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doug-glanville

Doug Glanville is one of three Quakers to play in the major leagues, and the first to be selected in the first round.

Doug Glanville will forever be linked with the City of Brotherly Love. 

The Teaneck, N.J. native grew up a Phillies fan, less than a hundred miles away from the university he would attend and the stadium in which he would play a majority of the games in his Major League career. To date, he is one of only three Quakers to be selected in the MLB draft and to play in the major leagues, alongside former players Steve Adkins and Mark DeRosa. Glanville is the only one of the three to have been drafted in the first round, and was the first Black Ivy League graduate to make it to the majors. 

While Glanville was picked by the Chicago Cubs and spent his minor league career in their farm system, he spent most of his tenure in the majors — and his best seasons — with his hometown favorite, Philadelphia Phillies. 

It was in Philadelphia that Glanville played his best statistical season. In 1999, he posted a .325 batting average, hit 11 home runs, accounted for 73 RBIs, and had the fourth-highest hit total in the league with 204, behind only All-Stars Derek Jeter, B.J. Surhoff, and Luis Gonzalez. While the Phillies unfortunately saw little team success and never made the playoffs over the course of Glanville’s tenure with the team, he did make one postseason run in his career and made the most of it.

Glanville made a return to Chicago during the middle of the 2003 season, after a July trade sent him from the Texas Rangers. That season, the Cubs were hot. They had won the NL Central division and eked past the Atlanta Braves, three games to two, in the NLDS. In Game 3 of the NLCS against the Florida Marlins, with the series tied 1-1, Glanville found his moment. The game had gone to extra innings, with the teams tied at four runs apiece. Glanville was called off the bench as a pinch hitter in the top of the 11th inning, with All-Star Kenny Lofton on first base. 

With a 2-1 count, Glanville ripped a line drive to center field and gutted out a triple, driving in Lofton to score what would be the game’s winning run.

Unfortunately for Glanville and the Cubs, the famed Curse of the Billy Goat would dash any hopes of a World Series title. Game 6 of that series was dramatically altered by the so-called Steve Bartman incident. When Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou pursued a foul ball hit towards the left-field fence, Cubs fan Bartman inadvertently deflected the ball out of Alou's glove, preventing what would have been the second out of the eighth inning. This case of fan interference arguably caused the Cubs to choke away the game and, upon their loss in Game 7, the series.

Glanville would return to Philadelphia for a final season to retire as a Phillie, and in 2010 he joined ESPN as a color analyst covering MLB games. He also appeared on Baseball Tonight, Wednesday Night Baseball, and ESPN Radio, while also writing for ESPN The Magazine and the New York Times

Glanville is a published author, writing the highly-praised The Game From Where I Stand, providing insight into his career and the life of a baseball player and explaining “how players prepare for games, deal with race and family issues, cope with streaks and slumps, respond to trades and injuries, and learn the joyful and painful lessons the game imparts.”

Perhaps most importantly, however, Glanville has continued commenting on racial issues in the United States. In 2014, he wrote a piece for The Atlantic entitled “I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway,” detailing an experience in which a police officer from a neighboring town questioned him without reason for suspicion while Glanville was shoveling snow. He has also responded to the George Floyd incident of 2020, creating a video essay for ESPN called “Enough is Enough.”

With his notable baseball career, impressive and varied post-baseball ventures, and of course his engineering degree, Glanville can be described perfectly as a jack-of-all-trades. He embodies Penn’s desire to create well-rounded students and individuals, and therefore deserves his place in the pantheon of Quaker athletes.

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