One of the best annual MiLB promotions is the Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League) Garden Gnome, and this year’s subject should make a striking statue, as John Kruk receives the honors.
On June 30th, Philadelphia Phillies legend and former Reading hitting coach Kruk will become the latest figure to be immortalized in Baseballtown lore as a garden gnome when the Reading Fightin Phils give out a John Kruk Garden Gnome to the first 2,500 adults 15 and over thanks to Metro Bank.
Kruk will become the fourth Reading legend to be featured as a Garden Gnome, following in the footsteps of Ryan Howard (2010-11), Cole Hamels (2011), Vance Worley (2012), and Carlos Ruiz (2013).
While known primarily for his career in Philadelphia from 1989 to 1994, Kruk spent time in Baseballtown on two instances. In 1994, the first baseman made a major-league rehab in Reading for three games. Seven years later, Kruk joined the Reading coaching staff as the hitting coach under manager Gary Varsho.
After his coaching career, Kruk began a career in broadcasting with Fox Sports Network and in 2004, he joined ESPN as an analyst on Baseball Tonight.
A three-time all-star, Kruk played in the majors for 10 seasons and finished his career with a .300 batting average and 100 home runs. He was also part of the Phillies 1993 National League Championship team.
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