and know that the people are going to support us win or lose and know that we’re out there playing really hard for them and they supported us all the way through.
In 1999 you won the Eastern League MVP and had one of the best seasons ever by a Senator as you hit 37 home runs and 128 runs batted in (both still team records). What clicked for you that season?
AT: I wish I knew…I would’ve continued doing that every year. I think the thing that happened with that team is that we were so good from top to bottom. Guys were on base consistently in front of me, if I didn’t have that many RBIs I probably would have had a bad year. We had a great team, coaching staff, and I just seemed to get hot at times and put the ball in play a little bit and got some home runs.
Twelve years later “The Slam” is still brought up here so enthusiastically in such reverential terms. I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask for your memories of that magical night when the 1999 squad won the EL Championship.
AT: It was amazing. I think it was the last night we had to play. We got stuck in a hurricaine up in Connecticutt. We got back home and it rained all night. They said we had to play that game or I think it would have been a split title. We were down 4 or 5 in the 9th and Milton (Bradley) had taken an 0 for 3 on the day which was amazing. He was in the locker room cause he was really distraught about it. We had to go in and grab him and he was already out of his uniform and get him back on the field. He comes out. 3-2 pitch. Walk-off grand slam to win it. It was a miserable, rainy night turned into a great evening and we partied all night on City Island to be honest with you.
Fill the fans in on where your baseball journey has taken you since you left Harrisburg.
AT: It’s taken me all around the country and to Japan also. I’m still loving and playing the game. Now I’m in Reno, Nevada in my first year out of Philadelphia in three years. But I’m still loving it, enjoying my time here, and we’ll see how it ends up after this season.
Thanks to Mr. Tracy for taking the time out of his schedule to answer our questions and be a part of the rich tradition of Senators baseball.
We also wish to thank TJ Lasita and Zak Basch with the Reno Aces for arranging and facilitating the interview.