The numbers that Sal Fasano put up while serving as the backup backstop for our Philadelphia Phillies were not particularly gaudy. In most cases, few tears would be shed in the City of Brotherly Love over the loss of a player with a .243 batting average, four home runs and a .669 OPS over 50 games. However, if there are two things that the Phillie Phaithful love as much as big numbers, it's hard work and huge moustaches, both of which Fasano brought in spades. So there might've been a couple of misty eyes in the house on July 22nd, 2006, when the well-liked but only third-rated Phils catcher was designated for assignment, eventually to be traded to the New York Yankees for scrub Hector Made.
Fasano's popularity in Phialdelphia ballooned with the creation of Sal's Pals, a group of Phils fans who wore fake Fu Manchu 'staches and catchers helmets to honor Fasano. As the group largened, Fasano took notice, and famously sent 20 free pizzas to them in thanks during one of his starts, which of course endeared fans to him further. Nonetheless, the Phils had elected midway through the season not to carry on with three catchers, and with Chris Coste and a suddenly healthy Mike Lieberthal in tow, Fasano was jettisoned. He's since bounced around to the Yankees, Blue Jays, Braves, Indians, and most recently, the Rockies, but it's relatively safe to say that he'll never get another reception quite like the one he got as a member of the Fightins.
"It's a sad day for mustached men everywhere," our very own Enrico wrote of the occasion. "So long, Sal, you will be missed."