This ‘Phillies 50’ series is meant to highlight players from the 1971-2019 teams who impacted both the team and Major League Baseball in a minimum way. Most are one-year wonders. Just one shot, often just a handful of games, in Major League Baseball.
But a few of the players highlighted here got to enjoy more than a simple cup of coffee in the big-leagues. That is the case with the 1990 Philadelphia Phillies position player being remembered.
For a little more than a month in that season, from mid-May through mid-June, 29-year-old outfielder Louie Meadows donned the Phillies uniform for what would be the final 15 of a 102-game MLB career.
A North Carolina native, Meadows led his White Oak High School team to victory in the 1979 state championship. “Louie Meadows was one heckuva player,” said Derek Spears of the East Gaston team swept by White Oak in two tough games in those state finals. Meadows was the winning pitcher in the series opener to improve his career high school record to 28-0. “He was a great pitcher and a great hitter,” said Spears per Richard Walker of the Gaston Gazette back in April 2019.
Meadows went on to play his college ball at North Carolina State and was selected by the Houston Astros in the second round of the June 1982 MLB Amateur Draft.
He would go on to appear in four seasons with Houston, debuting with a half-dozen games in July of 1986, a season during which the Astros were riding high on their way to an NL West Division crown, and then in 66 games split almost evenly during the 1988-89 campaigns.
Released by the Houston organization after appearing in another 15 games early in 1990, Meadows signed on with the Phillies as a free agent on Independence Day.
After he had hit .273 with a dozen extra-base hits and a dozen stolen bases over 48 games at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, the Phillies called Meadows up when rosters expanded in September.
Over his 15 games that month, Meadows hit a feeble .071, going just 1-14 with a single run scored and one walk. His lone run scored came during his first game with the Phillies, as a pinch-runner on September 5, 1990 at Veterans Stadium in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
With the Phillies trailing 1-0 in the home 8th, Ricky Jordan led off with a base hit to center field. Manager Nick Leyva called for Meadows to run, he was bunted over to second base, and then scored the tying run on a an RBI single by Lenny Dykstra.
His lone base hit in a Phillies uniform also came against the Cubbies, exactly one week later on September 12, 1990 at Wrigley Field. With the team hopelessly trailing Greg Maddux by 9-0 in the top of the 5th, Meadows was sent in to pinch-hit for the Phillies second pitcher of the ball game, Don Carman.
While Meadows flew out in that first at-bat against the future Hall of Famer, he would win their next battle in the top of the 7th by leading off with a line-drive base hit to right field.
Meadows returned with the Phillies organization to play in 73 games at Triple-A in the 1991 season at age 30 after which he called it a career.
While Meadows never left a mark on the Phillies with his playing career, his baseball card appearance in a 1991 Topps Desert Shield set has left a mark on the card collecting hobby. On a card listed as being Wes Chamberlain, Topps mistakenly used a picture of Meadows.